Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Back Stairwell of Doom and Adventure

You know what I don't do enough, Blog? Tell you stories of the shit that happens to me. So here is one for you before I forget.

A couple weeks ago I got back from my trip to the Azores and Boston and, like always, had a bunch of dirty clothes. Laundry is a tricky thing to do when traveling after all. I came back to Minneapolis with a renewed sense of purpose that lasted about five hours. But during those five hours I made a point to revamp my day to day living with a run around the lake, a trip to the grocery store that ended with vegetables, and the purchase of two, count 'em, two pairs of sunglasses since I'm totally one of those people who goes through about 15 pairs a summer due to my carelessness towards protective eye-wear. It's bad.

Because of my new found motivation and productivity, I was in and out of my apartment building by use of the back stairwell that leads right out into the alleyway; half a block from Hennepin Avenue where everything that is good and holy in Minneapolis lies. This is also the stairwell I use to access the laundry room that is in the basement of my building. After the exercise and the shopping and the general life clean-up that I had so dutifully taken joy in doing over the course of the afternoon and evening, I piled my clothes into a basket and headed down to the laundry room to do even more awesomeness that is known as keeping my shit together.

Things were going great as I made my way down the first flight of stairs. I had a sense of productivity. I was happy to be home. I had just eaten some vegetables. Life was great! I hit the landing and turned to make my way down towards the firsts floor, eager to keep this momentum going. That's when I saw something fall out of the corner of my eye. It was obvious enough to make me stop for a moment and assess the situation. It could have just been part of the building. It's an old building after all. Things fall in old buildings right? But there was something in my gut that was telling me it wasn't inanimate; that it was alive. I didn't have to wait long for the proof because just as I was about to take another productive step forward, it silently flew out at me. A bat! It was a bat Blog! It was a bat that for some reason fell from its little vampire hangy place next to the door on the first floor and freaked its shit out at me.

I'm not going to lie. I screamed. I screamed like I was being murdered because, oh my God, there was a bat flying around at me and I was on stairs and holding a heavy basket of clothes. I was completely defenseless! It clipped my hair flying up the stairs (CLIPPED MY HAIR) only to turn around and swoop back down at me on its way towards the basement. I don't know if you realize how cramped stairwells are Blog, but they are. And when you combine a bat, a basket of laundry, and me in the confines of one, things get crazy fast. All I could think of between my screams was the Jungle's artistic director Bain and how he met a vampire once (the story involved an encounter with a bat, naturally). He had a stick to defend himself, I had... clothes? It was fight or flight, but I had no way to fight, so I dropped my clothes on the landing and ran up to my floor, slamming the door behind me.

Silence. I stood at the door immediately regretting my uninhibited response to my potentially rabid neighbor. I had to go back in there. My laundry and a whopping three dollars in quarters was sitting on the landing. I cracked the door to eye the distance between me and my belongings and listened with my now heightened senses. I waited to hear both the bat and neighbors emerging from their apartments to wonder what the F all that screaming was about. Nothing. Nothing, but the soft echo of its wings hitting its body and the walls that surrounded it.

I finally worked up the courage to swing the door open and run down the stairs to grab my laundry. Who knew something so simple as scrambling down a few steps to retrieve a basket of clothes would be such a horrifying experience. Though when I arrived at the second floor unscathed, I managed to enjoy the adrenaline high that had just shot through my body. I had done it. I had just been attacked by a flying rodent had made it out with my dirty wardrobe and life intact. I was spent. It had been a day full of traveling halfway across the country, exercise, and healthy eating; not to mention the winged and potentially rabid wild animal that made its presence known, mainly in my hair. Sure it would make sense to call my landlord after such a thing, but I took a shower instead. Then I called my mom and left her a message because it was Mother's Day. Then I went to bed because, if you re-read this paragraph, you'll see it was a busy day.

There are a few things that unnerve me about this whole scenario. Obviously attack by bat is at the top of the list. But there is also the whole me-screaming-as-if-I-was-being-murdered thing. I wasn't allowing the air to escape my vocal chords in a pleasant feminine breath. I was top-of-my-lungs screaming. And it wasn't just one scream. It was a series of horrified and pitchy sounds that not only were loud, but also echoed throughout the entire stairway. And when I was waiting for the courage to take me back into the stairwell to retrieve my clothes I was also waiting for someone to come out of their apartment and say "what the hell is going on?". No one did.

Fine. No one wanted to investigate the screams coming from the stairwell. But I surely couldn't have been the only person who had been attacked by bat. I was going in and out of this stairwell all day long. Others must have been doing the same thing long before I had returned from my trip. Maybe my landlord already knew?

The next day at work, after it had finally sunk in that post-vacation productivity is extremely short-lived, I emailed my landlord with a subject line of "Bat" letting him know about the incident that had occurred not even 24 hours before. He responded with a phone call right away saying he'd have animal control over there within the hour to take care of it. I can't help but imagine that I was the only one who reported bat. Bat had gone undetected and potentially ignored for who knows how long and it took me being viciously attacked and almost losing my life to rabies to bring the whole thing to light. No pun intended, bat (bats hate puns).

F you puns!
Anyway, I will chalk this whole thing up to more experience with rodents. This was a short-lived one that I think I would take over the whole mice in my car debacle that happened a couple summers ago. Sure I almost had a heart attack, but it was only one and I wasn't barreling down the highway at 60 mph when it happened.

RIP bat. I know you are dead now because that's how animal control rolls. Unless you've turned into a vampire who I will inevitably fall in love with. I'd be down as long as I get a good entry for Blog going. Bring it on.

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