Previously on: Peter has sent his clone (really, an android) to keep Stephanie company. Stephanie gets drunk and then faints.
Stephanie wakes up and has a hangover. “It must have been the champagne.” Right. And not whatever you were drinking at dinner with your kids. Then comes this lovely sentiment:
Paul came in and offered to help me shave my legs.
Now, maybe I’m prudish, but the thought of a man shaving my legs for me at any point other than physical handicap or late-term pregnancy (and in both cases it would have to be a very special occasion for me to bother). So, this whole thing just icks me out.
“No, thanks, I can do it myself.” He sat down on the toilet seat next to me then, with a fresh glass of champagne in his hand, while I wondered if I should just forget about my legs, andslit my wrists instead.
Uh, why is she contemplating suicide? Because he’s watching her bathe? Or because your boyfriend is a mad scientist who has sent his freakish monster to stay with you? Either way, I don’t think suicide is the answer. And to toss it around so lightly shows some mental instability…
After the shower, she makes breakfast. Her daughter comes out in her school outfit:
She appeared late, as usual, straightening the much-too-short skirt she was wearing and fiddling with her hair. She was wearing a necklace that looked like a stop sign but said SEXY, and my favorite pair of high heels. And I sent her back to change into the Adidas she usually wore to school.
So, everything else about that outfit is kosher, but because she’s wearing Stephanie’s “favorite pair of high heels” that’s what she has to change. If I had walked out of my room wearing that for any occasion, let alone school, I would have been told to go back and change from head to toe. Of course the clone/android is not the best role model. He appears in the following getup:
a one piece leopard spandex jumpsuit, with a skintight T-shirt in an almost electric hot pink, with matching shoes.
After the kids get off to school, Stephanie and Paul have some rather boring sexytimes. Afterwards they’re in the bathtub together (which must mean that Paul has amazingly waterproof out layer). The phone rings and this lovely exchange occurs:
“You should answer the phone. It might be the kids.”
I couldn’t have remembered their names at that point if he asked me.
Now, I know I’ve pointed out several times that Stephanie is not the world’s greatest mother, but this is seriously ridiculous. Mothers (and fathers) out there: Have you ever been so overwhelmed by the awesomeness of sexytimes that you not only forget you have kids but when reminded of them, you can’t remember their names? Let me know in the comments.
Anyway, of course, it’s Peter on the phone. At this point I should mention that Stephanie still doesn’t understand that Paul is actually a clone/android/monstrosity. She thinks its Peter pulling a prank. So, when she hears him on the phone she thinks its a recording he’s worked up to some how fool her (which realistically wouldn’t be hard). Thus she tries to give non-traditional responses to stump the recording. And so we get this nonsense:
“How are you, Steph?”
“Pretty sexy,” was my answer, instead of “fine.”
“What does that mean?” he asked. Another standard response to anything I might have said.
“I’m just lying here in the bathtub. We’ve been making love all afternoon.” There was a moment’s pause, which made me smile. He had obviously left a space in the recording, which was clever of him.
“He’s bionic, Steph. He’s not real. He’s entirely man-made, synthetic from head to toe, and he doesn’t mean a thing he says. And whatever he does, it’s strictly a mechanical performance.”
I have to things to say to this: First of all: Remember back last chapter when Paul said he could get Stephanie pregnant if she wanted? Well, in all their sexytimes they certainly aren’t using protection, so hopefully that’s an added feature that has to be manually enabled and not a standard function (yes, I’m thinking way to much about the mechanics of android sex). Second, if Paul is synthetic and entirely man-made (though, technically, aren’t we all?) then he is not a clone. He is an android. This bothers me more than I can convey via text. Actually, as a picture is worth a thousand words and all, here’s a visual of what I’m doing constantly while reading this book:
Stephanie finally realizes that Peter is on the phone and it’s not a recording (takes way longer than it should). Peter tries to further explain what exactly Paul is:
“He is. They cloned me. Actually he’s a hybrid of sorts, a clone tempered by bionics.”
Damn it, Danielle Steel! Make up your mind. Is he a clone or an android? You cannot have it both ways. Either he is a living being with your identical genetic structure (clone) or he is a machine that resembles you and has been programmed to be similar to you (android). There is no such thing. Eff this book.
Peter tells Stephanie not to have sexytimes with Paul anymore. Stephanie’s response:
With a body like his, and Paul’s, what did he expect? Mother Theresa couldn’t have resisted him.
Uh, I bet she could. I like to think that Mother Theresa wouldn’t have been this shallow/superficial to begin with, but also, seeing as she lived a long and (I’m guessing) sex-free life, she was obviously very committed to her beliefs. And the fact that Stephanie is now blatantly cheating on her boyfriend with a monstrosity that defies explanation and is rationalizing makes me slightly sick.
The rest of the chapter is pretty boring. Except for this gem:
[Paul] had already had two bottles of [champagne] at ’21’, but he insisted that his wiring was so good, it wouldn’t affect him, although he had already admitted that it had affected his memory the night before. But he said that he was able to drink all night, and never feel it. In fact he seemed to prefer alcohol to food. Clearly a glitch in his system.
No. No. No! NO! He does not require food or drink. He probably needs a battery replacement or to recharge at some point, but unless he’s using the ethyl alcohol in the booze to fuel his mechanical systems (unlikely) he shouldn’t need any of it. And it shouldn’t affect him at all.
I’ll try to have another recap for Wednesday, but this is going to be a busy week so I make no promises.