Monday, May 16, 2011

Vampires on Mountain Road

Last night I was just drifting off to sleep when my husband, a native of the Dominican Republic, shook me awake in a loud whisper: "Kate, Kate, there's a vampire in the house!" My eyes darted open as I tried with all my might to imagine what he might possibly be talking about.

"Un musielago", he then told me. Oh, I mentally translated, a bat. A bat? In our house?

Suddenly I was transported back years to an almost nightly occurence at my house growing up as a kid. Bats would enter our upstairs bathroom through a crack in an old chimney and swoop in to terrorize us as we lay trembling in our beds. After my dad left, my mom (more frightened than either of us children) would crack a window and pull us under the blankets with her and whisper "Just go to sleep, it'll be gone by morning".

Fearless leader, indeed.

The first time my new best friend stayed the night at age 14 we had a winged intruder, and Jane was stuck upstairs, bewildered, as my mom and brother and I refused to leave a downstairs bedroom. We spent the night squashed into a twin bed and urinating in the closet as the bat snoozed on the windowsill in the living room. Needless to say, Jane did not hurry back for another sleepover, although she has hung on as my best friend.

A couple of years ago another bat made it into our upstairs and I sent Francisco and my dad up to do their manly duties of critter removal. I shook with laughter as my dad dove around with a tennis racquet shrieking like an 8 year old girl each time the bat flew by his head.

I certainly made no move to leap out of bed and capture the bat as it circled our darkened hallways last night, although my fear of the flying nighttime friends has subsided somewhat. Instead I closed my eyes, and my door, and channeled my mother as I happily let Francisco swat the towel around and stumble over laundry baskets to the nearest window. I'll be the fearless leader next time.

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