The Truth About the Expulsion

By on Feb 23, 2015 in Cuttings, Fiction, Humor

Eve handing Adam an apple, with paint effect

An Address Delivered at the East Orange Women’s Conference

First of all, I wanted to go. Adam was the one who wanted to stay. If it was up to him, we’d still be there, spending eternity in mind-numbing peace and tranquility, every day sunnier and cheerier than the previous. Sure, it was Paradise, but Paradise gets old real fast without any contrast. Besides, it wasn’t Paradise with a guy like Adam. Bloated with his First Man persona, he thought it was he and only he who should name all the creatures that walked on land and swam in the sea. And they were the most boring names. Completely lacking in imagination. Carp? Seriously?

In those relentless sun-filled days, Adam used to say that everything with me had to be “now,” and he was right. We could stay in that garden forever, safe from the ravages of time, but something in me was burning to know. What were the ravages of time? Adam could sit contemplating his toes, but I’d choose a direction and walk, trying to find the boundaries to our prison.

Eventually I remembered: The Tree. Smack in the center of our world. Gigantic claws dangling round red fruit. God gave us everything but one. Forbidden fruit, my ass. I may have been the first, but anyone with sense could see how it would turn out. Whenever someone forbids you to do something, they might as well be twisting your arm to do it.

So I stared at The Tree all day every day, those huge red orbs imploring me to sink my teeth into their bloodless wisdom. I stopped going on scouting missions. In short, I became obsessed. I invited Adam under The Tree’s shade, but coward that he was he stayed away. In an attempt to distract me, Adam threw me a bone, letting me name one of the quadrupeds. Jackass. He could sit there twiddling his toes in a warm afternoon breeze forever. Not me. I wanted excitement, drama, things impossible to come by in Eden . I was languishing under the thumb of splendor and I had to escape. Growing uneasy, Adam plied me with bananas, oranges, and kiwis, offered me coconuts, pineapples, and mangos, but I wanted none of these. Their taste would not satisfy. I wanted The Fruit.

What I find most grating is that they say a snake convinced me to eat it. A self-serving lie to undercut my feminine power. There was no snake.[1]

They also say I tricked Adam into taking the first bite. But why wouldn’t I have been the one to take it? Me, the one who wanted out. To say I tricked him implies I was hedging my bets. No. I alone decided, and I alone acted.

That night, while Adam snored, I paced up and down on my usual bed of fragrant daffodils. No matter how heavily I trod on them, their flawless yellow heads sprang back up, twitching with delight. Soft breezes caressed my face, carrying the unbearably sweet smell of honey. Tears of fury blinded me. I tore the daffodils from the ground, and their petals scattered, dancing toward The Tree. I followed.

I didn’t even need to reach up. The branches seemed to bend toward me. And I’d barely swallowed before I was filled with an awareness of myself impossible to describe since it is the birthright of all humankind and we don’t know what it is to be without it.

Now, the question I’m most often asked involves what I call the Naked Revelation. Sin of pride be damned. When I saw my body, I wanted to show it off. So after about ten minutes of my new perspective on Adam without gaining mutual regard, I sliced up some of the Fruit and mixed it in his cereal. (Okay, this definitely counts as tricking him.) As soon as he ate some, I saw a glimmer of intelligence come into those long dull eyes, and Adam seemed to look at me for the first time. What came over him then was that sudden stillness that lets a woman know when a man is in her power, yet makes her willing to suspend it.

After the experience of what, in the interests of discretion, I’ll call a more sophisticated, because short-lived, version of paradise, Adam became self-conscious and wanted to cover himself. The infamous fig leaves were his idea. He wanted me to wear them, too, but I refused. While he occupied himself fashioning rudimentary garments, I filled up on the Fruit, preparing.

When our Maker came, it took him quite a while to sense something was up. And he may never have known if Adam hadn’t been darting behind trees, trying to hide. That’s the thing that gets to me. He didn’t know. Mr. All-knowing, all-seeing. Mr. Unmoved Mover had no idea what we’d done until he saw Adam, the evidence of our disobedience plastered all over him in the form of strategically placed fig leaves. That’s the real reason we got kicked out. Spite. Because he didn’t know until Adam told him. And then he withdrew into the heavens.

Change was immediate. The sky blackened into a glorious bruise as the wind raked ecstatically through my hair. His bully angels chased us out of the Garden with sharp implements. Jewels of blood rose on my skin, causing a pain I savored. That day I knew what suffering was, and I knew that ever after when I saw a nice sunset or felt a cool breeze on my face I would appreciate it.

I’ve seen the artists’ renderings. They don’t do me justice. Adam was the one crying, not me. On that morning of God’s wrath delivered, I walked out of Eden head held high and exultant, ready for the world.

1 The snake was inserted into the story later as a function of religious strife. The Israelites wanted to discredit the Canaanites, whose religion aligned the snake with their goddess deity. So their use of a snake as a plot point rests somewhere on the continuum between propaganda and public relations. Eat from The Tree of Knowledge and you learn a few things.


E. R. Catalano is a writer and mother of one evil mastermind living in Brooklyn, New York. She is working on a novel called Becoming the Girl Detective, about a girl who makes a deal with God to become Nancy Drew to save her brother’s life. She’s had short stories published by Del Sol Press, upstreet, and swink, and a portion of her novel was published by The Drum Literary Magazine. She writes a humor blog about her daughter at You can follow her on Twitter at @zoevsuniverse and @ercatalano.