Monday, February 7, 2011

A Chat with Adam

Hi. Adam here. You know, from Genesis. The one they always blame it all on.

What you read in Genesis isn't the whole story. It's the Cliff Notes version, written by God, and of course He wrote it with His own agenda in mind.

And trust me: I got framed.

So, yeah, there I am in the Garden of Eden, and I take a nice long nap, and wake up, and my side hurts like crazy, and suddenly there's this dame Eve there with me.

So she's supposed to be my helper? Let me ask you, just what did I need help WITH? Naming the animals? Like she was a big help with that! Instead of just being able to say, "You--DOG!" and "You--CAT!", I had to argue with her over every single one. "Ooooh, look, doesn't "feline" just purrrrfectly describe the way it moves?"

Yeah, I have to say it was a little less lonely having someone out with. The birds and the bees all had their own kind, you know, I saw how everything went. But really, I mean, I was in the Garden of Eden, for heaven's sake, free food at my fingertips, perfect weather all the time, all my needs were met (well, mostly...), I didn't have to do anything but make up a sound for everything I saw there. What's to complain about?

But, there she was. So God had to get a little more specific about the rules of the place, because Eve was pretty nosy. I could just while away the hours naming things and trying to remember the names and trying to remember did I already name that thing there, and if I did, what did I name it? But she had to poke and pry and understand everything.

So there's this one tree. God says "don't touch"...I don't touch. I mean, there are just plenty of other trees around to keep me occupied. Not a big deal. He's the boss, I do what He says, I don't ask questions. That's just how it works, you know?

Me, I'm happy picking a banana and munching it down when I'm hungry. Eve, she has to fuss with stuff. "Here, try this banana stuffed with pecans drizzled in honey with crunchy dried locusts." I try to act impressed with whatever she gives me, but really, she just has to make everything so complicated. Everyday it's some different fruit combo for lunch, and really, I'd be happy as a...what did I call that round thing with two shells that I found on the beach? Oh, clam. Happy as a clam with a banana a day. No, that didn't come out right. Happy as a clam, with a banana, every day. Oh, here, let me start over. Happy with a banana. Happy as a clam. Clams don't like bananas, and clams and bananas don't even taste good together. Besides, it's a few more chapters before we can eat anything but fruits and veggies, and then eventually in a whole 'nother book He finally gets around to saying, "Oh, by the way, clams aren't kosher 'cause they don't swim and have fins." Good heavens, this OT stuff is hard work!

So anyhow, God said don't mess with that one tree, and I didn't. Figured she wouldn't either. I mean really, what part of "no" could she not understand?

But I walk by one day, and notice that there's a fruit missing...right there. I could see the broken stem, plain as day. Wow, maybe one of the fruit bats got it?

That got me thinking, was it just Eve and me that wasn't supposed to eat from this tree, or was it all the critters, too, and maybe I was supposed to be standing guard over it to make sure nothing munched on it? Well, then why couldn't God have said something if he wanted me to play body guard to a tree? I tell you, bosses are all alike, there's the rules, and then there's the real rules, and then there's the policies that look like whoever wrote them had not a clue what the rules were, and then no one follows any of it anyway.

"Hey, Eve, come look at this," I hollered. She was on the other side of the big willow tree, talking baby-talk to some critter. She wandered over, looking a little peeved at me. What, was I interrupting something special with her and whatever it was behind the tree?

"Eve, look! Something tore a piece of fruit off this tree that we weren't supposed to touch. Which creature do you think would have done that?"

"Yeah, I see. That branch is all torn and hanging loose. Look, if I just trim off the end like so, and bend it this way, and push these other leaves over the gap in the foliage, why, you can't even tell anything happened, can you?" And in a flash, I couldn't even see where the fruit had been.

And that's when I realized I'd been framed, and framed good. Damned for all time, in fact.

Now that she had showed me, so I knew what to look for, I could see there were lots of other places where the same thing had been done. Critters don't do that, do they? I mean, they might eat the fruit, but only someone who has the knowledge of good and evil would try to cover up that they'd done it.

And Eve had just shown me that she knew exactly how to do it, by undoing it. Not only did she know how, but she knew how to do it really quickly. Hm. I'm not that stupid. Spontaneous manual dexterity with that level of skill comes with a lot of practice.

She saw what I was looking at, and looked up at me with those big innocent-seeming eyes. "What, sugarbuns? Why are you looking at the tree like that? You look like such a big sourpuss when you pucker up your eyebrows like that. Mmmmmm...just wanna kiss your face and make you smile again, honey." She wiggled at me, but I just stood there staring at the tree with gears whirring like crazy in my head. I could feel a doozy of a headache coming on. And Exedrin was what, a few dozen millenia in the future? Bummer!

And then she saw that I saw right through her and her tricks.

"What was that you served for lunch today, Eve? I wasn't paying attention when you rattled off the ingredients."

"Oh, nothing, just a little fruit cocktail I whipped up. Why, I don't even remember what-all I put in it."



(This was really getting nowhere, but it gave me time to think. I was NOT used to having to use my brain like this, let me tell you. And that headache was shaping up to be a killer....)

"We've been eating a lot of chopped up fruit lately, haven't we?"

"Fruit cocktail. You name the animals, I name the food dishes, isn't that the way it works?"

"Ok, have it your way. Fruit cocktail. Lots lately. What do you put in it?"

She started squirming and didn't want to look me in the eye. "Fruit".

Oh, heaven help me! "Fruit. What kind?"

"Different kinds."

"Do I have to drag this out of you? You know perfectly well what you did and you know that I know what you did, so just out with it, ok? Cut the cute stuff!"

I saw a motion in the grass, and her buddy the serpent came slithering up to her. It climbed up her leg and she just stood there. Suddenly something else clicked in my mind. That thing was her accomplice! Some of the camouflaged broken branches were up high, too high for her to reach. But with the serpent slithering through the branches, it could pull a branch down into her reach.

Sure enough, with the serpent installed on her shoulders, she kind of transformed. Cute-coy-dumb was out, fierce-Valkyrie-warrior was in.

"Yes, Adam, I've been feeding you the Forbidden Fruit for lunch every day this week, and you liked it. You LIKED it. I've been eating it for weeks myself, and it transformed me...." (I won't even bother mentioning her gestures during this little confession.) She went on. "Yes, Adam, I asked you every day if you wanted some fruit cocktail, and you said, 'yes, thank you very much.' So when you have that nice little chat with God about whose fault it is, just you remember that you said, 'Yes, Eve, some fruit cocktail sounds mi-i-i-i-ghty good right now.'"

Oh, I cannot tell you how much I hate listening to her when she gets like this. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned...except a woman scorning you is even worse. I was really actually kind of relieved to hear my name being called.

"Yes, God?"

"Where are you?"

"Uh...just a minute....." I ran to the next tree over. Maybe he wouldn't notice the missing fruit if he wasn't looking right at it. "Over here, God."

"That's funny, I thought I heard you talking to Eve over there by the Tree of Knowledge." And of course he looks right at it and immediately sees the fruit is missing.

He looks back at me, and damned if I don't feel one of Eve's innocent looks taking over my face. I knew, and I knew that He knew, and He knew that I knew that He knew, but I tried to look innocent anyway.

And I knew I was trying to look innocent, and that's when I realized that the fruit Eve had been feeding me had changed me. And I realized she must have been eating the Forbidden Fruit for a long time, because she had been doing more and more of those cute little faces she uses to manipulate me. She didn't used to do that when she was first...uh...created. It's like a slow fatal poison, you don't realize you're sick until it's too late. Just creeps up on you. Like that wretched serpent pal of hers.

Here's where it gets really good.

"Adam, did you eat the Forbidden fruit?"

Facepalm. Headdesk. However you want to say it, I could see what was coming. I had been framed, framed, framed.

"Yes, sir, I did eat the Forbidden Fruit. But let me explain...."

Not. He just launched into the whole thing about the sins of the father being visited on the children, and throwing us out of the garden, and all the curses and stuff, and that was that. I never even got a chance to explain. Not a chance.

But listen to this: He didn't even mention the sins of the mother! She was the one who WILFULLY disobeyed him, not me. I ate it, yeah, but I didn't know what I was eating when I ate it. And when I realized, I was honest about it, at least, even if I did try to distract him.

Let me ask you this: If he had asked, "did you eat the Forbidden Fruit?" before her trick with hiding the broken branch clued me in to what was in her "fruit cocktails", I would have said "No." And I would have believed I was right. But I would have been wrong. Would that have been a sin? I don't know, I don't know the answer to that one. I'm not God, right? He knows, and He's not telling.

So what would you say were the alleged "sins of the father"? Where did I go wrong? Trusting Eve, eating whatever she fed me without asking too many questions? I mean, after she declared locusts were vegetables because they were green and started using them to put "crunchy goodness" and "pizzaz" in her concoctions, I just really didn't want to know what I was eating.

Oh, you're right. Good point. I knew about the locusts, and didn't 'fess up to that one at all. Well, God never asked me about the locusts, so I never lied to him about eating them...did I? And technically, he never said not to eat them, he just didn't include them in the list of "foods Generally Recognized as Safe".

So was that "the sins of the father" too? Man, I am SO confused.....

OMG! Look at the time, will you? I've been babbling at you for an hour now, can you believe it? Gotta run, I'm a working man now, you know. It's not so bad, really. Gets me out of the house for awhile. And away from that woman and her blasted pets. That snake...something about that snake...I just can't put my finger on it....

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