Halfway point! Everyone cheer!

No, he's still not dead yet.

Two chapters tonight.

Cole spat at the Spirit Bear. The Spirit Bear approaches and then licks up Cole's spit before walking away. Anyone else think that's completely random? Cole angsts about the bear thinking that he's insignificant. He starts to cry because he's unloved and alone and nobody cares about him. He's still not dead yet.

He dreams he's a baby bird in a nest struggling to survive. Needing to submit and having a simple desire to live. When I read the bit about submission, my mind immediately wandered off to some naughty places. While he dreams, it's raining. He's still not dead yet.

The Spirit Bear shows up again. And stares at Cole. Cole isn't afraid. He knows that he'll fight (though I don't know how) and if he dies then it's his time to die. And I'm gagging here in the corner. Apparently the bear isn't there to finish him off, but instead is just looking at him curiously. Cole pets the bear and feels trust coming from the bear. He doesn't understand why, because he had tried to kill the bear and spit at it. He hated the bear and the bear defied him. And now the bear was letting him touch him. Yes, Cole finally touches his Spirit Bear. Afterwards the bear wanders off. He's still not dead yet.

Suddenly, Cole has a revelation! The world was beautiful! There's a long description of how beautiful things are, the animals frolicking, the trees and everything so wonderful! "Yes, the world was beautiful! Even the wet moss and crushed grass near his hand was beautiful. Staring at the delicate patterns, he wondered why had never noticed this all before. How much beauty had beauty had he missed in his life time? How much beauty had he destroyed?" And he goes on about this and slowly he fades off, though he hears a buzzing sound. He doesn't die.

Unfortunately he gets rescued by Edwin and Garvey. They take him back on boat and is taken off to the nurse's office. The people around him are worried and Garvey and Edwin talk about how Cole's injuries are from an animal. He's still not dead yet.

Cole is tended to by a nurse named Rosy. They give him drugs. Wrap him up in bandages. The plane can't make it until the morning. Edwin and Garvey talk about how Cole isn't as touch as he thinks he is and if only he had a reason to live. He has a dream where he realizes he has people who care about him. Garvey fed him, his parents fed and clothed him and gave him money, Rosey tended his wounds, Edwin gave advice. (Not so sure about that last one, but okay.) And then all these people turn into monsters and yell at him.

He and Garvey talk about how Garvey is helping Cole to help himself. And how Garvey went to jail for five years. And he wishes he had gotten Circle Justice. Blah blah blah. It's supposed to tell us why Garvey cares so much about Cole and wants to help him. There's supposed to be parallels here. They're rather obvious parallels, especially since Garvey almost comes out and says it.

Edwin asks him what happened on the Island when they're taking Cole to the plane. He tells them what happened. They tell him that he may not have use of his arm any more. Cole says, "My arm isn't important." When they ask why, he replies, "If I like the cake, maybe the ingredients are okay, too." Cole smiled weakly. "A famous parole officer told me that once."

Yes, Cole has done a complete and utter 180, without any reason for him to do so. If anything his experiences should have rendered him more hatey, because I know I'd hate everything if I got mauled by a bear. I definitely would be hating nature at least.

Anyway, Edwin and Garvey don't believe him about the Spirit Bear and then he shows them the hairs he took, promising himself that from now on, he'll tell only truth. He lets the hairs go and the last words of the chapter are "Smiling, Cole rested his head on the stretcher. Edwin had said that anger was a memory never forgotten. That might be true. But the Spirit Bear was also a memory that would never disappear from his mind or heart."

Now, the mind part I can get. Trust me, if I had that sort of trauma I'd never forget that too. But the heart thing? I think it would maybe take months or years even for me to make that sort of realization. I definitely wouldn't make it days after the incident. The transition Cole makes is so quick it's unbelievable. It's forced. Like everything else in this book.

Touching Spirit Bear
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