Creation of Eve, Basilica of San Marco, Venice
– Now, for the moment you’re just a rib, but there are rumours God has plans for you. Is that so?
– Yes, he’s going to turn me into a woman! Both Adam and I are hugely excited, though for different reasons, I imagine. He’s really looking forward to sharing the Garden with someone and as for me, well, what can I say? My big break, the role of a lifetime! I honestly didn’t think I’d get the part.
– Was there a lot of competition?
– At the first audition, yes. Practically every bone in his body turned up, including some I’d never heard of. I mean, the sesamoid bones, the trapezium… To think we’re in the same body and I’ve never met them! The only ones that didn’t bother applying were the cranial bones – thought it was below them. But then they’ve always been a bit big-headed.
– And why did you get the part, do you think?
– A process of elimination, mostly. The tiny ones like the malleus, there’s just not enough material to work from. And to choose a bigger one would have meant redesigning everything. The femur twins did a really good audition but without them Adam wouldn’t be able to skip and caper so gracefully around the Garden. Nor would he look quite so sexy, in my view.
– Well, excuse me for saying so, but it sounds as if you were something of a default choice.
– That’s what some of the other bones are saying but I’m not letting it bother me. It’s just the usual bitching. I know I have the potential to do a good job.
– And how do you see your role shaping up?
– I dare say it’ll be tricky. Will we bicker about who prepares the pineapple, clears up afterwards, keeps the cave tidy? Probably. Adam’s pretty slovenly, you know, he leaves his banana skins all over the place. So I’ll have to find ways of getting him to do his bit, but without getting on his nerves the whole time.
– I’ve heard he had a first wife, Lilith, who was very forthright.
– A pain in the ass, you mean. Which is precisely why the producers dropped her. I mean, who wants a ball-crushing dominatrix as a partner? Just imagine if the UK ever got a Prime Minister like her – a sad day that would be! I can be persuasive, I think, without a head on confrontation. One of the first things I’ll do, for example, is get him to try this fruit he’s been avoiding simply because he’s been told he mustn’t. He’s not at all adventurous, you know. He keeps on walking past and staring at these juicy Cox’s Orange Pippins but he’s too scared. Sticks to bananas and berries most of the time – it’s ridiculous! I mean, what’s it there for in the first place if we’re not allowed to eat it? Adam needs a woman like me to push him out of his comfort zone. Otherwise we’ll never get anywhere.
– And where exactly would you like to get?
– I don’t know yet. I think it’s something only the future will tell. I hope to be a good role model for all the women who come after me. Adam can be pretty hot-tempered, so one thing I’m going to make sure is that he never raises a hand against me. If I let him do that, I’d be the worst role model possible.
– Well, as you say, it’s a great opportunity, but a great responsibility too. I wish you luck.