By now you guys know that I love me some everyday, practical magic. Magical realism some call it. In Going for Kona, the practical magic arose from Michele’s relation to her Papa and Mexican abuela/grandmother, who taught her Aztec mythology. Her father nicknamed her Itzpapalotl after a knife-winged butterfly goddess. Michele channeled Itzpa in her times of greatest stress.
In Fighting for Anna, Michele is starting to feel tired to her bones, despite being only forty-one. She is beginning to feel drawn toward another man, with her husband Adrian now dead for more than a year. Michele doesn’t feel like a butterfly. She feels dirty and old. She no longer identifies with Itzpapalotl. Instead, she imagines herself more and more like Tlazolteotal, the “eater of filth.” As an Aztec goddess, Tlazolteotl rules over the cycles: ritual cleansing, female menses, the growth and life/consumption/expulsion/fertilizing cycle, and the sexual cycle (especially of woman). She is the goddess of sexuality and the forgiver of sexual sins and taboos.
She fit Michele’s “stage” and mindset like a glove in Fighting for Anna.