Transcript of 3rd Session between Charles Balis, M.D., Mr. Herbert Michel, and Ms. Lenore Marconi, Thursday, September 17, 1998 at 10:00 am.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Herb. It's nice to meet you, Lenore. Please have a seat.
Ms. Marconi: Hi.
Mr. Michel: No, sit here. I want you to sit here.
Dr. Balis: How was Reno?
Ms. Marconi: We...
Mr. Michel: He wasn't talking to you, okay? It would have been fine, Doc, if the little Miss Bitch and Moan would have stopped being so damn selfish and tried to think about someone else for a change. Do you think you're the only one that matters? What about me, huh? Can't I have a good time once in a blue fucking moon?
Dr. Balis: What happened?
Mr. Michel: She enjoys being miserable, Doc. What's wrong with her? I was playing the slots, playing the tables, having a great old time, and she had this look on her face like it was the end of the world. Would it have broken your face to smile? You just sat there like a bump on a fucking log!
Dr. Balis: Pregnancy can affect a woman's moods, especially in the beginning.
Mr. Michel: She's not really pregnant, it's only a few weeks along. Besides, she was like this even before she got knocked up.
Ms. Marconi: I've been having morning sickness.
Mr. Michel: Bullshit! You don't get that until your second or third month.
Dr. Balis: While the symptoms are different for every woman, most women feel rather ill during their first trimester.
Mr. Michel: Whatever. She's not going to be pregnant much longer. Can you even comprehend, Lenore, with your tiny little pea-brain, what I'm doing for you? I'm busting my ass, working this job, selling shit, paying damn near seven hundred dollars a month for a shoe box-sized studio apartment, and it's all for you! I took you to Reno, so you could get medical benefits, get an abortion, and get your pussy fixed. You don't appreciate any of this; all you ever do is complain.
Ms. Marconi: I work, too.
Mr. Michel: Your work don't mean shit! You've got a worthless job, you don't bring any money in. You can't even keep the house clean or put a decent meal on the table for me when I come home.
Dr. Balis: Herb, calm down. You're being abusive.
Mr. Michel: Okay, okay.
Dr. Balis: Lenore, is there anything you would like to say?
Ms. Marconi: Just that I work, too. And I work a lot of overtime. When...
Mr. Michel: I'm sick of this overtime excuse! All...
Dr. Balis: Let her finish, Herb.
Ms. Marconi: When I worked long hours last week, I came home very late and you, Herb, had already eaten by then. And I get really tired when I work that much. I have to stand on my feet all day. I give you my checks, and you keep almost all the money. You only give me a hundred out of every paycheck, no matter how much I work. I have to buy groceries and pay for transportation with that money. It's not enough.
Mr. Michel: Do you think money grows on trees? I have to pay PG&E, the phone bill, my pager, not to mention the rent. Your paycheck is nothing! I pay for damn near everything. I give you money just to be nice.
Dr. Balis: I think it would be useful to write out a budget and plan your expenses.
Ms. Marconi: The real reason why Herb's upset is because he lost all our money in Reno. He gambled away most of it. And then our car broke down, and Herb lost a day of work. We also had to pay a lot for car repairs.
Mr. Michel: Hey, fuck you! It was my money, you got that?
Dr. Balis: Herb, please...
Ms. Marconi: Some of it was mine, and most of it was Greg's--that's his dealer, Doctor Balis. Herb was placing hundred-dollar bets with money that wasn't his.
Mr. Michel: What the fuck do you know? You need to bet big to win big! I was doing fine at the tables, until you started ragging on my ass. Greg's my friend, he'll understand. He likes to gamble, too. I'm his best salesman, and I always pay him back afterward. He'll give me time to get his money back.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Marconi: You lost over two thousand dollars, Herb. We won't even be able to pay rent this month.
Mr. Michel: Well, Miss Know-It-All, why don't you go out and sell some meth or some weed, and try to make some money?
Ms. Marconi: I can't do that...
Mr. Michel: Because you're too chicken-shit! All you're good for is bitching and nagging, twenty-four-seven. When I feel good, you've got to bring me down. You can't stand it when I'm in a good mood.
Ms. Marconi: You're only in a good mood when you're on methamphetamine. It changes you, you don't realize what you're like...
Mr. Michel: Shut up! Look, Doc, here's the magazine my editor published. When I brought it home, I was all excited to see my story. My editor, Ron, plans to get City Lights or one of the small bookstores to carry it. When I showed it to Lenore, she couldn't even think of one nice thing to say. She wouldn't even take it to Borders and see if they'd put it on the shelves. She wouldn't even ask!
Ms. Marconi: Borders doesn't...
Mr. Michel: I'm not finished! Doc, when I gave it to her to read, she couldn't understand any of this stuff. So she had to put it down, point out all the spelling mistakes. So what if there are a couple of typos? What really matters is the content.
Dr. Balis: I...
Mr. Michel: The bitch couldn't even say one good thing about my story. She doesn't understand it. It's just too fucking deep for you, isn't it?
Ms. Marconi: It's a retelling of the Prometheus myth. There are a lot of mistakes, not just spelling and grammar. You got a lot of facts wrong. Borders is a commercial bookstore, they don't accept self-published journals like this.
Mr. Michel: Fuck you!
Dr. Balis: Herb, please...
Mr. Michel: You read it, Doc. You're smart, you went to college.
Dr. Balis: I think the best way to make use of the time we have here is to address the problems you are facing...
Mr. Michel: The problem is her! I'm doing all the work in this relationship, she's the one that's got to make some changes, or she is fucking out! You're an embarrassment, Lenore, do you know that? The way you acted last week when Keri came couldn't even talk to her, you had to run and hide. Nobody's girlfriend does that.
Ms. Marconi: But you told me...
Mr. Michel: "But-but-but." Your excuses are getting old, babe.
Dr. Balis: Let her finish, Herb.
Ms. Marconi: When we first moved in together, Herb said that I should leave the room when a drug deal is taking place. He used to order me out, he'd point to the door or tell me to go to the kitchen, like I was a dog.
Mr. Michel: You are a fucking dog, take a look in the mirror.
Dr. Balis: That's enough, Herb.
Ms. Marconi: Herb didn't want me involved in the drug dealing at all. He didn't even want me in the room when a deal was taking place. He says it's to protect me in case he ever gets into trouble with the law. Since I don't use any drugs, and as long as I don't know what's going on, I'll be okay.
Mr. Michel: If you loved me, you'd make an effort to get involved. You'd want to know what was going on. You'd want to help me and make me look good. But you're so selfish, you only care about saving your own fat ass! I married you, and you won't even take my name, you ungrateful bitch! I'll bet you don't even love me anymore, do you?
Ms. Marconi: I...I...
Mr. Michel: It's a "yes" or "no" question! Even you can comprehend that!
Ms. Marconi: It's hard to be with you when you're like this. It's hard to care for someone who...for someone who says things like that.
Mr. Michel: You're too chicken shit to say "no!" You can't even say it! After all I've done for you, can't you even pretend you feel something for me?
Dr. Balis: Herb, please.
Mr. Michel: Are you taking her side now? Well, that's just fucking great!
Dr. Balis: I'm not taking sides...
Mr. Michel: Oh, fuck this shit!
Dr. Balis: Herb, please sit down.
Mr. Michel: Fuck you, man! Fuck both of you! You deserve each other!
Dr. Balis: Herb? Herb?
Ms. Marconi: I'm sorry, Doctor Balis. He's been using too much. I don't know what to do.
Dr. Balis: It's not your fault, Lenore.
Ms. Marconi: I feel like it is. He takes a lot of methamphetamine, and then he talks and talks. He doesn't mean what he says, he doesn't remember it either. He gets his make-believe stories mixed up with real life. I don't know what we're going to do about the money.
Dr. Balis: Let's not worry about the money for the moment. Your landlord can't evict you, even if you don't pay your rent, for at least thirty days.
Ms. Marconi: Really? I didn't know that.
Dr. Balis: You said Herb is confusing fantasy with reality?
Ms. Marconi: I'm not sure. He says and does things just to...well, I think it's just to mess with me. Sometimes, he gets so caught up in his fantasies that he loses touch with the real world. He gets really paranoid and...I don't know, weird. It scares me.
Dr. Balis: When was the last time he did something that frightened you?
Ms. Marconi: Last week. He likes to take speed and write--he says it inspires him. Sometimes, he's up for twenty-four hours or more without sleep. I can hear that typewriter going all night. He writes these fantasy stories, and he gets caught up in the characters. It's as if he doesn't know where the characters end and he begins. He also does this vampire role playing game with some of his friends. Last week, when he got a lot of methamphetamine, he was acting really strange.
Dr. Balis: How so?
Ms. Marconi: At first, I thought he was pretending to be a Dracula-type character. He would bite my neck with those fake teeth, and sometimes, he'd bite hard enough to draw blood. Once when I was asleep, he cut in my neck with a razor blade. I woke up and found he was sucking the blood out of the cut. When I jumped, he laughed and said he was playing a game. I wonder if he does it just to freak me out.
Dr. Balis: I think you have good reason to be concerned. Is there somewhere you can go and live for a few days? A friend's house maybe?
Ms. Marconi: No, I don't know that many people here.
Dr. Balis: I'm going to give you a number of a women's support group. They provide temporary housing, if you need a place to stay. I'll write it on the back of one of my cards--Casa Las Madras.
Ms. Marconi: Oh, no, thank you. I don't want to go to a homeless shelter.
Dr. Balis: Lenore, please take it. You may not think you need it now, but with Herb's erratic behavior, it might be a good idea to have something to fall back on.
Ms. Marconi: Well, you're probably right.
Dr. Balis: You can also call me if you need some help.
Ms. Marconi: Well, thank you, but I don't think I can afford that.
Dr. Balis: Firstly, I would be glad to help, and secondly, it would still be covered by SII insurance--a telephone conversation with my patient's spouse is part of therapy.
Ms. Marconi: I don't think Herb would like that. He'd be mad at me if he found out...Well, if Herb doesn't have to find out...I don't have to tell him, do I?
Dr. Balis: No. I also believe that you should have someone to talk to, I think it would be a very good idea if you had a therapist of your own. I can't be your therapist, Lenore. That would be against the ethics of my profession. But if you call that number, the women's center would recommend someone for you, and these services would be free. Does Herb work nights? Ms.Marconi: Yes, he starts around five, a little after I get off work.
Dr. Balis: You can arrange an evening appointment or...
Ms. Marconi: I don't know, I just don't know.
Dr. Balis: Lenore, from everything I just saw and from what you just told me yourself, I believe you are in a very dangerous situation. I believe that it would be best for you and for Herb if you moved out for a few days. Perhaps if you do that, Herb might realize just how out of his depth he really is, and I might be able to help him. I would also hate to see anything happen to you...
Ms. Marconi: Okay, I guess I, I don't want to see someone else, Doctor Balis. They won't understand. They wouldn't know Herb. They would, no! I can't just go and talk to someone like that.
Dr. Balis: I'm sure that whomever you saw would be...
Ms. Marconi: No. If you want to help, you have to be the one, Doctor Balis. I won't go to anyone else.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Marconi: You know Herb. You know that deep down inside, he's not like that. And by talking to you, I would feel like I'm helping him. If I talk to someone else, they would just put him away. You can't do that--you have a patient/doctor confidentiality. So if I tell you the truth, you wouldn't be able to do anything about it.
Dr. Balis: I can't see you as a therapist and keep it secret from Herb. But if you want to tell me things about Herb that might help me in his treatment, I guess I can stretch the point. But only on the condition that you make it safe for yourself. I think you have to move out, for the time being.
Ms. Marconi: I'll give the women's center a call tonight.
Dr. Balis: How about next Tuesday at 5:00 p.m.?
Ms. Marconi: That would work, as long as I don't have to work late that day. Oh, wait! I just thought of something. What if Herb sees me walking into this building? I work near Union Square, he'd know something was up if he saw me here. I don't usually come to this area.
Dr. Balis: Lenore, if Herb ever hits you or even threatens you with violence, you can call the police and...
Ms. Marconi: I don't want to do that.
Dr. Balis: Methamphetamine can make people violent. Calling the police might really be the best thing to do.
Ms. Marconi: Hmm.
Dr. Balis: Are you seeing an obstetrician?
Ms. Marconi: What's that? Oh, you, not yet.
Dr. Balis: You should make an appointment as soon as possible.
Ms. Marconi: All right, I will. Thank you, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: You're very welcome. I'll see you next week.
Ms. Marconi: Okay. Bye-bye.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Lenore.
Arrow, Straight, Left, Earlier Arrow, Straight, Right, Later

Button to Dr. Balis' Notes Doctor Balis' Notes on this Session

Button to Herbert Michel's Transcripts Transcripts of Herbert Michel's Communications
Button to Herbert Michel's Patient File Herbert Michel's Patient File

TCT Bottom Bar Links to Top of Page Pipsqueak Productions © 1998. All Rights Reserved.