Michele Curatolo – One evening in the Garden

One May evening, in the Garden of Eden, Yahweh was strolling in the Eastern breeze. He noticed Adam sitting under the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam was motionless and thoughtful. His head was bowed and his cheek rested on the palm of his hand. Yahweh called him by His side:

‘Hey, Adam! Will you please come here?’
Adam sprang to his feet and ran to bow down to Yahweh, plunging his face into the dust.
«You seem sad, my friend. You feel lonely, don’t you? The garden, the trees, the fruits and all these animals are not enough, are they?»
Adam didn’t answer but, down from where he was lying, shook his head.
Yahweh looked at him, smiling, and then, stooping down towards him, He whispered in his ear:
‘This time you’ll accept the little surgery, won’t you?’
Adam began to shake, flattened himself on the dust even more, and muttered:
‘No, not the surgery! Please!’
‘Why not? I’m just asking for one of your ribs. Come on! I’ll put you to sleep for just a couple of minutes, and you’ll see that we’ll be over very soon!’
‘No, my Lord, please! The surgery hurts!’
Yahweh was getting annoyed. He drew back from Adam, rose and said:
‘Listen, Adam. I’ve already told you and I’ll repeat it once again! I must start from something that belongs to you! Actually, from something inside you. Believe me’ He continued, ‘One of your ribs will be enough. Only this way I’ll be able to mold the perfect partner for you. She shall be called Woman: just because she will be flesh of your flesh, your harmony with her will be immense: no conflict, the unity of thoughts and actions, total and greatest understanding, an everlasting and always renewed passion in every coupling act. The same tastes, the same language, the mutual share of goods and joys. And not a feeling of sorrow. In short: pure happiness. So what? Do you really want to give up all of this just because of a single temporary pain?’
At first Adam didn’t answer. Then he said, in a weepy voice:
‘I don’t want to undergo an operation! Wouldn’t you know another way to create a Woman? A way that doesn’t hurt me?’
Yahweh thundered:
‘What a stubborn and stupid creature you are! What a thoughtless, insensate, wicked heap of mud you are, Adam! Don’t you realize what you are giving up? Can’t you see what is expecting you? I don’t know what’s holding me from burning you down, from destroying you this very instant!’
Yahweh’s eyes were glowing like a flame. Down on the ground, Adam was shaking ceaselessly. Then Yahweh, placated, resumed:
‘I love you, though. And I will never ever kill you… another way, you say? Let me think. Yes, there is another way. Instead of the surgery, I could take a blood sample from you.’
‘A blood sample from me? What is a blood sample?’
‘Adam, you are impossible! I’m telling you that I will not put you to sleep, that I will not take your rib. However, I can’t help but take a bit of your blood. Can’t you see that there must be something in common between you and her?’
‘And then, my Lord? What will you do with my blood?’
‘I’ll use it as the basic component of the mixture. But I won’t take the other ingredients from you, Adam. On the contrary, I will use all the things left after the creation of the Universe. Materials different from one another, but very suitable for my needs: desert dust, rock from the bowels of the planets, sidereal ices, fragments of comets that, yes, are a bit ephemeral, but so beautiful and perfect for the light in the eyes. I have few diamonds left, but I still have plenty of hard-stones that can be ok. And then peacock feathers, and also a bit of scorpion venom that is a wonderful panacea for the skin, if taken in small amounts.’
While Yahweh was talking, Adam raised his face from the dust, and sat on the ground. He was looking up at Yahweh in perplexity. Then he told Him:
‘Sorry, but these all are waste products. What kind of mess will come out of it? Surely the Woman will have beautiful eyes and soft skin, but will she be harsh and rough? Will she be cold and venomous?’
‘These are not waste products, Adam! It’s true that they are the last things left, but be sure that they are first-rate. Only, apart from your blood, they don’t come from your body. Therefore it’s unavoidable that, besides the features coming directly from you, also some other traits will be imprinted into her. Certainly, the Woman will be beautiful. Of course she will be more beautiful than you, and you will like her a lot. But, as far as her nature is concerned, I cannot, and I don’t want to, promise anything. Anything.’
‘What do you mean?’
Now Yahweh was sad:
‘Anyway, you know what? Because of the products that will form her, just because she will be akin to you and different from you at the same time, you’ll never be able to clearly realize who the person close to you will be. There will be times, Adam, when your life together will be extremely sweet, others when it will be bitter and burning. There will be moments when you’ll want her more than anything else in the world, and others when you’ll wish to leave her as if you were escaping a ruin. There will even be days, and they will be the majority, when good and evil, sweetness and bitterness, desire and repulsion will be so intertwined that you’ll never be able to extricate them. And you’ll never be able to decide. On the contrary, if you take a decision, it will always be likely to be for the worst.’
‘And the strangest thing of all will be’, Yahweh concluded thoughtfully, ‘that even the Woman that I will create as your partner will feel, towards you, the same sorrows that I’m describing to you now. And that these sorrows will be your legacy to your sons and your daughters, and to the sons and the daughters to come. Instead of the happiness I have offered you, for all of you there will be pain, confusion, tears and only few, fleeting, untroubled moments of peace.’
‘Oh, no! I couldn’t imagine all this…’
‘Still, there might be a remedy… it would be enough to let me take your rib from you.’
But Adam retorted sharply:
‘No! I will not accept that! You shall never have my rib!’
‘It’s your loss, you wretched egoist! And her loss! And everybody’s loss! Forever and ever.’ said Yahweh.

Translation by Michele Curatolo (edited by Sara Di Girolamo)