I opened my eyes and looked down at my body and the covers on my bed. I felt alive and aware and comfortable, if not happy, but at least content, you know, that moment when you’re not here or there, in dreamland, but everything is happening in my bed.  The room was bright. Above me, by my knees, was hovering a few black specks that I named fruit flies. There were only a few hovering high above my knees in a well-lit room. But more came. And then more. And more. I was surprised at how many of the dark specks were hovering over me, and I wondered if it was because I hadn’t taken my garbage out promptly.

Then, one by one, some of the fruit fly specks grew into larger specks, then larger, and they revealed themselves to me as little bats. The bats were hovering over my knees as I was covered in my bed.  I wasn’t afraid, they gave me no reason to fear or worry, but I was perplexed at why they were in my room and what to do next.

I got up out of bed and now I am surrounded by tiny bats. Their bodies are the size of my thumb. They bombard me not with wings outstretched, but bodies, little brown furry bodies clinging to me. Once, when I was a teenager, I came upon bats in an attic, and their winged movements, climbing up the wall horrified me.  In this dream, the bats do not horrify me.  I feel like they are present and needful and I’m not sure what to do. I got up and opened my bedroom window, then lifted the screen window hoping to entice them a way for them to leave, leave, leave, go!  I am covered in little bats, in my hair and my clothes, their tiny fingers clinging. I work hard to gently pick them out of my hair, to pick them off my sleeves, I’m working gently because I do not want to hurt them, but I feel they just cannot stay stuck to me, and the dream is specific as I gently pick each claw from my hair and my shirt one by one and shoo them out into the street.   Each one I pull off me I toss outside beyond my window and they fly away, unharmed.

There is a larger story about these bats that came to roost in my hair. Maybe it began that day we trespassed on that mansion in the back like all teenagers do.  All I know is, I spent a long time grossing out over bats, but now, today, I embrace them and appreciate them in ways I never could before. The next time someone suggests I’m batshit crazy I think I’ll wear that like a badge instead of shame.