As we move into the 2nd Act, we arrive at the 2nd generation of McAlistairs, Annabel’s son, Edgar.
Who is he?
At the outset of the 2nd Act he is young, early to mid 20 something, no older than 25.
He is Annabel’s son. After the events of Act 1 she eventually married. Her husband was an intelligent and caring man, not very interesting or charismatic, but he could keep up generally with most of her conversation, was kind in all the small ways that make home life pleasant, and was meak enough and able to get lost in his own bookish interests that he didn’t mind Annabel’s absences when she would lock herself in her lab for days on end.
Edgar loved his father, but his father’s meakishness and boring demeanor prohibited him from being a notable role model for the boy. Edgar was always much more enamored with his mother, who was loving and doting when it occured to her to be, and so unusual, unpredictable and interesting that he all but worshipped her.
The additional quality that cemented his adoration was the fact that while she was a loving mother, she was distractable, moody, and capable of wandering off to work out a theory or locking herself in her lab for days on end. She was not always available, either mentally or physically. This made her almost like a drug to Edgar, for he never knew when she would disconnect again.
This might have had consequences in Edgar’s teenage years, but sadly, Annabel did not make it that far. She died when he was 11 and he was raised from there on solely by his father. The loss was unbearable to Edgar. His sadness and longing and rage were almost impossible for a 12 year old to deal with.
He hit adolescence immediately afterwards. While young men typically like to “play the field” and wrack up romantic and sexual experience, Edgar was instead very focused, loyal, and rigidly monogamous. He has abandonment issues with women, and becomes very attached to a woman, or in his young life, girls. Girls of adolescence naturally are not so focused and like to play the field themselves, and Edgar could be very attractive at first since he has a certain intensity, but his over attachment quickly turned them off.
However, once into his early 20s, this ceased to be an issue with the right woman, and Edgar found her. Fay is an exceptionally bright young woman, well schooled, looking for a professorship in the liberal arts, and interested in security and settling down. Edgar’s attractiveness, intelligence and unswerving loyalty were the right combination for her and they fell in love and remained together for several years, with eventual marriage being a given assumption.
Unfortunately… Edgar is bright and has a little bit of family money, nothing lavish but a modest amount to get by with, but he is absolutely unfocused, with no idea what do with himself. He has an ability for practical and tactical brilliance, but he cannot become interested in a task or career for any length of time. Since he has enough money to get by he can afford to quit whichever career he has recently lost interest in and go back to moping around the house.
This eventually drives Fay crazy. It is a major contention in their relationship.
Edgar is capable of moping around the house for weeks at a time before finally going back out to try his hand at some other pursuit, which he always eventually gives up on, only to plant himself back home and begin the moping process again. As much as Fay loves him, over time this becomes a cancer in her heart towards him.
When Fay eventually meets Sillof (note: see, i told you i’d use his name!), a young, dapper, bright and incredibly industrious man of business, who is building his own series of stores successfully from the ground up with his own vigor and positive focus, he is irresistible to Fay. Fay is the perfect compliment to Sillof, artistic where he is practical, soothing, clever and of course poetic, for Sillof is not poetic at all, and finds it to be the most wonderful quality he can imagine, one he himself cannot possess. They are drawn together, and despite her love for Edgar, she cannot resist Sillof and leaves Edgar heartbroken and abandoned again.
And thus we begin the 2nd song of Act 2 (the first song of each Act is always a Narrator song, a tango, which brings us up to speed on how the city of New Camden has changed in the passing generation).