I got home last night from the long weekend and there was a squat, dead bat curled on my living room rug. I should remind you, I live on the third floor of a converted church. And the section I live in looks like it must have been the bell tower at one time.
One dead bat does not a problem make…
…so I said, “Poor little bat,” picked up its carcass with a paper towel, tied it into a plastic bag and tossed it in the garbage. I was tired from the weekend: lots of heavy flowers toted to relatives’ graves, long walks in nearby state parks. I went to bed early without my requisite bottle of water on the bedside table. (A holdout tradition from when I used to have the “security blanket” of wine next to the bed).
I woke at about midnight. Thirsty. And when I turned on the bedside lamp to get to the refrigerator without tripping over my suitcase, I was dive-bombed like Dorothy, besieged by flying monkeys. I used similar tactics to Dorothy and Tin Man, too – eyes wide, hands overhead, a scream or two for emphasis, running around my apartment looking for cover… I think there were two bats, but there may have just been one overly zealous flying creature. Bats are not rodents, by the way. I Googled it at 1 AM.
I live in an excruciatingly groovy, industrial building. One of those buildings where bedrooms are facades, easily accessed by bats over artful, open lofts. I turned off the light and sat up for a while clutching the blanket to my chin in the dark, waiting. A bat sailed in frantically, banging into the lamp and, seemingly, targeting my neck. It rocketed over the wall and out to my living area, where I heard it banging into walls and such. What the hell happened to echolocation?
In my old drinking days, I had a water rat plague me at my house in Ponte Vedra. When I first saw him, I actually thought it was delirium tremens. I did not trust my own eyes. But, had I not seen the dead bat (and kept the specimen), I would have thought I dreamed this little bit of street theater, too. Or that is was delayed DTs. There was something so surreal about the encounter. Who else has bats in their house? And how do you get them out?
I don’t dislike bats per se. But I don’t like mysterious thingies flying over my bed at night. And if I woke to find a bat sitting on my forehead, I would have a heart attack and die. Plus, my bat was kind of BIG.
What does all this batty stuff have to do with addiction recovery?
Nothing much I suppose. Just that it happened at midnight and I was lucid. And instead of calling the landlord and demanding immediate attention (liberally laced with the “F” word) or slurring a 911 call in the middle of the night, I dealt with it reasonably. Oh, and it reminded me, once again, that sober life is not perfect life. But when you are sober, solid and sober, life’s foibles are so much easier to take.
Today I’m not drinking because it drives me batty (sorry…)
How come you’re not drinking?