Garden of Eden
In the Garden of Eden there lies the temptation of a forbidden fruit. Every day Adam enters the garden to look at the fruit. He wonders if today that he will try to eat it, so curious of its taste. He’s been told it is poisonous, that if he bites it, it should surely hurt him. What if it is nonsense, he wonders. What if every reason that he avoided trying the fruit was a lie. He knows the only way he could know for sure is if he tried it.
A woman appears beside the fruit. She is completely naked, her supple skin glows in the late sunlight, catching her fiery eyes. The woman picks up the fruit, casually pulling it along her subtle curves, past her navel, past her breasts, to her perfectly plump lips — she bites into the fruit. Adam waits, filled with desire, he wants to say something but he is struck with awe, the words he cannot form. The woman drops the fruit, stares at Adam and licks her lips and calls to him. She turns away from him and begins to enter the thick jungle at the gardens edge. Wild animals call in the distance. She disappears in the thick brush, leaving Adam with the half bitten apple.
Adam stares at the apple for hours, unsure of what to do. He wants to eat the fruit, badly. He wants to enter the jungle, but he’s never been, he doesn’t even know if he could find her. Surely she is crazy, who would eat such a thing. The sun begins to set, now it is too late. He knows not of her fate, and returns to his place beneath the tallest tree in the Garden of Eden. He wonders if she will come find him. He wonders if he might ever see her again.
Adam returns to the fruit the next day. It sits there in the morning sun, without a hint of discoloration. It seems so inviting in the morning sun, he looks over to the pond adjacent to the jungles edge. The mysterious woman stands in the early morning sun, washing her hair. He stares at her, she doesn’t notice him. Should he eat the fruit, he wonders? The woman emerges from the pond, and walks over to the fruit before Adam. She stares right at him, but says nothing. He wants to speak, but again cannot find any words to say. She picks up the fruit and takes another bite. She calls again to him, her words seem so inviting, so sure. He wants to go, he walks toward the fruit, picks it up. He stares at it, she smiles, eyes wide, watching him. “Eat it,” she says, so sure, so encouraging. He doesn’t, he can’t, it’s not right, maybe it doesn’t affect her the way it might him.
This goes on for days. The woman appears, takes a bite from the apple, Adam does not follow. As one apple is eaten, more fall in its place and the process again repeats — but Adam never follows. As the tree grows thin over the year, bearing less fruit, the woman appears less. Eventually the woman stops appearing at the tree altogether. Adam wonders why. Adam wonders why he never followed, why he never tried to eat the fruit. He tells himself he did the right thing, but in his gut he knows he is wrong.
In the middle of the night, beneath a bright moon, he surrenders to his desire and goes to the fruit tree. He sits with it for a while, wondering if the woman will appear, he keeps thinking about her, about the fruit. But she does not appear. He looks around, as if someone might be watching, as if he might be judged at any moment. He is not, he is alone. He is so alone it hurts, he angrily picks up the apple and takes a bite. Nothing happens. It tastes so good, he takes another bite, then another and another. He starts to pick up more fruit, jumping around with laughter, he fills his gut with the fruit, so much so that he could not possibly eat any more.
Tired, he falls asleep beneath the fruit tree. He begins to dream, he begins to dream about her. He goes with her into the jungle, the temptation is great. As they approach, he leans in slowly to kiss her, holding her, but before he can come into contact with her lips, he wakes.
He wakes to an aching belly. He is hungry, and so he goes again to the fruit tree and eats more fruit. The fullness feels better, but it is only temporary until he is hungry again. He wonders to himself about this feeling, about the feeling of emptiness. “I never felt quite this hungry until I began to eat the fruit,” he tells himself over and over again in his mind. He plants more fruit trees from the seeds of the other, sowing a plentiful harvest of trees bearing rich fruits. He has all the fruit he could possibly imagine! But he is alone, he has no one to share it with as he gazes over at the jungles edge.
Years pass, and Adam grows fuller in figure. His arms strong with muscle, his gut heavy with good harvest. He has a beard, and his hair has acquired some silver. And yet as years have gone by, he still stares at the jungles edge. He still wonders about what would have happened had he followed her into the jungle.
One day a great storm hits. His fruit tress topple, his harvest is ruined. Adam suffers from a terrible hunger, there is no fruit at all to eat. On the verge of starvation, he leaves the blasted Garden and enters the jungle. It is dark and most unkind. His gut growls for food, for fruit, for anything. He falls to his knees beside a shallow stream and begins to weep. He shouts at the heavens, cursing his fate. “Had I not this desire, had I not eaten the fruit, I wouldn’t even be here!” Birds lift from the dense trees, and his voice echoes far and wide. He is so frail, without fruit, he cannot go on any longer. He sits up against a tree and falls asleep.
In the night, the woman appears to find him. He is very weak, she goes to him and lifts his frail arms to detect only the faintest of pulse. She looks up at the tree as if to curse at the heavens, when she sees fruit in its wake. The man wakes to see the woman staring at the tree. He smiles so wide, his face glows at her sight. He reaches out to touch her, and she puts his hand down. “Did you not see the fruit in the tree,” she scolded. He shook his head, “I am weak, I could not see, perhaps you could climb and get some for me?” She gets up and begins to walk away, “you’ve been too spoiled by low hanging fruit that you can only see what is right in front of you!” He calls to her to stop. “What ever do you mean,” he questions. She turns to him, sad by this realization, “if you were hungry, you would climb the tree and get the fruit. If you wanted to find me, you would enter the dangerous jungle. But you chose to stay in your garden with low hanging fruit.” He sits waiting for her to say more, but she doesn’t. “I planted the fruit for you,” he insists, reaching out to her. She grows even sadder by this realization, “you planted the fruit to satisfy desire, but you were still hungry.”
She turns and walks away, leaving him with an empty belly, full of a desire still left to be filled.