The LORD God walked in the Garden, dreamy musculature in a thin white open-collar button-up, hands in grey tweed slacks, whistling an easy tune.
He hears a rustling in the sumptuous foliage and, craning his neck with a curious cockeye, discovers The Man hiding behind a mighty cedar tree.
So The LORD God said to The Man: “Hey! Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?”
And The Man, long broad hand over his puny mortal genitalia, stepped forward into the golden sunshine filtering through great trees not seen on this world since the time of the Giants, saying, “Well, The Woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.”
Then, from behind the shadeful cedar came a high-pitched, “Hey!” and out stepped The Woman, an arm across her ample breasts, a hand in the diamond center of her wide, world-populating hips. But, under a narrowing of The LORD God’s bewitching blue eyes and his steady-on “What is this that thou hast done?”, she lowered her eyes and, with a softer deeper voice said, “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.”
Oh now they’ve done and gone it!
Might as well get matching “Shoot Me, Please!” target T-shirts.
And so The strong-jawed enchantingly-wry-mouthed LORD God of gleaming white teeth, beefcake hands on solid hips, doled out appropriate reprimands:
The tempter Snake should wriggle forever in the dust and an enmity should arise between him and the dupes, The Woman’s childbirth pains would have to be considerably increased and her free agency seriously curbed: “in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” And for The Man: “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, very specifically, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
But what is this strange aside?
And most strange of all: why let us in on it?
I mean this: Directly after sewing several cute matching outfits for occasions from formal to casual and sporty to labory–complete with coordinated footwear–, and directly before driving The Man out of Eden (letting his clingy baby doll follow after him) and placing at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life, The LORD God makes the following statement: “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:” Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
Are we supposed to know how close we got to being a God? And who is this “us”? Wasn’t there supposed to just be the one God? Or is it that The LORD God is more like a demigod, and the one God too infinite and pre-body/mind to flaneur gardens? Was this an unguarded moment from The LORD God, or a calculated hint to keep us in the game through century upon century slogging through the mud and crumbling with the dust? I don’t think any of us could countenance the argument that The LORD God spoke to deceive us poor, already woefully uninformed mortal worms; No, that can’t be it!
Be that as it may, The Man started calling himself “Adam”, and he dubbed his chick “Eve”, because she was the mother of all living, and because in the witching hour, as the dark swallows every ambition and blind naked poking longing climbs forward, stripped of all but its most basic outlook, a certain vampishness can improve the mood and grease Necessity playfully along.
No, no luck.
Not a story of God’s eternal love, just a silly riff on the Tree of Knowledge story.