birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Tested

I am walking on a campus that seems almost familiar, the paths crossing the quad, the stone of the buildings, stacked flagstone like the ones in Boulder, but I have no idea where I am. I only know I'm on my way to the test, which is odd because I've never even been to the class and don't know where to find it.

Finding the room is the thing. There's a woman sitting on a lifeguard chair who probably knows, but I just keep walking as she looks down. I need the credit for this class to get out of here, out of school, on my way, but first I have to find the room. I walk and walk. I'm not sure there are even any other people, but the woman in the tall chair is watching. Maybe I should ask her. 

I don't ever arrive. Maybe I won't graduate, or someone will find out I didn't take the class and there will be a scandal about the degree I say I have but never got, but that's another anxiety dream, the one in which I made the whole thing up and I get caught, the way I never did, thought I got a TA's raised eyebrow, the year I never went to a single Monday class and wrote papers for all of them, which worked out except for astronomy, in which I did show up for the final-or was that a dream-never having done a single thing except show up in the TA's office saying I was sorry but my aunt had died or something and I needed just to take an incomplete, which is another anxiety dream in which I have to repay my student loan because I didn't take enough credits that semester, oh if only I'd just sat in that stupid class and learned the names of stars.  

Madonna

Raisin Bran