Thursday, 3 July 2014

An "In O" of the year

Oh come on! You don’t really think it was like that do you?

For a start her name wasn’t Eve – it was Stevie; Eve was just a nickname and she didn’t live in the garden, it was my garden. Well, it was my granddad’s garden - I was on holiday – and it wasn’t an apple. It was a mango.

My granddad was about 200 years old, least ways he looked it. He had a great rush of silver white hair and wild bushy eyebrows the colour of coal that danced on his forehead when he spoke.
“Eat up your porridge lad, you’ll need energy if you’re going to climb the mango tree.”

It was the summer holiday, late august and the son was super hot – imagine an oven inside an oven and you’re inside that. The great thing about my granddad’s gaff was that it had a wall all the round it so the neighbours couldn’t see into his garden and this summer I wanted to get a 360 degree tan. So I was naked.
“Put some suncream on now laddy.”
“On the porridge?” I was joking of course.
“No you daft dimbo! On your birthday suit, come on.”

I always came to my Granddad’s during the summer holiday – my mum and dad were living and working in the city and they figured the countryside was a better place to grow up. So, when they could afford it they sent me there and I never grumbled. To me, it was paradise.

My granddad had lived on his own ever since my Grandma had gone off with the gardener. He had been sad at first but then he discovered the joys of looking after the garden himself and he started experimenting with plants. He told me that he had grown the mango tree from a pip but I never believed him. The tree was so hold it had to have been there forever.

“You be careful now lad, and be back here for lunch, I’m cooking a fatted calf.”

Now I know what you’re thinking – gardener’s, neighbours, city – everyone’s told you that it was just me and Eve, right? Come on, get real, there was a whole world out there.
Snakes and all.

But my granddad didn’t like snakes so when the gardener was still there, before Grandma ran off, he had him get rid of all the serpents. He used honey. Eddy, that was his name, used to spread the honey on pieces of wood and the snakes would get stuck slithering around. Eddy would gather them up put ‘em in a sack and take them down to the market where his twin brother had a butcher’s stall. His brother was also called Eddy and because they were so similar to look at people used to use their middle names to differentiate them – Neal and Marty. When grandma took a shine to Eddy the gardener she used to call him Eddy N. It caught on in the village and the garden was known thereabouts as the garden of Eddy N. When they ran off together Eddy N dropped a snake in the begonia bush just to piss granddad off a bit more.


Mary said...

Sublime with a touch of melancholy.

Where was this Eden?


PS - don't get the title though.

popps said...

Thanks Mary, it's just the beginning - should i go on?
If yes, we might find out where it was, might.

The title refers to the photo and the right hand corner thereof.

The title of the piece is... well, not sure actually, it's the second in a collection of short stories. Moses and The Ten was the first.

Maybe this is Adams and Eve and The Mango?

Mary said...


More, please.


popps said...

Just finished, it'll be there on Monday, in all its roughness.

popps said...

Oh, and it has a title.

The Fall of Adam.