Monday, 7 July 2014

Final part of something that was posted on another day (july 3rd) of the year.

The Fall of Adam (part 2)
part one here

It seems pretty funny looking back with the hindsight of fatherhood (yes I’m a dad, three kids. Lovely boys but I’m worried about Cain; he’s a bit of a rebel) but at the time people didn’t laugh very much.
“I’m off then granddad”, I called out.
“Yep, I’ve eaten it. Can I borrow your Walkman?”
Don’t ask me! At the time I just accepted it. Years later when the family rifts had finally healed I would ask him about it but he never gave me a straight answer.
“On the eighth day, experiment” was all he would say.
“It’s on top of the tele”; he shouted back. He was in the bath and it sounded like he had said teletubbie. I guess it was the bubbles.

My grandadd had good taste in music, some people might have said privileged but I was young and just assumed everyone could listen to artists like Tracy Chapman. As I set off down the garden path I pressed play and drifted off into the sounds of her voice. As I listen again today I realize that this is where some of the details that were set down got confused.

Oh my mama told me
'Cause she say she learned the hard way

I loved Tracy’s voice, and this song particularly. It sent a tingly sensation dancing in my stomach. And i started thinking about my mum, i wondered what she was doing. Her and dad ran a carpentry business in the city, it’s been in the family for ages. They make furniture mostly, chairs and tables but sometimes they get some pretty wild one off orders. The reason i was at Granddads in fact was because some guy had put in an order for a gigantic boat and they needed to work day and night. But that’s another story.

Say she wanna spare the children
She say don't give or sell your soul away
'Cause all that you have is your soul

I looked up at the Mango tree. In the early morning sunshine it seemed to stretch up to the heavens. Sunlight bounced from leaf to leaf and the crown of the tree disappeared into a celestrial haze. I started to climb.

So don't be tempted by the shiny apple
Don't you eat of a bitter fruit

The mangoes were ripe. In the sunshine they not only shone they pulsated. Good that my Granddads porrige was, there was always room for a bit of fresh mango.

Hunger only for a taste of justice
Hunger only for a world of truth
'Cause all that you have is your soul

But i would wait until i had finished climbing.

Half way up the tree is the place where i sit. It’s not at the bottom, it’s not at the top  but it’s perfect. It didn’t feel like i was in the garden anymore and although i didn’t feel like i was in the town either, i could see the houses on the other side of the wall. Smoke was still rising from the chimneys of some where the breakfast fires had not finished their work. I could see the watchtowers on the hill beyond and dust was rising up from the track that lead out to the oasis ; people were  probably fetching water.

Just above my head there was a mango, THE mango i should perhaps say. The skin looked as if someone had polished it that morning with fresh dew, it was the orange of a mid summer sunset and it was the red of a mid winter rose. When i plucked it it felt heavy in my hand, swollen with juice and i tosse dit up to watch it turn in the sunlight. It seemed to hang in the air as if it was levitating. That’s when i saw Steevie for the first time.

Her head appeared at the rim of the wall and i caught the mango in one hand and stared instead at her. She had long fair hair that the morning breeze had ruffled and as she was sweating lightly from her climb some of it was stuck to her cheek. Her eyes were blue, i could see that clearly from where i was sitting but she hadn’t seen me. I held my breath and waited.

Struggling a little she pulled herself up and swung her legs over the top of the wall and sat there catching her breath. Her legs were long, tanned like someone who spends a lot of time in the desert and she was barefoot. She was wearing a goatherder’s tunic, white and freshly washed in the river that week it seemed. The whiteness of the fabric made her tan look golden and there was something about her that i have never forgotten, never will be able to. But it was what happened next that really made me sit up.

Pushing with her hands she moved to jump down into the garden and on any other day
She would have landed softly on her feet, crossed to the mango tree, climbed it as easily as she had the wall and fed until the mango juice dribbled down her neck and stained her tunic. But today was not anyother day, i guess you could say it was the appointed day, for as she jumped her tunic caught on the edge of the wall and with a tearing sound it was ripped from her lithe body. She was about the same age as me – i could tell that from the way her breasts were developing , and like me she now too was naked. Except for her pants, she was wearing pants. Oh, i tried not to stare, but they were cute, almost an afterthought. They looked as if they were made of cotton and they had a delicate fig leaf motiff embroided on the side like a tatoo. That’s when i fell.

I was lucky i had borrowed Granddad’s Walkman, i was lucky he HAD a Walkman, for as i fell the cables tangled in the branches and slowed my fall. If they hadn’t i would probably have died, as it was i just broke a rib.

Steevie can’t have been used to seeing naked people falling out of mango trees i have to confess she acted exemplarily.
“Are you ok?” She asked running over.
“I love you”, I replied and I’m still not sure why that slipped out at that moment, but without hesitating she crouched down and kissed me.
I was still holding the mango and as her lips touched mine, tasting sweater than any mango, my grip tightened until the fruit exploded covering both of us in her heavy scent of passion.

I’m not sure how long we stayed like that – It may have been minutes, it may have been hours. I remember that later they found a dead snake near the wall where Steevie had landed heavily after her tunic ripped – she must have crushed it on impact. And they found the poem that I had etched into the tree with a stone that lay near by, a poem which has grown with the tree and to this day can be clearly read, though the garden is lost and overgrown.

Kiss me on the lips
Make my heart skip a beat
Or two
Hold my hand
And walk towards distant sea
And sand
Sit by my side
Towards that second kiss
That will make me forget everything that went before
The waves
The sunset
The first kiss.

Unfortunately they also found us, asleep in each others arms, our hair tangled in together in an orgy of mango juice ; they had to cut it to separate us.
« Call me Eve » she whispered as they pulled us apart and covered us in sheets. If a voice can sound like mango scent, her’s did.

 Grandad was angry about way i had carved into the bark of his tree and he was angry that the Walkman was broken .
« They’ll be no replacing that ! » he shouted.
But mostly he was angry because Eve was  the daughter of Eddy N and and he could not forgive her for the pain she caused by defiling his garden with the sadness of Grandma’s leaving.
Anyways, she was a petty theif.
A pretty petty thief in my opinion but just petty in his.

She was lead away, later Granddad dropped all charges because he wanted nothing to do with the painful memories that she had stirred up and my parents were informed whereby they summoned me back to the city again and for the rest of the summer i was made to work on boat construction.

I never saw Eve again, her family moved away that summer and although i wrote i never got a reply. Maybe she never read the letters, maybe Grandma knew that nothing good could come of it, i don’t know.

But i never forgot her.
You don’t forget the first kiss.


Anonymous said...

Oh yes xx very lovely

popps said...

Thank you
I'm not sure whom i am saying thank you to...
But thank you.