by Gone Conlon
When God created Adam and then Eve, he thought they were fucking awesome. It's true that Eve grew on him but even so: awesome.
In the beginning it was just Adam. Adam was totally cool. God would hang out with him and they'd talk about all kinds of shit. Cool shit. Like, wouldn't it be great if the constellation of Orion was actually animated rather than just hanging in the night sky.
‘I'm not saying it's a bad idea,' said God, ‘but changing shit can lead to some sticky situations further down the line. I've got this whole physics vibe going on and I know if I start interfering then it's gonna come back and bite me on the ass.'
‘Meh,' said Adam.
God and Adam hung out at night. The days were really hot back then on account of there being no imperfections, such as rain, marring Paradise. During the day, Adam liked to take an early breakfast and find a shady spot under one of the trees. Not THE tree. He wasn't about to start going where he wasn't wanted. The other trees gave plenty of shade and his favourite was a nice fig tree in the North East corner. Yes, Earth had corners then. This was before everything went pear shaped. Or something.
One day Adam had a thought and that evening he put it to God. ‘Where's your house?'
‘My what?' God was a little distracted at the best of times and that particular evening he'd come from the fields after getting stuck on a chicken and egg kind of problem. The chicken and egg problem, as a matter of fact.
‘Your house. Where is it?'
‘What makes you think I have a house?' God wasn't great on giving answers.
‘This is the Garden,' said Adam. ‘If there was no house then why would it be called the Garden? Wouldn't it just be a field?'
God thought about this for a while.
‘I could make them twinkle,' He said. ‘That might look cool without causing any problems.'
‘Make what twinkle?' Adam sat up and looked around the Garden but could see nothing which might be made to twinkle.
‘The stars. You said you wanted Orion to animate. I don't think it's a good thing to change my laws right now but twinkling might work.'
Sometimes Adam found God's wavelength difficult. ‘Oh, right. Orion. I remember. We were talking about that, like, a billion years ago or something. But sure, twinkling would be cool. I could dig that. Twinkle Sprinkle. Nice.'
‘Stars. Don't call them Sprinkles. I'm calling them Stars. They're complex gaseous structures capable of creating the base elements of life itself. Sprinkles makes them sound... childish."
‘Ok, ok. Stars. Twinkle twinkle, little stars. It's all good. Keep your hair on.'
Adam lay back and popped a fig into his mouth. Life was pretty good. He got to be in on these top level decisions and it felt as though he really made a difference; like God really listened.
‘Was it really a billion years ago?'
‘Something like that, dude. All these nights look the same, but something like that.'
God exhaled loudly which changed the course of a minor galaxy. ‘In that case, Adam, things might have to change around here.'
The two of them didn't hang out every night. There was a period, during the formation of the Himalayas for example, when God would send some feeble creation, like a half-horse-half-human or lion-with-a-bird-head, with a piss-poor excuse. Such creatures were never designed to last but they served a purpose.
Mostly, this didn't bother Adam at all. Lying on your back and watching the Moon cool and nebulae glow crazy in the night sky didn't need an audience to enjoy it. One night he saw frogs evolve and it was enough to have seen it. Half the time he didn't even bother telling God. At first he had. At first he'd been all, like, dude - it just came out the fucking water and, like, grew legs and shit. But after the millionth time he began to notice that God kind of already knew about all the shit that was going on. And Adam became a little self-conscious regarding his childlike wonder.
‘Wait until you see rainbows,' God had said one time. ‘Now they're gonna be some serious fucked up wow. But I gotta do a few things before that.'
The night after that, Adam was relieved to be on his own.
On the whole, though, Adam did start to miss God more and more. Especially when there was bugger all going on. Like the time when he'd been leaping and jumping and hopping around the garden like a mad old hermit. He'd been trying to catch neutrinos on the tip of his tongue but that's a lot harder than it sounds and besides, Adam wasn't really putting his heart and soul into it. After the trillionth time he took a mighty kick at the ground and shifted a crater of soil into the air. ‘WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU?' he shouted, not without a little anger.
To be fair in those days when anyone called, and there was really only Adam and handful of angels who did call, God was pretty prompt at getting back.
‘'sup Adam?' God asked. ‘Out of figs?'
Adam glared. The crater began filling with water from a nearby river and Adam was about to answer when God said ‘SEA'.
‘See what? There's nothing to see. There's nothing to do anymore. And you're never here either.'
God sat down. Like, properly sat down. No floating or hovering or being in a billion places at once. He sat. All of him. Shit got serious. Adam could have sworn it even got a little colder.
‘Adam. Love. Mate. I got a bit of stuff going on right now. Angels going nuts all over the fucking place. All Hell's breaking loose.' Adam noticed God make a small note to himself. ‘The upshot is you're going to just have to take care of yourself a bit more. Shouldn't be too long. I'm sure a solution will present itself. Shit changes and I just need to focus a bit, that's all.'
There was a time when Adam would have taken this as Gospel and just shut the fuck up. He wasn't a greedy man, nor a selfish man. But the years had begun to feel like, well, years, and that was taking its toll.
‘No,' he said.
God blinked. ‘No?'
‘No,' repeated Adam and, just to make the point, added ‘no.'
‘ADAM', said God. And it sounded ominous. It began like a mountain and ended with a rumble that would echo through the ages. Adam felt his world shift. He could either back down now or suffer the consequences.
Education was still on God's to-do list.
‘No,' repeated Adam.
Water vapour formed for the first time in the sky, hiding the moon and making Adam realise what "dark" meant.
A whole sub-species of mollusk was covered in resin which then hardened into amber before either of them spoke again.
‘Dude,' said God at last, ‘you're getting needy. Leave it with me.'
The clouds parted and Adam thought how fucking great the Moon looked.
It shone and it shone and it shone so brightly that Adam thought it might become the sun. But it didn't. It paled from silver to emerald and, whilst still so precious, paled again as the sky filled with gold laced through with filaments of red. Adam looked up, expecting to see God.
‘Adam, meet Steve,' said God.
‘It's Eve,' said Eve.
‘I know,' said God. ‘I know everything but believe me, in about 6000 years from now some people are going to find that REALLY fucking funny. Others, not so much.'
Adam stared. He'd seen mountain ranges rise out of boiling seas; he'd seen galaxies separate like lovers; he'd seen countless trillions of organisms live and die to be preserved as monuments to decay in the bedrock of the world. But it was only then that he understood how angels felt when welcoming the sunrise each morning. He sat up.
‘Who the fuck?' said Adam.
‘Whoa, easy there tiger,' said God.
Adam clutched his side. ‘And what the fuck is wrong with me? What's this?'
God searched around for a word. ‘Pain,' He said. ‘Probably.'
‘That's a short fucking word for what I'm feeling right now.'
Eve knelt beside Adam and placed her hand upon his side, her hair falling like nerve endings. ‘What is this, a double act?'
God raised His eyes to Heaven. ‘Give me strength,' He said. ‘Right, guys,' He continued.
‘Guy and Not-Guy,' interrupted Eve.
‘Whatever,' said God. ‘I gotta get some shit done. You two be good. Don't do anything I wouldn't.'
Adam tried to get up but the pain knocked him back again. ‘Wait, you're going. Again?'
‘Yeah, didn't we cover this already? Angels raising Hell and all that? You'll be fine. Eve here will, well... whatever. You'll be fine. Just don't touch THE Tree. Adam, tell her.'
Eve stood to face God and pointed. ‘That tree? With the apples? Who the fuck am I? Snow White?'
‘They're not just apples, smart-ass. They're the sum of all knowledge, experience and prescience manifested as a tasty, fully biodegradable snack.'
Eve stared at THE Tree. ‘Right,' she said.'"That puts a different spin on things. Still, I got everything I need right here.' She looked down at the groaning, incapacitated form of Adam.
Awesome, thought God. He was well pleased.
Before Eve came along, God used to tell Adam to spend his days contemplating life. ‘γνῶθι σεαυτόν' He said.
‘I don't want to know myself,' Adam would reply. ‘I'm happy knowing you.'
God pondered this for a while. It had been the same with the angels. He'd thought free will would have changed things but no, here it was again. Gratitude was one thing, give a man a complex reality governed by a definable set of immutable laws and you expect a little gratitude. But Adam was showing signs of something more. Hero worship.
‘Would you mind not slaughtering the goats?' He'd asked, once. ‘Only it took time to make them. And they're part of the Plan. Just like you.'
He'd thought creating Eve and giving her to Adam would settle things. He should never have called it “giving” though. But what else was he to say? Look who I bumped into at work today? Besides, God had given Adam slugs but that never led to problems.
Ok, bad analogy.
The point is that when Eve came along, Adam spent most of his nights lecturing her about God. So much so that what God had taken as Eve's stubborn propensity for disrespect began to emerge as a quite endearing characteristic.
Awesome, thought God.
The Earth was beginning to cool by this time and the couple found days becoming more bearable. Seeing things in daylight was pretty much a whole new experience and Adam found it stimulating.
"I mean, just look at the way that cliff overhangs the sea. That's fucking awesome," said Adam. "We should totally dive sometime."
‘It's stupid,' said Eve.
On the whole, God found it easier to stay out of things.
‘This one time,' said Adam, ‘there was this creature and it was all like massive and stuff. And this one time, God was all, like, whoa that's not right. And then He did stuff and I was, like, fuck, that's awesome. That was a good day. Wish you could have been there.'
‘You make no sense whatsoever.'
‘Ah,' said Adam, wisely, ‘but God does.'
‘I'm going to talk to the snake.'
‘Ok, babe. Don't be late. It's goat tonight.' Eve went, leaving Adam sat beneath the fig tree wondering whether God would show up when he smelled the goat. Maybe he should have opted for lamb. He'd been perfecting a new dish called Lamb of God. He couldn't wait to try it out and see the expression on His face. Sacrifices weren't what they used to be but Adam just knew he could breathe life into the old custom.
‘Adam,' said God out of the blue, ‘stop trying so hard. Get out a bit more. Meet new people.'
‘Person. Meet new person. Eve seems nice, you should spend more time with her.'
‘Is that what you command, O Lor—'
‘The fuck? Adam, it's me, God. What's going on with you, dude? You're all, like, serious and shit. We used to be cool.'
Adam scratched at his scar. He wasn't sure what was going on. It felt like God was leaving. Bit by bit so that maybe nobody would notice, but leaving all the same. He didn't say that though. Not that he felt he needed to. God should just know, right? He shrugged. ‘Dunno.' And he looked at his tree. ‘It's just you... well...'
God looked at Adam and saw into his soul. ‘Dude. Are you... missing me?'
God might see it all and know it all but, as far as Adam could figure, He sure as shit didn't understand it all. Adam closed his eyes and barely even noticed Eve coming to lie beside him in the early hours of the morning. Wild bears must have eaten the goat.
‘It's barely anything at all.'
‘Then you won't miss not having it.'
‘Fine. You probably couldn't do it anyway.'
‘What am I? Six days old?'
‘You made the Sprinkles all starry; this isn't even half as difficult.'
‘They're called Stars, and I made them twinkle. And no.'
‘I mean, if you can't control a bunch of angels then—'
‘ADAM, fuck off.'
As time went by, as Time began to actually happen, God became less and less fond of Interventions. Back in the day, God had created feathers which was fun even though He said it had been part of His Plan all along but Adam knew it wasn't. Feathers. Fuck's sake. Really?
So it really began to piss him off when even his simplest prayers were dismissed.
‘And don't mention the feather thing.' God said.
Adam hopped along the beach a while to make it look like a one legged man was going for a swim.
‘You made it so the see—'
‘That's what I said,' said Adam, confused.
‘Yes but you... never mind, carry on.'
‘You made it so the water wore down a whole mountain and turned it into sand. We watched it happen, together. It took ages and was mostly really boring but still, that was some miracle. You're the man, right?'
‘Adam, talk to her. If you want her to take more notice then talk to her.'
‘And no, she would not look good with feathers.'
Adam was not adjusting well to the modern age. Eve didn't seem to want to sit under the fig tree or climb Creation Hill or even dive to see the King of Neptune. Ok, so Adam made that last bit up but the fact she didn't call him on it just proved that she never listened.
‘They're all places you've been before,' she said. ‘I feel as though I've been there before, you've talked about them so often. Come with me across the ocean, that's new. I want new shit to do, not walk in your footsteps.' Eve looked down. ‘Have you been hopping again?'
‘But there's still loads of things to do in the Garden. God made it for us. Well, me.'
‘I know, Adam. You've told me. That's why we should do new stuff.'
‘God made you for me too,' muttered Adam.
Eve ignored that. ‘Look, I heard that the world outside is even more awesome. Mountains that scrape the clouds, oceans that...' Eve looked at the crater full of water. ‘Oceans that are actually oceans. Come with me, Adam. Before you grow old in this place.'
‘We can't leave. We don't know how.'
‘We can learn. Learning is amazing. I've learned things. It's...'
Adam waited for Eve to finish but she allowed her words to trail off as she stared across the Garden at one tree in particular.
‘We can't, Eve. HE HATH FORBIDDEN IT.'
‘Don't be a prick.'
‘Sorry, but He has.'
‘And you're ok with that? I mean, really? He stuck us here and has all but left us the same old shit and you're defending him?'
‘Never mind. Look I know He's never here anymore. And I know we're both changing, growing older or something. But you didn't know Him back in the day. When the Universe was young He was all, like... I don't know. Godlike. He was a dude. He was THE dude.'
‘But where is he now? Where are we? You're just moping around waiting for God.'
‘I know, Eve. But He'll come through.'
Up until then, waiting in the Garden of Eden was everything Adam wanted. But then it began to feel like a Test. Adam waited. Eve waited.
The water in the crater ebbed and flowed and the Moon waxed and waned.
God stayed away.
‘Adam,' said Eve eventually. ‘He's not coming. He knows you will stay here forever. He knows He doesn't have to come.'
Adam jumped to his feet and threw his hands into the air, pulling at the old scar. ‘You think?' He shouted at Eve. ‘Is that what you think?' he shouted at God.
‘You all think I'll sit here, forever?'
‘You think you know me? You think you fucking know me? Well shit changes, dude. And shit gets old. And if you won't stick around then maybe I won't either. Come on, Eve. Let's make apple pie.'
‘Fucksake, Adam. We're eating an apple, not baking a whole fucking pie.'