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In and Around Paradise
by
Greig Olivier

 

go@greigolivier.com
Word count: 10,281

Begin...
It, He created, slumped.
A newness called Time, snatched from God’s distracted mind as the sixth day dawned. It--God's own image--sprawled, awkward and limp in Paradise, like a thick, pale splatter. Its posture resembled a lifeless rag-doll dropped carelessly by someone in a great hurry, not a loved thing placed carefully with precise intent. Had an observer been possible, he or she would have witnessed an unconscious, unmoving fleshy lump, magnolia white-ish-pink-ish with pale gray highlights and bushy, yellow hair, beautiful and odd. During this interminable milliminisecond's investigation, the new Boy lolled in the speckled shade from a spreading tree’s cool, ur-ginko leaves; the grass beneath his ribs (still wet from the first Light—now, five days old) formed new dew from the fresh new air--new and sensual. All Paradise held its breath. And now, still within the magic time before consciousness, observing this discarded invention which seems lighter than the air covering it, empty of everything, it almost floats, a hollow plastic manikin, extra virgin, the world awaits Begin.  
His eyes and mouth closed, sphincter (out of sight) hymen-sealed, full of anticipation; fore-skin preserved in a moist confit of waxy smegma, the only entry way into his body were two dark nostrils, like narrow, black lairs, rimmed with a light glaze of mucous--an irresistible temptation to spelunking gnats and other adventurous pre-phylum. His beautiful brain, ready for the switch of sensation, raring to go like a pale and polished Lamborghini just pushed off the assembly line onto empty expectant streets, awaited only the nod of the Chief Engineer.  
Image's empty stomach sagged flat against his back bone; his intestines were deflated and already forming a chitlin crease: not even post creation air entered their cushiony tubes. The bottoms of his feet were soft and pale gray, corpse like.  His fingernails, long, clean and trimmed square, ending with a precise one eighth inch of white space on top and a manicured cuticle below. A brand new sun rushed over the fresh landscaped Garden illuminating for the first time its lush terrain. Had he been conscious and curious, Image would have seen spread before him a vast, rich plain, luxuriant and fragrant as a painting of earthly delights, a landscape of life forms, from insects to elephants, accepting life without question. Surrounding him, a taxonomy of verdant trees, topped with virgin sunlight, scattered green-black shade everywhere. Ahead, miles of lush grasses danced in an almost silent wind; grass gave way to rolling hills rising to distant white capped mountain peaks pointing at the new moon.
What made God's Image stir is impossible to pin point accurately. A soundless Small Bang, like an imaginary starter’s pistol denoting a small creation, got the ball rolling.
A cool breeze swept over his hairless torso sending an autonomic shiver across his chest and arms. Image's first breath was a quick, powerful, shocking gasp that gradually--as his flaccid, empty lungs swelled—crescendoed into a bawling cry that shook his entire frame.
A newly crafted healthy heart cycled-up pushing bright red oxygenated blood through slacking veins and arteries, lubricated with the first good cholesterol, making his paleness blush into a forceful florescent  pink.  Thick new blood moved like sluggish nectar sucked in by every unprimed organ which, gorged and sated, then stood at-ease, swollen and shiny, awaiting further orders. Image's face was twisted in surprise; the trip from Wherever was abrupt and probably unannounced. Through narrowed lids, tear ducts squeezed out moisture. Jerking into a fetal position, Image emitted a chest-voiced roar that made Nature pause; the world reacted with sympathy: it released its breath long enough to gasp. Paradise was fulfilled by Image's distress, made complete by its new master; it now had purpose and direction. Life in sync with existence. Small mammals perked up their ears at the first sound of Image's rich tenor, then rushed toward the sound of their existence as if heeding a call to come home. Birds, likewise, flew directly to rest in the tree above Image's head, chirping hello and singing crazily. Everyone came to welcome Image to life. A bear lumbered over with a quizzical look; a lion approached, then laid his head with a heavy sigh at Image's feet. Paradise was fulfilled by Image's presence. When Image exhaled, so did the Garden.
God’s spitting Image knew none of this; he continued to cry and flail about, tangling up his wavy locks with twigs and grass, trapping confused new bugs and scuffing smooth knuckles on non-resilient root.  He pounded the fresh earth with tender, baby-fine feet, slapping the ground, wakening slumbering earth worms. Eventually, from sheer chance, his arms brushed the trunk of the tree under which he lay with enough force to knock a few juice filled, intentionally super-ripe fruit, off limbs. One fell on his head, splitting open and gushing all over the place, including into his howling mouth. The first human planted in the first Garden opened his eyes...and shut up. And sat up. Instinctively, or with unseen guidance, he picked up a fallen fruit and ravenously gnawed at it making loud smacking and sucking, slurping, sipping noises. He ate and ate until his stomach ballooned out beneath taut, navel-less skin. Face spackled  with pulp, he rose to a wobbly erect position, checking his balance against the tree. His stomach gurgled and grated; peristalsis pushed the meal into his intestines with single minded intent: whatever is not absorbed, must be emptied. The long muscular organ squeezed and kneaded the processed food downward, like the loading of a musket. A forceful intestinal burp welled up behind the gate until Image exhausted a dry, satisfying seven-second fart. He then began walking, a little unsteadily, downhill, the King of Beasts. Soon, yielding to pinching pressure, a surprised Image squatted and defecated with a smooth motion that looked practiced. When finished, he turned to look at what he left; he smelled it, poked it with a long, elegant finger, and brought his nose close to what he had made. His reaction: "Ouagggm" By which he meant, "Thank you, pear." Some knowledge (and courtesy) was intuitive to all creatures.
God observed His creature and what He had made and God thought, "Ouagggm-me-Ka." He was pleased; what He made was good. Then God came to His new man in a dream and spoke to him: "I will now name you. I will call you the most beautiful name possible, a name which is both a title and a vision, a name to match your god-like beauty. You are 'Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr.' You, My boy, are a junior, as is only fitting. Your name describes the spiraling soundless whistle of galaxies plunging into a black hole; it is the squishy burps of satisfaction from busy, blood sucking gnats. It stands for the singular elements of beauty and truth that all will be searching for and give My creation meaning. The significance of your name, Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr, lies in the genius of its genesis, for that is My name also.  But you can call me ‘Father.’"

The only creature that knew it wasn't food was Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. himself. Otherwise, lion or louse, food was food and never pretended to be anything else. And Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. was always hungry. He never forgot that first pear.  Fruit was all he thought about.
One day, Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. lounged in the shade of a china ball tree eyeing a wolf nearby resting on its haunches, grinning, panting, eyes drooping. As wolf and man were almost passing into sleep a rabbit hopped out of the bushes and stopped in front of the wolf, waking it out of its lethargy. As the rabbit quietly, and with a kind of smile on its stitch-like mouth, shuffled past, the wolf, in a blur, swooped down, grabbed the rabbit by the middle of the back, hefted it straight up and twirled it furiously like a baton until it stopped moving. With casual nonchalance, the wolf began tearing at the carcass, crunching noisily on bone and smacking into meat as Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. watched. He couldn't take his eyes off that wolf devouring that rabbit. Meat is food? Bits of fur here and there, blood and guts and hard teeth and four furry feet were all that remained. In actual fact, this was a sight Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. witnessed many times with different players, he had simply never made the mental leap. Before now, it never occurred to him that food was anything but fruit; he chomped, sucked and slurped or peeled every meal; he licked his fingers and hands clean, even wiped his chest and stomach with a swabbing outstretched forefinger, then licked that, too. A game he played was counting the seeds in his dropping and identifying their source, remembering each meal with a nodding grunt of satisfaction.
The sated wolf yawned, spread its full stomach on the cool grass and went to sleep. Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. considered what he witnessed. Rabbits were always under foot, rubbing against his ankles, tickling his calves with their long ears, they were cute, putt-putting round, pebble-like droppings. And there were so many of them! Walking among them was like wading through surf...a metaphor he could only appreciate very late in life. "So," he wondered eyeing the rabbit's mauled remains, "what is this food like?" Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. walked over to where the wolf lay, who immediately flipped over on its back and bared its stomach, breathing a suppliant whine. Inspecting the leftovers: torn skin, the blood soaked ground, the furry paws scattered like puffy hair balls, too meager to eat. "It is just as messy as food," he noted. He looked up and saw several rabbits nibbling grass, hopping over each other and generally populating the area around him. He watched as one grey-brown animal hopped toward him and began munching the grass at his feet. Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. squatted next to the creature and watched what the animal ate. He picked a handful of the same leaves and stuffed it into his mouth. A moment later he spat it out, face contorted at the bitter taste. "That,"spit-spit"is not food!" He paused, head turned aside in an attitude of acute observation. The little creature continued to munch so close to Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr.'s foot that it tickled. He lifted the unresisting animal by the ears trying to figure what it was. Half heartedly, he twirled it imitating the wolf, which only made the little creature cross-eyed. It twitched its nose even as Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. pulled its head off with a quick twist and a grunt and watched the squirting blood pushed by the still beating heart shoot past his cheek. He bit into the furry shoulder but found it too tough, so he peeled back the fur and sucked a little forearm into his mouth, bit it off and chewed slowly, bone and all, using his strong, untested molars. He remembered the many fruits with seeds, and assumed bones were seeds. When finished, he prayed, "Thank you, pear."
Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. was still learning Paradisal jargon. With that rabbit, Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. became a carnivore, confirmed and constant; fruit, nuts, etc. were relegated to between meal snacking. Pigs were high on his list of favorites. Hogs were too big for him--even though they would submissively stand still for slaughter--it was mostly the piglets that he killed since he had only his bare hands and the practical experience of tearing the head off a whole hog was more trouble than it was worth. New born pigs were his favorite--nor was he shy about pulling a piglet, pup, kitten or foal prematurely out a womb after he discovered where they hid. Satisfying an appetite seemed to be what life was all about.  All there was was food.

Whenever Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. was thirsty a brook or small lake invariably appeared just ahead. Every time.  He loved that.

As you would expect, Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. was a handsome man, born at draft age. He was short by later standards, but since he was the prototype, the 'ata' of all atavists, later men can be said to be too tall. His skin was the color of God's own: pinkish white, a little pearlescent. As his hair grew it came out yellow, straight and stringy; his spare beard also stringy and yellow-white, just like God's own. Eyes were the palest, ice-cube blue. His mien was unmistakably Nordic, you might say, Aryan or Red-neck. Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. seldom walked very far and didn't move fast when he did. His routine was: eat,defecate, sleep, piss, eat, etc.  All his exercise was related to eating; he just didn't want to eat in the same place twice: the mess! He ate when hungry, rested or slept when tired, shat when moved. Food was so plentiful he became flabby, grew a little pot belly. When he wasn't eating or strolling, he slept. He slept the sleep of innocence. Sometimes he dreamed. Mostly, he did not remember dreams; those he did remember were practical, leading him to food or water. Sometimes, a dream had nothing to do with nourishment and this confounded him. His head filled with unrecognizable sounds. At such times, awakened, he would look dully straight ahead, hardly moving, as if waiting for a proper response to appear before him. Nothing in Paradise threatened Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr.; he didn't understand fear, much less want or need, even desire. But when his dreams first spoke words his heart stopped. Words. Not sounds.  At first notice he came to attention.  What animal, what wind or river made these sounds? Sounds like a touch! When he woke after a talking dream his eyes were unsure of what they saw. Trees and sky appeared more than background; the air tasted different, thicker, more real, almost tangible. His tongue thickened.  For some reason he couldn't explain, the talking dreams disturbed him even though he did not understand the meaning of what he heard.  Or, he could understood each individual word, but when strung together they made no sense. Sometimes he would wake up crying, with little memory of the dream except words which sounded like crashes. For the first time he experienced fear, apprehension, dread.  They made him hungry for meat and blood. Once, after a particularly confusing dream filled with wild noise and flashing light, Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. sat red eyed and troubled beneath a bush. He looked up at the clear blue heaven. From somewhere within that cerulean ocean a sound came to him, one of the dream noises: it sounded like: "Son!" And...he understood! Surprised and overwhelmed, hopeful and elated, distracted and overwhelmed (2) his heart swelled with joy. Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. whispered back in prayer: "Father?" With that word a peace descended upon him, a burden spun from his breast.
Again Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. said "Father!" Soon as the word left his mouth rapture filled his senses. "Father, Father, Father," he repeated, "oh, Father," louder now, stretching the syllables out into a chant-like melismatic arpeggio: "Fa-aa-AAA-aaaa-uh-the-e-e-e-e-r." At the final fading note, as if on a signal, the foliage above his head parted and an unworldly light poured onto Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr.'s messy blond head, spreading slowly along his muscular shoulders, slanting off his growing, growling gut. Within the emphasis of his heart beat he heard, "MY son!" Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. responded again, "Father!" Words repeated over and over: "Father!" "Son!" "Father!" "Son!" "Father!" "Son!" until Father’s boredom asserted itself: "Ok! Ok! We've talked enough! "A Father, a Father!", Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. insisted. "M'boy you got a problem. It may be genetic...may be social. Let me think on it."
And Father did think on it. One night He whispered into Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr.'s ear: “Quit moping, kiddo I know what's wrong with you. You need a friend, a companion, a boon buddy. I have been thinking of giving you one and here she is....God snapped his fingers and Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. awoke to find a lovely German shepherd staring at him, wagging her tail, huffing, head tilted to one side. Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. was ecstatic to tears.
With the arrival of German Shepherd, for the first time since life, Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. slept night after night without dreaming, without hectic movement behind eyelids, without the motion of feet playing with food. Spooning with GS he was happy as a lark. He called her "Even" because she 'evened out his life', which, after palling around a bit, he slurred to "Eve." Father looked upon Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. and Eve and smiled: All’s well in Paradise.
Well done, Father, yes, well done! But then again…? The relationship seemed unbalanced, though Father couldn't quite put His finger on the problem. For one thing, there was the two-leg, four-leg contrast. In running games, Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. was at a loss to keep up with Eve. Although Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr.'s verbal skills were mild, he was an orator compared to Eve, whose remarks were limited to barks, sighs, whimpers and growls. And their respective diets were at variance: refusing to balance her diet, Eve spurned all fruit, even the juiciest pear, preferring instead cats, almost exclusively, with the occasional gerbil appetizer thrown in.
Worse was when Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr., seriously wanting Eve's ear and her confidence and support, only to have Eve ignore him completely, to act as if he wasn't saying anything at all, sometimes to the point of walking away while he was emptying his heart. Aside from such occasions, Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. and Eve seemed content enough with each other. However, no matter how God looked at the couple, He felt something important, was missing. It was the same scene day after day: "Catch, Eve, catch!" "Heel, Eve, heel!" "Sit! Good girl." The Almighty Voyeur felt disappointed. Is that all there is? And so one sided. Man and man's best friend?
Creating Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr.and Eve was no effort at all, but only Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. was in God's own image (Eve was an off hand variation on one of the Archangels, the androgynous Gabriel, in fact). Maybe, thought God, Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. needs a brother; maybe one Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. isn't enough. And, so, the great Mixologist put on his thinking skull cap. Creating another Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. after the first Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. was a little bit like a conversation with Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr....endlessly boring. Also, this out-of-thin-air stuff was passé; too much of creating Creation was spontaneous, off the cuff, dilettantish. Of course, everything Father made was (pretty much) perfect.  Maybe that was the problem: no quirks, no mystery, no tiny rebellions that make artistry so alluring, no brush marks.  Father was now on the high side of the learning curve; He had ideas. Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. has to be responsible for his own entertainment, concluded God with a weary slouch. And so He commanded:
"Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr.. Sleep, child." Then: "Awaken!" Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. woke slowly, unrefreshed, sluggish. In fact, exhausted. His body ached; his right side, particularly, was tender. Pain, hitherto unknown in Paradise by anything human, was not so much a problem as it was disconcerting and confusing. Pain in Paradise was unimaginable, like poisonous pear.
And to Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr., who had come to know Father in dream and trance and painful mock, said humbly “Father’s Love is never far away.”

Pressing both hands against his hurting right side, he only slowly noted that sitting cross legged next to him was an animal he had never seen before. Immediately, he began to salivate, his hunger aroused. But this animal was too big to rip its head off and start chewing. Never had he seen an animal so cute, just sitting there within arms length, its head cocked to one side (like Eve's adorable look). It just stared at him with worshiping eyes and a warm smile. "Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr.," she said. He jumped! "Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr., love. It's me, your woman." Eve barked alarm, but after one stern look from the woman Eve approached crawling on her belly and licked the woman's knee caps. "Oh, Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr.," she cooed, stretching out to gently touched him on the foot, "do you like me?" she asked, swishing her head back and forth, "Do you like my hair? Oh, I know! Why don't you give me a name, sweet pith-pulp? Oh, no, no, no! I know, better yet, I'll name me and you can tell me if you like it. That would be more exciting, and, at the same time, you would see how smart I am, you cute little acorn squash, you! I want a name that is like me, but honors you, my beautiful companion and friend, my candied yam. A name both descriptive and portentous. Has to be feminine, mind you! Can you think of any cute names, soul may-pop?" as she rubbed his calf, "'Cause, I can if you can't." Her touch calmed Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr., he could only look and sigh.
He barely heard what she said; it was the way she said it, the way her eyes widened and narrowed, her eyebrows--those wondrous arches--raised and lowered with emphasis. And that smile! That SMILE! Oh, that smile. A smile in Paradise was a rarity; everything was pleasant enough, just not worth a smile. Not anymore. "Okay," she said, "here's what I think...I want to be named: 'BLAZE!' What do you think, pink truffle? 'Blaze.' Is that me? Or...?"
Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. jerked awake. "Yes, yes, definitely yes. It is you. You are Blaze. And you are here. And I am here. And I love 'Blaze.' "
"Uuuu, Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr., I love you, too, my pungent fish stock. You are soooo cute! Oh, wait! Here, pull this bit of hair down, over your forehead, like so." She adjusts his bangs to give him a blond Superman look. "Eeeee, you're my handsome apfelmus!"
Blaze rose to explore; she walked around a little bit never straying far from Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr., who never took his eyes off her. Finally, she settled close, took his hand in both hers and said in wonderment, "It's so beautiful here...and you are beautiful, too." Holding his hand tighter, "I wonder if I am, also beautiful."
Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. was silent, unable to speak. "Oh, that's alright, sleek anchovy, you're used to all this. This is my brand new home." Looking around carefully. "I truly love it here. But tell me, sweet shad roe salad, why are we sitting under this tree when the one over there is so much nicer? It has more shade, and, uuuu, look! The bark is smoooth! Like velvet." Tugging on his arm, "Will you show me that one over there, my frothy beer? Ohhh, looky, the fruit is red not mottled green like here. Come, dollop-of-cream, show me around, you little white herring, you." Kisses the air between them. Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. rose awkwardly, awkwardly because his knees were weak and when Blaze pulled him along by the wrist he could only limply follow. “I think we should hold hands when we walk together, don't you, soft thistle? It'll look like we're together." Taking his hand, walking to the tree with red fruit and more shade, Blaze exclaimed still her wonderment at the beauty of Paradise. "I love that sun; it's almost perfect. I would have made it a tad larger. Don't you think it's a little too small, lemon zest?"
Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. tried tapping his inner feelings for a suitable reply, but could find only a monosyllable: "Blaze."
Walking through the Garden together, hand in hand, now and then Blaze would stop Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr., step back and look at him, gaze, study him, in complete and honest admiration, feeling his biceps, placing her palms against his chest, massaging with fingers. She expected, and got, the same treatment from Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr., except that he seldom touched her, and when he did, he blushed. "Oh, oh, oh” Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. would say, then be silent.  Blaze would laugh affectionately, “What's wrong with me today, acornchen? Here I am walking by your side and you act like I am a squirting turtle in your path.  You know the rules and I don’t.  I'll bet there is a protocol in Paradise. Should I keep a pace or two behind you, my grape skin? But your muscular buttocks make me heady. Staring at you and my breath leaves me, you are lovely to look at and, after all, you were created first, even if it would be politically incorrect to bring that up in an argument or anything. Here! Let's sit. Oh, shoot, we've lost the breeze over here. That isn't like Paradise, now is it, Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr., we should always have some breeze, shouldn't we, tall rhubarb?" Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. nodded vigorously, grabbing a leaf, fanning Blaze with it equally vigorously. "You're so nice," she smiled. "So, tell me truly, is 'Blaze' too strong a name? Sounds strong, doesn't it. I love strength. You don't want me to be a weak woman, do you, fuzz pit? You deserve a FEM! A Blaze! Blazeee, Blaze-on! Blaze-o-fem! Listen to this: 'Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. and Blaze, a couple, a love made in paradise. What a nice master you are.  I love your eyes; they match the skies they make me realize (poetry!) I can’t do better.  You’re it, lovey. I claim first poet award! Just kidding, vanilla pod, you are a better poet than I'll ever be. Oh, Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr., you have a few leaves sticking to your gorgeous hunky thighs. Here, let me. There! A song: I think I will always brush my buttocks with my left hand before I sit anywhere--like I did here, if you noticed, did you see?--it really looks good. Feminine. Wouldn't you declare that to be true, my pink thymus gland, my crunchy crème brulée?" She reached over and tousled his hair playfully. Would you say 'Blaze' for me one time, luscious? I'm dying to hear it. Long 'z', nutmeg, as in 'buzz-ard', stretch the ‘a’. What's 'dying' mean again? You never answered my question: Do you like me, vinaigrette? Really like me?"
So ended the first day with Blaze.

 

Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr.did like Blaze. She was like no other food he had ever seen.  She was food through his eyes, he ate through his eyes. He stared at her for hours, forgetting about eating through his mouth. If she went off somewhere to explore or look at something, he followed. When she pulled at a fruit he sprang to snap it off the branch for her, then peel it and offer it shyly, at arms length. Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. was careful not to touch Blaze, but he didn't know why. He never formulated the thought "do not touch Blaze." It was like something that simply was not done, like playing with droppings, eating a rabbit in front of rabbits or or, upon waking, grabbing and rubbing his puzzling penis...what’s that for?  It was an unspoken rule he was comfortable with.  Normally, when he touched an animal, first thing, he tore its head off.
Blaze had no such restrictive thoughts. She touched Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. constantly and all over. She paged through his body like it was a fashion magazine. She studied every part, touched, held--sometimes with both hands--every part of him. He allowed her to do it, but was mystified by her interest. He wanted to touch Blaze but felt afraid to do so. To him, Blaze was a gift from Father, something sacred, to be honored, adored like Father himself. It terrified Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. that if he made the wrong move Blaze would go back where she came from. He no longer had a thought for Eve who now ran with wolves.
Blaze was insatiably curious; always a question. Often, Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. was at a loss to respond.
"Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr., I think Eve is mis-named. If "eve" means "the day or evening before" why is she called Eve? Why aren't you Eve, since you, my rose, came before her? Although, quite frankly, Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. is a good name; I wouldn't mind having it myself. I definitely would not be embarrassed to wear it if you choose to give it to me. You, my Hearshey bar, could be an Eve, based upon its orthographical meaning or a Blaze based upon the impression you make when first encountered. On the other hand, in my opinion, Eve does not have the personality of a Blaze, but since there are only three names invented yet, it seems she must accept it if we were to switch ours. Although, Blaze fits me, somehow I will become an Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. if that is your wish and you an Eve. Will Eve be Blaze? I think not. Originally, she was GS, yes? German shepherd? Let her remain GS. There, that's settled. I am happy for you, ole' blue eyes, you have planned well and wisely decided. You make me sooo proud!"
Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. didn't know what to say so he said the only thing that came to mind: "Blaze." If she says he should be Eve and Eve be Blaze and Blaze, Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr....well, that's fine.
"Blaze," Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. replied, "is a name of love. If you will give it to me, I will wear it proudly if you think I should. So proudly. And I shall call you what ever you like."
“No, my pungent Gorgonzola, you are not to be Eve and Eve not Blaze. I will yet be a strong Blaze. And you, coconut milk, will continue to be Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. because it begins with "A," the first letter of the alphabet. Capisce, grape nut?”
This was life in Paradise, the beautiful Garden. Mindless.
One night they dreamed the same dream. There was screaming, reproaches, lightning, crashes; there were accusations and commands: "DO!" "...OR ELSE! "DON 'T!" "DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!” “...REGRET IT!”
They awoke worried, teary eyed, reaching out to each other instinctively. It was a disquieting moment. But later, when they tried to put a finger on it, they didn't understand the feeling of alarm. It was like when they thought of losing one another, a panic came; but then they spoke and knew they would never part, calm returned. When they discussed this new dream they spoke of things experienced by each separately as if the events belonged to them together. A voice: commanding, taunting, arrogantly ridiculing them. And warnings: Don't!...Do not!...Or else! But what? Do what? Don't what? From then on things changed; the hours changed: days were longer; nights of lightning and rumble. Paradise hardened: normally they feasted, they now fasted in confusion. Fasted to remember, to bookmark the day. They memorialized the day and dwelt upon it with eyes tightly closed to remember it all. It was the day the rabbits molted. A dream of empty sacks of rabbit skin strewed the ground in all directions. They watched and the rejected pelts became the dream. From then on, a rabbit lying half hidden in the grass, or the flicker of a hopping bounce beneath a tree, brought to mind the terrible night of talking dream and the time was marked by silence and bowed heads. They would spit into the dust and rub the sticky mud onto their foreheads, around their eyes, across their chests. Rabbits! Why rabbits? Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. thought heavily: Why? Rabbits are my favorite food! Well, next to nutria, he felt obliged to add, mentally.
Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. and Balze had more and more talking dreams; sometimes one would remember what the other forgot; often they remembered in unison.
One afternoon, rising out of an unusually calm sleep one beautiful afternoon: "Blaze?"
"Yes, Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr., my chocolate covered ant," she dreamily replied.
"My dreams don't talk any more, Blaze. Not for quite a while. There is something wrong, I can feel it." Blaze considered these words while squeezing out some octopus ink into a shell. Several shells sat drying in the warm sun of eternal spring. Mixed with a little snot and humming bird egg yolk, the ink made great eyeliner when applied with the tip of a chewed mouse tail.
"Now that you mention it, my little poultice, mine don't either. Oh, my po' ole' po' boy, isn't that wonderful? Frankly, puce plum, those dreams were depressing me up the yin yang."
But she heard a nervousness in Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr.'s tone, a caution in his words that made her perk up.
Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr.'s forehead wrinkled in thought. This was such an unusual sight, Blaze put down the shell and removed the tail from her mouth.
"I miss the Voice,”he said. “It was frightful but you could tell It cared. Why has it gone away just when I've become attached to it?"
"Well, maybe, crunchy ortolon, the Voice is simply giving its throat a rest; I seem to recall it talked pretty loud and fast, It growled and howled and made my throat raw just listening. But what, my little son of God, do you want to hear, anyway?"
"I don't know, " Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. admitted. "The threats seemed so sincere and personal. Don't you think? He was talking to us, just we two, we happy two. The Voice seemed to care."
"Frankly, wish bone, I don't remember It that way. It made me want to squirt brown earth and run away."
"Don't you remember, Blaze, how the Voice guided us, embraced us? And now it's gone!"
"Oh, my little cordon bleu, how awful. But, you know, sugah-boogah, that Voice was always more addressed to you than to me. When did it ever mention me? I have been an after-thought since I arrived. He never treats me as your equal. Whenever I ask a question His answer is "Ask the Man." like you rule the roost or something." Blaze starts to cry softly, hiding her face in her hands, turning her back to Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr.. More than anything Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. wanted to please Blaze.
"And you never defend me," she continued, "I'm always wrong. It's just not fair! You came first but can't you give just one little thought to me, honey ooze?"
"All the time, I do, all the time!" protested Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr..
Blaze calmed down to sniffles and gave Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. a moist, toothy smile, her mouth sticky with stringy saliva. "And now they say nothing?" she asks, returning to the subject.
"Yes."
"Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr., my okra, don't worry.  I'll talk to you instead and I'll never stop. You can rely on me. You don't need dreams. I am your dream, mush apple."

 

Only animals and plants died. A & B were on a track to eternity,  no stops anywhere. Not even their skin died; no paper-thin, wrinkly skin; no itchy, scaly scalp: dandruff was a thing of the future. Sex, also, was unknown to God’s children. Watching animals copulate was a non-event for Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. and Blaze. It was like watching rain fall or seeing the sun rise and set. An animal giving birth was nothing remarkable: no conclusions were drawn from it; it was interesting a few dozen times, but meaningless later. Copulation looked like wrestling to Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr., who would try to get Blaze to wrestle, usually without success. No plants or animals starved; food everywhere was abundant and choice.  Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. had a penis and Blaze had a vagina because they were made to look like Father who had both, albeit in different dimensions. Hair and nails grew to a predetermined length, then stopped growing, as designed.
After pleasing God, they had only themselves to please. Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. wore a spit curl over his left eye to please Blaze. Blaze's hair—white to champagne to sun flower and very wavy-- was long enough to cover the top half of her front bumps. A & B never physically changed the whole time in the Garden. They remained as created: forever young, preteens like Romeo and Juliet, Joseph and Mary, Timmy and Lassie.
When the dreams began to talk again they were more vivid than before. The first words--again--were unsettling, disturbing, threatening. The message, clearer now, louder was: "Stop!" "Thou mayest not!" "Death!" "Stop questioning Me!"  "Obey or I desert you." No explanation. No please. But something new was added, something specific: Stop...Don't do...but What? Why?  Something?. 
They both had the same dream. Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. was worried, Blaze annoyed. They couldn't decide what they were supposed to not do. Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. thought they were forbidden to sit under a certain tree, while Blaze said sitting was ok, they could even lean against it, but eating the fruit was wrong. But, why not, she asked. Did it taste bad? Was the Voice a food critic or some crazy ecologist? If she didn't like the fruit she wouldn't eat it, helloooo. But what if it tasted good, had a smooth peel, looked pleasant to the eye, smelled fragrant? What's a dream got to do with her diet?
"In any case, Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr., cute sassafras brew, I don't know any tree like that. Do you?"
Then, there it was. They looked up one day and saw it: A-Tree-Like-No-Other. Small, lovely, graceful, symmetrical, shiny leaves of saturated deep green top, pale underneath; smooth, brown bark. It was familiar, like it had always been there, unnoticed, taken for granted by the tiny human population. Small, fuzzy fruit, orange-red with a heady aroma like apricot.  Bees buzzed around the tree, gnats circled headily above the fruit. "Look out for rabbits," warned Blaze, their fury ears seemed everywhere.
"Didn't It say something about rabbits? The Voice?”
“Ugh, spiked punch, I'd rather avoid rabbits. They don't taste good even at birth."
"They're not too bad.  Do one with prunes or apricots."
Rabbits overran the roots of the tree, squeezing together, gathering around the trunk and tickling the feet of A & B. In fact, the little animals seemed reluctant to leave the tree's shade. Now and then one would put an ear or fuzzy tail into the sunlight, then cough with alarm, jumping back into shadow. So many were underfoot, Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. and Blaze had a hard time walking around the tree without stepping on three or four cute, furry tastees.  They were slippery and slidey.  It was somehow comforting, however, for A & B, standing among the rabbits, feeling them slosh and bump gloriously against their ankles. More and more, the rabbits appeared to aggressively fling themselves into his flesh.  It felt right. Under this urfruchtschuldmachenbaum, protected by the broad, shiny leaves, cooled by shade, the effect was calming. It was a place to linger a while.  Leaning against the tree, feeling happy, inebriated, close. They leaned into each other; their hands roamed over the other's body with unconscious sensuality. Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. was hypnotized by the nearness of Blaze; she relaxed her body against his and was completely enfolded by his hunger. Rabbits' sniggered coughs. A-Tree-Like-No-Other rustled.
Their usual practice was to walk aimlessly through the Garden, from shade to shade, accepting food suicides when hungry--resting, sleeping, talking about nothing in particular. Their route was within an unconsciously marked perimeter, circular, aiming nowhere, arriving nowhere.
One day Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. said, "Let's just walk straight. Let's see where the end of straight is." Blaze clapped her hands with joy: "A game! A game!"
They walked casually, holding hands (even while they shat).  Trying to keep a straight path was much like a game. When evening came, they slept, careful to mentally note the signs that led straight ahead. In the morning they would tease each other: "We'll head for that tree over there, mein blondes baby." "No! That's back where we came from, lovechen." "Over there, then, little lagniappe, towards the river is where we must go." "That's East, the last place on Earth we want to go; we must move West." "No, no, cardamom pod, thisss way," pulling him by a finger.
They liked the little game of 'Confuse me-Confuse me Not'. It reminded them of talking to Father.
So, on they hiked, for several days. Then, around noon on a beautiful cloudless day, they came across something very strange that made them stop: It was a wall. They had never seen a wall before, but even you and/or I who know what a wall is would likewise find this a strange wall. Embedded in the earth, it seemed to reach up to the sky; left and right it disappeared among the trees and foliage of Paradise. And it was translucent. There were things on the other side, moving things, spottily seen. Not a smooth wall, a little wavy so that some surfaces along the wall were clearer than others.
Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. held his breath and looked closely at a single moving figure, in a clear shot, not warped by the uneven wall. He was profoundly shocked by what he saw: a Blaze! Not identical to the Blaze by his side, who, just as startled, was also trying to understand what was there. The wall Blaze was darker, hairier and somewhat smaller. She had long, wild hair, sticking straight out her head; and her bumps lay flattened upon her torso. Around her hips, however, where Blaze wore nothing, the dark Blaze wore a leaf--catalpa, maybe--of some kind. The wall Blaze pulled at bushes, stripping off leaves or berries, putting them into her mouth or chewed them fine and squished the drull into something she held in front, out of sight.  She moved slowly but deliberately. Now and then she brushed against the wall causing it to vibrate, creating a muffled sound, but totally ignoring Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. and Blaze as if she could not see them, even as they watched her without trying to hide. The dark Blaze gathered food and ate leisurely, unselfconsciously. She leaned against the wall, the press of her shoulder made a clear mark. Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. called Blaze to look. What they saw was brownish-black skin, somewhat dirty, but recognizably skin, like both Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. and Blaze possessed. Then, most shocking of all, as the dark woman turned to face the wall Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. and Blaze saw what appeared to be a tiny Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr.-like creature in its arms, so small and dark it was hard to recognize what exactly it was, but as she turned they saw a very tiny Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. clinging to one of the dark woman's floppy bumps! Another dark person, another Blaze, came out from the trees, and then another. The last person out of the forest was a full sized Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. but much darker, like black. Such noise! They all talked at once. Some sounds could be heard clearly behind the translucent wall, but the noise was indecipherable. They were not speaking Fatherish.
After a while, on the other side of the wall, everyone left but one Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. and one Blaze. The wall became much quieter as the couple talked softly to each other, touching, stroking each other. They began making love; the wall-Blaze moaned and cried out so much Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. and Blaze became frightened. When the wall shook with a hollow boom, they were dumbstruck by what that meant. This was fighting. Fighting was unknown in Paradise. Later, the wall couple calmed down; they spoke softly for a time then seemed to fall asleep. Eventually, they got up and walked into the woods, hand in hand. The war was over. A & B felt relief. They finally decided the wall couple had copulated, but differently from regular animals. Animal sex in Paradise was straight forward: quick little movements, a roar, a yawn. In Paradise, only animals copulated. Human sexuality had no function or purpose; as a human characteristic, sex did not exist. Blaze did not menstruate; Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. never had an erection. The sight of people resembling themselves--not looking like hippos or turtles or such--having sex, threw them for a loop. Then, when the love making on the other side was over, they heard laughter. This made Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. and Blaze laugh also.
From this moment, Fall was inevitable. The other side of the wall was more interesting than Father’s Garden. Actual separation, however, crept upon them unawares: Father is nothing if not subtle. It seemed no matter where they went, which direction they strolled, a Tree-Like-No-Other popped up before them like a bad peach pit.
Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. to Blaze: "Is that the same Tree? Again? Wasn't it over there yesterday? Lord, look at that beautatious fruit! Go on, Blaze, take a nibble.” Blaze demurred shyly, which made Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. try harder. Taunting, “I bet the dark Blaze would."
She thought: Already, comparisons, judgments, misogyny. It was as if Father had turned, his patience at an end. Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. and Father were alike.  
"No," replied Blaze, "not interested. The Man says you're my leader and guide. You should, by laid down law, go first."
Blaze: "Oh, allrightallright, all right! Just leave me alone, I'll try one. Back off a little bit, waxy moon pie, you' re crowding my style."
Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. offers her a fruit, but Blaze insists she'll select her own. Pulling one down, soft and furry in the hand, Blaze caresses it with both hands; she breathes in the fruit's sweet aromas. Facing Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr., Blaze brings the apricot to her mouth and mimics taking a bite and chewing, looking directly at Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. the whole time. She pretends to swallow.  The first deception felt lucious.
"Well?" he asks.
"Hmmmm-hmmmmm,ummm!  Really great!" She lies easily, she discovers. Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. grabs two at a time and began to gorge. Blaze giggles. "Oh, Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr., my prickly pear, my smelly funky fish roe, I fooled you! Yes! I fooled you!" she sang with a school girl lilt. "I haven't eaten mine yet, and I don't intend to. You—and Father, too--always make me do what you want to do, never what I want. So, there, mussel muscle." With that, Blaze drops the untasted fruit and walks off.
Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr., at first stunned by her words, puzzled by her mild deceit. Then shrugs and pulls down more fruit. “Better than pear.”  Rabbits snuggle busily against his feet, close and warm.
Then, like a bomb, the Fall...a night of dreams, accusations: "I told you! I told you!" "You did not obey!" “Who do you think you are?” "You will pay!" "OUT! Get out! Damn you!" "Ungrateful!...disobedient!...out!"
Then, calming down, in a squishy, baritone dream voice: "All I asked for was one little favor, just one: Don't Eat of the Tree-Like-No-Other. You fucked up before fucking was invented.  So, now you can repent at leisure,” Father warned. “And believe Me, you will repent!"
And The Garden of Paradise disappeared around them; it faded, dulled, dissolved.

The Eighth Day
A & B stood in the wind on a wide plain watching purple clouds, saturated to bursting, crawl towards them low and slow. Faint rumbling thunder growled behind the clouds. Rain began with large stinging drops and loud bap-bap sounds all around them. Droplets turned into sprays, turned into a downpour so heavy they fell to their knees clinging to each other and wept. And pleaded. They screamed heavenward and embraced each other while surrendering totally to the storm, laying down flat on the muddy earth, frightened, weeping, repentant, abandoned, guilty.
It was harsh; it wasn't expected; they weren't prepared. Outside was a different place, a land of death and rotting things, of odors and dryness and seasons. The light outside Paradise was harsher, clearer, truer, they could see for miles which made them marvel. Yet it was filled with flitting, stinging insects and thick, stinky air. The cool carpet of the Garden was replaced with sharp stones, razor grass, thorns, slippery rocks, mud and heat and piercing cold. You couldn't mistake a thing for something else: a claw was for slicing; a fang perforated and ripped flesh--and all flesh here was food.
When they arrived Outside they didn't know what it was.  From a distance, it was similar to Paradise, but with a harsh puzzling  difference: Naked in Paradise, they felt fully protected. Outside,  their nakedness made them vulnerable to forces they couldn’t understand or imagine.
Outside! What is Outside?  What's it for, this new place? What do we do with it? Where is food? Where is water? When the days grew hotter than ever they had known it could be, and their skin became inflamed and blistered, they howled out to Father for mercy. “Forgive us, Father, for we have sinned,” they prayed.  The prayer was insincere, an attempt to placate an absent Father; they didn’t know what sin was or what their sin was.  All they wanted was a return to normal.
As the beautiful, gentle rains of earlier changed into raging monsoons with deafening thunder claps and tree lifting winds, of hail and blinding lightning, they knew how fragile they were and felt tremendous fear. Sometimes a storm raged all night and into the following morning. Turmoil in the weather matched the turmoil in their hearts and minds. When finally the sun was seen again high over head, between black clouds, Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. and Blaze, red eyed and wary, wandered out into a landscape that resembled the Garden only in a most general way: trees, yes, but full of moss and vines; grass, sheltering dangers. Streams, those quiet water fountains, now rushed and churned, pulling whole trees in their wakes. Bushes twined with thorns. All of nature's firm edges were darker, softer, less sure, soggier, gave less support. It reeked; the unrecognized smell of decay made them gasp. They walked and walked, but never encountered the wall again. German Shepard was nowhere to be found. Nothing was the same. Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. and Blaze were alone. It snowed in the rain forest.
Of course, they were not alone. Evidence of the Outsiders was everywhere, even in the darkest night.  Drumming kept them awake, sometimes until dawn. Ghostly chanting, rising and falling out the dense brush from all sides, made them quake. The mystery of fire left them dumbfounded.  Huge bonfires reflecting off low clouds lighting up the night were seen as eerie threats.
Mostly they were left alone, but the couple knew they were watched by the Outside people, sometime openly. Outsiders were hideously painted, decorated with feathers and bone and garish masks. In this Outside world, everything was tougher, harder, scarcer; pain became a part of daily life. Pain and fear. They never slept in the open if it could be helped; always something--a tree, a cliff--had to guard their backs. They felt abandoned and, indeed, they were. Father, gone, silent.  The dreams no longer spoke, or when they did they were incomprehensible or contradictory. Gradually but noticeably, Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr.'s hair began to darken and curl. His skin browned and roughened, nails cracked, lengthened until they broke off. His smooth, fair fat cheeks became rough with new beard growth, leathery and wrinkled. Blaze, too, changed much.  She inspected her underarm hair with a look of repugnance. They were becoming Outsiders.

The land was unfamiliar. Gone were the sign posts. Food became scarce, often impossible to catch. More often the fruit they  encountered was rotten or contained worms; the best fruit high up, unreachable.  Small animals, their chief diet in Paradise, either ran from them or attacked them outright, defending themselves; insects bit them; threats emerged from every side. Nature's perfume turned rancid.
Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. noticed sweat: not a dewy mustache, but rivulets of salty sweat running into his eyes, stinging, pouring down his sides. His muscles grew firm, powerful from exertion; he lost his gut, strength and endurance increased. His body gave him confidence. His fear turned to wariness and caution. Moods changed. Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. became aware of his surroundings, suspicious, paranoid.
Blaze was serious now about everything.
Blaze received a major fright when she started menstruating, pulsing with fear.  Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr., at first became excited, equating blood with food. Blaze wept when she thought Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. might eat her. His excitement changed to disgust when he thought about where the food came from; he turned his back to her till the bleeding stopped and she washed away all signs. She smelled different, intoxicating. Even as he could barely stand to look at her, he felt a need to touch her, to be close. He brought her food. When her period ended, and he let her approach, his body tingled whenever she was near. His penis would stiffened at her briefest touch making them both laugh. When it finally happened that they had sex, it was spontaneous. They fell upon each other making noises in imitation to what they remember from the Outsiders beyond the wall. The first time it happened, Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. reached orgasm five and one half seconds after entering Blaze. In the course of time, with much practice, his performance improved. Her first orgasm was accompanied by moans and squeaky growls that he thought was hilarious after he learned she wasn't dying.
It was inevitable that they would separate during much of the day; just collecting enough to eat parted them. Blaze would gather berries, roots and fruit while Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. attempted to snare fish bare handed or scoop up with one swoop a clan of roaches surprised under a stone or pounce upon a pregnant poodle in the throes of pupbirth.
Food was increasingly hard to get. Animals defended themselves when approached. They bit and scratched causing painful, bloody wounds. For a long time, they became reluctant vegetarians. More and more the original couple went hungry. Their beautiful bodies turned wiry, so much so that Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr.'s rib cage showed where one rib was missing. Food outside the Garden often made them sick.
Still, there were compensations. In Paradise, food filled; Outside, food tasted! To chase a mouse, fight with it before ripping its head off, sucking its blood between winded lips, panting, pulling with his teeth the meat from the bone in a gormandizing frenzy: this exhilarating ritual made eating more sensuous, more intimate: it was a social act which the hunter joined with the food as ritual partners. No more thanking the pear. Often, during the actual kill, Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. noticed he had an erection. Food mingled with sex.
After sex was discovered, it became a constant quest. Only eating occupied more thought and effort. Sex remained a frantic, rushing activity for a long time. Sex was both work and play, it interrupted every activity. They worked at it, chased it, pulled and stretched it to the limits of possibility, and to their own limits. Sex became a food, exhausting both.
As horrified Blaze was by the onset of menstruation, she eventually got used to it. But when her periods ceased she hardly noticed. Sickness, unknown in the Garden, became normal Outside. A and B experienced several more or less serious discomforts caused by bad food, infections, physical fights. At the first sign of morning sickness Blaze accepted it as part of living Outside. Her reaction was typical of anything new they encountered. She raised her eyebrows in interest, studied the upchuck, poked through it with a stick, recognizing separate parts, separating pieces of fruit, seed, undigested bone from stringy mucous. The investigative phase soon passed. Her throw up disgusted her. Her throat felt raw.
In Paradise, they saw baby chicks and animals, they saw births, they knew what that was. That's what animals did; they made new food for Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. and Blaze. Baby animals were not only cute, but tender, full flavored, not overly bloody, soft boned.  If accepted fresh enough, they did not need cleaning. And the whole package was sized convenient for a neat, one-portion meal with few, if any, parts left over.
Throughout the pregnancy, Blaze grew alarmed at the changes in her body. Her breasts swelled and grew tender, leaking milk. She was exhausted all the time. She begged Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr constantly to find some sweet arachnid, snail, shiny brown roach to suck on. She no longer asked for her favorite entree, nutria, unless it was pregnant like she was. In any case, Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr brought them unbidden.  But she ate anything she found or Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr.  dragged in. Her stomach grew large and enormously round; a line of deep brown marked her roundness into two vertical halves.  Her navel popped out an inch, looking like a tiny volcano. Stretch marks, like wispy brown clouds, scurried across her stomach and breasts.  For a long time she stopped making earth, but she needed to make water often. Her hair turned wiry and filled her head and face like a rush of weeds. More and more she resembled the Outsiders.  Much of the time Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. would not look at her. "Where is Blaze?" he would grumble. Blaze grew a little mustache.

Then she made a man. The birth of Cain was difficult. Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. was struck dumb by the blood and Blaze's weeping screams. The mottled greyness of the baby as he slid out Blaze's unbelievably stretched vagina and the gasps for air and crying made Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. cower with paralysis. They looked at the child in helpless wonder, its umbilical cord still inside Blaze. Blaze slept then nursed the infant instinctively. She looked at the baby and fell in love. She thought: Father made a man; I made a man...better yet: mine has a belly button.
It was as she began to nurse Cain, her startlingly Outsider-like first born, that she first felt like a woman. She loved that feeling. It gave her something Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. could never have or even understand.
A & B were prolific. After Cain, then Able, Seth, a slew of babies followed, sometime two or three at once: girls, many girls. Then the kids began to reproduce; sister and brother came together to make more sisters and brothers who would come together. All except Able who seemed uninterested in sex. Maybe he will become a priest, thought Blaze.
The children had children almost immediately. "Indiscriminating" "unparticular" describe the mating habits of Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. and Blaze's children. It wasn't long before the children mated with the Dark Ones, the Outsiders. There was a big celebration when Able became a shepherd and the Original Couple no longer pretended  to be part-time vegetarians. Entire villages were founded, grew large and thrived. Everyone was horny all the time. It was laissez le bon temps rouler 24/8.
No one of Father’s children or grand children knew death, for no one yet died.  Only the Outsiders and animals seemed to change and disappear; plants shot up then withered, but no one noticed plants. Even food: roots and berries, nuts were always the same. When Cain slew Abel, Abel invented death. The family was silent wondering while even seeing his dead body “Where is Cain?” When his body bloated and smelled, they moved away, left it. Later, when a woman died in childbirth, it caused hardly a ripple, there were so many of them. Had anyone asked Able he would say that death was ok by him. "Change is good," he would say, which was his greatest obstacle to the priesthood: he wished Father would know life as he did, with with all its variations, sudden reversals and disappearances. But Father was handicapped: He never changed.
From first glance, the Outside was a landscape like Paradise: part pasture, part forest, mountains far away, lakes and streams and rivers. As Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr., in old age, turned to survey his now-familiar new country, he detected few differences: the sky in Paradise, he remembered, was more cerulean, saturated, as in a poster. Here, down in the valleys, the air sometimes filled with smoke from a multitude of cooking fires; the trees and the grass and all the foliage were grayer. But these were very subjective issues. There were thorns here, true, but thorns were also very useful. Rivers ran faster, churning the water into white foam but washed away stinking debris of left over food; with every breath the caustic smell of wood smoke from villages and, now, cities, made his eyes water and his nose itch, but that fire roasted his meat as well; roasted tasted better than raw, tenderer. He would not go back for anything. No. His initial feeling of disappointment upon being shoved into Outside gradually faded, replaced by rising excitement. He looked at Blaze and saw a different person; her feet were dirty, knees wrinkled. Her bush, once so neatly triangular pointing at their great discovery, was now a diamond shape with a heavy, curly tendril climbing up her stomach. Her bumps, flat as leaves, no longer made his penis stiff. He looked at her with accustomed indifference: " Woman," he muttered. She stiffened at his word. She was his equal. He waved her on dismissively, as he prepared to set off down the hill. It was time to wander, to go elsewhere. To change. They had been here long enough, time to move on. After a few steps he stopped and looked back. Blaze had not budged. The passive set of her features regarded him, he knew, with barely hidden contempt. He stopped being her 'Man' long ago. Her face was hard, stoic, but her eyes betrayed no malice toward the first man. Some disappointment, perhaps. But they were equal; he must request her companionship, ask politely, the time for demands was over. They stared at each other, a little embarrassed but resolute. This was a small but important test of will. Finally, Andaluciopendamentiendoabdullahsteinchen, jr. took a step towards her, lifted a hand to his missing rib. He smiled faintly and half whispered softly, "Come, baby schnookums." She laughed and took a first step.