Always Err on the Side of Confusion

Who says downtown St. Paul isn't exciting? Oh...I guess I said that. Well, I was wrong. Something exciting happened last week: there was an apple in the skyway.

The apple was situated in the middle of a corridor outside a small cafe. It appeared that someone had dropped part of their takeout lunch. The most sensible thing for me to do would have been to pick up the apple, return it to the cafe, and forget about the whole thing.

There was no way I was going to pick up that apple. It was obviously booby trapped.

For one thing, the apple was too perfectly placed in the middle of the corridor: something seemed staged about its arrangement. A filmmaker was probably hidden somewhere with a camera, documenting how people react to finding an apple in the skyway. This possibility worried me...I'd just given myself an experimental facial with toothpaste and wasn't sure how I looked at the moment.

Secondly, the apple was too beautiful to be just some random apple. The fruit was an exquisite blend of crimson and chartreuse, with a perky umber stem sporting a pale green leaf. The apple was so smooth and shiny, it looked like it had just gotten a Brazilian wax.

This apple was obviously a movie star apple.

The more I thought about the situation, the angrier I got. Those filmmakers had no right to invite the audience to make judgments about my character based on one encounter with one apple. My reaction to apples in public settings varies according to the situation. If the apple was trying to cross the street and the light changed, I'd help the apple across the street. That's the kind of person I am. But since the apple was in the middle of an indoors skyway, in a part of town which isn't heavily traveled, I wasn't going to help it. This apple was not in any kind of immediate danger.

To prove my point, I made a sweeping circular gesture with my arms as if to say, See? Everything is just fine.

A woman who was passing by stopped and said to me, "Are you okay?"

"Yes," I said. "I've just got something in my eye. I think it's toothpaste."

"You dropped your apple," the woman said.

"That's not my apple," I said.

I turned and walked away quickly, not looking back. 

I have no idea whether she picked up the apple. For her sake, I hope she didn't. After all, remember what happened to Eve?

Self-portrait as Adam and Eve, 30" x 40" oil on canvas

Self-portrait as Adam and Eve, 30" x 40" oil on canvas