Porcelain -- Chapter 2 -- Broken Like Mine


Chapter 2: Broken Like Mine

Dee woke up that morning with the sense of confusion, whiskey, and emptiness – a very bad combo. He stumbled across the room and over to the bathroom, where he splashed some water on his face before looking at the mirror and stare for a good three minutes at this reflection. He really needed to shave.

After the short bath, he walked into the small living room and into the kitchen to see what was surviving on the fridge that was non-alcoholic and still edible, turning on the TV in the process so that he could hear sounds and not have the feeling of being alone. A cup of jell-o later, he opened the door to pick-up the paper, sat down on the couch and proceeded to read.

Or at least, he proceeded to pretend he was reading.

The truth was that he wasn’t paying attention to the letters or to the news. He was more or less remembering the events that had led to his point in his life. It wasn’t a pretty sight to remember, but somehow he found himself addicted to the necessity to remember, to gather piece by piece all the events that took place in the past. He needed to feel something akin to his heart beating once more in order to feel alive. He was sort of expecting the phone to ring at any moment but this didn’t happen. He had taken his cell phone and was now looking at it, as if it would ring just by glaring directly at the screen. No new messages, no missed call, no voice mail, nothing; J.J. had taken his petitions seriously this time. He cussed aloud at the sheer thought of it and threw the phone clear across the room, smashing it against the wall. Just then, the house phone rang.

“Hello?” he said.


Dee recognized the voice on the other end of the phone. He smiled weakly. “Hi, Carol.”

“I thought you had the night shift today, is everything okay?”

“Everything is just peachy. What’s up?”

“I called to tell you that my plane will arrive on Saturday at 11, gate B.”

“Perfect. I’ll be there.”

“Good. I missed you very much. Everyone here is so strange. Maybe it’s the spooky weather, I don’t know. I miss you and New York…”

There was a silence. “Who else is there to miss?” Dee muttered.

“So, I’ll see you then on Saturday?” Carol pretended not to hear.

“See you Saturday. We’ll have coffee, we’ll talk, you can settle in again… I’ll see you on Saturday.”

“How’s J.J.?”

“Good. He’ll probably want to tag along, hope you don’t mind.”

“The more the merrier!”

“I’ll see you Saturday then.”

He hung up. Who else is there to miss?, he kept thinking to himself as he leaned his head against his hands. The house was empty, he thought to himself as tears began to form in his eyes. He resisted the temptation to break right then and there, so he got dressed and decided to take a walk – maybe even drink a beer or two if a bar would stumble upon his way. When he opened the door, though, J.J. was on the other side holding a brown paper bag on his right hand and a pack of beers on his left hand.

“You didn’t answer your cell,” he said as raised the bag to eye-level. “So I made an executive decision and brought some Chinese food. Are you hungry?”

“More like thirsty,” Dee said with a chuckle. J.J. held up the six-pack on his left hand. “Well, I’ll be darn!” Dee laughed and stepped to the side, allowing J.J. to walk inside.

“Carol arrives on Saturday,” Dee announced as J.J. placed the food on the small coffee table right next to the beers. “I thought you might like to go with me to welcome her. She doesn’t have anyone else here…” he dragged that last part as if he was sorry to say it aloud but it was too late to stop himself now. J.J. smiled.

“Sure. I’ll be happy to go. Did she enjoy her trip?”

“Sounds like it,” Dee grunted as he sat and grabbed one of the trays with food. “I’m sure she brought you souvenirs.”

J.J. sat on the couch in front of Dee and opened a tray. “This is good,” he said as he gave a taste. Dee sighed.

“Yeah,” he said. “Good.”

J.J. looked worried. “You haven’t been to your counseling sessions, have you?”

“I don’t need them right now,” Dee placed the food tray on the table.


“Stop it, J.J.! Just leave me alone for one god-frigging minute!” Dee snapped, getting up and walking around like a caged animal. “All I need is a minute to figure out what the fuck is going on in here” he pointed to his heart, “—and here!” and he pointed to his head. “Is that so hard to understand? Do I have to spell it out for you people?”

“No,” J.J. said calmly. “But the fact that you haven’t talked about Ry—” at that moment, Dee took one of the cans and threw it at J.J. who, if he hadn’t had those keen reflexes had been hit pretty darn hard by the can that busted as soon as it hit the wall behind him. He looked shocked at Dee, who took his jacket, his keys, and slammed the door on his way out.

Ain't it true what they say,
Every dog has his day?
I never had mine:
I guess it was time.
Send me on down the line,
One piece at a time.

Broken like mine,
For some piece of mind,
I'll be happy when I find,
A love less unkind,
Broken like mine.


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