[Sara, a single mother, and Mike, her son, are homeless and living in an abandoned park in The Sims 3. You can backtrack to the first three entries (1, 2, 3) or, below, hop right into their continuing journey.]
It became obvious that Sara should visit the Sunset Institute of Modern Art (or SIMA, if you like the acronym tie-in with the game's title). She traipses past the reception desk up to the second floor of the showroom.
Perhaps confused by their non-feng shui placement in the center of the room, Sara levels her first criticism towards the couches.
Sara is paralyzed by the smell of her urine-stained clothing, but even then she can't help but realize she's surrounded by the very objects that populate her lifetime wish of becoming a Master of the Arts.
At first, Sara is at a loss for what to do. But she views the still life oil paintings (looking past the taxicab-checkered Venus de Milo) and considers the learning opportunities at hand. She feels inspired.
She takes in the whimsical painting of the giraffe trio. Perhaps she feels like a kindred spirit. Living in the outdoors.
But a full night's rest is never a full night's rest when it's on a park bench. Sara takes a noontime siesta on a cloudy couch in a quiet corner of the Institute. It's the best nap she's ever had.
When she wakes up, there's no spite in her movements, but Sara never acknowledges the toilet on display.
Also, Abraham Finkle, the androgynous-looking fellow she nearly played chess with in the park, is visiting the Institute, too. While he had nothing to say to Sar yesterday, he has even less to say to her today.
The school counselor announced a new buddy system is being encouraged. Making friends will earn rewards. Bella Bachelor, the girl he hopped off the bus with the other day, seems like Mike's natural choice. But Mike instead has a boy named Malcolm Landgraab (heir apparent to the Landgraab fortune and industries) who follows him home to the abandoned park. Mike and Malcolm had met on the first day of school, but they hadn't spoken since. Mike would rather be hanging out with his mother. Instead, he sleeps. Malcolm wanders the abandoned park.
One particular cubist painting is the piece de resistance for Sara. She admires it longer (and more times) than anything else on the floor. But it's the dining chair on display that eventually moves her to tears. She admires its craftsmanship and its artistry, to be sure. But the chair's ability to become "functional art" is what gets her. She thinks about the plates of food this chair might see if placed at a dining table, and then her own stomach howls at her.
Sara returns to the abandoned park and meets Malcolm. The introduction is friendly. Malcolm thinks a little bit of food would be nice to have right about now. Malcolm has no idea.
Malcolm is not quite sure what to make of the homeless situtation. Forthright, he discusses it immediately and at length with Sara.
Sara changes the subject as soon as she can, discussing topics she never usually addresses: football, running, boxing. But Malcolm brings the discussion back to living the good life: rich foods, libraries full of books, and leisure time enough for fishing. He's never so shallow as to discuss money for money's sake, however.
Malcolm, though late for dinner, starts up a chat with Mike who had been doing his homework near the park sign's lights. They too discuss new topics that Mike never regularly chats about: upward mobility, public speech, and looking at the bigger picture.
But it's after 10 p.m. and Mike mentions the topic of food. That reminds Malcolm: He'll be going home now for a meal. Later, waking up in the middle of the night, Sara seems mortified by having peed herself first thing that morning. And there, in the lamplight of the park, she does it again. This time, she doesn't even move from the puddle.
Okay, Sara wins this battle. I (once again) build a tiny public restroom in the back corner of the abandoned park. But no sinks! I'm not giving Sara and Mike the opportunity to turn into tooth-brushing zombies again.
[Next: From the Bottom of the Harts' Fridge] [Previous: A Day in the Park]