The Bat Cave

A warm blanket on a despairing night


The Bat Cave

  • Originally posted on a 6s community, August 17, 2010 at 1:02pm

The caravan rumbled over the road, rocks popping under wheels and a mist of chalky red dirt rising as a burnt offering. The pungency of all that limey clay met each one’s memory aloft in the dreamy consciousness in which humans bury themselves in times of trouble: was it horse riding or was it teenage wanderlust or might it have been the ultrafine uptake on the baseball field that triggered so keen an emotion?

City boys eyed country cows with deference while the visual and aural captivated country and city alike. Ears strained through crunching prairie grasses for the rattler’s siren call, and onward ran the caravan on foot and hand and claw.

The dusky sun bade fond farewell to the sojourners as they watched the whirlpool of millions of bats drain into the airborne river of nightly feast. The scene mirrored so many hearts in a reflection of a life so fragile, and the travelers saw the upside-down reality of their right-side-up fantasy; joy and mourning met in the middle.

The Reinvention of Me: Reinventing My Skin

I am hot. By nature. Or something.

Given that I am a hot-natured person, you might think I’d wear shorts and tank tops. You’d be wrong. Or you would have been a few months ago.

Another thing about my nature: A huge goal since my teenage years has been to blend in. I wanted to hit the exact middle mark. Not overdressed. Not underdressed. Completely down the middle.

When I was younger and much thinner, I wore white. A lot. It was a way I made myself blank, unnoticeable. When I got older and thicker, I switched to black clothing. I didn’t do this consciously, exactly. One day, a counselor asked me if I owned any other colors because she’d only ever seen me wear black. I went home and looked in my closet and found almost no color.

The next big shopping trip I took, I purposely bought clothing with color: oranges, blues, reds, greens. And though I bought several sleeveless shirts – tanks, sweaters, tees – I always wore layers. A scarf. An over shirt. A cardigan. A pashmina. Whatever it took to hide my ghastly arms.

Something strange happened this spring. One day I pulled a tank top over my head. And that was it. I’m not talking about revealing, bare-it-all kinds of shirts. I’m just saying – I let my arms be out to see the sun.

They – my arms – are probably the biggest they’ve ever been. They still boast the wonder that is keratosis pilaris. They still jiggle in all the wrong ways. So what’s changed?

I have. I don’t need to hide myself anymore. I don’t require layers. I can stand to be seen.

It’s not pride. My arms don’t deserve to be seen. It’s not like that. It’s more of a freedom for myself. A gentle knowing that I’m okay in my own skin.