Transcript of 74th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. Alex Rozzi, Wednesday, February 17, 1999 at 5:00 pm.

Mr. Rozzi: Hey, Doc.
Dr. Balis: Oh hello, Alex. You're a little early today.
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, I am, uh? I didn't expect that, but I guess I got a little ahead of myself. I went to the airport to pick-up some stuff for Chase-Thorne, and the traffic was pretty okay today.
Dr. Balis: Who is Chase-Thorne?
Mr. Rozzi: That's the gallery I'm working for. Chase-Thorne Galleries, that's their name. Have you been to any of their places? They have three different galleries here in The City, one in Sausalito, another in Napa, and one in Monterey, too. The one I work for is over on Hayes Street, practically around the corner from City Hall. We specialize in modern sculpture. It's kind of cool, actually.
Dr. Balis: I've never been there. I'm not really into modern sculpture.
Mr. Rozzi: Well, it's the place where my mom's wedding gift came from--the huge sculpture that SII's big boss gave my mom and Mark. We have some huge pieces there, and some are much larger than that monster my mom got.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. Do you enjoy working there?
Mr. Rozzi: I do. Really. A lot. Way a lot! It's pretty cool. I get to meet some interesting characters, that's for sure. The people that work there are cool. We assemble these pieces right there in the gallery, and all sorts of people come in and watch us put things up and look at the work and stuff. Sometimes, the artist who made the piece is there to direct things...or to get in the way--I'm not sure which. I'm thinking about studying with this one guy who creates these electronic sculptures. They're sort of like neon light sculptures, I guess. But this week, I've been working like a mad man, running my ass off. We got back late Monday from Bonnie Doon, and you know what the weather has been like lately--what a mess we had down there!
Dr. Balis: What were you doing in Bonnie Doon?
Mr. Rozzi: Ralph dragged me down there with him on Saturday. We were only going to stay for the night. But when we got there, it wasn't a moment too soon. After that huge rainstorm we got last week, something gave and the basement floor was covered in mud. It was a huge mess, but it was confined to a rather small area. Then, the electricity went out, and we had no light that night. And the wind was howling, and the trees all around the house were whipping in the wind. It was like a horror movie or something--kind of scary! Ralph and I just lit a fire and some candles and had a nice meal together. But he kind of ruined it, though.
Dr. Balis: How?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, he started about the living trust thing again. He wants me to list everything in both houses that I want because he has a few people he wants to give some things to. But he said he wants me to have the first pick, and he doesn't want me to worry about sounding too greedy or anything. I was all, "Ralph, this is totally too morbid." But he said, "We have to talk about it." I told him we don't know how long he will live--the cancer might just sort of linger inside him, he might just live another twenty years or more. But he said that between the cancer and the way or another...well, I was completely losing my appetite by then, and I cooked a nice Italian style dinner, too.
Dr. Balis: I'm sorry, Alex. I think Ralph is right. You do need to talk about it.
Mr. Rozzi: I cooked the whole dinner without electricity. Ralph's house has gas in the kitchen, and the water is heated by gas, too. We really lucked out there. The house is real old, built in the late 1920s, years before Ralph was born. It was built at the same time as they built his house in the city. As a matter of fact, Ralph's father had the same people do both houses, and they used some of the same stuff: slate-rock for the floors and fireplaces, for example, and there are other similarities between the two houses, too. The house usually gets some sort of flooding each year. The mud was cleaned out by late Sunday night, but the storm was still going strong by then. Sunday morning, we went into town--if you could call it a town--and we got some sandbags and gas for the power generator. Ralph didn't stock up for Winter this year. But we managed to get the house all cleaned up and readied for more of this stormy weather. Jeez! You should have seen it--it was such a mess! You'd think that with all this damned modern technology, someone would have figured out how to control the fucking weather by now. This rain just makes me crazy! But that little trip we was perfect timing.
Dr. Balis: For what?
Mr. Rozzi: To get out of the city! Last week--on Thursday night, actually--something happened that really tweaked me.
Dr. Balis: Go on.
Mr. Rozzi: Well, I hadn't been getting return phone calls from Luke for most of last week, and I was getting tired of always waiting, always wondering what was going to happen with him. One day, he's all loving and full of attention, and then suddenly, he's not returning phone calls or showing up. I know he's in town, and he's not working a whole lot right now. First, Luke made me believe that he wanted us to get back together. Then, he yanked the rug out from under me and told me to move out. And after we had our talk, he wanted me to move back in but I said no--mostly because he threw me out, but also because of Ralph. I didn't really expect Ralph to get worse. I was really hoping he would be better by now, but...well, I don't know. So anyway, where was I?
Dr. Balis: You said you were tired of waiting for Luke.
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, that's right. So I was tired of always waiting for him, you know? He has this ability to be so attentive and sweet, and then just as easily, he can be cold as ice. He's hot and cold--totally weird. Anyway, so I went over to his place to see if he was there. I knocked on the door, and a few minutes after I knocked, this guy answered the door.
Dr. Balis: Who was he?
Mr. Rozzi: That's the wrong question. It's more like, "What was he wearing?"
Dr. Balis: Hmm?
Mr. Rozzi: A towel. He was wearing a fucking towel! I was just stunned. And he was all real condescending like, "Can I help you?" I told him I wanted to see Luke. And with a nasty little smile, he said, "He's still in the shower, but you can come in and wait for him if you'd like." I was like, "No thanks!" I started to go when he said, "What's your name? So I can tell Luke you were here." I turned around and I think I snarled back, "I'm Alex. Tell him Alex was here, and he can go and fuck off!" And I ran down the stairs and got away from there as fast as I could. I couldn't believe my eyes! And that guy was there, with only a towel on. I was just like...I mean this was too bizarre, really. I was so mad, you know? So fucking mad.
Dr. Balis: I can understand your anger, Alex. Did Luke made you believe you still had an exclusive relationship with him?
Mr. Rozzi: Well...I mean...can you just imagine that? It was the last thing I expected to see. Luke? It's so not like him to do that. But maybe I was wrong, I don't know. All I can say now is, "Later, Dude!" I don't want him around me any more, no how, no way!
Dr. Balis: So you haven't talked to Luke since?
Mr. Rozzi: Oh yes, we talked. For about ten minutes, I listened to him try to explain to me what was going on under my nose there, but his story was totally lame. I'm not stupid, so why would he even try to treat me like I am, you know?
Dr. Balis: What was Luke's explanation?
Mr. Rozzi: What does it matter? He was playing some sort of sick game with me, that's all I can say. He doesn't even know what he wants, that's the problem. He tries to play me like a fiddle, the fucker! Oh! When I saw that guy standing there with a little towel wrapped around his waist, I saw red. It could have been raining mad dogs and razor blades that night, and it wouldn't have bothered me. I walked for probably four, maybe even five hours. It was way after three in the morning by the time I got in. Ralph was so cute. He waited up for me, or he tried to. He fell asleep there in his chair near the door with the TV on and his reading glasses still on his nose. I had to get him up to put him in bed. The next morning, we had an early major pick-up for the gallery down at the airport. Well, needless to say, I was fried-out-zombie-boy all day Friday, and I think I was mostly numb, really.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Rozzi: So Luke tried to tell me they had just come back from the pool. His friend came out of the shower first and so was able to answer the door while Luke was still washing up. But it didn't look that way to me.
Dr. Balis: Is there a chance Luke could be telling the truth?
Mr. Rozzi: What? What is this? Whose side are you on anyway?
Dr. Balis: Well, could Luke have told you the truth about what happened? Could it have been an innocent misunderstanding?
Mr. Rozzi: Well...uh, I don't know. No! It couldn't have been. He's lying to me. I just know he is!
Dr. Balis: Are you sure?
Mr. Rozzi: Well? You can imagine the way it looked, right? That guy looked at me and smiled. He looked satiated, if you know what I mean. He looked like he wanted me to think that he and Luke were fooling around. And I, I...uh, I think maybe...I don't know, okay?
Dr. Balis: So what are you going to do about it?
Mr. Rozzi: Uh?
Dr. Balis: What do you plan to do? Are you going to see Luke again?
Mr. Rozzi: I don't know! Why does that matter to you so much anyway? I'm pissed, okay? I'm going to stay pissed as long as I need to, and then...well, I don't know. It still doesn't feel quite right to me. You know how I get those gut feelings? Well, this is one of those again. It's, it would be difficult to let it go for some reason. I need to trust my gut feelings. This is sort of like that feeling I have about Mark and Rosemarie. That still bugs me. And do you know what? I asked Ethan what he knows, and he said it was a surprise to him. He claims to know nothing, but...well, he lives there, at her house. He's got to know something!
Dr. Balis: Alex, you're very agitated, and you almost sound a little paranoid.
Mr. Rozzi: Paranoid? Wait! What is this anyway? First, you practically take sides with Luke, and now, you're calling me paranoid?
Dr. Balis: I'm sorry, Alex, I didn't intend for you to get upset. I'm just pointing out how it sounds from the outside.
Mr. Rozzi: Well, I guess maybe I have been a little on edge lately. So much right now is just hanging unresolved...
Dr. Balis: I know.
Mr. Rozzi: It's hard for me, you know? It gets hard for me to keep my chin up with so much piled against me right now. I get kind of worried about things. Worried and irritated. Then I stay up half the night thinking about things, being haunted by stuff. And don't even talk about my bike riding--every time I get on the bike, I find myself counting out the strokes of each downward pedal.
Dr. Balis: I think you've mentioned that once before. Have you noticed other...
Mr. Rozzi: Obsessive things I do? Yeah, it's been going on for a while now. I hate it. It kills me. I don't know why I'm doing it now. It's not like I don't already have enough crap to deal with.
Dr. Balis: And that is probably why these obsessive behaviors creep up on you. The long walks, the counting of strokes while biking, these are all ways that your subconscious mind is trying to get control over the aspects of your life that you are powerless against at the moment. The trial and Ralph's health have been very difficult on you. And your relationship with Luke has also been a cause of anxiety.
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, but what do I do about it?
Dr. Balis: Well, the first step is recognizing that there's a problem. And you've done that. Some people never even notice their own compulsions. You have, and we'll work on ways to help you deal with them.
Mr. Rozzi: Well, I guess. We've run over time again, haven't we? I have to get the van back to the gallery before it gets too late, so I guess I'll talk to you later.
Dr. Balis: Okay, Alex. See you next week. Please remember you're always free to call me if you need my help.
Mr. Rozzi: Okay, thanks dude. See you!
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Alex.
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