Of course this building has bats. It's old, it's creepy, it's labyrinthine, it's full of asbestos, it's probably haunted. Not that I believe in such things. I mean in haunted houses, obviously I believe in asbestos. I know that exists because on the door of the room directly below mine is a sign that says: 'Danger, Asbestos, Do Not Enter.' Which is reassuring.
Anyway, this morning on my way from the shower back to my room, I saw it. I didn't know what it was at first, it was just a brown lump on my door frame. Sounds like I'm describing a pile of faeces, doesn't it? Well that's what it looked like. Until it started to move.
I don't think I'd ever seen a bat up close in real life before. My only experience of them had been seeing flickering things whizzing past streetlights at night. And vampire films. But there I was, staring at a bat, just outside my room. It was small and furry, like a rat, with leathery wings wrapped around its body, and what I could just make out as ears pointing towards the ground. Because it was upside down. Like a bat.
How had I not seen it when I went from my room to the shower? Well, I'm completely useless before my shower. There could have been an entire zoo in the flat and I'd have completely missed it until I'd showered. I wondered how it had got there. Maybe it reads my blog and had been pissed off by my constant ridiculing of Christopher Nolan's Batman. Maybe it was a test from the Vegetarian Society, checking to see if I responded in an animal-friendly way. Possibly it had been sent by Nicky Campbell. I hadn't seen one of my flatmates in a while, perhaps he's secretly a bat-based superhero. Whatever that would be called. Batboy, presumably.
I decided that the best course of action would be to alert the university's accommodation staff, who deal with such things. Well, I assumed they did. I don't imagine it was something they had to deal with very often. Infestations. Of one. But anyway, this was essentially a maintenance issue. But with a bat. I pictured myself explaining the situation at the help desk, only to have the staff hold up and point at a copy of my accommodation contract, with my signature at the bottom, just above the small print about the pet bat.
So I went into my room to get dressed, and then came back out and looked at the bat. Or rather, at the bit of wall where the bat had been. The bat was gone. You know that creepy feeling of seeing a huge spider, and then looking again to see that it's disappeared? Imagine that, but with a bat.
I looked around, cautiously, and suddenly there was a bat swooping towards me. To put this all into context, my life is pretty dull, and nothing exciting ever really happens. So finding myself with a bat hurtling at my face was probably the scariest thing that's ever happened to me. Pathetic, I know. But the really frightening thing about bats, as I found out at that moment, is that they are fucking fast, and fucking silent.
It flew over my head, and then darted around the flat for a bit. I stood helplessly in the middle, not wanting to leave because I'd lose sight of it again. And the creepiest parts were when I didn't know where it was. Again, sounds pathetic, but I was worried that if I lost track of it, it'd just show up in the shower or something. And neither of us would want that. So I'd rather know where it was. Which is why I was worried when I lost sight of it again.
Someone must have opened a door, because next thing I knew, the bat had flown out of the flat, and up the stairs into the tiny library room above mine. Someone also must have alerted the staff, because men in yellow jackets appeared, with no more idea of what to do than myself. To try to get rid of the bat, the doors were all closed and the windows opened. Well, the windows were sort of opened. None of them open more than a couple of inches, for safety reasons. I've always thought they'd end up causing my death, in a wonderful turn of irony. And now that looked likely. Well, as likely as it was that this bat would kill me.
The tiny crowd that had gathered were sent away, myself included, to allow the yellow-jacketed men to get on with unhindered bat-removal. The men have gone now, so I'm guessing the bat has been dealt with. However I cannot be certain, so if this is my last blog, assume the worst, and call The Joker.
Thanks for reading, I will leave you with the Bossacucanova song that this blog is named after, along with a terrible photo I took of the bat at one of the rare moments that it was stationary. Enjoy!