Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The old familiar sting

I sat in class, 11 a.m. on a Monday morning. My sinus' are full of that clear watery snot, the kind like clear nail polish. The kind that dribbles out of your nasal cavities one slow, painful drip at a time.

My mind wanders, searching for an appropriately pretentious metaphor or simile that might convey my feeling or views. Perhaps the state of world in general, at least what the state of my mind. A girl hurries in and occupies the vacant seat next to me. There is an explosive noise, the girl had been carrying a glass bottle of seltzer water that had slipped and fallen to the floor. Tiny glinting slivers of glass and water droplets splattered on my clothes and backpack, larger chunks of glass skittered around my feet and puddle of bubbles and water forms.

Ah yes. There it is, how could I have missed it?

The boy is gone. Not the green-eyed bear, this one is a stork. With almond-shaped eyes that disappear when he tilts his head back and opens his mouth very wide to laugh. And the secular, indecisive, agnostic girl personifies God in her mind and thinks that maybe God did have a point when he put that apple tree in Eden.

It had always seemed strange to the girl that God would want humanity to make its own mistakes. He could have so easily left out the apples all together and put in say, a nice mango or avocado tree. Perhaps abandoned the whole fruit thing all together and gone for a nice ornamental shrub. The girl's Roman Catholic grandparents had quizzed their grandchild on Genesis often enough that she knew the answers to her questions on the whole pome-obsessed deity thing. Still, it did strike her as a bit absurd if not malicious. She still thinks: why makes is harder for us over a silly trifle like free will when You know we're going to eat the damn apple anyway?

Maybe God just kind of wished deep down in His heart of hearts that Eve wouldn't bite the apple because she was better then that. Better then that sensuous slip of apple juices down your throat when you first bite in. Maybe in a tiny irrational portion of His omnipresence He desired that Eve would simply not want to bite the apple.

And just like Eve and her apple, the girl knew the boy's choice before he even admitted it to himself. Who could resist the red ripe succulence of a pretty, sweet, kind small town girl?

So the girl found herself sitting in a chair, going through the familiar rituals you go through when you intend to shove pieces of metal through skin. The four little white dots, marking the spot. The girl nods and feels the pressure of the clamp.

She feels the bite of the first needle passing through her skin.

Least she forgets again that Eve will always eat the apple.

She grits her teeth and braces herself for the sting of the second needle.

Because where is the fun in being a martyr if there is no pain?

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