Sunday, May 17, 2009

a brief apology and then a story

so one of the many reasons i came to korea was to work on writing a book. i fished this out and decided that i would begin to work on it again this week. if you've not read it yet, feel free to criticize it. if you have, then you can ignore what follows. the story is rough at best as plot points have been boiling over in my head for the past few months...but i think i have enough of it to sit down and write it all. i certainly need to re-read genesis and i've recently gone through "paradise lost" again...but i am one of those people who can rework something infinitely and never be anything you read here will almost certainly change.

to those of you who will be offended by what i've written, don't be. understand that i am simply attempting to give a pseudo-humorous retelling of adam and eve, which i find to be one of the more fascinating stories ever told...and i am invested in it. i am also writing a letter. most likely, this letter is not addressed to you. the dialogue is stilted and is attempting to be in the style of something along the lines of a morality play or a medieval drama (which are distinguished by their lack of subtlety).

the point of the story (the whole book i'm writing) is very vonnegutian in nature. it is something like this: everything is so fucked up. i believe i read vonnegut say that in an essay from "palm sunday" recently. did adam and eve simply walk out of the garden and forget or did they regret it for the rest of their lives and think about it every waking moment? the story of adam and eve is about the greatest loss ever sustained, at least, i think it is. the bible talks about the alienation from God which follows sin, but it does not really address the alienation that adam and eve must have certainly felt from one another. i imagine that it was trying on their marriage. so the song is in the key of regret and the profound helplessness that goes along with it. so as for my story, i will not say that i have written it well and i certainly think it is a bit of garbage right now, but that's why i will rewrite it again and forgive the errors as well. -j.

chapter 1

In the beginning, there was void and the void became voice and it said, “let there be light.” The LORD cast forth cosmic spittle with these words and thus all creation began. It wasn’t quite so haphazard as all of that though. He had in fact set aside a grand natural amusement park on a tiny far-flung ball of dirt, which he ultimately knew would be more trouble than it was worth. In this magical garden, he placed all sorts of ridiculous looking and impractical creatures. This was his sixth time doing this sort of thing which is a very conservative amount of universes to make considering how long he had been alive: always. His other experiments had all gone terribly awry and quite honestly, he had grown weary in his attempts.
This time though, God said to Himself “Let’s make a creature in our own image.” And so God made Adam. Adam was a fleshy pink thing with neatly cropped hair and sideburns that would not become popular for millions upon millions of years.
“Hello, Adam.” God said.
The pink man looked around and then back at God and asked,
“You,” God said, “Your name is Adam. I created you.”
“So what does that mean?” the ruddy man asked.
“That you are created, that you are you.” God said.
“But what does that mean? What does it mean, that I am me?”
Adam asked with no idea that this very simple question would plague his kind for their entire existence. And even though God had clearly answered his question already, He and Adam engaged each other in a conversation about existentialism that lasted many days and nights. On the fourth day of the talk, Adam briefly became an atheist, but he ultimately resolved to continue believing in his new friend. In the end though, God changed the topic of conversation, finding this strain of thought to be entirely unhelpful.
“You hungry?” God asked as he tossed a banana to Adam. “Open it from the bottom; it’s easier that way. That’s how I taught the monkeys to do it and they’ve had very few problems with it.”
Adam had indeed noted the monkey and though there were many variations, he knew them by their rowdiness. A grimace passed along his face as he thought of the loud, malodorous, and often times condescending monkeys. He felt that he could eventually adjust to the monkeys and their shit-throwing shenanigans, but they certainly did not give off a good first impression. He did as he was told and ate the banana. He found it to be very delicious.
God had given Adam a tour around the garden Eden and had showed him the various animals. However, God did not tell Adam what the names of the animals were.
“No, no…I’ve already had my fun,” said God benevolently. “Go ahead, you can name them. What about that funny looking fellow over there?” God pointed to a large orange feline with a white belly and black strips pouring from the top of its back. God had always thought of this animals as a “tiger,” but He felt that He would give Adam the joy of naming since God had already gotten to do so much. “Let him be me for a day,” the LORD thought.
“I can name him anything I want?” Adam asked boyishly.
“Of course, son!” God said, obviously enjoying this exchange.
“Then I name the orange one...a MAMOOT!”
Adam was joyful at naming something and danced over to the mamoot to pet him and feed him bananas. God furrowed his brow and felt inwardly disappointed. He felt guilty for feeling disappointed. For had He not told the boy he could name the animals whatever he liked? “But ‘mamoot?’ Where did he get such a non-word? ‘Tiger’ simply sounds better,” God thought.
“Mamoot, would you like another banana? Mamoot, are you listening to me?”
The mamoot rolled onto his back, yawning and stretching his frame across the perfect green lawn in disinterest. He was having none of it, but Adam was in no danger, for the LORD had created all of the animals as tame and as vegetarian as house rabbits.
“Mamoot, shall I rub your belly?” The mamoot allowed for this and found it quite wonderful. He had not yet had the pleasure of a good belly rub and it seemed that belly rubbing activated a motor within him which caused him to let out low, tremulous, rolling sounds. The mamoot and Adam were friends from that day on.
“Do you like the name I made, father?” Adam was too joyful. He was giddy and God found that He could not break the news to him: that this animal was obviously a tiger.
“Oh, I mean…it’s a fine name, Adam…but you know, you don’t have to decide on a name right now. You could maybe think of other names…like tig-“
“Mamoot! Mamoot! Mamoot!” Adam proclaimed, laughing and jumping through the air. God relented, smiling on the pink thing He had made and had enjoyed naming Himself.
“Excellent” God consented, “ We shall call these ‘Mamoots.’”
Many millions of years later, the word “mamoot” would be forgotten along with Adam and eventually the word “tiger” seeped into the collective conscious…somehow.
“This way, Adam. There’s a lot more to show you” God said.
“Alright” said Adam as he waved goodbye to the mamoot. The mamoot was unresponsive.
God led Adam through the garden, pausing occasionally so that Adam could name animals as he went. After an hour, the names Hernü, Flackimaw, Búnta, and Scruffipøm had been given. It took many days and many more animal names until they arrived at their destination. There was a large clearing and in the center of that clearing stood a tree. The tree was not special by any account other than it was the only tree in the garden that produced quinces. God assured Adam later that these were not all that spectacular.
“This tree,” God said, “just don’t eat anything from this tree. Stay away from it in general if that will help you not eat from it. If you like this place, stay away from this tree.”
Adam stared thoughtfully at the quince tree.
“Is it poisonous?” he asked.
“Is it-“ God not wanting to go down this path again told him that He would explain it soon, but it was just important to remember what He had said. Adam nodded acceptingly, thankful for all he had received apart from the quinces, especially for the mamoot…not so much though for the monkeys.
Adam was left to his own devices for a while. He continued naming animals and eating bananas. Slowly, he learned that bananas were not all there was and soon he had a taste for grapes and oranges as well. The boy had also discovered nuts and blackberries but God had not yet revealed the mysteries of the salad to him. As it turns out, Adam would never enjoy lettuce, onions, or tomatoes all that much.
One day as Adam was walking about the garden he saw two creatures. Adam called them “Artillos” while God thought of them simply as “Bears.” They seemed to be awkwardly positioned, one of them on all fours with the other one mounting it. They seemed to engage in a repetitive motion that ended fairly quickly. The one who mounted the other laid down and went quickly to sleep. The one who had been mounted did not seem to appreciate this and pawed at the other as he groaned and rolled over.
“What an odd event…what a strange way to play…” Adam was not sure, but he had a hint of what had just happened. When he was first born, he didn’t notice this behavior, but soon he saw the animals fucking all over the place. They seemed to enjoy it, or at least the males did. It caused Adam to become forlorn and wistful. He too wanted to put his penis into another creature, though it seemed there were no others of his kind. The LORD sensed something amiss and approached Adam.
“What’s wrong?” He asked.
“Nothing…” said a clearly glum Adam with a vacant expression.
“No, no. Come on, you can tell me.”
Adam paused. He sat bare-ass naked, plucking at the grass and tossing it carelessly aside. He was pouting.
“it’s just…all the other animals…they have each other…to you know…”
“No, I don’t. What is it they do?” God asked, really wanting to know the answer.
“You know, they…well, they get on top of each other and it seems like it would be…nice to, you know?” Adam told the creator of everything.
“I see,” God said, His brow furrowed, his head spinning. He knew that every time He had given his creatures sex that they had invariably become slaves to its desires. This was because it was His best creation, the ultimate recreation! However, it almost never made one happy and was almost guaranteed to make one miserable at some point.
“So, you want a mate?” God asked.
“Yes, I suppose that would be nice…” sulked Adam.
“And why, might I ask?”
“Because I am alone…”
“No you’re not! We hang out, don’t we? What about the mamoot? You like him right?” God was practically begging Adam to reconsider. Certainly the LORD would get credit for sex at some point and that was what He was afraid of. “It is too good to remain holy.” God felt this sentiment resonate within him. The ruptured holiness of creation, He knew, was only a matter of time and so the heart of the LORD was broken for the sixteenth time.
“Yes…I am much pleased by the mamoot you have given me. It is a wonderful place and I enjoy our conversations, but…I do not know how, but we are different. Are we not?”
The LORD knew that Adam spoke true and so His heart was changed for the eleventh time. God said to Himself, “It is not good for man to be alone.” And though Adam would be given Eve, he would be alone still…not always, but certainly he would be very alone.
“Very well,” God said, “Lay down, boy. You must go to sleep now…and when you wake up, you will have ‘Woman.’”
“Woman…” invoked Adam, as though he was chanting a word that would open sealed doors…a word that would change him. Boy, would it.
God sat doing nothing for a long time. The mamoot approached to have his belly rubbed by He who made him. God looked at the mamoot.
“Would you like to help?”
The mamoot stood by. God began His work, working from one of Adam’s ribs, more dirt, some mamoot whiskers, and He spoke light into her as He had the whole universe. He rolled the bone, whiskers, dirt, and light about in His hands, multiplying her essence and gifting her with His. When he was done, He looked at the sleeping woman. He was worried, very worried. He had done too well. He had always done too well. This woman was too beautiful.
“She’ll be able to play him like a harp” the LORD thought.
But He was moved by the loveliness of His creation. The holy mother of mankind was born without sin, but that is not how she would die. No two people would ever fall as far as those two. For this world, she would be the second mother, the first being God Himself. Her belly held the secrets of endless variation...and variables, God knew, always fucked things up.
Her very being was physical perfection. The modern man upon seeing her would either run in fear of his life or make a shameless attempt at raping her. Adam was roused awake by the gentle sounds emanating from the form lying next to him. Eve snored. However, it was an ingratiating feature not to be confused with the snores of a morbidly obese man. No, these snores were like childish whispers, sleepy childish whispers.
Adam looked at her long ebony hair. It was nearly waste length and hung across her breasts. Adam then noted he did not have these and that made them all the more appealing. He had no others to compare it to and so he was never fully aware that Eve had quite a nice rack. He traced her features with his eyes and then with his hands. He felt the shape of her nose that made his seem oversized and comical by comparison. Her lips were far more full than his, her neck more slender, her jaw more round, her chest soft and hairless. Her form was all at once more pronounced and less defined than his. Finally, he found the part of her that was certainly not like him. In this case though, it was her lack of something that excited him.
He looked over all of these things with awe and wonder. It was truly the first and only time that a man could say to a woman “You were made for me” and be telling the truth. She was his inverted mirror. She was weak where he was strong. She was beautiful where he was not. She was soft where he was coarse…and he was thrilled by all of it.
“Do you like her?” God asked.
“Yes…very much” Adam whispered reverently, not daring to take his eyes away from her.
“Her name is Eve. Would you like to wake her?”
“Eve…yes. I shall wake her?” he said as if asking permission. It almost seemed wrong that this image of his own completion should ever possess any state other than the one she was currently in.
“Eve…” Adam ran his fingers through her hair, “Eve…wake up.”
She opened her eyes in a slow flutter.
“Hello, Eve,” Adam whispered.
“You,” Adam said, “Your name is Eve and He created you.”
“So what does that mean?” she asked.
“That you are created, that you are you” Adam said.
“But what does that mean? What does it mean, that I am me?” Eve asked.

1 comment:

  1. I love it, Josh! ...though I always imagined Eve with red hair for some reason............... and I would like to address tigers as "mamoots" from this day forth until I forget it.


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