Sunday, December 23, 2018

misplaced

Somewhere between the gate with the flaming angel and Jacob's Ladder. Adam and Eve are walking (wandering, really—they have no purpose) together in a terrible, impenetrable silence, worse than stone. The silence finally cracks when Adam seemingly non sequitur yells:

"Eve, you bitch."
"What's a bitch?" retorts Eve, sneering as her heart is breaking, "You're making up words again that have no meaning."
"It's a female dog," says Adam, coining mankind's pet epithet, "but I think it suits the present company just fine."
Eve flushes nearly purple and twists their difference to a derogatory: "Well, you're a dick."

Adam's eyes begin to well.

Eve says nothing, but bites her lip.

"You've ruined everything," cries Adam, images of the garden vanishing in the mountain mist behind them flashing through his mind, burning his conscience. He was born into paradise then lost it.

"I don't want to play this game, Adam. Please let's stop."

They've been rehashing this same argument ever since that terrible moment at the tree. When was that—a month ago? A week? Pain dulls the passage of time.

"But why? I don't understand."

"You know I've always been afraid of snakes—that's no excuse, but still."

Adam opens his mouth to respond. But there is nothing more to say. They've been through all assignations of blame, negligence, carelessness, thoughtlessness, undue curiosity, lack of prudence, selfishness. It's hardly worth opening up all these cans of worms (good phrase, he notes). They'll just weary themselves further in slinging mud at one another.

Instead he says nothing.

Wearily, Eve recalls the first time she saw him—at her waterfall. My God, how different things were then. How gentle he was as she approached, how kind and how full of awe he was when he saw her.

And funny. He was so funny.

"It's funny," said Eve.

Yes?

"Why don't we just go back?"

The thought strikes the air between them like a bolt of lightning. Electricity crackled like salvation between the two figures, plodding aimlessly toward nothing, just away.

Honestly, the idea hadn't occurred once before to Adam. Go Back? but they were sent forthCould they even go back?

Adam's last memories of the garden were tainted, assuredly. The memories of iridescent sunlight made his skin crawl with the hot flush of sunburn and the lush scents of the garden seemed marred by a bitter taste on his tongue. Go back to that? Not likely.

"I think it's gone, Eve."

"Is it?" asks Eve, "how can it be, if we remember it?"

She thinks of the tall grass on the edges of the olive trees that would sway in the wind that whipped up from the sea in the afternoon. She thinks of walking with Adam through the lush green of the overgrown fig trees near the streams. She thinks of lying with him on a clear night under the endless canopy of stars above her.

Adam says, a little too loudly: "I don't want to remember it. It's changed now. We changed it."

Can't we remember it now?

"What good would that do?" spits Adam, bitterly, in spite of himself.

I don't see any reason we can't make Eden here.

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