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

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

The Means Well

Beating in between my mouth and brain is an extra organ. It can't be found in a Grey's Anatomy or a 3-D model online because it's an anomaly. I call it the Means Well. Its function is to mediate the impulse to do well that leaves from my brain and send it, garbled, to my mouth. 

Exhibit A: Brain sends the signal to tell romantic interests about sickness and contagion so they will stay away, not get sick. But filtered through the Means Well, the mouth says something that results in both showing up at the same time, which might've been sweet had they known about the other. 

I meant well.

Exhibit B: It was a fish. But I understood she was very attached to her tropical fish, so when her husband told me one had died while she was away, as soon as she walked into the restaurant that afternoon, I jumped up and put my arms around her. "I'm so sorry about your fish," I said.

"Why? What's wrong with my fish?"

How could I know he hadn't told her yet?

I meant well.

The bad news is my doctor says that it's like the liver and heart and cannot be removed even though it's non-essential. Many people are born without one. And may even live healthier lives for this lack.

The worse news: I'm an organ donor.