Study Guide

A Million Little Pieces Part 2, Chapter 3

By James Frey

Part 2, Chapter 3

  • Yesterday's vomit-free morning was a fluke. James wakes up and meets his friend the toilet for an upchuck sesh.
  • At breakfast, there's a new man: a boxer named Matty Jackson. He was once top of his weight class, but now he's been shriveled up by drug abuse.
  • After meeting Matty, James goes to lecture, where he plays cards and doesn't pay attention. Then he meets Hank and Joanne and tells them about his calm decision in the woods.
  • Hank and Joanne tell him this is a "Moment of Clarity" (2.3.92). Good thing they didn't call it an "a-ha moment", or Oprah would have had one more thing to yell at him about later.
  • Of course, James has to push back. "I didn't have a Moment of Clarity. I just felt calm" (2.3.95).
  • Back on the Unit, there's a video about a football player who used the Twelve Steps to recover, and James thinks it's stupid.
  • Ken calls James into his office and asks him if he's ready "to do anything and everything it takes to get sober" (2.3.118).
  • James says no.
  • Ken gives James a First Step workbook to do. James thinks it's stupid that he's been asked to do a coloring book, but he takes it anyway.
  • James is told that he'll be assigned to a new room because Warren and John are leaving.
  • John is scared to leave, and he asks James to call his daughter and tell her that her father was a good man.
  • James says he will.
  • Then James gets really angry out of nowhere and "the Fury takes over" (2.3.268).
  • James channels Heathcliff and beats the sap out of a tree in the wood.
  • Lilly pops out and convinces James to stop beating up that poor defenseless tree.
  • James and Lilly lie together on the ground and start hugging. She tells him over and over, "You're okay" (2.3.293).
  • James goes to his new room after the hugfest in the woods and meets Miles Davis. This Miles Davis is an alcoholic judge from New Orleans and not a trumpet player.
  • James introduces Miles to his lunch crew: Leonard, Matt, Ed, and Ted.
  • They eat, then go to lecture where a "famous Rock Star" (2.3.371) who is unnamed but reminds us of Steven Tyler talks about his success.
  • James thinks this rock star is a "Fraud" and a "Chump Motherf***er" and wants to "give him a beating" (2.3.373).
  • After the lecture, James goes back to his room to read the Tao Te Ching, which his brother left him.

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