There Are Bats In The Attic

There Are Bats In The Attic August 2, 2018

Don’t worry, just because we’re still moving everything around doesn’t mean I will go on endlessly talking about it. I have nothing left to say anyway. My spirit, and more importantly, my body, are crushed to earth. At this point in the proceedings, I am cosmically rocking and muttering, broken apart and ruined. Best to back away and just let me die in pieces.

More notably, we have bats. This reality is not a newly discovered one. We’ve actually had them for a long time—since we moved in, in fact. Very early on, as we were pulling carpet and shoving boxes around* a bat swooped silently down the high vaulted staircase and came to rest on that elegant embellishment at the top of the ceiling in the dining room…what’s that called? The little bit of decorative wood that goes all around the top…molding? Goodness, be forgetting my own name next.

Anyway, by means of panic and hysteria we caught the bat and put him, or perhaps her, how could we even know, outside in the garden. Since then every so often another bat (or it could be the same one, as I said, how would we know) makes the same silent swoop from the top of the house to the bottom. Except when we remember to keep the attic door closed.

But now we are living, even during the night, in the attic. And Matt swears he can hear the bat—or bats, again, we have no practical way of knowing—scratching and chattering in the wall behind us, even though, but perhaps especially because he has gone systematically around the eaves and patched every single tiny gap, or anything that could be construed as an opening to the outside. Except for the one place that is completely inaccessible. That’s where the wall of the former classroom-now-office meets the eave. I mean, I suppose he could try to climb out on the roof to see where they’re getting in, but that seems like a dangerous idea. And we wouldn’t want to block any hole from the outside anyway, because then the bats wouldn’t be able to get out again. We would only be composing a leathery, fluttery Cask of Amontillado. In other words, too macabre for anything.

I can’t hear them, of course, sleeping soundly as I am because of all the terrible physical suffering of moving every single book that we have from one room to another. Added to which is the mental and emotional trauma of having to decide where to put things, and what to throw away. And facing down the humiliating reality that we have too much stuff, even though in my mind we don’t buy very many things, and are not the sort of average thoughtless American consumer…turns out we are. What other way is there to explain why this house is completely full after only two years? How do we even have room for bats? How could we be so self-deluded? How? Which is to say, being out like an easily snuffed, weak flickering flame, I have to take Matt’s word for it. And he isn’t in the habit of lying to me, so I guess I believe him. Although I think it’s possible he’s paranoid. He pads over the creaking floors, flashlight in hand, muttering threats and death. It’s like he doesn’t even like nature.

He should relax because bats eat bugs like mosquitos. They are curious, funny little creatures, and are better than mice. Which we also have. In spite of having two cats, two dogs, and six children. This place is a veritable wonderland of wild creatures.

I have to go move books around. Pray for me.

*Is that what this is? Are we so addicted to pulling carpet and moving boxes around that we’re doing it even though we have no desire whatsoever, ever to leave this house?

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