I killed it.
People use the phrase “I killed it” when they’ve done something spectacularly.
How’d you do on the math test?
I killed it!
But that’s not how I’m going to use it.
My first apartment was on the top floor of an old three story home a few hours away from where I grew up. It had a walk-in closet and uneven floors that made spills a special kind of challenge.
It also had bats.
I will never forget the night I discovered this. Something woke me up in the middle of the night. It sounded like something flying. Maybe a fly too close to my head or maybe a moth. But as I became fully awake, I realized that the sound was too loud for that. I held my breath as I turned on the lamp.
A fucking bat was flying in a figure eight directly over my bed. I went from not breathing to panting in a panic. I was so scared. I remembered that bats nest in people’s hair. Really, I had no idea if that was true. But I grabbed a baseball hat my boyfriend had left in my apartment and put it on. Then I ran out of the room and locked myself in the bathroom. (I’m not sure why I locked it. I’m pretty sure the bat wasn’t going to open the door.)
I am definitely not Batman.
Once I was breathing semi-normally again, I took the small bathroom trash bucket and removed the bag of trash from it. I slipped out and found a piece of cardboard in the kitchen. I turned on every single light, hoping the bat would think it was daytime and stop flying around. You know, because they’re nocturnal. By this time, the bat was in the kitchen, still doing figure eights. I stood in the doorway and watched and waited. I probably stood there for at least ten minutes until it finally stopped.
I very quietly moved a chair close to it so I could reach with the trash bucket. I covered him with the bucket and slid the cardboard in to trap him. Still a bit panicked, I brought it to the bedroom because that was the easiest window to open to put it outside. Once I managed to get the window open without losing the bat, I put the whole thing—bucket, cardboard, and bat—on the roof that extended from second floor below.
I took a few deep breaths, and told myself, “Okay… I need to get my bucket back. Or maybe I don’t. But no, I can’t leave the bat right there to die under a bucket. Okay. I can do this…” More deep breaths. Then, in one quick move, I grabbed the bucket and flicked it away from me so the bat wouldn’t fly back into the house.
But he would never fly again. When I flicked the bucket away, he smacked into a tree and fell to the ground. I killed it. It was involuntary batslaughter.
I won’t discuss the other two times I found bats in that apartment.
They would have protected me from the bat.
p.s. — To this day, anything that flies anywhere near me freaks me out. Bats, bugs, butterflies (and all insects), birds… anything. I can handle paper planes. That’s about it.