I’ve been away from the farm overnight twice recently (once, to Pickathon, which was magical in a way I can’t describe and which gave me insight into the me I used to be, a me that I realized I miss a lot sometimes. It was exactly what I needed when I had no idea I needed it and I am a lucky lucky girl to have the opportunity, the wealth, the time and the friends who enable me to let loose and be extravagant with my life. The other time was to Saltspring, for the lovely, beautiful wedding of a dear friend of Jeremy’s), and while both times I slept in my tent for the most part, each time I also spent at least a night in one of two cities – Portland and Victoria. Both times I was absolutely astonished by the level of noise that a city emits during the dark hours. Sirens, beep beeps, honk honks, screeches, and once, a man struggling with a mental disability was having a really shitty night and was angry and confused and aggressive and very very loud outside of the building I was sleeping in. I was amazed. I didn’t remember cities being so loud. I couldn’t figure out how people could SLEEP while there was so much going on. Then I got to my tent, in the forest, and I slept (although not very much during the dark hours at Pickathon, and that was okay too), and all was good.
2 nights ago, back at home, I almost wished to be living in a city. There were noises here, many of which I couldn’t place, and I almost longed for sirens and beep beeps and honk honks, but never for people having (likely) schizophrenic episodes outside of my window, which made me feel guilty and confused about my feelings of safety and security and wonder about where people should have these moments, but that’s not the point. My house was noisy. My dog had a bad dream, or something, and started howling like mad. Then there was a very strange noise, that I thought sounded like a babbling brook in my living room and Jeremy thought sounded like a ghost, although he wouldn’t say that in the middle of the night, just in case saying it made it true (we have since decided it was probably something falling onto our tin roof). Then, at around 4 am, there was screeching. Kind of like shrill rat-sized mice, screeching in our walls. It sucked. It was awful. Jer was convinced it was mice after he got out of bed and figured out where it was coming from – the kitchen wall outside our window. He came back to bed, we tried to go to sleep and failed. The screeching didn’t stop. We got back up, found the noise, and I got a hammer to pull off one of the battens from our siding. It wasn’t a rat-sized mouse, or even 10 of them, battling it out in the night. It was a little bat. Stuck in the siding, screaming and screaming it’s distress call. No other bats were coming to the rescue, for this bat must have been saying “Stay away! The hole never ends! I’m stuck and scared and I can’t get out and I’m going to die here and I don’t want to, please don’t make me!”
So we let the bat out, and it climbed up the wall of our house and flew away (and we both ducked and covered, because while bats are totally cool, it was 5 am and we were tired, and bats are still kind of creepy).
Last night there were no noises, other than rain on the roof, and now I’m happy I don’t live in the city. No surprises there.