On one fine day in Eden, so the story goes, boredom fell upon the garden and all hell broke loose. And in the end, Adam and Eve knew something they shouldn’t have. And like a parent who punishes all the children when just one of them lies, God banished us.
Like any good Italian girl from Trenton, New Jersey who was raised half-Catholic and half-Jewish…I have pondered this one. Many times.
It seems odd that Knowledge that was the problem…since it’s usually ignorance that undoes us. And hubris. And being a know-it-all. Which is a far cry from Knowledge.
Or maybe it’s a translation issue. Maybe it wasn’t Knowledge. Maybe it was Understanding.
Maybe one day, Eve understood the power of her sex. That she could withhold it…and get Adam to do more chores around the garden. That she could keep it to herself if she wanted. Or that she might like to share herself with someone who was, say, more in her own image…than Adam.
And then, maybe Adam figured out that he didn’t really need her permission…her invitation…her desire…before he could enter her. He could just take her when he wanted.
When he was pissed off, or to settle a fight, or to just get Eve to shut the fuck up every once in a while.
After all, he was bigger, stronger. She was made from just one of his ribs – surely no match for him, the original.
Then, there was the day he found her writhing around in the garden, like a common serpent. Her own hands between her legs, in a fit of pleasure he’d never, ever witnessed when they were together.
Why had she not told him? Shown him? Shared herself with him this way.
He was humiliated. Could not look her in the eyes the rest of the day. He waited until dark that night to sink himself into her, wondering for the first time, if he was enough, if she was satisfied.
Then, the next day, he wondered if he might pleasure himself better, too.
So he leaned himself up against the tree, tilted his head back, and drew his tongue over the palm of his hand… so it might feel like the wetness inside Eve. His hand seemed to understand his body better than Eve’s ever had.
There was no hoping her fingers might collide with a sensitive spot. No need for patience if she went too slowly or frustration if she went too fast. He felt ease and joy in idly stroking himself on a lazy afternoon. The hissing of the serpent in the background. An apple falling to the ground as the branches shook from his pleasure.
His eyes closed, his hands in full exploration of himself, loving his own hardness, his own touch. His mind was quiet, his thoughts of Eve and her pleasure and the intricacies and monotony of their life together, gone.
Until the sound of a single bite of apple cut through the air.
Adam’s eyes flew open, his hands froze, and he discovered Eve beside him. Slowly chewing. Smiling. She leaned against the tree, put her head on his shoulder, handed him the apple. The serpent hissed again and curled around them, as if to say, “What have you two done?”
They would leave that night. Packing just a few things, without a word passing between them. Willing to give it all up. The monotony of perfection. The certainty of their safety. The endless provisions of the bountiful garden.
To know themselves fully. To love one another through flaws. To understand the depth of their passions. Banishing themselves from Eden, on the chance there was something more.
© Monica Day