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Okay, it’s not REALLY a Lion’s Den. It’s much, much scarier: My Attic.
For those of you who have been reading for any length of time, you know: I have a particular fear of bats. You would too, if you had faced SIX in your living space, all by yourself. If you knew that they could fit through holes the size of pencil erasers – as I myself have been told time and time again since living here, and which I have pointed out time and time again in my book. If you lived in a less than whole 100-year-old house with little nooks and crannies everywhere…
I suspect they enter into my attic. Therefore, being a sane person, I have absolutely NO desire to go there until I’m rich and can have my roof and eaves professionally for sure repaired. And if I were that rich, I’d hire a double to sleep here during the worst of the season, just to be sure. Or something. Because I never, ever want to ever have a bat encounter again.
I’ve always loved my attic. It’s a walk up with permanent stairs and a lot of the book takes place up there (oh, YOU’LL see). When I first saw this house, it was one of my favoritest features. Ah, those sweet, innocent days! When I thought – as my real estate agent had told me at the time – that the dead bat we discovered in the entryway upon our first showing was “most likely a fluke.” I even actually went into the attic…at NIGHT. GAH!!!!
Now I don’t like to go up there even in the daytime. Several months ago my sister and I were in the attic cleaning. I had her with me, so I felt safe. But there were still dark little corners into which I would not go. So SHE did, bless her. SQUEEE!!! Was that bat lying on the ground always there? Was he alive or dead? There’s not much to bats, for all their leathery hugeness, so he couldn’t have been there for long…
That was the end of cleaning that day. Julie’s house is older than mine, and she’s had an encounter or two herself.
I went from being able to go to my attic at night, to only going during the day, to only going there during the day with someone else, to not wanting to go up there AT ALL. EVER.
Enter my mother. She is a neat nick. I am not. My son took the attic over and now everything’s scattered willy-nilly. Actually, I can’t put all the blame on him. Sometimes I’d run up there, grab what I needed and flee, scattering things about in my path as I rushed to get back down the stairs.
My mother’s been itching to get to that attic since she’s gotten here. Yesterday she finally began. Gulp. Today I’m going to help her. What help I can give, with my bat-spotting Mad-Eye Moody don’t-focus-on-any-one-thing eyes that I get when I’m in a place where I know bats have been.
Wish Us Luck. If you don’t hear from me tomorrow, please: Somebody check the attic…