Study Guide

A Million Little Pieces Part 2, Chapter 4

By James Frey

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Part 2, Chapter 4

  • James wakes up to a sound "like a Child being burned alive" (2.4.1). Is it American Idol audition time again?
  • It turns out to be Roy, who is back and screaming and calling himself "Jack the man-hammer" (3.4.40) and threatening to "smash all of you to f***ing bits." (Millions of little pieces, maybe?)
  • Roy gets dragged away by security, and Ted laughs.
  • Everyone gossips about what happened to Roy. (Crack? Acid? PCP? Cookie Dough Oreos?)
  • Everyone but James goes to bed. James sits and smokes and reminisces about the girl again, the one who was in Lucinda's room.
  • James stared at her for a year: "I just stared at her. After a while I knew that she knew I was doing it, but she never told me to stop. I just stared" (2.4.60).
  • So James stares and stares and stares at her, and finally she asks him why.
  • James's answer: "Every single thing about you is beautiful. I stared at her. When I see you the World stops. […] I stared. When you're gone, the World starts again. […] I love it when it stops. It's the best f***ing thing I've ever known or ever felt, the best thing, and that, beautiful Girl, is why I stare at you" (2.4.79-2.4.83).
  • Instead of filing a restraining order, the girl says, "That was beautiful" (2.4.85).
  • Back in the present, Leonard appears, and he and James go for a walk.
  • Leonard tells a tragic story about how his father died, and then his mother died, and then the guy who took him in (whose name was Michelangelo) was shot right in front of him and died in his arms.
  • After that, Leonard hunted down the men and took care of them.
  • Then Leonard turned himself in to rehab.
  • The moral of the story: "Just hold on, and sooner or later, the s*** is gonna get better" (2.4.177).
  • The others repeat: "Just hold on" (2.4.79).
  • The gang goes inside to meet a new person, Bobby, who knows a bunch of mobsters from Brooklyn.
  • James thinks Bobby is full of pigeon poop and tells him so, in harsher words. Bobby, "like all Liars confronted, is instantly defensive and mad" (3.4.202).
  • James leaves the cafeteria and bumps into Lilly, who passes him a note, which tells him to meet her in the clearing at four.
  • But first, Ken reminds James to complete the First Step workbook and write his goal on the goal board.
  • James's goal: "I'm Going to Be a Laker Girl" (2.4.227).
  • Then James does his workbook. And by does, we mean he writes: "I Don't Need This Bulls*** to Know I'm Out of Control" (2.4.230).
  • James decides to read the Tao Te Ching instead, and that calms him down. Then he leaves his coloring book on Ken's desk.
  • After mealtime, Lincoln gives everyone the skinny on Roy: he suffers from Multiple Personality Disorder (now known as Dissociative Identity Disorder).
  • James gets called out of group by Joanne, who thinks it's unacceptable that James wrote what he wrote in the workbook.
  • Joanne tries to convince James to take this seriously, and James leaves.
  • James gets his jacket and goes to meet Lilly in the clearing.
  • James and Lilly spill the beans on a few key parts of their past (check out their "Character Analyses" for this info) and even get a few smooches in.
  • James goes back inside and has a dinner 'n' lecture.
  • After lecture, the phone rings, and James just knows it's Lilly on the other end.
  • It is, and Lilly says she misses James.

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