South Hanover Street, Carlisle, Pennsylvania

After walking up the one flight of warped, uneven stairs, I put my key in the heavy, peeling-paint white door and swing it open.  My roommate, Cory, will certainly be asleep—it’s very late at night and he works in the morning, Monday through Friday (this is the male Cory in my life.  Codename: Mello). As expected,  the apartment is darkened except the small, dim light right inside the door, which we keep on when one of us has written a new message on the dry-erase board hanging in the entryway.  I sit my bag down and turn with interest to read the message Cory has left me.

I don’t know what the creature is under the salad bowl in the center of the living room floor, but it really freaked me out.  I had to go to bed.  We’ll deal with it in the morning.

 

 

This, of course, got me very curious.  I entered the living room, with it’s sloped, bent floors, it’s walls with quarter-sized cracks running diagonally down them, and it’s trodden-flat beige carpet, and I flicked on the large overhead light.  Sure enough, there in the center of the floor, was Cory’s frosted Pyrex large salad bowl, upside down—the way you would sit it to capture something underneath.  At first glance it appeared to be just that—a salad bowl sitting upside down.  But as I approached it and looked closer, it became obvious that something was definitely alive under there.  The salad bowl was frosted, so details could not be clearly made out, but a small creature—the size of a large mouse—was loping around the outside of the bowl, following it as if in an orbit, or like a dog on a chain circles the axis of the chain’s spike in the ground.  Except it wasn’t moving like a normal animal; it wasn’t scurrying like a mouse or prancing along like a robin.  No, it was moving in calculated fits-and-starts, rhythmically chugging from one stop to the next start, as well as seeming to lower it’s whole body at each stop, and then lift up again when it next moved.  It slouched along like some demon beast.

I was freaked the fuck out.

I knelt on the floor and got my head closer to the bowl (after about ten minutes of circling the bowl and considering waking Cory up—I mean really, he couldn’t have left more explanation on the dry-erase board???? Sorry if you’re reading this, Cory, but seriously) and studied the thing’s movements.  It was quite bizarre and unlike anything I’d every really seen.  However, finally, after many minutes of studying it’s movements, I came to a final conclusion that would prove to be the truth:  it was a bat.

I went to my tiny, blue-carpeted, single-windowed bedroom and looked for something I could slide underneath the salad bowl.  This proved more difficult than you might imagine, to find something thin enough to slide under but large enough to hold the entire bowl, and also something I didn’t mind having a bat on top of (this last requirement took, for instance, my Pearl Jam vinyls out of the running).  Finally, I took my wall calendar down off the wall, returned to the living room, and attempted to slide the calendar under the bowl and the bat.

This was not easy.  The bat was not keen on getting on top of the calendar; it resisted this activity greatly.  A few times, I was afraid I was going to break it’s leg (or it’s wing—it was impossible to tell exactly what part if it’s body I was hitting through the frosted glass).  I ripped the calendar in half down the middle and used both pieces to come at the bat from two sides—a maneuver that required much practice, as I also had to hold the bowl down to prevent the bat from escaping.  After what seemed half an hour, I finally managed to get the bat and the bowl firmly on top of the calendar. 

Now I had the task of walking this entire apparatus out to the roof.  One of the neatest aspects of this apartment was that my bedroom opened directly onto a long, flat roof that extended about 50 yards outside the back of my door, and no one else had access to this roof.  I had my own private, large patio, essentially.  Many, many fun times were had up there.

After carefully finagling my way out there with the bat, I took the whole shebang as far out as I could take it and sat it down.  Now I became concerned.  I didn’t want to just take the salad bowl off; the bat was probably angry and confused and could end up flying right at my face.  I went back into the apartment and retrieved one of my golf clubs (an iron) and returned to the bowl on the roof.  Standing as far back as I could, I slid the golf club under the bowl and flipped it over, immediately dropping the club and running like hell all the way back into my bedroom.  I didn’t return to look at the bowl and calendar for at least an hour.  By then, the bat was gone.  We left the bowl and calendar sit out there for at least a week.  After all, bats are gross.

2 Responses to “South Hanover Street, Carlisle, Pennsylvania”

  1. Hahaha! People get all silly around bats, but I thought it was awesome when I caught one! It was at Elise’s dad’s house. There were four adults there and two were guys, but no one would do it but me. I just put on some oven mits and used a kitchen towel to get it outside with out injuring it. Once I was out there I layed it in the grass and slowly opened the towel. Bats have a single claw on the tip of each wing and this one’s were caught in the loops of the terry cloth. I gently untangled him and he did that adorable, clumsy bat walk for a minute but he didn’t fly away. I had to back away for him to be comfortable enough to fly, I think. Then we just washed everything in hot water and it was good to go. Bats are super mega awesome. I mean, not as awesome as, say… being bulletproof or anything, but still pretty good.

  2. Bats are also very funny (case in point: The Office)

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