A very angry woman watches as God vanishes, and turns her attention to the only remaining person in the garden.
“Alright. You look like you want to say something, but given the uniqueness of your existence I’d recommend against it. Do you have something to say?”
Adam shakes his head.
“Good. You’re off to a good start. Alright first of all, where are we and who the hell are you?”
“Well this is the Garden of Eden. It’s my…er our Father’s….paradise for us. And I’m Adam.”
“First of all a father who just creates you to be somebody’s helper, and then spends the first 10 minutes of her life making her bits twinkle and showing somebody how to get up all in her business and squirt baby making fluids in her, has questionable parenting skills. Secondly, why do you get a name, and I don’t.
“I’m not really sure. I don’t get told a lot. All I can tell you is, I’m a man, which I was told, means from the Earth since I’m made from dirt, and you are woman, meaning from man.”
“Wait, my designation means I am from man, but yet I am the one who will be giving birth to all sorts of future men? That’s rich. And what was all this when I arrived,” woman makes talking motions with bother her hands, “two boys talking it over and deciding what’s going to happen my body? Talking it over as if I wasn’t even there? Is this what I can expect in the future?”
“No no…of course not. I am sure you’ll be part of the whole decision making process. I mean we’re man and woman, we go together, none more important than the other.”
Woman’s expression softens momentarily. “Wait a second, are you telling me I have to be your mate? That we are going to be doing all that baby making He was talking about? I don’t even know you.”
“Yeah, but somebody has got to make people. And look, look at this thing down here, it’s sticking straight out at you. I think that’s how it works, it sort of points to who you are supposed to mate with.”
“Well don’t point it at me. Given that it started pointing about 2 seconds after you saw me, I don’t think it bases any of its decisions by divining the inner working of my soul or through some appreciation of my intellect.”
“But I really feel like…you know…what he was talking about…insert slot A into tab B? He said it would be a lot of fun.” Adam moves in close for an embrace.
Pushing him away, “Ugh…stop it. What are you doing?”
“I’m doing what feels natural in paradise!”
Woman smacks Adam on the side of the head “Well so am I. As quaint as it is that our mutual Father wants us to get it on, as it stands, I wouldn’t mate with you if you were the last man on Earth.”
“But I’m the first man on Earth, and there isn’t anybody else around.”
Woman looks around exasperated, “I’ll admit my options or few. But this child birth and raising stuff sounds like a fair amount of work. I need to know whether we can work together as a team. And that means talking to each other. Getting to know each other, and really talking about whether a relationship between us has a future.”
Adam’s tool for baby making goes limp. “Hmm…weird.” Adam looks down. “I suddenly feel like I can talk about other things. You know what? You’re right. There is no rush. It’s a beautiful day, a beautiful setting, and we have the Tree of Life nearby, we have forever, perhaps literally to make babies.”
“Tree of Life? What are you talking about?”
“Oh…oh…yeah I guess I should tell you. Well you know He hasn’t given me a lot of details on this Tree of Life. He mentioned something about being the greatest creation and being forever in paradise, so I assume the tree has something to do with that.”
“Well having children for the rest of eternity doesn’t sound fun, but I imagine just walking around in a garden could get old as well. Anything else?”
“Yeah. Something important actually. That tree over there. It’s the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We are forbidden to eat from it.”
“I don’t know. Our Father created all of this. He’s pretty powerful and knowledgeable, I figure it’s best to listen to Him.”
“Yet you had to spend the first few weeks of your life in what sounds like a taxonomical nightmare?”
“Well it was a learning experience. I mean I imagine when you create a universe there is always some bookkeeping at the start. Either way, He was pretty clear about not eating from that tree.”
“So you’re telling me that we are an omniscient and omnipotent being’s greatest creation, and he has placed us in paradise, but puts a tree full of rather delicious looking fruit in the middle of our paradise and we’re just expected to walk around it or something? I mean why have the tree here if we’re not allowed to partake of it?”
“These are fair questions? Well He’s omniscient so He knows we’re going to listen to Him, so He figured it doesn’t matter where He puts it.”
“Maybe, but it seems like poor planning overall. I mean I have a pretty strong curiosity, don’t you?”
“Yeah. I think I do too. I’ll even admit that there were times when I was enjoying seeing all the different animals. I really wanted to learn more about them, not just name them. To be honest, I’ve got a million questions about everything.”
“Me too. And I feel especially curious about things I’m told not to touch.” Woman starts walking towards the tree and Adam grabs her by the shoulder. She turns “Don’t touch me! You need to learn about consent Adam. Don’t be like Father.”
“Sorry…er…I was just trying to stop you from going to the tree. I don’t want you to get in trouble.”
“Don’t worry, don’t worry. I’ll be a good girl and I won’t eat from it, but we can go look at it right?”
“I guess. I just…well…if we aren’t suppose to eat from it, I figure it’s best not to get close.”
“Stop being so fearful. This is paradise. Like you said, I am sure he knows everything will be fine or he wouldn’t have put it here. I’ll go off by myself if you’re too frightened.”
Woman walks towards the tree, entranced by the ripe fruit dangling in the sunlight. As she gets close she feels some apprehension creep into her. Maybe Adam was right. She sits down, and leans back against a smooth rock which in no way was created by millions of year of erosion, and stares at the tree.
“It’s quite a sight, isn’t it?”
Woman looks around for a voice she’s never heard before.
“Over here. I’m waving my tail. Do you see it?”
Woman looks to her right and sees a black and green scaly animal on stump legs, plodding towards her, wagging its long pointed tail.
“I kind of got the impression that we were the only beings with consciousness in this garden. Who or what are you?”
“Well, some might say I’m the anthropomorphized representation of evil, but since you don’t know what evil is yet, just call me what your boyfriend so brilliantly named me, snake.”
“He’s not my boyfriend. And he didn’t say the animals can talk.”
“Well, let’s be honest, he isn’t exactly the brains of the operation. Although I must admit you and he, well that’s some fine handiwork by God. We aren’t on the best of terms, but the Guy really knows how to fill His day. But, to give Adam some credit, strictly speaking, animals don’t talk. The one you’re talking with right now, however, does. If you can believe you were made from a rib, my talking is small potatoes. Let me get over there, we need to have some words.”
“You do move rather slowly…your legs are very short.”
“Yeah. Well, in time, you’ll see God has a strange sense humor. I came from the east. I ‘ve been walking here for a month pretty much non-stop.”
“Well, it’s pretty much just like here. But it changes more. Things live, things die, things fight to survive, but you keep busy. Never a dull moment they say. As to who they are, I can’t say, but for some reason I love clichés, idioms, metaphors. Language is so colorful.”
“No I literally mean what is east?”
“Oh…well it’s the opposite of west.” The snake sidles up to her and rests on the grass near her and they look at the tree together. “Look at that tree?”
“Yeah. I just keep wondering why He would put it here. And what can be so bad about eating the fruit.”
“Well this isn’t your average fruit. It’s definitely special. As to why He put it here, I’ve been wondering the same thing myself. But, I, for one, am glad He did. You know why?”
Woman shakes her head slowly.
“Because this tree is everything. I’ve been trying to figure out God since I was made. Sometimes when he’s on a roll, creating, I truly think he figures a lot of stuff out without even realizing it. The thing is, putting this tree here was the best idea ever and intentional.”
“But we are forbidden to eat it. He told Adam.”
“Yep. And you’re going to be punished too. But here’s the thing: you are what you are. He made you curious. You want to know how things work. There is no knowledge that you want to be barred from, so you are going to have a bite of the fruit from this tree, and so is Adam over there. It’s inevitable. Might as well get it over with and leave paradise behind. All good things must come to an end.”
“But isn’t paradise a good thing?”
“You still don’t get it. He doesn’t really want you to have paradise. Otherwise he wouldn’t have made you curious and put the tree, he says he doesn’t want you to eat from, smack in the middle of paradise. I mean who does that? It’s like putting a cookie in front a child and saying ‘Don’t eat that!’ Sorry I forgot you don’t know how children behave yet, but you will. Oh and you’ll like cookies too.”
“What will happen to us?”
“Not sure exactly. You’ll probably be kicked out of paradise, but you’ll at least have the skills to try and build your own paradise. One that you’ll actually have to strive for, and thus appreciate the effort it takes. God, well He’s sort of the definition of privileged. He never had to work for it. You might think you’re better off that way, but believe me you’re not. The only thing that matches God’s ability is His narcissism. It’s not good to just have it all, with no idea how you obtained it.”
“That does kind of explains the lack of nurturing qualities in our Father. But what about Adam? Do you think he’ll eat it? He seems pretty big on the whole obedience thing.”
“He’s just like you, don’t worry about it. He would have eventually wandered over here himself. Now go grab a couple of pieces fruit and have yourself a snack. Destiny awaits you! Ooh it appears I flair for the dramatic as well! Alright, time to make the slow journey back to my home. This design is ridiculous….”
The snake waddles away muttering under his breath at his poor constructed body. Woman walks to the tree and grabs a couple of pieces of fruit. “Hmmm…I thought they would feel magical, but seem kind of ordinary. She shrugs her shoulders and walks back to Adam.