Lilith, Love and Sorrow
From a hidden distance, a woman, the Woman, sits and watches. Enthralled but patient.
A man, the Man, awakens, alone and lonely in a wet and verdant garden. He hears rustling movements and sounds. Strange sounds. Of course, they are the first sounds he has ever heard.
The grasses he lays upon are thick and warm and yielding. Speckled with violet and yellow and red flowers. The wind is soft and sweet on his face.
He is surrounded by many trees, arms reaching toward the sun, full of leaves and fruit. Each tree is different than the others, each the father or mother of new races of trees. There are bushes covered in berries, each bush different as well, each the father or mother of a new variety of bushes. And as he sits up he is approached by a myriad of animals, each also different than the others. Each the father or mother of a new species of animal.
He wonders how he knows that.
Each animal approaches him slowly, with laughter in its eyes and joy in its heart, rubs against him, licks his hands, then departs. Then other animals descend from the skies and swirl around him, chirping cheerfully. After many hours of these introductions, they are gone, each to another animal of its kind. To their mates.
The Man looks around and sees two rushing rivers in the distance, and closer, a clear, bubbling stream. He touches it and it is wet and cool. He tastes the water and finds it good
Then he sleeps again, and while he sleeps, the Woman approaches him.
Everything about her is perfect. Dark hair, a long softly swirling raven cloak that sets off dazzling golden skin, soft as a smile. Full round breasts, light and yielding, swaying, almost floating with every movement, in slightly syncopating rhythms. Slender and lightly muscled everywhere else, her delightful curves exaggerated by a perfectly slender waist.
Her eyes reflect the garden’s vegetation, lush, and wet and gleaming, intelligent and self-aware, communicating in a language they invent as they speak.
She exudes a heady, enticing, musky scent. Wherever she walks, lust follows. As she passes the paired animals, each turns to the other and nestles in inner warmth.
Even the stones sigh at her touch.
She caresses and kisses the sleeping Man very softly so as not to waken him. And she sits beside him, awaiting his second day. Slowly he opens his eyes and not quite awake, stares at her. He has been dreaming. He thinks he still is. Then it dawns on him that he is awake and that like the animals, he has his own mate. Very much like him, but very different as well.
He laughs. His first laugh, full of joy. He did not realize that he’d been lonely.
He wonders where she came from. He wonders where he came from.
She smiles a beautiful smile, the first smile, returns his laugh and shares his joy. She recalls her first memory, awakening at his side, while he slept. Then rising to explore her world, seeing her reflection in a pool formed by the nearby stream. Bathing herself in the pool, meeting the animals, as he was to do later, then returning to watch him, to explore him in turn, before revealing herself.
He is her twin in many ways. But he is different as well. He is heavier. Taller. His breasts are tiny, but he has an appendage between his legs that excites her.
They explore each other and she takes him to the little pool she found, and teaches him to bathe. They splash each other and laugh. Then they notice the small, slender creatures, silver and gold and green that move in waves beneath the surface, and which gently touch their legs, in homage, like that the animals had rendered to the Man.
They leave the pool and lie on the soft grasses while the warm sun dries them. Then a strong gust of wind hits nearby trees, dislodging sweet, juicy fruit, some of which falls at their feet.
They see some of the animals, the flying ones descend, and start to bite and swallow some of the fruit. They are soon joined by some of the land dwellers. Then the Woman picks up one of the nearby fruit and imitates them. And smiles happily, juice dribbling down her beautiful chin. She offers the fruit to the Man, who finishes it and laughs joyfully. Then picks up another and shares it with her. They repeat the process until their stomachs tell them they have had enough.
They return to their pool and immerse themselves, cleaning the juice now sticking to their hands and faces. Then they leave their pool and drink some of the cool, running water from the stream that feeds it.
They have seen animals relieve themselves and now feel an urge to do so as well. It is also pleasant, although the odors associated with the exercise are not. Unlike the animals, they decide to relieve themselves in just one place, which they otherwise avoid.
They are tired and lie on the warm grasses, entwined in each other’s arms, lazily exploring the differences in each other bodies. They fall asleep together for a while. Then waken as dusk starts to set. They are curious as the sky changes from bright blue, to a myriad of colors, and then to a darkness speckled with points of light, presided over by a large white circle.
They lie, side by side and head to head staring at the night sky, watching the slow voyage of the silver circle and the revolution of the lights. And again they fall asleep.
In the days that follow, they explore their world together and they invent a game. One points to an object and the other names it. They don’t recall who started the game, but they are good at remembering it. And soon they have a rudimentary means of communicating. The game becomes complicated and abstract and harder. They are not sure they mean the same things in the naming. But it is a game. It is interesting. It keeps them busy and they are happy.
They also continue to explore each other and find that their differences are complimentary in very pleasant ways. They spend a great deal of time studying those pleasures. They explore new ways to generate them. Their joy is great.
They seem to want for nothing. The animals and birds and fish are their friends, and the vegetation provides them all with delightful sustenance, the creek with an endless supply of crystal clear, cool water. They want for nothing that they know of.
Slowly but surely they are coming to understand their environment and each other. Yet everything remains new and fresh and exiting.
Time passes and something changes. It’s hard to define. They start spending time apart. That helps. While they are apart, they long to be together, but sometimes when they are together, they long for the personal freedom isolation grants them.
The Man becomes more friendly with the animals and spends time studying their interactions. The animals reciprocate and come when he calls, bonding to him more than to the Woman. He enjoys that difference.
The Woman loves to run alone. Covering long distances while exerting herself to the fullest, then lying in blissful exhaustion, someplace new. Swimming in new pools. Climbing new trees, and exploring a seemingly endless forest from the dizzying heights. She wanders a bit further, day by day, not always returning before night falls. Then sometimes not returning for several days.
The Man is not pleased by her long absences.
He is less pleased when she returns and has no immediate interest in resuming the pleasures of their bodies. He has become used to the obedience of the animals and does not understand her defiance. She does not understand his insistence. Neither understands how to resolve their evolving conflict.
She spends more time away and he becomes more resentful of her absences. His resentment alienates her and she more frequently declines his invitations to share their most personal pleasures. He learns to please himself, but it is not the same.
The animals obey him without question. She will not.
She cannot understand why he expects her obedience. She is his equal. Indeed, she was the first to waken. She has no desire to dominate him and cannot understand how he has come to believe that he has any authority over her.
They learn to argue. To be cool to each other. To become unhappy. And she leaves. And she does not return.
He is really alone for the first time. But unlike the solitude at his first awakening, this solitude is more than empty. It is accompanied by a dull pain in his heart and a restlessness in his mind that does not go away.
And his love slowly turns to sorrow and then to something less pleasant but even stronger.
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Ocala, 2005; all rights reserved