Transcript of 20th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. Alex Rozzi, Wednesday, October 15, 1997 at 5:00 pm.

Mr. Rozzi: Hey, Doc.
Dr. Balis: Hello, Alex. Are you feeling all right?
Mr. Rozzi: It shows, eh? I think I'm coming down with something...I don't know. But my stomach has been all gurgly lately, and it seems like the cold air is effecting me more than normal. This chill air seems early this year. But I don't know. I'm feeling sort of low, I guess. Maybe it's this change in the weather.
Dr. Balis: The seasonal change does effect people, Alex. But there's a lot going around, too.
Mr. Rozzi: I thought there was. Ralph isn't feeling too well these days either. But I've been blaming it on our nerves. We've both been in bad moods lately, you know? We're getting pissed off over the little things--the CD player breaking, Ralph's freshly washed car getting dirty too fast. Stupid stuff, you know? Me? Well, I seem to be having a lot of self-doubts about things.
Dr. Balis: How so?
Mr. Rozzi: You'd think I'd be a little more excited about having a real professional look over my artwork. But I'm more nervous about it, and it never really mattered all that much to me before. Well, maybe it did matter to me, but I never thought that this would happen. So I'm kind of wondering if my work is good enough now, you know? I mean, you should see the work in that place--the Range Galleries. It's some really cool stuff, and my work is very different from what I saw there. So I think that it's probably not good enough. I'm expecting Jake to call me and tell me to come and get my stuff and not to come back.
Dr. Balis: I see. You're really having a lot of self-doubts. Have you asked yourself why you are feeling this way? Where did these ideas come from?
Mr. Rozzi: I don't know, I really don't. It's's, uh...well, I can't figure it out. People aren't supposed to be able to do this sort of thing. It just doesn't seem possible that my work would interest anyone enough to buy it.
Dr. Balis: Alex, you're only seventeen years old. Give yourself a chance. Not many wanted to buy Van Gogh's work during his lifetime.
Mr. Rozzi: I know, but...
Dr. Balis: What is it?
Mr. Rozzi: You know what this makes me think of? It makes me remember my dad telling me that boys don't color and draw. He used to say that was for girls and that no one can ever be able to make enough money doing art to live on. But art is what I think I could do well as a job, you know? Maybe cartooning or stuff like that. Or these things. I call them mosaics, but I really had stained glass in mind when I was painting them. I imagine my illustrations in a children's book or on greeting cards...postcards, maybe. I don't know. But see? Something in my head keeps reminding me of what my dad said about art. It really bugs me, because it just won't stop. But I bet that Jake'll call me and tell me to come get my stuff, and then he'll show me the door--see, I've got it all figured out.
Dr. Balis: Alex, you don't know what will happen with Jake. Try to be patient and wait for him to get back to you. And even if Jake's reaction to your work is not positive, it doesn't mean you should give up art all together. Artists create because they have to, not because they think they can sell their work. It's nice to be able to make a living selling art, but that's not the only goal of an artist. As for your dad, he's wrong. There are plenty of successful male artists. In fact, for many years, art was almost exclusively a male trade. And even now...take Arthur Rackham, for example.
Mr. Rozzi: He did "Alice in Wonderland," didn't he?
Dr. Balis: He did! And Maxfield Parrish.
Mr. Rozzi: He's my favorite!
Dr. Balis: Is he? Unfortunately, your father tried to misinform you on the subject of art.
Mr. Rozzi: You know, that man's mouth keeps opening up from the grave and tells me shit. I hate him so much! He thought that people who are gay chose to be gay. But it isn't a choice at all. Most guys I know wouldn't choose it. There's too much bad stigma attached to that label. Shit, I don't tell people at school that I'm gay, because it's just not cool, especially in San Mateo. They aren't as gay-friendly down there as they are up here in the City.
Dr. Balis: Does your family know that you're gay?
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, they do. And I think they're okay with it. If they aren't, they don't let on. I think Aunt Sofie is the coolest about it, you know? She had a son who was gay--Randy. He was my mom's age, but he died from complications related to AIDS. I never knew him. He was one of the early ones who never had a chance. By the way, she's home from the hospital now. Did I tell you that already? She's staying with Mom and Mark and the girls. It's a full house again. She and Mark did a stupid thing though.
Dr. Balis: Your Aunt Sofie and Mark?
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah. You know what they tried to do? They tried to get me and my mom to make up. It backfired. Totally backfired.
Dr. Balis: What happened?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, my mom's starting to really show now. Her belly is really popping out, and she's completely a bitchy thing, more than ever. Well, Aunt Sofie and Mark planned a dinner. So Ralph and I went over to the house, and everyone was there having a nice dinner. Things were cool, you know? So when it came time to do the dishes, Mark and I started cleaning up. And then Aunt Sofie came in...well, the details aren't important. My mom came in and didn't like the way I was stacking the dishes in the dishwasher. She started huffing and puffing and snorting like a pig, and we exchanged words--I was all over her: "Fuck this shit! Fuck you!" Oh, and I got the rest of the shit on Mark's wife--the one up in Canada. She's in a mental hospital, completely Loony Toons, out of her head. Rhia told me something about her being schizo. It's just what we need in our lives! A damned schizo. Why her and my mom, no, no! I got to stop thinking like that.
Dr. Balis: Like what, Alex?
Mr. Rozzi: Aw, don't get your tit in a tether, okay? I'm not going to hurt anyone or anything like that. I would really like to get along with her, and I try...I mean, I did go over to the house for a family thing like they all wanted me to. But then she started on me for trying to help out. You can always count on her getting pissed about something. She's such a perfectionist, and I don't have to take her shit, you know? She hates me. I just don't get along with her, that's all. But I know she hates me, the bitch. And now she's getting fat!
Dr. Balis: Perhaps it might be best to limit your interaction with your mother for now, while she's pregnant. Pregnancy can cause a lot of physical as well as emotional changes in a woman. And your mom also has to deal with your half-sister, Mark, and your Aunt Sofie.
Mr. Rozzi: You think I don't already know that? The little time I spend with her now is too much already. And with all the other things going on in my own life right now, I don't need her negative nagging bullshit. Cecil called last night. They talked with Benny about the threats and crap in the mail and stuff. He denies it all, of course. But I know better, and so do they. Ralph and I haven't gotten anything so far this week. So maybe the little talk they had with Benny made him think, you know? Hey! I just remembered! You want to know something funny? Remember that guy? Remember the model at the fashion show I punched out? He called me and asked me out on a date. Can you believe it? I was like, "What did you ask me?" So I thought that this dude just wanted some revenge, you know? But it turned out that wasn't it at all.
Dr. Balis: What happened?
Mr. Rozzi: You mean, did I go out with him? Yes, I did! And you know what the funny part was? We hit it off! He still had a little bruising around his eye. But when I saw him again, he was different--not in a model mode. He looked different, relaxed maybe. He was do I describe him? He was smart and funny. He seemed to be able to finish my sentences and answer me before I said anything. It was too weird. But I like him, and I'm going to go out with him again this weekend.
Dr. Balis: I'm glad that it went so well.
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, me too. I just hope that he doesn't want to have sex with me or something.
Dr. Balis: Why?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, this is going to sound strange, but I don't think I want to go there right now. I don't want that kind of relationship for now. I just want to have fun. But he's so handsome in a rugged sort of way--like a young Tom Selleck. And sometimes, I think that sex would be good. But I don't...I don't know. I don't feel comfortable about it.
Dr. Balis: If you feel that way, then you should let him know about it. It's always best to be up front and honest about your feelings, especially while you're dating someone. It's smart to think about these things beforehand.
Mr. Rozzi: I really like him a lot and can see something more coming of it, if I don't blow it. I don't want to disappoint him, though.
Dr. Balis: If he doesn't respect your feelings, then it is probably best that it comes out now rather than later.
Mr. Rozzi: But isn't it funny? He worked me over real bad that day, and I went and punched him out. And now, he wants to date me. I think that he liked me from the beginning and, like you said, was testing me. Sparks flew! They really flew, and then they flew again the other night, but in a better way. And you know what's even better? He's only seventeen.
Dr. Balis: That's good, Alex.
Mr. Rozzi: It is. Since he isn't over eighteen, neither of us can get into trouble over this, and that's cool. He's the first person my age that I've ever gone out with, you know? Most people in my age group are still so...I don't know. Immature I guess. But not Luke. He's different, and he has pretty good sense of humor about the black eye. I know we're almost out of time, so I want to show you another drawing. These are all the rough drafts. Jake has all the finished ones right now. God, I hope he likes them. But it doesn't matter if he does or not, huh? But I'm still real nervous about it.
Dr. Balis: Let's hope for the best. Well, Alex, next week then?
Mr. Rozzi: All right, man. Catch you later on.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Alex.
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