There is controversy over what kind of fruit was forbidden to man in the Garden of Eden. Popular media has made it out to be an apple, but many believe it to be something else entirely. I am one of those people.
Though I must admit that I am a bit of an outlier.
I don’t think the forbidden fruit was an apple. But I also don’t think it was an orange, peach, pineapple, pear, plum, banana, mango, coconut, jackfruit, durian, cherry, papaya, or grapefruit. In fact, I don’t even think it was a fruit at all.
Personally, I choose to believe that it was air-conditioning that led to the fall of man.
Yes, that cooling artificial breeze that dries the sweat off your back and makes you believe that you are in control of your life again.
I know because I have experienced the weakness that comes about from choosing to sit and bask in its frigid falsity. It blasphemes the very notion of learning to cope.
To come to terms with the trickling beads that become rivers and leave salt stains on your clothes and backpack. The mountainous topography on your skin left by mosquitoes on search of places where the DEET has washed off. Small canyons on your feet and legs created over time by the ever mysterious elements. Contrasting shades of brown that make it look like you have been tattooed to represent the dark side of the moon. Itchiness like I have never known caused by bites in weird places, rashes from the heat, and pepper juice that finds its way from the stone mortar to your skin.
If air-conditioning was the forbidden fruit, then I’m pretty sure hydrocortisone cream was God’s gift to man (after fire).
My only concern with this theory is that despite my exposure, I am happy. I am so fucking happy. More happy than I think Adam and Eve were (but then again I do have clothes on).
Despite my weakness, I feel like I am doing well outside the Garden.
All the things I once thought I needed to be happy are no longer readily available to me, and yet I am finding ways to do without because I know that the further I travel, the more unlike paradise it will be.
In time, my small indulgent tastes of cool air will become nothing more than a distant memory, but one I hope will remind me that our moments of weakness do not define us.
Rather, it is how we choose to perceive the present and carry on in strength that will determine our success and the effectiveness of our failures. For the fall comes only in anticipation of the journey upward.