A weird thing happened shortly after I started teaching English in Barcelona. People were constantly referring to los pecados mortales. The first time they came up, I didn’t know what they were, but once I was told they were “bad” and made “God angry,” I realized that they were talking about David Fincher.
Well, not exactly, but the only way I could even begin to remember the Seven Deadly Sins was by running through the series of grisly murders in Fincher’s classic 1995 thriller, Se7en. (His first collaboration with Brad Pitt, if you care about such things.)
“Oh right!” I’d say to my students and then beginning mumbling, “There was the fat guy, that’s Gluttony. Then the lawyer was.. Greed, maybe, though there was a thing with his wife? And the sex one. Oh god, the sex one is so horrible. That was Lust. How many is that? Four? ‘What’s in the box?!’ That’s Envy… and then there’s the air freshener guy… which one was he?”
I could never remember all of them. By the time I’d get home, sometimes more than 10 hours later, I would have forgotten all about Sins but then they’d come up again days or weeks later and I’d get angry at myself for not looking them up the last time and the whole cycle would repeat. Finally, one day I wrote “SE7EN” on my hand and when I got home, I copied the list into the notebook I always carried with me. And I referred to it ALL THE TIME. Which I found really odd at the time and even more so now that I’m removed from the situation. It’s weird, right?