We’re Gluttony, bitches!

We haven’t had a two-people-one-Sin situation yet, not until now. We’ve had competitions in other Let’s Plays to see who might be the heir, but we’ve never had TWINS so well suited to a particular task. Bun (Bunuelos) and Pan (Empanada) are perfectly suited for Gluttony, and so they both get to rule the party roost.

A note on names: Bun and Pan’s mom Jazmin (Envy) hooked up with the twins’ father in Selvadorada when barely a young adult, and in her then-ignorance, decided to go with “Selvadoradan names that sound pretty” rather than doing some research. Sooooo, she accidentally named her kids after food. She’s sort of like someone who gets a tattoo of a Chinese character, thinks it means “courage,” and never finds out that it really means some sort of chicken. Whoops!

Bunuelos, a couple of hours before a terrible hangover.

Empanada, after the hangover has arrived.

Bun is more social, more edgy and reckless. Her favorite “gluttonies” are drinking, drugs, and attention, as opposed to her brother’s desire for escapism, ecstatic dancing and music, and companionship (he likes drinking too). They’re already planning life after high school — they’ll use their inheritance to buy a restaurant and make sure it’s the most fun, ridiculous, alcohol-soaked, inhibition-free foodie playground EVER.

All they have to do now is graduate and not get arrested quite yet.

What Almost Was

We came so close to doom. So close, and if we hadn’t turned it around through compromise, work, and loss, I wouldn’t be sitting here scolding my grandchildren about playing in the garden. They look to me with bright, curious eyes, barely abashed. I can’t make myself scold them too strongly — they were raised with confidence, not fear. I’d rather rip out my own heart than break that sunny surety.

My grandparents lived in a time of such great fear. Even I don’t know how to feel that afraid, that certain that the future would be so much worse than the present. They feared disease, the rising tides, poverty, and each other. They closed their ears and eyes until they could only hear their own panicked heartbeats. I feel so sorry for them. Then, after sorrow, immense gratitude.

Why? Because it changed. They changed. I don’t know what turned it around. I don’t know what made them open their senses to each other, to see how interconnected we all are. The bravery, the sheer vulnerability — there’s a reason we treat Founders’ Day with such awe. It’s deserved. Every rite and song, deserved and far too little.

Now we don’t fear, we plan. We learn and implement. My son fixes solar panels on our neighbor’s farm, and for that, we receive vegetables and milk. My daughter trades her woven rugs for seeds. Her wife maintains our water stores and hatchery. We sell medicinal flowers at the Gathering Place, and my grandchildren don’t know where work ends and play begins.

Today’s a sunny day. I rock in my chair after waving the children back to their games. Later, I’ll can tomato sauce and spicy peppers, and preserve some lemons so we can taste that salty brightness all the year through. For now I think I’ll take a little nap, though. We can do that now. I know I am cared for as I sleep.

Patrice at 50

In “Rags to Riches with Patrice/the Carvers,” Patrice Carver is a nearly-senior owner of a flower shop and plant nursery. She’s a mother of one (the adorable Eddie), and she has *never* been lucky in love. She’s spent most of her life yearning after her (now married) best friend Akira, to the extent that her only intimate relationship has been with Diego, Eddie’s father.

Diego Lobo and Patrice Carver, who just can’t quite make it work.

Diego’s a slightly older art critic who left San Myshuno in middle age to come live with Patrice and Eddie in Oasis Springs. In doing so, he sold his huge city apartment and committed fully to his son and his ex, even renovating their house and buying Patrice her flower shop.

It hasn’t been easy, learning how to depend on someone.

Dear Mom,

Wheels just keep spinning around, don’t they? Did you and Dad ever feel like things were slipping away and then somehow coming around again? I’ve given these men too many years of my life, but here come the little hopes, the tiny little hopes that never survive reality.

He’s just more humble these days. I can surprise him. He’s gentler. He’s not kind. I don’t think he’ll ever be kind. But he loves Eddie and he walked away from a date the other night to come talk to me. To be surprised by me.

I don’t know. I’ve got too much to do for all this nonsense. But wheels just keep spinning, that’s all. I probably shouldn’t trust one more time.