Raising Cain

At first we all said she was crazy.

“Eve, you remember now what God said about curses and thorns and the sweat of the brow. And what about the increased pains and the ‘he will rule over you’ bit?”

It didn’t matter. She wanted to have a baby. Several babies. Personally, I never cared much for Adam. He borrowed my car once, got drunk, and then smashed it up. He’s rude and he talks too loud. He tells disgusting sexist jokes and thinks he’s so funny. He’s never had a job. He grows drugs in his basement, talks big about some invention of his that’s going to make him rich. The dreamer. He takes Eve’s money and uses it to get drunk, then he becomes violent.

-What happened to your face Eve?

-Um. An apple fell from a tree and hit me.

That’s the second time she’s used that one. The first was just before they moved out of her house. She told me the eviction was all because of an apple. When the authorities came around to the house to ask questions, she told them the apple story too. All Adam had to say was, “The woman did it.” And they bought the whole thing. They even wrote it down in their little black book.

Adam isn’t even divorced from his first wife, Lillith. No one knows about her, he keeps it so secret. He has children with the woman, but he never offers any support, financial or otherwise. He just lies around the house during the day, and goes down to the Paradise Club at night. He spends Eve’s money on beer and strippers.

-Why’d you agree to live with him, Eve? Can’t you see he’s no good for you?

-He really isn’t that bad. You have to get to know him. He just has his own way. Besides, I love him.

I tried to talk sense into Eve, but it was no use.

-Why don’t you go back to school? Get a university degree? You could take up a career. You could be a landscape architectural engineer. You like gardens. We could get you some new clothes, a new image. You really are a beautiful woman, Eve. You ought to care for yourself better.

Adam and Eve are still together. No one says she’s crazy any more; everyone has accepted the fact that Eve is going to stay with this man no matter what. But it still grieves me to see the way she treats herself, and the way she allows herself to be treated. I remember the day she came to my house all excited, saying, “I’m gonna have a baby! I’m gonna have that baby!”

-That baby?

-Yeah. The baby I’ve always wanted to have. I’ve always wanted something of my own, something I could love, that would love me.

-That’s great Eve.

-And I’ve got the name picked out, too.

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