Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bats in the bedroom

I woke from a deep sleep to the distinctive shush, shush of a bat circling our bedroom. If I was home alone, I would open the window and wait, watching through the almost non-existent light, until the bat flew out the window. But Dave was home, and so I allowed my instincts to take over. I didn’t actually cover my head with the sheet and shriek, but I did wake him.

“We’ve got a bat.” Dave immediately reached over our head and opened the skylight. Then he turned on the bedside light. Sure enough, we had a bat. It swooped through our bedroom, missing the hanging plants and the beams up near the ceiling. It seemed to be just above my head, circling, circling, but never noticing the open window.

Our bedroom ceiling is full of odd planes and angles. The skylight, although large, opens only six inches. You would have to approach it at just the right angle for your sonar to fade into open air rather than bounce back off of glass or wood or sheetrock. “Maybe it can’t find the opening, ” I said after several more circuits. My eyes were focused on the skylight.

Then suddenly, it was gone. Dave turned out the light and climbed back into bed. I saw the flicker of a bat outside, beyond our window. “Is that it?” Dave asked. I shook my head in the darkness, virtually certain that the bat had not gone out the window.

After a few minutes of silence, the shush, shush of bat wings resumed. “I don’t think it likes the light, and I don’t think it can hear the open skylight.” I said. “Maybe we should leave the lights off and open a regular window.”

Dave turned the light back on. “I can’t see in the dark,’ he said, just as the bat threw itself against a screen and dropped to the floor, motionless. “Get me a pair of leather gloves.”

I slid out of bed and crouched to cross the room. When I returned, the bedroom door was closed, light streamed from the crack under the door. I opened the door a sliver and passed the gloves through, the bat was back to circling.

If Dave wouldn’t listen to my ideas, I didn’t have to feel bad about retreating from the scene. Feigned disinterest was much easier than standing in the bedroom waiting for the bat to tangle itself in my hair. I know intellectually that a bat would be unlikely to find my hair either attractive or a possible exit from the room, but the stories of bats in people’s hair still linger at the bottom of my mind, chittering like little demons, draining my courage.

Two minutes later, Dave emerged from the bedroom and closed the door behind himself. “Bat’s gone, room’s full of mosquitoes.” he muttered, “I opened a regular window.”

We gathered clean sheets from the linen closet and bedded down in the guest room. No mosquitoes, no bats. Only the problem of how the bat got into the house in the first place kept me from sleeping. But that was a problem for tomorrow. Bats in the house wasn’t nearly as urgent a problem as bats in the bedroom.

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