Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Freakin' Thanksgiving

It's 4:55 am.

The kids are at STBEW's* place for Thanksgiving.

I'm miserable.

Even though they're in walking distance from my house, even though it's an amicable settlement and I will stop by in the afternoon, even though I tell myself that it's only one night, I'm miserable.

I putter and futz around the house, picking up, doing a little bit of cleaning, until it's well past midnight, and I'm exhausted. Good. That means I'll sleep.

I crawl into bed and turn out the lights, and I'm asleep.

And then I'm awake. Did I hear something? I think about it. Can't be the kids. One of my cats? No. I put them both in the basement so they won't jump onto the counters. Maybe it's just my imagination.

And I'm asleep.

And I'm awake again.

A clicking, flicking noise. It's an old house. Sometimes there's random noises.

And I'm asleep.

And I'm awake. If it's a burglar, I tell myself, All he'll get is practice.



What the hell is going on?

I look at the door. I can see underneath it, because there's a nightlight in the hall. Nothing going on out there.

And again the clicking, flicking noise.

Not from outside. Inside my bedroom. A flitter of movement.

A bat.


Inside my small, square bedroom, a bat is flying, swooping through the space, looking for a way out. Great. I'm not scared, just annoyed.

Okay, maybe a little scared. Bats are cool to watch in the evenings outside, but not inside a 10 by 12 room. Especially if you're trying to sleep.

And he's flying right over me. So low, I can hear his wings beat.


What do I do? What do I know about bats? They're fairly harmless. They're rats with wings. They don't see well. But they have great hearing.

So--If I open the big window in my room, the bat's sonar will alert it to the change in space, and it will fly out. I crawl slowly out of my bed, open the blinds, open the window, lift up the screen, make a mental note to put the storm window down after the bat leaves, and lay back down in my bed.


Bats don't get tangled up in people's hair. That's an old wive's tale.


Do I really want to test that out? I cover my head with the comforter and peer out at the window. That bat will fly out any minute. Aaaany minute now.

I watch and I wait. The bat flies and flies. But not out the window. Being in recovery, I ask myself why my Higher Power put this bat in my bedroom. What is the lesson to be drawn? Suddenly, I see this episode appearing on a late November page in some future daily reader: "God will provide a way," it will read, "you just have to wait for it to appear. "

I smile to myself under the cover. What a good lesson to learn!

Time passes. The bat flits and hits every spot on every wall except for the one that would get him out of my room.

"You need to break the mindless repetitions of your old patterns. Open yourself up to a new way, and then you will be free."

That's a good one too. It still works.


Even though I'm under a thick comforter, I can hear those bat wings


Bats are stupid.

This was my conclusion after watching that bat fly in every possible arc except for the one that would take him outside. Twice, he even lands on the casing. Just drop down six inches, and you're free!

Once again, I edit the selection in the future reader:

"To truly know freedom, you must first get on your knees…er…do bats have knees? Just get out of my room!"

Not the most inspirational message ever.

Eventually, I grab a towel, and after a few minutes of waving it around, manage to knock the exhausted thing to the floor. I trap it in the towel, take it to the window, and toss it out the window, and watch it fly into the trees.

Not what I wanted to do. But what I had to do.

Just like letting my kids spend Thanksgiving with their mom.

So maybe this will never make it to a daily reader. There's worse thing in the world than that.

But if it did, perhaps this would be the message:

"Inspirational messages are fine. God will work miracles. But sometimes God needs you to do something about it yourself."

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

*STBEW=Soon-To-Be-Ex-Wife. It's a lot easier to type. Especially at 4:55am.


Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

What a great post, I was with you all the way man.

6:54 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

You're a good man, BP.

11:45 AM  
Blogger doodlebugmom said...

Rats with wings.
My thoughts exactly.
We have them in our old house sometimes too.
Shut off all the lights, except the porch light, leave the door open and it will fly out immediately.

Of course, if you had gotten it out fast. You would not have had such a great post.

9:58 AM  
Blogger Colleen said...

a bat! way. i'm not saying anything else because that means we'll get one here in our wild kingdom of a yard.


and i'm giving you a big hug for turkey day. mwah!

3:32 PM  
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4:03 AM  

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