Saturday morning phone conversation with my mother (WFKN):
WFKN: So, how are things at the house?
A: Well, to add a new wrinkle to things, we had a bat in the house last night.
WFKN: No way! A bat in the house? It’s YOU!!! IT’S YOU!!! You are the only
person I know who has had a bat in the house, and you have had them in
two different houses!!!! IT’S YOU!!!!
When I recounted the conversation to my sister, her observation was, “Oh, that’s where we get our healthy sense of self-loathing.”
Both are true statements, or at least both statements contain elements of truth.
It is true that I have shared living space with bats in two different homes. My sister says she knows of other people who have had bats in their home, so while it is uncanny to have had it happen in two different domiciles, she encouraged me not to take the situation personally.
As my sister reminded me, bats are naturally occurring creatures, after all. As I have been admonished in the past, they are actually quite useful, eating something like a kerjillion times their weight in mosquitoes and other insects. SOME PEOPLE even erect bathouses to attract the creatures to their premises. Just think of all the money I have saved in bathouses across my lifetime, since there is something, unfathomable to all except bats and my mother, attracting bats into my home.
Having had bats in my house on more than one occasion, I feel competent to observe the following: no matter how many times one has had a bat in one’s home, one is always a bit surprised when they come fluttering through. O.k., let me personalize it. No matter how many times I have had a bat come into my home, my initial reaction is always surprise. Even now, seasoned bat-herder that I am, it takes a moment to bring the aperture of reality into focus before I spring into action.
As for the other inhabitants of this home, who have the luxury of not taking the incursion or its resolution personally, the dogs were completely nonplussed. I imagine if the dogs could talk and I were to squander the opportunity to ask them, “Did you see that bat?!” The answer would be a resounding, “What bat?” K, who was neither nonplussed nor personally affronted, named it Bernie.
Here’s another thing: I have lots of stories about bats in the house. More than one. Maybe WFKN is right, maybe it is me.