Last Friday we embarked on a journey through Dante's Inferno and how it is actually an allegory for being an Astros fan, beginning with the Overview and the Vestibule of Hell. We continue that today with the First Circle of Hell, Limbo.
Limbo. A word with a definition most people think they know, but really do not. Limbo is the outer edge of hell, not some 50/50 land where you don't know where you are. In Dante's Limbo reside the unbaptized and those who did not accept Christ, but were not sinful. Here live the "guiltless damned" who are punished by residing in a sort of half-assed Heaven. They lacked the hope for something greater than they can conceive.
This can sum up the past six years of Astros fan-dom. We realize things will probably get better, but we can't put our collective finger on a year down the road when we think the Astros will be in the playoffs. It is greater than we can currently conceive.
Limbo is on the edge of "grief's abysmal valley," a place of sorrow without torment. Dante sees a seven-walled castle, where there are fresh meadows and plenty of shade. There is no punishment here, the atmosphere is peaceful, yet sad.
Here Dante is clearly talking about September 24, 2012, when 12,584 fans paid to watch the Astros host the Cardinals - the lowest attendance mark ever at Minute Maid Park.
No punishment. Fresh meadows. Plenty of shade. Peaceful. Sad.