It was a dark and rather pleasantly calm early summer night. I was sleeping heavily after a long day of doing the job of two people. I was roused only slightly after the husband rose to use the bathroom. It must be early morning, the TV is finally off, but the sun has not yet risen. Suddenly, the husband darted into the room, “OH SHIT!” he slammed the door and flicked on the light. Confused and befuddled in my bed in a slightly questionable neighborhood, my mind starts racing.
There’s someone in the house. This is it. What everyone had warned me about.
That’s it, that’s my first thought. Now it’s not quite fair that our little pocket of houses gets lumped in with the neighborhood that makes headlines on the news for gun violence, hit and runs and police brutality, but I mean, don’t all communities have drug house raids a block away and news choppers flying overhead?
“A bird, a big bird dove at me!” the husband elaborated. Okay, now who’s on drugs.
“What?” I said, I fumbled for my glasses.
“I thought I heard something. There’s a bird in the house.”
I got up and went over to the door. He reluctantly stepped away and I poked my head out. Nothing. Okay, still looking.
I snapped the door shut something quick.
“That’s a bat,” I said. I made my way back to bed. What do I do about a bat? Thoughts of the movies ‘The Great Outdoors’ and ‘Black Sheep’ come to mind. That’s all I know about handling bats. I sat on the mattress. The idea of asking to borrow my nephew’s butterfly net came to mind…Do I text my sister now to make sure she brings it work with her? Then I can pick it up…
“I suppose we can figure it out in the morning,” the husband says and he follows my lead back to bed. “Is Bukowski in here?” A quick search of the room revealed that the cat was not inside. Every man, woman and cat for themselves, I guess. Not long after the light was turned out, Bukowski arrived mewling for entry. The husband got up and let him in then proceeded to barricade the door with dirty laundry. Within minutes, Bukowski is clawing and chewing at the door to get out. Oh well, I had had to pee since the first “OH SHIT” was muttered anyway. I got up, released the cat and poked my head out.
No movement. I slipped into the hall and shut the door. No movement. I darted to the bathroom and shut the door. No movement in here either. I flicked on the light, still nothing. I took care of business and stepped out into the hall again, shutting the door behind me to limit the bat’s hiding places. Then I saw it. Just a black blob. (I was not wearing my glasses) The bat was perched on the top of the bedroom door. I turned on the hall light. It stayed put.
Of course, my mind seeing a black blob, became even more creative and I thought “If that was a tarantula, I would not be able to go through that door.” But it’s a bat, right? I might not get another opportunity. I needed to get it outside. I reached back into the bathroom and grabbed the hand towel. I spread it over my hands and crept very, very slowly towards the bedroom. I paused every time I saw its ears swivel. Then THWAP! I could feel it under my hand and enclosed the towel around it.
“I GOT IT!” I cried. Sounds of disbelief emanated from the room.
Now my mind is racing, my heart is pumping. I wanted to tell him to run ahead and open the door, while I scream, “MAKE WAY!” but my tongue was stuck after that initial outburst. The bat wasn’t putting up a fight. I ran down to the front door. Flipped on the entryway and outside lights, unlocked the door and stepped out in my skimpy jammy jams. It got a bit blurry at that point. I’m not sure exactly how I flung or dropped the towel, but the bat safely flew away into the night. I stood there shaking from adrenaline, trying to catch my breath and stepping into the cold grass to retrieve the towel. Not too many nights before I had witnessed a commotion at the neighbors that also involved the flinging of some unwelcome house guest out the door with a rake. Now here I was. What is this neighborhood coming to?
I darted back inside and returned to the bedroom. Still shaking, I recounted my tale to the husband, who was still tucked in bed, and Bukowski, who was not alarmed by the situation in the very least.
Now in the light of day, there is still an unanswered question:
Where the hell did this bat come from?
I guess that’s part of the mystery of old houses.