“We are not as strong as we think we are”
Saturday night was going to be me+a book+quiet. I had a terrific book to finish, big weekends ahead and behind, and a lot to think about.
It was the best made plan.
Comfy on the love seat? Check.
Big brown bat buzzing my head? Check.
Salty language ensued.
In some impossible-to-duplicate moment of fear+fear+fear, I leaped from the cozy couch in some kind of bat-inspired parkour move that had me on my feet and shrieking towards my phone. Almost like a graceful bat-out-of-hell ballet. Almost.
It was 11:30 pm and the little city on the prairie was unusually cool and quiet for a Saturday summer night.
What I knew:
I knew that the bat had sufficiently scared the bejesus out of me.
As much as I tried to bring myself to the task of evicting him, I knew that I couldn’t do this on my own.
I knew that I was going to have to ask for help as night moseyed into Sunday morning.
Eventually, my leasing agent, Nick, arrived and invested 1.5 hours helping me “root out” the winged rodent. Nick brought his favorite “bat catcher” who ended up racing over again for a total of 3.5 – 4 hours.
Round 1: we looked everywhere.
We pulled the stove and fridge out. We moved clothes, scads of books, artwork, and the stuff of my little life from corner to corner. Though I kept cracking jokes about “this feels like a Chevy Chase movie,” the bat was so sneaky I was afraid that the guys thought I’d been delusional.
Eventually we conceded our first round defeat. The guys departed while assuring me that I’d probably never see the interloping bat again.
I groggily lumbered back into the apartment towards sleep – not wanting to risk another face-to-fang encounter. Before tucking myself in, I set up an elaborate system of dimmed lights in the darkest part of the apartment – farthest from my bed – and left a little light and noise going in my room to keep him from getting comfortable nearby.
It was 2 am as I reached for my bedside light.
Seconds before the next *%$&*@* flyby came a crash, a few clicks and chirps; and Sir Bats A Lot began his frantic figure eight above my head.
Yes, I named him. Sir Bats A Lot is the only G-rated one.
Round 2 had begun.
Soon the very patient bat catcher had returned. Fortunately, I had snapped a picture as the bat rested for a moment beside a closet door (I know. I know. I should have lunged for it). I had a bat, I had proof, and I had a revered bat catcher to help end this madness.
Another 1.5 hours or so pass as did a second unsuccessful flying-vermin-eviction campaign.
We were able to trap it in my tiny room (think: books, curtains, 2 closets, the angled architecture of an attic apartment). A-1 Bat Catcher decided that it had taken the “hole-way” from my closet to my out-of-town neighbor’s domicile below. We plugged the gaping hole and I tried to sleep the hour before dawn on the love seat I’d parkoured from the night before.
Round 3 began late Sunday evening.
After a day of carefully searching for Sir Bats A Lot by scrutinizing and separating the entire contents of my bedroom into another room, I believed he may have finally found his way out.
It wasn’t until I returned from connecting with a friend that I spotted him again. It was nearing 11 pm and he was hungry, tired, and weak. He hadn’t had the weekend he’d planned either.
One call brought a very tired SuperDave down the half-block to the “bat cave” where in five minutes he had set the bat (and I) free. I was so tired and grateful, that I cried. (Sorry Dave.)
What I learned:
I don’t like sharing my space with bats and other critters.
I learned that I am not as strong as I thought I was.
Rich Mullins’ song, We are not as strong as we think we are, rolled through my sleep deprived brain throughout the weekend’s battle and followed me back to my nest/bed. I hoped the adrenaline would subside and let me sleep before Monday morning (it did not.)
Having been accused of “not needing anyone” and “being too independent” most of my conscious life…and believing it – this weekend was a fresh reminder of how much I need family, friends, and the hybrids of both.
Though there was no strength for me to access during the first bat buzz, or to call to across the pillows during the second flyby, I learned that people showed up when I called crying, shrieking, and leaping from foot-to-foot.
I was not alone.
And though in some ways this weekend was wasted by the antics of a freaked out bat, a treasure was heaped at my door.
I am not as strong as I think I am.
I have friends who will step in with me and deal with life – even when it is terribly inconvenient and I am not holding it together.
I am okay with that.
Bat-crazy and still searching for the North Star; carry on friends.