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. 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, has me very curious.  I enter the living room, with its sloped, bent floors, its walls with quarter-sized cracks running diagonally down them, and its trodden-flat beige carpet, and I flick on the large overhead light.  Sure enough, there in the center of the floor, is Cory’s frosted Pyrex large salad bowl, upside down—the way you would sit it to capture something underneath.  At first glance it appears to be just that—a salad bowl sitting upside down.  But as I approach it and look closer, it becomes obvious that something is definitely alive under there.  The salad bowl is frosted, so details can not be clearly made out, but a small creature—the size of a large mouse—is 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 isn’t moving like a normal animal; it isn’t scurrying like a mouse or prancing along like a robin.  No, it is moving in calculated fits-and-starts, rhythmically chugging from one stop to the next start, as well as seeming to lower its whole body at each stop, and then lift up again when it next moved.  It slouches along like some demon beast.

I am freaked out.

I kneel on the floor and get 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 study the thing’s movements.  It is quite bizarre and unlike anything I’d every really seen.  However, finally, after many minutes of studying its movements, I come to a final conclusion that would prove to be the truth:  it is a bat.

I go to my tiny, blue-carpeted, single-windowed bedroom and look for something I could slide underneath the salad bowl.  This proves 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 don’t mind having a bat on top of (this last requirement takes, for instance, my Pearl Jam vinyls out of the running).  Finally, I take my wall calendar down off the wall, return to the living room, and attempt to slide the calendar under the bowl and the bat.

This is not easy.  The bat is not keen on getting on top of the calendar; it resists this activity greatly.  A few times, I am afraid I am going to break its leg (or its wing—it is impossible to tell exactly what part if its body I am hitting through the frosted glass).  I rip the calendar in half down the middle and use both pieces to come at the bat from two sides—a maneuver that requires much practice, as I also have to hold the bowl down to prevent the bat from escaping.  After what seems half an hour, I finally manage to get the bat and the bowl firmly on top of the calendar.

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

After carefully finagling my way out there with the bat, I take the whole shebang as far out as I can take it and sat it down.  Now I become concerned.  I don’t want to just take the salad bowl off; the bat is probably angry and confused and could end up flying right at my face.  I go back into the apartment and retrieve one of my golf clubs (an iron) and returne to the bowl on the roof.  Standing as far back as I can, I slide the golf club under the bowl and flip it over, immediately dropping the club and running like hell all the way back into my bedroom.  I don”t return to look at the bowl and calendar for at least an hour.  By then, the bat is gone.  We leave the bowl and calendar sit out there for at least a week.

2 Responses to “Batmen”

  1. Great story Seth!! (Cory’s mom)

  2. The Aforementioned Cory Says:

    ha! this episode crossed my mind just the other day. i will defend myself by saying that when i came upon and trapped the bat, it was (obviously) not moving at all. and also that i have a total thing about dealing with tiny animals that are large enough to scream if you injure them. gross.

    also, i loved that you made sure to specify that you used an iron and not a wood or a putter.

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