Hey there. Yeah, you, staggering into the bathroom for your middle-of-the-night pee. Down here. In the tub. I’m the silverfish skittering back and forth. I can’t seem to find a way out of this curve-floored porcelain trap you’ve got here.
How did I even get here? If I can’t climb out, I can’t climb in. Are there cracks in the tiles you don’t know about? Did I get zapped in through some inter-dimensional portal? I’d really appreciate it if you could help me explore this quasi-cosmic mystery, but nope, you’re just thinking “Ewwww, a silverfish!”
Hey, why are we on your shit-list, anyway? Cockroaches, I get. Same with earwigs, bed bugs, wasps, flies, ants, fleas, moths and ticks—super-annoying pests, every one of them. And then there’s termites. They make your goddam house collapse. These are legitimate beefs to have with a parasitic population. But what did any silverfish ever do to you? We’re barely able to stop ourselves from disintegrating into dust.
Yeah, we’re squiggly and weird looking. You know why? Because we’re on a different branch of the evolutionary tree, that’s why! You’re pretty strange and ugly to us, ya bunch of clompy, stompy giants, but you never see us raise a creepy little feeler about it.
We don’t want to bother you. You know why we scramble around when you find us in a lid-less Tupperware container? Because we’re trying to get the hell out of sight! You should really get those glass ones with the lids that snap into place, anyway. They’re oven and vermin safe.
We subsist on something with next to no value: the glue in your books. How often do you reread those things? Never. I know you intend to. But you don’t. You really keep them because they remind you how smart you are. Well, they still accomplish that with a little less paste in their spines. If my college diploma had guacamole spilling out of the corners, you can bet I’d let you have it.
And consider this: we’ve got a great name. You love both parts. You use silver for jewelry, for special dollars and to kill werewolves. Fish is a briefly delicious food, it’s the symbol of Christianity, and that old guy on Barney Miller. How many more positive associations do you want?
So bump us into the “insects we like” list, will ya? You get all mushy over ladybugs and butterflies. You named your favorite band after the beetle and your favorite superhero after the spider. Somehow bees went from “evil bastards who sting and kill” to “saviors of the planet.” And you eat crabs and lobsters and prawns and shrimp. They’re our cousins, as you like to forget. You’re too busy cracking them open and sucking a little bug-meat out of their backs.
So don’t squish me, please. And don’t turn on that faucet. Don’t!
Well shit, here’s the deluge. Oh—look at that, I’m just out of range. And now you’re reaching for the shower nozzle. Quel surprise.
Hey now, I’m floating toward the great drain of the unknown. Alright, let’s see how much of a fish this silverfish is. Yeah, I’m surprised by how zen I am at this moment too.
Before I go, let me say this: you’ve got a huge drain waiting for you too. We all do. And wherever you go after you die, we’ll be waiting for you. When you lay down for your heavenly sleep, we’ll come out for our celestial scurry.