The Forbidden Fruit

by The Witless Wonder

What a freakish, wonderful game life is.

The resiliency of the human soul is astounding. Studies in human behavior show that personality traits are reasonably stable over time and situations. First, I must define and distinguish personality from behavior. Behavior describes the things we do, the physical action that takes place as a result of one’s personality. But, while your ingrained personality does not change, your behavior *is* mediated and often varies quite substantially by changes in the physical environment and other external factors.

Now, although not usually considered a personality trait, it has been found that general happiness is largely inherent to one’s personality. That is to say, when you are born, you are going to be generally happy or generally sad for the rest of your life.

I will leave it to you to decide what that means to you, and it was quite difficult for me to grasp or believe. But there’s science and statistics for you: “this is the way things are, but humans are irrational creatures, so what the hell”. In other words, my take is, where there’s a will there’s a way. But is will a personality trait?

So what am I really trying to say? The reasons are actually quite selfish. I am trying to figure myself out. This is an exercise in self-reflection, and you are along for the ride. Please try to enjoy, and keep your arms and legs safely tucked into the vehicle. With the warning over, it begins.

I would describe myself as a pessimistic optimist. Today is bad, but tomorrow will be better. I am alone now, but I will not be in the future. So what does that say about my personality? Maybe a story will clear things up.

This is the story of a boy named you and she, the girl he liked.

So she’s going home for the weekend, but she’s being picked up at the supermarket near your house. It’s two and a half minutes away. But how pathetic would it be to go there and meet her? You might see her for 2 minutes before she gets picked up. What would the people think who picked her up? What would your roommates think? What would she think?

So you go back home and take a nap. That should get your mind off things. You need the sleep anyway. You fall asleep with the music blaring, and when you wake up there is drool all over the bed. You realize she’s getting picked up in less than 15 minutes.

So you go to the supermarket. It takes you about two and a half minutes to get there. About a minute into the trip, you realize that you could have an excuse for being there! You have a cheque to cash. So you go back home and get the cheque.

So you go back to the supermarket. It still takes you two and a half minutes to get there. It takes you a minute and half to realize that cashing a cheque is the silliest excuse ever, so you decide not to mention it when you get there. You’ll have it in your hand, though, so she can ask and you can be coy.

“Oh that? That’s nothing. It’s clearly not any kind of excuse for me to be here at this exact time.”

You reach the supermarket and she’s not there. She must have caught the later bus. Good thing you brought the cheque and have something to do. Coming out of the bank, you see a bus at the traffic light, just across from the bus stop and held by the red light. Time to plan the approach. It’s decided that you’ll cross the road, avoid the bus stop, and surprise her at the supermarket.

So you walk up the road, across the street from the bus, and you watch as the people who got off pass behind it.

And there she is.

And there he is.

And your heart sinks, and sort of melts, and spills over on to the ground, wasted, like an ice cream cone on a hot day. You desperately want to sit down, and you almost do in the middle of the sidewalk. You feel small, so small, but not small enough that no one will notice you anymore.

So you take a shortcut home, but not so short that there may not be a chance for her to see you. To come running after you. To redeem you. of course, it doesn’t happen, so you try to pinpoint exactly what it is that’s got you feeling as bad as bad can be.

It could be that you assumed that no one else would be there with her, but was quite abruptly reminded that it is you that is the back up, that people usually have someone, even though you don’t. Maybe it should be her…and maybe you shouldn’t try to steal her away from someone else. They are perfectly happy without you, so why did you have to step in, fall in, trap yourself, damn yourself?

Just face it. It’s not going to happen. You could see her every day, you could have fun with her every day, you could talk, hug, and share. But you’re never going to be her choice, you’re just second best. You won’t be the one she most wants to see, have fun with, talk to, be affectionate with, or share with. You can be with her, but you’ll never be with her.

But oh, you can think about it! Can you ever! you can come as close as possible, you can see her, smell her, touch her…but she will never be yours. And its times like this you think you may go stark, raving mad.

It’s horrible, the good and the bad. The most joyously warming with the heart-wrenchingly, soul-shakingly terrible. You try to be cunning and smooth, you try to snake away with the good but the bad sits there, hiding, watching, unassuming, waiting as it smartly does for you to let your guard down so it can strike. So it can attach itself to you like a parasite, so it can grow on you like a fungus. So it can consume you like a plague. How long can you last?

Ah, but what a selfish attitude! All or nothing! Life doesn’t work that way. You will never actually stop seeing her just to stop the pain…but you will certainly think about at times like this. When you’re pretty sure God didn’t bring you a wonderful gift you don’t deserve, but instead brought an awful trick. A forbidden fruit. A taunting nightmare.

Maybe things will be better tomorrow.

  • The Forbidden Fruit
  • by The Witless Wonder
  • Published on December 1st, 2001

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