Study Guide

A Million Little Pieces Part 3, Chapter 2

By James Frey

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Part 3, Chapter 2

  • James turns off an infomercial and goes back to his room.
  • Miles is upset about past mistakes, and James is upset because his parents have the audacity to visit him in the rehab they're paying for.
  • James leaves to meet his parents, along with Joanne, Daniel, and another counselor.
  • In the session, James talks about all his drinking and drug use, which started at age ten.
  • After pages and pages of details, James's parents start crying, and James just leaves.
  • James tells Joanne that he doesn't know why he's so angry, but he wants to kill himself.
  • Joanne says they'll continue talking to his parents after dinner, but she advises James not to see Lilly.
  • The plan is that the number of plates James puts on his tray is the time he'll meet Lilly. He gets ten plates for lunch.
  • Leonard and the crew talk about family problems and James's legal troubles. Then James has to go back to the family center.
  • James's mom tells him not to smoke, and he says, "I can either smoke cigarettes or smoke crack. You make the call" (3.2.270).
  • James's parents apologize. James says thanks and decides to stay for the family group session.
  • James listens to everything and goes back to his room to read the Tao Te Ching some more.
  • James goes back to Joanne's office to talk to his parents.
  • James's parents tell him that they're very disappointed in his behavior and in how he has turned out.
  • James's mom cries, and Joanne tells James he should go.
  • James leaves and goes back to his bedroom to pull his toenail off.
  • No, really, he pulls his toenail off: "the nail of the second toe of [his] left foot" (3.2.377).
  • James washes his foot in the sink, puts his socks and shoes back on, and walks down to the Unit with no problem whatsoever, even though he just pulled his toenail off.
  • There's a creepy man in black standing against the wall, and James finds him "familiar and menacing" (3.2.384).
  • Miles tells James about how bad he screwed up his own life, and James suggests that he ask Leonard about "holding on" (3.2.440). He also says Leonard should try reading the Tao Te Ching. Because it worked for James, right? The guy who just pulled his own toenail off?
  • James meets Lilly in the clearing, running into a branch and cutting his cheek along the way.
  • Lilly says she has "special powers" (3.2.476) to heal him.
  • Lilly kisses his bleeding cheek, even though she has no clue what kind of diseases this man could be swarming with.
  • James tells Lilly about the girl again, about how she was a virgin when he met her… and how she stayed that way because he was impotent.
  • Lilly talks about how her mother would rent her out to men for drug money. Oh, boy.

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