‘Graph Garden

“Fist Fight”

by Gregory Letellier  

I am watching a fight go down. I’m twelve, hanging out by the Little League ballpark after one of my games. It’s a quarrel which began with an insult—a fat joke—gone wrong. Everything is happening so fast. I’m not sure what to do. 

I just stand, watching.

A chunky blonde kid has this skinny whiny-ass motherfucker pinned to the pebble-infested dirt, and proceeds, in a surprising feat of athleticism, to kick the kid’s ass. In typical small town fashion, I know the two kids and their families. The chunky blonde is of the Dolan family, who live in a cramped apartment near Bacon Street, the area my parents said to never go down alone. The skinny whiny-ass motherfucker is of the Leblanc family, who live in Cathedral Oaks, where all the houses look the same, where no one eats food from a can, ever. 

I am uncomfortable by the fight. Not by the skinny kid’s blood, cherry-staining the fat kid’s soft knuckles, not for his shrill shrieks of pain, but for something unspoken, unseen. 

Then an older man, skinny-whiny’s dad, dashes over to the kids, breaks up their quarrel. He tells the chunky blonde to scram with a few biased curse words.

“Get out,” he says. “Get out you chubby fuck!”

Before hopping on his bike and fleeing, the chunky-blonde, with wet eyes and a round pink face, speaks softly these words: “I just wanted him to stop calling me fat.”

When the dust kicked up from the fight fades into the thick summer air, parents swarm like flies to light. I look at the skinny motherfucker, his face contorting from worry to safety, so fast. I look at him, feeling the softness of my sides, briefly wishing he had died for his sins of ignorance: for not knowing that the thrum of his pulse, which his father tenderly feels, reminds us we’re all the same.

“A Pricy Peach”

by Virginia Doyle

So everyone agrees that Eve made a mistake. Poor Eve gets the blame for essentially everything that’s sticky about life, and honestly I think that covers just about anything that someone could possibly be blamed for. That’s quite a heavy cross to bear (Exhibit A: that idiom wouldn’t even exist if not for pesky Eve). Does she deserve it? Maybe. The way I see it, she seemed pretty dense, but then again maybe Genesis was just the first of an ongoing literary trend that pegs women as ditzes who screw everything up. Either way, no one appreciates Eve. But I think this is unfair. What people fail to remember is that while Eve made a mistake, it was in the form of a tradeoff. On a metaphorical level, she chose knowledge over blissful ignorance. This shift could certainly merit an entire essay defending her choice, but frankly I think that would be too lofty an endeavor for this particular author. Instead, I have chosen to focus on Eve’s concrete contribution to humanity:

Ladies and gentlemen, Eve gave us fruit. And I’m not talking about fertility and progeny and whatnot. Again, that would be much too far above my head. I am simply talking about apples and oranges. I say apples, but I personally do not agree with the common conception that Eve plucked an apple on that fateful day. Apples are great, don’t get me wrong, but I think they are too simple a fruit to have been the cause of the fall of humanity. I feel that something like a peach, with its vibrant coloring, abundant juices, and sweet, succulent flavor would be much more tempting. I could be wrong though; it may very well have been an apple. If this is the case, I maintain that it must have been a Honeycrisp. But I digress.

We’ll never be sure which fruit Eve ate that day or even what kinds of fruit grew on the Garden of Eden’s trees, but the good book makes it very clear that the tree of knowledge held the very best. Regardless of the type of fruit, I credit Eve with unlocking the door to all sorts of savory goodness. Next time you delight in a tart pineapple, a juicy plum, or a crunchy apple, remember to thank Eve. She could use a little credit somewhere.

Only recently have I come to appreciate Eve’s contribution to mankind. Like most children, I struggled with eating fruit. My mother constantly tried to serve fruit as a dessert, only to meet my protests that fruit salad is called “salad” for a reason and my ensuing demands for chocolate. Of course my bratty behavior was not unique, but therein lies the problem. Children’s aversion to fruit is nothing short of a tragedy. In a world filled with Ho Hos, Krispy Kremes, and Dairy Queen, children have learned to snub Mother Nature’s most glorious offering. Because the cafeteria in the Garden of Eden only served raw meat or greenery, fruit looked pretty damn good to Eve. With this understanding, I really can’t see how anyone could blame her for plucking that sweet, juicy orb. Regardless of whether or not we empathize with Eve, we all suffer the consequences of her hunger pains. Therefore I urge you to at least enjoy the benefits of her tradeoff. Eat your fruit—you paid a lot for it.

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