Gluttony – Then just the lustful to go and we’re outta here!
Dante, Virgil, and the tagging-along fanboy that is Statius have reached the sixth terrace of mouth Purgatory, where the gluttonous hang out. There is a very tempting smell of fruit, coming from trees that are essentially built upside down, with the small branches at the bottom and big ones at the top, so inmates can’t climb up to the fruit. And apparently, there are voices coming from the trees saying how great abstinence is, telling stories of how Roman women were content to have water whilst the men had wine (according to Thomas Aquinas, I suspect Tom didn’t know that many women), and how Daniel, was given the gift by god of interpreting visions and dreams after he abstained from food and drink from the king’s table (hate to break it to you Dan, but anyone whose has done a cleanse, de-tox or pre-wedding diet will very likely have also had some dream and visions, as well. Hunger does not a prophet make).
There’s loads of previously rich folk running about, Dante recognises some as having been the sort to lunch on eels in wine (yum!) and one stops for a chat. Now they are all gaunt and skinny, tormented by the smell of the fruit, and forced to keep moving quickly. I have two issues with this, and the first one, Dante brings up, so it’s nice to know I’m not alone. He asks why the people are skinny, when they are shades and don’t need food? There is then a complicated explanation that is hard to understand and doesn’t seem like it will hold water, especially as Statius, who is answering, goes on to cite Aristotle’s theory of there being two kinds of blood in a man, that which is drank by the body as it goes through the veins, and that which heads straight off to become sperm. And apparently the blood in a woman’s uterus is her ‘special’ blood and it’s the mixing of blood that makes a baby. So my questions remains, how are people without metabolisms able to lose weight?
My second issue is fruit?? Not any more, Dante. You aren’t going to tempt us with that. I get the fruity Eden connection, I also get that Nutella wasn’t invented in your day, but as much as I like a nice strawberry and banana smoothie, being made to run around a non-specific fruit tree for a few hundred years is not nearly as much of a punishment of making me run round a tree covered with pizzas and cheesecakes.
And then it’s onto the seventh terrace, but there’s a big wall of flame making them all have to walk right by the edge of the path. That’s because lust is on the other side. Hot stuff, coming through. I’ve played enough computer games to know that as this is the last level before the top, there’s bound to be some big happenings before we reach the final boss stage, get into heaven, and complete the level,