I have a remora fish. Which in and of itself is rather hilarious because I am neither a shark, nor do I have any sort of aquarium or other aquatic diversion. Yet, I have a remora.
The remora “takes the form of a modified oval sucker-like organ with slat-like structures that open and close to create suction and take a firm hold against the skin of larger marine animals.”
My remora has attached itself to my life for reasons unknown. Truthfully, my remora should have moved its sucker-like face onto a new host long ago. Unfortunately, my remora seems to have an insatiable need to be a permanent fixture sucking on my life because “some remoras associate primarily with specific host species.” This sucker cannot let to of its host, who has been sharing time and space exclusively with me for the past five or so months. It almost appears that the closer the host has become to me, the more aggressively the remora is clinging.
I have to be honest about this, it has been pissing me off. I thought I was jealous. But it actually feels more like a compulsion to educate someone who clearly is missing some key facts. I suppose those two things might be sort of one and the same.
I was getting a lot more irritated until I looked up the specific characteristics of the remora. “The relationship between remoras and their perfect hosts is most often taken to be one of commensalism, specifically phoresy. The host they attach to for transport gains nothing from the relationship, but also loses little.” Huh. So as long as I keep reminding mysef that the host is not getting anything, and more importantly not losing anything, then I guess I should be fine.
But still, this particular remora is relentless, reattaching its sucker nearly everyday, often multiple, inappropriate times a day.
Then I read this: “The remora… also feeds on materials dropped by the host. There is controversy whether a remora’s diet is primarily leftover fragments, or the feces of the host.” And I just had to laugh. Out loud.
I cannot make the remora fish quit calling, but I sure as leftover-fragments-or-the-feces-of-the-host can ameliorate my angst with THAT thought.