Life & Death Chapter 10

I’ve been wondering why Meyer didn’t delve into the relationship between Charlie and Renee a bit more. Charlie could have been an excellent obstacle between Bella/Beau and Ed. We don’t get much backstory about it but we know that Charlie and Renee married young and split pretty early. Which is a rather stark parallel with Bella/Beau and Ed.

Maybe when they announced their marriage plans, Charlie should have taken his only child aside and gave them a talk. Even though he doesn’t know Ed’s a vampire, Charlie does know what it’s like to be in love. There’s probably a rather tragic story about how those two met, fell madly in love and then split shortly after Bella/Beau was born.

That Bella/Beau and Ed never confront those realities is what makes this unrealistic. Their love has a fairy tale quality, not that it’s perfect but that they’re in love because the story teller says so. It’s simplistic and childish and there’s nothing wrong with that. What bothers me is the diehard fans who think this is good romance. Yeah, and so is the love story between Padme and Anakin.

This chapter is called interrogations. I know I don’t usually note the chapter name because they’re about as consequential as any thoughts Bella/Beau has in their head but I couldn’t help the imagery that it conjured. I would have made this so much more entertaining if Charlie had hauled his only child into the police station, locked them in the filing room they use for questioning and turned a heat lamp on them.

‘What were you doing last night?’ ‘Driving around with a sexy vampire.’ ‘Cool, did you make out with her?’ ‘No, because I’m a giant wuss.’ ‘But you kissed her, right?’ ‘Of course not. I sorta leaned in for it and she pushed me away but now I’m in love with her.’ ‘Christ on a cracker! And Renee said you’d be fine after you drank those thermometers…’

Beau wakes up late, grabs a granola bar and drinks milk from the carton. That’s are update on Beau snack news. Tune in tonight to discover that he’s eaten some peanut butter crackers and had a soda after lunch. He runs out to his truck, whining about how it’s cold and he hopes it doesn’t rain until after he gets to school. Then he can get his jacket from Jeremy.

Before he can pull out(heh heh) he sees a silver car drive up to the house. It’s Ed and she offers him a ride. Beau quickly towels away the mess in his pants and runs over to the car. She throws him a jacket which she says is Royal’s and she doesn’t want him to catch a cold.

Stupid question, Meyer. Why did Ed snag a jacket from someone within the family to bring over? Wouldn’t returning a jacket smelling of tasty human to a vampire be kind of an insult? Being as the Cullens have clearly tapped into Scrooge McDuck’s fortune, couldn’t Ed have just driven to a twenty four hour retailer and bought Beau a new jacket? Even if the nearest store was four hours away, Ed could have raced there and back. It’s not like she had to take a nap or has any pressing engagements. Just seems like a dick move is all.

Ed asks Beau why he’s being quiet once he’s in the car. Beau asks if the questions last night was annoying. Ed says not but his reactions were confusing. People are apparently supposed to reach for a cross and holy water as soon as someone says they drink blood. Because normal people are so absolutely frightened of vampires.

This is just another nibble for the unicus of the avatar. ‘You’re special because the thought of vampires doesn’t frighten you.’ Vampires haven’t frightened anyone since before Bram Stoker put pen to paper, Meyer. If anyone in a modern setting told anyone they drank blood, they’d call for a mental health hold not a wooden stake and a mallet.

That Bella/Beau just accept that Ed is a vampire, without qualification, is more telling of them. At this point they’ve seen nothing that proves what Ed says. ‘I’m psychic.’ Says they person who then claims they can’t read your mind. Yes, the van thing happened, and that might sort of convince them, but Bella/Beau doesn’t doubt their senses for a second. Bella/Beau is clearly desperate for a fantasy world to be real.

Beau wonders where the others are and how they’re getting to school. Because when the person you’ve got a teenage boner for shows up in a new car and offers you a ride, the most pressing thing on your mind is the travel arrangements of their siblings? I remember being in high school, looking at the cute girl in front of me and thinking ‘man, I hope her sister got to school all right’. It’s okay because Royal drove the red convertible in to school. Which sucks because they were “trying” to stay inconspicuous. And yet not one of them though to buy a couple of beaten minivans to drive in.

They get to school ahead of schedule because driving like you’ve escaped the Talladega speedway lets you warp time and space. Beau sees Jeremey and says he’ll see him in class. Jeremey gives Edythe a long look, says oh and then walks off. This makes Ed laugh because she can read his mind.

She grinned a mischievous smile. “He wants to know if we’re secretly dating. And exactly which base you’ve gotten to with me.”

Which isn’t really a stretch. You don’t even have to be a century old vampire to know a teen would probably be wondering if your friend suddenly showing up with the most desired person at school means they’re fucking. Edythe laughs and walks off, leaving Beau to wonder if she’s going to eavesdrop on his reaction via Jeremy.

Again, this is a moment that’s a lot more telling about Bella/Beau’s character than Meyer would admit. That Ed has admitted to spying on them via their friends, doesn’t bother them. They’re not even bothered that Ed could and does violate the privacy of people’s minds. Not even those of their supposed friends like Jessica/Jeremey. What this tells us, subconsciously, is that Bella/Beau is stupid, desperate and doesn’t care about their friends.

McKayla is waiting for Beau in class and whines about how he missed the movie with his friends. She’s a little distressed that Beau ended up having an impromptu date with Edythe. McKayla even asks if the time with his friends wasn’t a charade on Beau’s part. He deflects and then asks how her date was with Jeremy and says Jeremey really enjoyed it.

Erica then approaches Beau and says she thought he wasn’t going to the prom. Though if he’s changed his mind, he’s welcome to join her and her friends. Beau says no, he still won’t be there and is upset when he hears that Taylor says she’s taking Beau. Beau says she was probably just joking, as crazy girls are wont to do. He’ll clear it up so Logan can go with her as Logan wants so there won’t be further drama about it.

In his next class, Jeremy begs for details as to what’s going on. When Beau says that nothing happened, and thank goodness for his impotence because now he won’t have to return that purity ring, Jeremy gets upset. They get into what passes for an argument with Jeremy saying he’d rather date a normal girl and Beau telling him to keep his expectations low.

Edythe meets him outside and he offers to carry her bag for her. Edythe lets him because it’s heavy and he needs to learn his place as soon as possible. They walk to lunch, Edythe buys a bunch of food to waste and some for Beau then they sit down. Edythe shows him she can choke down lunch room pizza then lets Beau have the rest.

Edythe then asks if Beau believes what Jeremy does, that she’s dating him out of pity. No, as you’ve only had one half date that culminated in less than a firm and hearty handshake, you’re not even dating. Ed says she’s not and she won’t get bored with him. Then she stares at him like she’s trying to read him and is frustrated when she can’t.

Something catches Edythe’s attention and Beau asks what. She says Royal has a “very strident mental voice”. She’s made the other Cullens angry. Now they’re not going to let Ed work on the one million piece puzzle of kitten and yarn. Ed says not to worry and that now she’s certain she’s not the only one who’s obsessed.

Ed says she definitely thinks about Beau more than he does her. As she’s awake the whole day while Beau has to lay down and conk out. Beau counters that dreams should count and Ed says that REM sleep is very brief and she’s still ahead on hours. I bet if they were on social media, they’re the kind of people that post ‘bae just went to the bathroom, miss you ❤ <3’ back and forth until the end of time.

Now that they’ve both told each other that they’d get a tattoo of the other’s face right above their junk so those untrustworthy doctors have to look at it during examinations, Ed reads Taylor’s mind. Ed says Taylor has already bought a dress. Beau leans back on his clumsiness, saying he doesn’t dance. Ed bets that he would have gone if she had asked him. She’s quite aware of him being something of a klutz and says she’s a good teacher.

“I don’t think coordination is a learnable skill.”

Actually, that’s exactly what it is. Unless you have a medical condition, Beau, you can learn to not walk like a Jenga stack in an earthquake. That would take effort though and Bella/Beau will do nothing that requires them to take action on their part. The plot can come right to them as need be, thank you very much.

Good god this chapter drags on. It’s all dialogue between Ed and Beau. Blah blah blah, let’s go to Seattle together blah blah. Ed also mentions she eats mountain lions when Beau asks. Eleanor kills bears because those aren’t endangered. Though he was told by Ed that she can lift five thousand pounds, Beau can’t figure how they hunt without weapons.

Beau asks if Ed ever gets hurt. She laughs and says the mountain lions is about as dangerous as his pizza slice. Which contradicts a moment before when Ed said they could drain and kill the local elk and moose but there wasn’t any fun in that. Ed is simply murdering predators out of spite at this point. Beau asks if he can get to see Edythe in action. She says it might be a good idea so he knows how dangerous she is before telling him they have to get to class. Beau grabs their bags and follows her, promising us he won’t forget that.

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2 Responses to Life & Death Chapter 10

  1. eggbone says:

    I don’t usually say this, thanks to my own close readings of every godforsaken page Stephylococcus has ever shit out, but you’ve made me realize something about Meyer. She just took the dynamic from every romantic subplot in a fantasy story ever and slathered it over the paper machie bodies of her protagonists. They have the relationship that would normally exist as human interest next to a much bigger story, but THEY ARE THE STORY.

    p.s. long-time reader, appreciate what you do, keep the flame, etc.

    • eggbone says:

      Not that it’s news that nothing is going on in these books, but that Annakin/Padme comment really drove home how little thought went in to them.

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