Where I spent the majority of the morning. Outside of The Cave.
Location: My bedroom
Scene: I awake to a noise I can't place. It sounds like something is shuffling. Is it my new downstairs neighbors whom I haven't met yet? Is it something outside? Then, I hear a distinct fluttering. And I think, "No...it couldn't be..."
OH YES, IT COULD.
Cue: The return of the bat, who entered in dramatic fashion by flying in circles above my bed.
I leapt out of bed. Not because I was rejoicing over our reunion. But because I was busy running to the bathroom shouting, "OH GOOD LORD IN HEAVEN!!!"
Welcome to the building, downstairs neighbors!
Now, one can't be responsible for decisions that occur at 4:45am in the midst of a nocturnal nightmare. Which is the only justification I can give for why I thought it best to run to the bathroom at this time. In my defense, it is the only room with a door in the apartment, so I was at least on the right track. I'm not sure what I planned to do once I got in there since I fled without any resources, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.
"At the time" being the operative phrase, since in about 5 seconds it would become apparent that this was not a decision that would end in my favor.
Maybe it's the Rapunzel length hair. Maybe it was the running. Maybe it's the fact that I'm clearly cursed by all suburban wildlife (you old timers will remember a similar squirrel saga back in the Orchard Street days). Whatever the reason, the bat felt compelled to chase me into the bathroom...and then quickly out of the bathroom...and then across the apartment...with a very uncoordinated swooping and ducking sequence in between.
So I bolted for the front door and slammed it behind me.
He was not a fan of this action. He made his displeasure known by thumping into walls and trying to claw through the door. For real.
It was at this point when I realized that having a bat in a basket was a blessing, comparatively. I would have paid good money to have a bat in a basket again instead of what I currently possessed: a bat on a mission.
Location: Outside of my apartment door
Scene: I realize that I am without two assets that would be of great aid in this situation. 1: A phone, and 2: Keys. (Luckily my apartment door was unlocked, but I couldn't leave the building.) I stare at the door for awhile, trying to figure out if I am dreaming or if this is actually happening. I listen to the bat play racquetball with himself against the walls. I laugh at this whole situation because, well, it's funny.
My phone was plugged into the charger on the far side of my bedroom. I could run in and out to retrieve it in 5-10 seconds. I opened the door to go for it...and then quickly shut it when he came flying right at me.
Someone has some pent up aggression about the basket incident, I think.
So I waited him out. When I heard him banging around in the bathroom I made a run for it and got in and out unscathed.
This time around I did not hesitate to call my landlord and ask for assistance.
Ralph* at the answering service did not share my sense of urgency for this situation. I calmly explained that there was a bat whooping it up in my apartment and I'd like someone to come unwhoop him, please. It was a request that was met with something other than enthusiasm but he said he'd page the exterminator to come over and release the beast.
45 minutes later, no exterminator.
1 hour later, no exterminator.
1.5 hours later, no exterminator.
3 calls to Ralph later, no exterminator.
On the 4th call, I leveled with Ralph. I told him that I had been exiled in my hallway for 2 hours with nary an exterminator to be seen. Clearly, they were preoccupied with other extermination needs. So we needed a new option. I sunk low: I pleaded. Please, Ralph, PLEASE send someone, anyone over to this nice single girl's apartment! It's the right thing to do, Ralph! You know you want to!
Ralph sighed. He hemmed. He hawed. He called the maintenance man.
Location: In exile
Scene: The phone rings. The maintenance man calls. He asks where the bat is. I reply that he's in my apartment. He asks which room. I say that it's just one big space and the only door is in the bathroom. He asks if the bat is in the bathroom or in the rest of the apartment. I inform him that the bat is not discretionary when it comes to location, he's pretty much taken over the joint. He asks if I can pinpoint an exact location. I tell him that the bat and I parted ways two hours ago and when last we met there was running and ducking involved so the specifics were a little blurry.
The maintenance man arrives with a shop vac and net in hand - much more advanced than my basket methods. He opened with, "I might need your help finding him. And let's be clear: I'm just as scared of him as you are."
No, sir, that's actually not true.
So I told him I was confident that he could handle the situation on his own while I stood at the bottom of the staircase shouting motivational phrases up to him.
He goes in. He comes out. He doesn't see a bat.
And now...I'm angry. I'm out for bat blood. Because that little tyrant had been flying around violently for hours and now he was out to make a fool of me! Oh no. That's not how we roll here.
So I marched upstairs. And as soon as I poked my head around the corner he took flight...and so did I.
After some banging and crashing the maintenance man emerged victorious. He trapped the bat in the window and let him out through the screen on the other side. I wanted to hug him but I restrained myself.
As he was leaving I mentioned that I still wanted the exterminators to come out because I'm really not a fan of the bats breaking and entering like this. He asked me if I had an air conditioner. I said yes, in my bedroom.
And then he showed me the wide open space where I'd forgotten to put the foam between the windows.
Injured pride: Party of One.
He helped me secure the window with foam...which I additionally padded with duct tape and packing tape afterward, just to be safe. He also said that Rochester is particularly bat happy these days, since we get a lot of them as is and it's mating season.
Just so we're clear, bats: this love shack is closed.
But thank you, Tony Dungy,for planning the perfect devotional title for today:
*Names have been changed to protect the less than helpful.