Vermin of All Sorts

This morning I wandered into my bathroom to take an innocent pee and a horrible segmented she-beast ran out from underneath my trashcan. Don’t ask how I know it was a she: It was wearing earrings. But seriously, I refuse to fight to the death with a male supervillian, because of implications of woman battery when he gives me a cinematic bruise along my left cheekbone and so, the bug, it was a she, just trust me.

My first thought was: Roach. I’ve never seen a roach, so I wasn’t sure if it was one. But it had antennae and it was super-fast, so it was roachy enough for me. I smushed it with the corner of the trashcan, much more easily than I would have thought, given roaches’ bionic reputation, and headed off to work, feeling slightly dejected.

I take the F or the V to work. Which is to say that I take the F, but sometimes I sit on the V for five to ten minutes while it sits there for one million years, unmoving, as if it were the air-conditioned waiting room for the F (which it is, I swear). Today, whilst sitting on the V, staring out the open doors, I saw a truly horrifying sight. A small brown rat, cute enough, if it were in a picture book and not scampering down the subway platform, paused in front of the open doors and peered in at us, twitching its nose. It looked for all the world like it was going to ask if the V stopped at Broadway/LaFayette.

I screamed, for the second time this morning, and yelled, “Rat!” No one else even looked up. I was momentarily embarrassed, until I realized that I regularly see people humping the air or sniffing their figures or yelling “Fuck fuck fuck, you bitch, I said FUCK!” all Motherless Brooklyn-style on the F, so who cares.

When I got to work, I did a Google search and discovered that the bug I saw was actually a silverfish, not a roach, and therefore, according to my coworker Madeleine, nothing to worry about. Of course, she grew up in New York, so she’s not easily impressed by bugs.

Published by Jen Hubley Luckwaldt

I'm a freelance writer and editor.

9 thoughts on “Vermin of All Sorts

  1. Ok so, I did a post on my blog today involving bugs, trains, peeing and you before I even read this. I don’t think I can read you anymore, because that’s friggin creepy as hell. But Kudos to you for having the bravery to actually kill bugs. I myself lack that particular brand of fortitude.

  2. this sf probably came in with the boxes in storage… an occupational hazard of the storage business. set off a roach bomb before you go to work some day and the a/c should have recycled out the bad air by the time you come home. use those little cans that you put on a newspaper on the floor, then push the sray trigger which stays on until the thing is empty.

  3. Are you sure it wasn’t a house centipede?

    There’s a picture here:

    These things freak my shit out, yo. I had a bunch of them at my old apartment and thought they were silverfish for a long time. But then I moved to another apartment where I had ACTUAL silverfish, which were much smaller and slimier-looking.

    If it’s big and hairy-looking and moves fast, then it might be the house centipede. Which is so goddamn gross I can hardly stand it.

  4. Whatever it is, it sounds gross and disgusting and I wouldn’t want it anywhere near me. I would have screamed also.

  5. I’ve got house centipedes in my house, but so far I’ve only seen their dead bodies, I’ve been lucky not to see a live one around. (Thank god for moving soon.) I seriously have nightmares that those things are going crawl in my ear while I sleep and eat away my brain.

  6. You mean when you lived in Boston you didn’t watch the cute little mousies at the Park Street T stop?!

  7. I always thought those little mice at the Park Street stop were cute too. But I don’t think I would have thought they were as cute if they were on the same platform as I was.

  8. Silverfish are more common in the spring, so I would vote for the “house centipede” as well. And yet another identification of vermin issue- both cute little mice and big disgusting rats are frequently sighted throughout the NYC subway system. Sounds like you saw one of the former, you will know when you see the later.

  9. you’ll never notice this, since you wrote this like, 3 years ago, but i’m catching up on my reading of your blog…so gimme a break. ANYWAYS…dear god, i have silverfish too. had a panic attack very similar to yours…including phoning a friend to freak out, all the while, eyeing the bug down. apparently they like humidity.
    i found one in my measuring cup once. how lovely.

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