It took me fourteen years to accept Adam & Eve.
Fourteen years not to cringe when someone ushered the first couple in the entire universe, the design model for Brad & Angelina and Elvis & Priscilla, into a conversation.
The pair irked me. Made me itch. Bugged me in a way that only the first human beings ever to be created are capable of bugging a person. Nothing like the 76th human being. Nothing like the 10 thousandth being with Ten Fingers and Ten Toes.
I wanted to rip them from the felt boards in Sunday school. Pull apart Adam’s paper limbs. Bury Eve somewhere in the garden. Throw them both into the lions’ den. If you are gonna be a sinner then you’ll be a lion’s dinner.
I think I thought they were boring, a Mom & Pop story. A yawn coaxer for the front of the mammoth book I now read most mornings on a southbound train. Why not some action first, Cain and Abel? Why not a real juicy love story, perhaps Samson and Delilah?
Why, oh why, did God rev up the engines of creation with two naked people who screwed up all of history five minutes into paradise?
Adam & Eve were on my target list until about 10 months ago when I read backing thing, there must be something beyond the First Light, the First Raindrop, the First Furious Clap of Thunder & a Butterfly Shimmying Out from the Cocoon.
And then it hit me, square in the face. You get this picture of God making Adam probably in a Geppetto & Pinocchio fashion. Except Adam was a real boy, and his nose didn’t grow when he lied…
And the world was probably really cool for Adam for about a day. I can imagine if I were the first human being to ever be created I’d be like, “Heck ya, I am going to do the world’s first push up. The world’s first vine swing. I’m going to learn to doggy paddle… HA HA HA! Whooooo is that stunning human being in the water? Oh, tis’ me! HA HA HA! I’ll call that a reflection.”
Yup… that would be cool, to play all by myself, for about 5 minutes.
So then I’d probably say, “Hey God, can you beam down a friend?”
“Ehh,” He’d boom down from the clouds he just formulated from his massive Craft Store in the Sky. “ I’d rather teach you your very first lesson instead. How about a job?”
“Si,” God would say (because God is absolutely bilingual).
I can picture Adam, slunk over on a tree trunk calling out names to animals as they roll on through a conveyor belt. “Cow…. Chicken… Moose… Antelope… Come on, God, are we done yet? UGHHHHHH. Hippo. Crocodile. Kangaroo. Seriously, this is getting old. Chimpanzee, Spider, Dog… no wait, Cat! Definitely Cat!” And that story went on & on until Adam realized, not a single one of his creatures had the capacity to pull up a tree stump and ask him about his day. Offer him a cold drink. Whisper a secret into his Brand New Ear.
If I were Adam, I’d be a little devastated at that point. A little hopeless. I’d write sad Pablo Neruda poems and talk about darkness all the time. Even with the newly created Sun, I’d talk about darkness a heck of a lot of time.
And I’d look up a lot and ask why. And I’d quit somewhere between the octopus and the sea urchin. I’d think it was not fair. To watch each animal trot & slither & jump & skitter off with a companion, a Somebody that Knew Their Skins. Their Quirks. Their Little Mysteries & Unsaid Wonders. Like the elephants and how they cradle. Like the spiders and how they spin.
I’d want myself an Eve at that point. A perfect, little Eve to hold when the sun dropped down to rest behind a hill. A perfect, little Eve to get tangled up in my Adam Head.
And if I were Adam, I’d already be creating a playlist for Eve: Hey there, Delilah. Angel. Hold you in my Arms… Or at least I’d say to God, “Hey, could you beam down Ray LaMontagne, Jack Johnson and Frank Sinatra a little early? I’m going to need my buds when it’s time to serenade this Eve girl. She’s a special one, I already know it. And God, you can keep Hanson… no need to ever beam that boy band down.”
And I mean, I am thinking it was a Titanical moment. Minus the Grand Staircase. Minus hunky 3rd class Jack Dawson all dolled up in a suit. Minus Kate Winslet looking gorgeous like always. But something like that where Adam saw Eve for the very first time and even though he had found the names for tens of thousands of animals, he needed a moment to catch his breath and name her: Beloved.
And maybe we can edit that part into the Bible… that moment where Adam found Eve. And God said, let there be butterflies in the stomach. And so there was. And God said, let there be heads over heels. And so there was. And God said, Let Him Know Truly. Let Her Know Madly. Let Them Know Deeply. Unconditional. Everlasting. And So They Did.
And I think they talked for maybe a few hundred years. And they said to one another, “When texting comes along, let’s never do it. When email shuffles through, let’s hold off. I always want to know your voice… and the way it sounds when you say my name out loud.”
If I were Eve, I hope I’d have some kind of First Woman Courage, to ask my Adam, “What was it like? Before a Me? A We? An Us?”
“You know, Evey (The World’s First Pet Name). It was me and God. And He’s stellar and bilingual, but he’s on a whole different level. And he wanted someone to level with me. And so he brainstormed beside a vase of lilacs and daisies and you were conjured up. I think he knew it all along, how perfect you might be… But he made me wait, and wait, and wait until I really understood it: That I was made to have you and hold you for my entire life, all through the sickness and all through the health. Eve, he needed to teach me that you are the kind of girl who I can never take for granted. Evey, Evey, I’m sorry it took so long.”
Meet Adam, Ladies. The first Heart-Throb.
And Eve, Eve, Eve… I can only imagine how it might feel to be the Eve stepping on Adam’s toes while dancing. To show up, and know instantly, that he was mine and I was his and we were somehow made for one another by a Man in the Sky Who Already Wrote a Love Story Among Comets & Stars.
And that he & I, WE would be that way forever. Not some yesterday kind of dust. No, no, it would be reliable like a blue dress, reliable like a recipe for banana pancakes, that he would be mine and I would be his and he was going to love me into every morning not for who I was or am or will be, but because Someone loved Adam enough to make for him an Eve. And that was very special.