Transcript of 40th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Sylvia Bows, Tuesday, May 20, 1997 at 4 pm.

Ms. Bows: Hello, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Hello, Sylvia. Please sit down.
Ms. Bows: Oh yeah. Thank you.
Dr. Balis: What's going on?
Ms. Bows: Well, a lot has happened last week, Doctor. Some things are very good, but can be very unjust sometimes.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Bows: Where do you want me to start? Good or bad, Doctor, your choice.
Dr. Balis: Let's start with the bad and leave the good for the end of the session--we'll end on the lighter note.
Ms. Bows: Actually, I don't think I can really separate the two.
Dr. Balis: Just go ahead, Sylvia.
Ms. Bows: We arrived at Bruce's at around seven-thirty last Saturday. I think I told you, he has a beautiful house with a spectacular 360 degree view of San Francisco and the Bay Area. Bruce leads a very decadent life style. He doesn't believe in denying himself anything. The house is built to be super comfortable. He has a home theater complete with Egyptian decor and an old fashioned popcorn machine. The whole house is decorated in a mixture of super modern electronics mixed with antiques from all over the world. Bruce collects everything and his house is filled with strange and wonderful stuff. I would love to take my boys there someday when they are older--they'd have the time of their lives going through all those marvelous things. And Bruce gets a kick out of showing off his collections.
Dr. Balis: Sounds like a very fun place.
Ms. Bows: It really is. Saturday was extremely hot, if you remember.
Dr. Balis: It was the hottest day since I've moved to the area.
Ms. Bows: Well, it was even warmer in Marin. Bruce had our dinner served out on the terrace. We watched the sun set and drank our cocktails outside. Things were going very well. I even relaxed somewhat and stopped worrying about Tom and Bruce being in such close proximity to each other. And they were getting along very well. Tom was telling Bruce about my recent adventures at SII--about Lloyd's strangeness and all that, not about the lovers...
Dr. Balis: Sure.
Ms. Bows: It turns out that Bruce knew Lloyd when he was Lenny Majedenski--a hard-working Hungarian-American student getting his biochemistry degree from Cal Tech.
Dr. Balis: Lenny Majedenski?
Ms. Bows: Apparently, Lloyd is a complete Anglophile. And, Bruce said, Lloyd believed that "Lloyd Major" is a better name for a CEO than Lenny Majedenski. Well, I'm not surprised, Doctor. Are you?
Dr. Balis: No, I guess not. How does Bruce know Lloyd?
Ms. Bows: Bruce was considering going to Cal Tech and was there on tour. His tour guide was none other than Mr. Majedenski himself.
Dr. Balis: Somehow I can't imagine Lloyd as a tour guide.
Ms. Bows: Bruce said that he wasn't any good, but he did throw a good party afterwards.
Dr. Balis: So Lloyd and Bruce are friends?
Ms. Bows: I guess on some level. That's why Bruce was doing work for SII.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Bows: The world is a very small place, Doctor. Our lives prove this over and over again.
Dr. Balis: True. So what happened that night with Tom, Bruce, and you?
Ms. Bows: Well, as I was saying, we were all having a delightful time. Bruce's sushi chef was an artist and his creations weren't just unbelievably delicious, but they were really miniature food sculptures.
Dr. Balis: A sushi chef?
Ms. Bows: It was hot. Sushi was a perfect dinner selection. But as we were laughing at Bruce's stories about Lloyd's party style, Bruce suddenly collapsed right onto the deck.
Dr. Balis: What happened?
Ms. Bows: It was horrible. He hit the tiles so hard his face was a puddle of blood. And then his whole body was shaking and trembling and he was rolling around and thrashing on the ground.
Dr. Balis: Bruce had a grand mal seizure?
Ms. Bows: Oh, and it lasted for such a long time that we thought it would be best call 911. Tom and I tried keep him from getting hurt more than he was all ready. When the paramedics got there, Bruce was just beginning to gain consciousness. He was very groggy and out of it as they cleaned him up and put some bandages on his face. He didn't break his nose, as we feared, but he was still pretty bruised from his fall. The paramedics decided on take Bruce to the emergency room even though he said that he was suffering from epilepsy and it was really a waste of time and he knew what to do himself. They insisted, and Bruce made a very polite apology to us and asked us to stay in his house. He really made it clear that he wanted us to finish our dinner, and enjoy the facilities while he was out.
Dr. Balis: That was very nice of Bruce.
Ms. Bows: He was almost embarrassed by the incident. But everything he was telling me to make me feel better only made me more freaked out.
Dr. Balis: I don't understand. You were worried about Bruce's health?
Ms. Bows: He said that epilepsy runs in his family and that this happens all the time--I shouldn't worry about it, he knows what to do and how to cope.
Dr. Balis: I...
Ms. Bows: Epilepsy runs in his family, Doctor!
Dr. Balis: You mean...
Ms. Bows: It's possible that Bruce is the father of Grant or Roald or both.
Dr. Balis: Oh.
Ms. Bows: I think I was in shock. I checked so carefully--went through all the medical records of all the men I had sex with. I wanted to avoid just such a possibility. And yet...
Dr. Balis: Bruce's medical file didn't have reference to hereditary epilepsy?
Ms. Bows: Nothing of the sort. It said that Bruce was in perfect health.
Dr. Balis: I see. Did you tell Tom?
Ms. Bows: I was so terrified of what I just learned. It's like my whole life just suddenly changed. All I could think about is if there were any resemblances--physical or in mannerisms--between my boys and Bruce.
Dr. Balis: The boys are just two months old--it would be impossible to tell just yet.
Ms. Bows: I know. All I can do now is wait.
Dr. Balis: The chances that Grant or Roald are Bruce's children...
Ms. Bows: It doesn't matter how high or low that risk is. It's there and it's awful. If Bruce stood just a bit closer to the rail, he could have fallen three stories down to the rocks below. I don't want to live to bury my children, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Sylvia, you're blowing this way out of proportion. First of all, Bruce might not be the father of either of your boys. And second, even if he is, epilepsy is mostly controllable through anti-seizure medications. Most people with this condition can effectively reduce the number of seizures and their intensity.
Ms. Bows: Bruce couldn't.
Dr. Balis: You don't know what Bruce's situation is. He might not be taking his medication, for instance.
Ms. Bows: If he doesn't, he probably has a damn good reason for it--like it makes him sick or dulls his senses.
Dr. Balis: You don't know that.
Ms. Bows: After the paramedics took him away and the maid cleaned the blood off the deck, Tom and I were left alone. We weren't interested in any more food and I was so completely shaken by what just happened that Tom thought it would be good idea to get me a drink and sit me down for a bit. He was so caring. He took me in his arms and let me cry. I felt guilty, because I knew that he believed that I was just upset by watching my friend get so sick. He didn't...
Dr. Balis: You didn't tell Tom about Bruce and you...
Ms. Bows: I couldn't then. My whole body was as cold and heavy and as immobile as a block of ice. It was hot, but I was frozen. Tom let everyone go home. We were left alone to wait for Bruce to return home.
Dr. Balis: You wanted to wait for Bruce?
Ms. Bows: He really wanted us to, I think. We went to the garden deck--it was away from where Bruce...
Dr. Balis: I understand.
Ms. Bows: There was a swimming pool and a hot tub laid out among the roses. Tom took off my shoes and lifted my skirt, and then sat me at the edge of the tub and put my feet in the water to warm them up. He was so gentle and...more than gentle. He was trying to make me comfortable and yet was allowing me to feel what I was feeling. He wasn't really talking to me, just sitting very close and gently whispering my name over and over again. It was hypnotic and after a while my mind seemed to clear of all thought except for my immediate surroundings. Somehow our lips met and I found myself drinking in his every breath and tasting his lips...I've forgotten just how good that was. And he wasn't pushing me away. He was just as eager to be with me as I was with him. It was incredibly intense lying there on the grass under the stars amid all those flowers. It was as if my whole body suddenly came to life. I wanted no bit of my flesh left untouched--I wanted all of him, and he wanted all of me. We must have been out there for hours, making love over and over again.
Dr. Balis: And Bruce?
Ms. Bows: He didn't get back until early the next morning.
Dr. Balis: I see. Well, congratulations, Sylvia. I think you might have made a major improvement in your relationship with Tom.
Ms. Bows: I don't understand how we could have waited so long to make love. The incredible feeling of closeness that people get through physical contact is a very critical component of human interactions and relationships. You don't realize just how critical until you experience the lack of it.
Dr. Balis: Are you continuing your sexual relations with Tom?
Ms. Bows: We have a lot of time to catch up on, Doctor. I feel like I did when Tom and I first met. There is this extraordinary anticipation--I can hardly concentrate on what I'm doing at work. And then when we meet...
Dr. Balis: I think I get the idea.
Ms. Bows: Oh I'm sorry, Doctor. I didn't mean to embarrass you.
Dr. Balis: You didn't. But our time is up.
Ms. Bows: That was fast.
Dr. Balis: I'll see you next week?
Ms. Bows: Of course.
Dr. Balis: Good. And try to put your fears regarding epilepsy in perspective. It's highly unlikely...
Ms. Bows: I'll try to figure out just how unlikely.
Dr. Balis: What are you planning to do, Sylvia?
Ms. Bows: I'll talk to Bruce.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Bows: Don't worry, Doctor. I think Bruce will understand and will try to help.
Dr. Balis: I hope so.
Ms. Bows: I'll see you next week, Doctor. Goodbye.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Sylvia.
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