Life & Death Chapter 2

Chapter 2

It’s now Beau’s second day in school which is going to be just as interesting and delightful as the first. He says it’s better because it isn’t raining yet. Personally, as a denizen of a drier state, I don’t mind rain. Listening to a kid from Arizona whine about dealing with rain for two or three days is like listening to a fat kid complain about choosing between deep fried Twinkies and Snickers to the starving homeless. They can see where you’re coming from but all they really want is what you’ve got.

He’s not minding that McKalya is sitting next to him and walks him to his next class. Though this gets Erica, who is still in chess club, to glare at them. I’m frankly shocked Meyer thought a girl would not only be able to play chess, in spite of her ovaries, but would actually join a club. That or it’s a detail she forgot to change with find and replace. Beau still plays volleyball and sucks at it while complaining that he didn’t see Edythe at all.

Once lunch arrives, he sees the rest of the Cullens sitting there moping and writing sad poetry. Beau’s half chub retreats when he can’t find Edythe among them. I guess he has to go back to masturbating furiously about those two furtive encounters in between chapters of Bronte. McKayla grabs him and his “friend” Jeremey and brings them over to her table.

Beau, being a normal boy, says he doesn’t want to be arrogant but he’s pretty sure McKayla is into him. Because that’s how a teen boy thinks and not, “holy shit this girl’s into me!” He also remarks how few girls noticed him at school. Which is hard to imagine that a guy with so many diverse hobbies, an active lifestyle and an easy rapport with his fellow students wouldn’t be swarming him. I have some news for you Beau, you’re mother’s opinion, that you’re the most handsome boy in school, is a lie.

Beau also thinks that McKayla might only be into him because of his contact with Edythe yesterday. Right, makes sense to me. Because not only is Beau new here but the rest of the boys are the living abortions of the mutants from The Hills Have Eyes. Lucky for us the school day ends and Beau goes home.

Did you remember how much fun it was when Charlie couldn’t cook in Twilight? Meyer satisfies her true fans by keeping that in place. I guess it’s supposed to be less sexist because this time it’s a boy cooking for Charlie instead of a girl. It’s still stupid, Meyer. Charlie has spent quite a lot of his adulthood living alone. If the only thing he can make, and badly, is spaghetti, then he’s spent every meal eating out of a brown drive through bag and he’s ready to be the next contestant on the rural edition of Biggest Loser. Being as you haven’t written him in as having a gravitational pull slightly less than Mercury, I assume Charlie is at least in average shape and should stop being shit on by the author.

Beau drives to the grocery store and sees the Cullen’s magic Volvo lined up at the exit of the parking lot. Wait a tick here, what were the Cullens doing at the store? Do they just buy food to “keep up appearances” then throw it away? Sure you could do that and then turn around and donate it but I bet queen of the sparklies hasn’t thought that far ahead.

Beau is fawning over their clothes and how they’re so expensive. Which makes sense to me of course. If I moved to a town where the average income was below the national median, I’d also be flaunting my wealth. That’s the easiest way for a group of vampires to blend in and avoid notice. The Cullens are amazing, of course.

Beau goes home and decides to screw up Charlie’s life be rearranging the kitchen to what will work for Beau. What’s important about this scene on second viewing is that it foreshadows Bella/Beau’s relationship with Charlie and their mom. They are in control, not because they have power but because the go unchallenged. Bella/Beau says they’re moving across the country and neither mom nor Charlie has the power to stop them. Bella/Beau go where they please, do what they want and answer for nothing.

Beau then has a “sixth sense” about mom and runs upstairs to check his email. There are a bunch of emails from mom and we are spared nothing from them. Beau then writes her back while summarizing what we’ve seen so far. Meyer, I’d rather read a shopping list of Beau’s rather than an email exchange between any of your characters. If only so then I can mentally append condoms, Astroglide and one large cucumber to it so Beau/Bella can test this one weird trick to rid themselves of anal warts. Luckily Meyer knows exactly what will spice up this chapter, Charlie coming home.

“What’s for dinner?” he asked warily. Mom was an imaginative cook, when she bothered, and her experiments weren’t always edible. I was surprised, and sad, that he seemed to remember that far back.

You’re surprised your dad can remember being married to your mother? Does Charlie display signs of dementia that we’re not privy to? Does he walk around talking about how Reagan will glass those commie bastards any day? Or are you just a rude son of a bitch, Beau?

I’d like to see Charlie surprise Beau even more by describing some of the sex acts mom performed before Beau came along. Maybe we’d learn that dad’s ball busting fetish is what did their marriage in. Not because she wasn’t into it but because her small feet just couldn’t get both of Charlie’s boys at the same time.

Charlie relaxes when Beau advises he’s made steak and potatoes. Because Charlie is a dad from a nineteen seventies sitcom. I keep waiting for him to mention his bowling bag. There’s the stilted and boring conversation about school until the Cullens get mentioned. Even Charlie isn’t immune to the magic of them and starts getting red in the face when complaining about people “saying things” just because they’re new. Care to elaborate Meyer? ‘Wow those Cullens sure do exist.’ ‘Yup, they are tangible people.’ Though we do learn that Carlisle was swapped to female as well.

Beau “settles” into a routine all while watching for Edythe to come back. This might have been merely obsessive and stupid for Bella, it comes across as creepy from Beau. If only because there are plenty of guys out there who go through that obsessively creepy phase where they fixate on girls from a distance. Then they write angry diatribes on Reddit about being friendzoned when they didn’t have the balls to tell the girl what they really want is to be the next train docking at Neflix and chill and not a bestie for life right off the bat.

It snows and Beau hasn’t seen snow before. People have a snowball fight and Beau doesn’t participate. When they finally get to lunch on the snowday, Beau sees that the Cullen table has five people. This causes his stomach to churn. I don’t know what it is about hacks and their stomachs but I’ve started to wonder if there’s a positive correlation to gut disorders and word diarrhea.

Edythe looks different and not angry which bothers Beau. Jeremy notices that Edythe is staring and mentions it while looking back. Beau is terrified and tries to ignore it. McKayla interrupts by planning a snowball fight in the parking lot. All so Beau can roll his eyes and wonder how long he’d have to be trapped in Forks to find snow interesting. Fuck you, Beau.

People don’t play in snow because they’re poor, rural shit kickers who’ve never read Proust. They do it because seasons happen and it’s having fun with something that otherwise sucks. That pride is exactly why Beau has always had to dance with the chaperones.

Now it’s off to biology class where Beau gets to have an exchange of dialogue with Edythe. And it plays out just like that. They are trading packages of words that resemble those real people say but they’re clearly purchased from the dollar store. That’s the only way it could be so irregular. Beau is shocked that Edythe would know his name.

She laughed softly. “Oh, I think everyone knows your name. The whole town’s been waiting for you to arrive.”

No, they haven’t. This isn’t goddamned Mayberry where there’s only one townie with crippling substance abuse problems. There’s probably a couple thousand people within Forks and ninety nine percent of them have got more important things going on than knowing when the Sheriff’s kid shows up. Things like if they’ll try to reboot Weekend at Bernie’s or who’s going to play Steve Jobs in a biopic when he dies.

Another drive through the riveting slide analysis scene which is the genesis of their romance. Oh look, Edythe’s hand is cold and Beau feels a spark. They identify cells and get to the part where Edythe starts making Beau feel special by knowing he doesn’t like the cold but sacrificed so Renee can get all the monkey sex she wants.

This is the part where it honestly reads like Edward/Edythe is a sexual predator. Because only someone looking to take advantage of a teen would feed them lines and encourage whining about moving because their mom remarried. A friend might commiserate or listen but a creepy mustache who drives a windowless van will try and befriend them by being overly sympathetic. Considering the Ed’s are over a hundred years old, they pretty much are the predator.

With the least interesting microscope staring contest done, Beau gets to gym. McKalya whines about how hard it was and how lucky Beau was to have Edythe as a partner. Beau is glad that McKayla is on his team and everyone covers for him while getting out of the way when he serves.

Then he’s out to the parking lot and into the truck to drive home. A smaller car almost hits him while backing up but doesn’t because he stops. This is the kind of detail Beau will drown Charlie with and then wonder why he spends all his free time on a lake that’s as quiet as a graveyard.

As Beau drives out he can somehow see the Volvo from his periphery and can tell Edythe is laughing. Why Edythe waited until now to laugh about what happened in class is beyond me. Are we sure that she isn’t listening to her favorite George Carlin album? Or maybe she has some ancient vaudeville bits transferred from wax cylinder to mp3 that never fail to poke her funny bone. ‘Oh Shakes and Fitz, you never will tame the saucy dame!’

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