So my mother leaves me a voice mail telling me Oprah’s newest selection for her book club. Says she thought of me because Oprah said she couldn’t put it down even though it was a little outside the box for her. I buy it on a whim. The Universe has put it in my path for a reason, methinks.

So I’m reading it now. The print is tiny, so it’s deceptively long. I’m 75 pages in. It’s called A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. It’s remarkable and excruciating and so raw. Almost too raw. It’s a memoir about his six weeks in rehab. I know what Oprah means — it’s definitely outside the box for me, too. It’s like watching a car accident; you want to look away but you are also so drawn to it.

I just finished a chapter about his visit to the dentist, getting a root canal without anesthesia because of his addiction: I start to fade into a state of white consciousness where I am no longer directly connected to what is being done to me … There is white. Everywhere there is white. There is agony. It is agony that is unfathomable …

It’s hard enough just to read about it.