Friday, September 23, 2011

Up at bat

Bernie and Annie are dear friends of mine. Among many other things, they are avid environmentalists and lovers of organic food before organic was even a word that was trendy. When they are not at their home in Marblehead, they travel to the middle of Maine to be in their home away from home. aka: in the middle of nature with no humans.

On one such occasion, they asked me to go to their Marblehead home and water their plants. (for most, watering plants is not too big of a deal, as there are usually only 3 or 4 tops.) They have 3 floors, and on each floor there are about 6 different things to water. On the third floor, I was almost finished watering the plants when i heard a rattling of sorts within the house, but I attributed it to the wind rattling the windows outside.

As I was walking to the stairs to descend down to the second floor, I noticed a still yet breathing black leathery being on the third stair: a bat.

I froze in place, mid stride and slowly reached into my pocket to call bernie and annie. when bernie picked up, his voice was so cheery and happy to hear from me I almost wanted to punch him. In a very calm and monotonous tone I explained that there was a bat on the stairs and that I would not move from the place i was in until they figured out a way to remove the bat without my involvement.  Bernie began mirthfully giggling and was explaining the situation to Annie, his more methodical and organized better half. (I say this with love; anytime he wants to show me something on the computer, he stares at it like a young boy at an aquarium then willfully resigns to the fact that Annie will be the one that gets him onto the right page and yells for her; she's normally at least a floor up: ANNNNNIIIEEEEEE).
Annie gets on the phone and speaks in her calming former doctor voice asking me where exactly it is. I tell her and also reiterate the fact that I'm not moving until they (up in Maine) find a way for someone to remove the bat. Bernie gets back on the phone and I can hear Annie explaining to Bernie that I was serious and to not laugh. I could still hear a faint glimmer of a chuckle in his voice when he began inquiring about the bat itself. I told him it wasn't moving to which he achingly responded: the poor bat! oh my god! I calmly and flatly replied: fuck the bat this isn't in my contract.

They hung up the phone, made a couple of phone calls and within 10 minutes Tracy came to save my life. She was my knight in shining armor. That was one of the longest 10 minutes of my life waiting for Tracy to come take the bat out of the house. What if it decided to fly around? What if it had rabies? Did the bat liked the way I smelled? (If so, I was a goner.) 
To this day Bernie, Annie and I will remember with sarcastic fondness how serious I was that evening. I wonder sometimes how it is that we're actually friends. The pair of them have such a deep connection to the natural world around them, while I find comfort in hearing traffic patterns of the city and have been camping once when I was 6. It was in the back porch of my parents house. 

I can't say for sure whether or not that particular bat is still living haunting other humans: but it did a great job that night scaring the shit out of me. 

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