A Broken Reflection
“He wanted to be seen as more than whatever diagnosis some med school graduate had given him.”
“A Broken Reflection” is the life story of Johnny O’Hearn. Born in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Johnny is afflicted with the genetic disorder known as Down Syndrome. Although he has the physical characteristics associated with the condition, neurologically, he is unaffected. In fact, Johnny is a genius.
Johnny’s mysterious friend calls herself “God’s videorecorder”. And she is exactly that. Ensconced in a mental institution, Johnny’s friend can tell a story simply by touching one’s hand. This is how the reader is introduced to Johnny and his family. His loving family believes in him fully. But to doctors, teachers and schoolmates, Johnny must constantly prove himself worthy of respect. With determination, intellect, charm and a talent for baseball, he does just that.
Despite the way he looks, Johnny makes good friends along the way, most notably, kindergarten pal Tony and, the love of his life Tracy. A rocky, romantic road looms for the three of them. Their friendship is challenged in the worst way imaginable. Later, his college roommate Lamont and the tragic Corrine become chums as well. Interspersed throughout the story are the, seemingly, unrelated rants of Johnny’s enigmatic, italicized friend.
But, by the end of the story, the reader sees the juxtaposition of the seemingly disparate characters in the heroic climax. It turns out that Johnny and his friend Robin, truly needed one another.
Seamus Murphy was born and raised in Neenah, Wisconsin, in the heart of the Fox River Valley.
He spent the first twenty years of his adult life working with the developmentally disabled, a vocation that was both rewarding and heartbreaking. He gave up those pursuits to work as a customer service representative in the paper industry.
He is now engaged in his third career as a writer. Seamus is a reluctant widower, a proud father and a new grandfather. He currently resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.