Transcript of 37th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Sylvia Bows, Tuesday, April 29, 1997 at 4 pm.

Ms. Bows: Hello, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Hello, Sylvia. How are you doing today?
Ms. Bows: Not too bad. I've decided to heed your advice and take back some control over my life.
Dr. Balis: Oh?
Ms. Bows: I just let things happen to me for the longest time instead of grabbing the reins, so to speak.
Dr. Balis: So what did you do?
Ms. Bows: You sound worried, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: No...not really worried. You sound very assertive. Did you have a breakthrough with Tom?
Ms. Bows: No. Nothing changed in that department, but give me time.
Dr. Balis: I'm not sure that your relationship with Tom will benefit by letting a lot of time pass. I really encourage you to do something soon.
Ms. Bows: I know you do. But let me revel in my other accomplishments.
Dr. Balis: Okay, I'll bite. What other accomplishments?
Ms. Bows: I finally took action and went down to SII last Friday.
Dr. Balis: Oh, how was that?
Ms. Bows: It was a memorable experience.
Dr. Balis: Would you care to elaborate?
Ms. Bows: It was a most interesting and informative visit, Doctor. When I first walked in through the door, there was a gasp when the receptionist recognized me. You were right. There was an initial reaction resembling shock from the people around.
Dr. Balis: Well, that was to be expected.
Ms. Bows: Perhaps. At first this poor woman--the receptionist--pretended not to pay any attention to me. Then she was looking around to see if anyone else nearby had noticed me. But I calmly said hello to her and just went past her towards Lloyd's office. As I made my way through the company, a wave of silence spread before me. People stopped what they were doing and stared. Behind me, there was a roar of whispering as people started gossiping.
Dr. Balis: Instantaneous gossip--sounds pretty horrible.
Ms. Bows: It was pretty stressful.
Dr. Balis: Yes.
Ms. Bows: Hold on, Doctor, it gets a lot more interesting from here.
Dr. Balis: Oh?
Ms. Bows: When I finally arrived at Lloyd's office, the whole company must have known that I was in. I swear, people somehow found a reason to be on the executive floor at SII. I suppose they wanted to be within hearing distance just in case something spectacular happened.
Dr. Balis: Like what?
Ms. Bows: They didn't know. But they wanted to be there when it happened.
Dr. Balis: Did Lloyd knew you were coming?
Ms. Bows: I'd let him know that I would stop by his office on Friday.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Bows: The door to his reception area was wide open and Lloyd made quite a show of being extraordinarily nice to me. He also knew that the whole of SII was watching.
Dr. Balis: So what did you want to talk to Lloyd about?
Ms. Bows: I wanted to come back to SII.
Dr. Balis: Right now? So soon?
Ms. Bows: No, not right now, but in the near future. I wanted to discuss with Lloyd a period of transition that I would need. I want to start part time and go back to work on a regular basis starting June.
Dr. Balis: You mean to work full-time in June?
Ms. Bows: Yes. I need to open up my universe, Doctor. After being home day after day for months, I'm beginning to lose sight of the whole picture. I think that's what you were trying to point out to me last time--you said most of my problems would resolve themselves in time?
Dr. Balis: Yes, but...
Ms. Bows: Well, it's up to me to determine the length of that time period. If I stay home for a few more months, there would be that much more inertia to overcome. It's hard enough to do this now. And I think the added perspective--the dimension that work gives to one's life--would ultimately help with my relationship with Tom.
Dr. Balis: How do you figure?
Ms. Bows: I don't know. Maybe just being surrounded with people whose relationships are not even comparable in happiness to the one that Tom and I enjoy now would be enough.
Dr. Balis: That's a bit cynical, isn't it?
Ms. Bows: Maybe. But let me continue with my SII field trip.
Dr. Balis: Oh, please go on.
Ms. Bows: After much fussing--getting me coffee and asking me about the well-being of my boys--Lloyd finally led me into his office. Then--this'll give you an idea about Lloyd's character--Mr. Major told me that he was thinking of making a play for Apple and asked whether I had any suggestions for him.
Dr. Balis: Apple?
Ms. Bows: You know, Apple Computer? The company that made that Powerbook on your desk?
Dr. Balis: What does Lloyd want with Apple?
Ms. Bows: He kept shouting: "It's in play, it's in play."
Dr. Balis: Oh.
Ms. Bows: I told Lloyd that I always believed that a buyout by a big computer company was probably best for Apple. There was that Sun deal for a while, and Ellison's been blowing smoke recently. I always figured IBM would eventually come out of the woodwork and make a bid--that makes the most sense to me. But perhaps SII...I don't know. I'm still trying to digest that one. I don't know whether Lloyd is brilliant or just plain crazy. But this should begin to give you a feel for Lloyd.
Dr. Balis: Indeed it does.
Ms. Bows: I mean SII is big, but to try to digest Apple...that's a company that has about eight times our annual gross.
Dr. Balis: I didn't know Lloyd was that rich.
Ms. Bows: Oh, he's talking about investment bankers and leveraged buyouts. He'll end up in debt up to his eyeballs if he succeeds. But he is enamored of his toys, and this would be his chance to become really famous. He did say we own a lot of Apples.
Dr. Balis: I don't think that's quite the same thing.
Ms. Bows: No. But our focus is mainly in the mini and mainframe market. In some ways, it makes sense. We have nothing for the consumer market--we've always been a high-end, corporate and niche player--like the movie business, Internet routers, high level transactions--you know, brokerage houses and that stuff. With Apple, we could take our high-end technology and bring it down into the consumer market. Lloyd has a vision of taking over the world--at least the part that Microsoft doesn't already have dibs on.
Dr. Balis: Lloyd and Bill...well, if Lloyd is successful, I'll have a whole lot more patients, I imagine.
Ms. Bows: Those poor Apple guys have been pushed up one side and down the other. I bet they'd be flocking here in droves. You'd have to start hiring associates to satisfy the demand.
Dr. Balis: I'm not speaking professionally of course, but it sounds like Lloyd is a megalomaniac.
Ms. Bows: You have no idea. But I'll tell you more about Lloyd a bit later.
Dr. Balis: There's more?
Ms. Bows: When it comes to Lloyd, there's always more. So after Lloyd speculated about his prospects for buying Apple, I was finally given a chance to tell him about my plan to go back to work.
Dr. Balis: And? What did he think?
Ms. Bows: He was actually quite positive, although he did say that I would be the most controversial VP in his organization. But he told me not to worry and that he'd find a way to make use of that.
Dr. Balis: I see. What about Nils?
Ms. Bows: Lloyd said that Nils was not a problem and that he'd take care of him.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Bows: I did stop by my department that same day.
Dr. Balis: How was the homecoming?
Ms. Bows: Everyone seemed happy to see me. I got to show pictures of Grant and Roald to everybody. Overall, it felt like a warm reception.
Dr. Balis: And Nils?
Ms. Bows: He was very charming--made nice comments about my boys and was sugar sweet in every way. Later, though, he asked me to come into my office--his office--so that we could have a chat.
Dr. Balis: I suppose he knew what your visit meant.
Ms. Bows: Indeed. He told me that he was very happy to see that I was well enough to come back, even if on a part-time basis.
Dr. Balis: But that's only for a month.
Ms. Bows: His last month in my office.
Dr. Balis: So he wasn't bitter?
Ms. Bows: I didn't say that.
Dr. Balis: Oh.
Ms. Bows: Nils told me that as great admirer of my work--my writing, I suppose-- and as a friend, he felt compelled to tell me about a few unpleasant matters that happened in my absence.
Dr. Balis: Would that be the SII witch hunt that he conducted trying to smear your character?
Ms. Bows: Very perceptive, Doctor. Nils' story--and he is sticking to it--is that the so-called witch hunt was conducted on the express orders of none other than Mr. Major.
Dr. Balis: Lloyd?
Ms. Bows: One and the same. Nils said that he was very concerned that Mr. Major was trying to conduct his investigation into my character on behalf, Doctor, you should be able to guess this one.
Dr. Balis: The only one that I can think of who could have benefited from the investigation would be Nils himself. He would have gotten your job. Who else would have had it out for you?
Ms. Bows: You're forgetting someone. Who is it that really wanted to compile every possible fact about who I was sleeping with and when?
Dr. Balis: You mean Richard? For his lawsuit? But how? Why would Lloyd assist him like that? I still think it was really Nils' idea. That's what makes the most sense.
Ms. Bows: That's what I thought too. And I still think that, by the way. Remember the phone call I made to Nils pretending to be a reporter from Wired?
Dr. Balis: Sure.
Ms. Bows: He was clearly after my job. But what Nils revealed Friday was that he was ordered to do the investigation by Lloyd. That's how he had such free access to all my personal files and how he could reach outside of my department--that's how he learned about the security breach. Nils said that Lloyd was encouraging him through the whole thing.
Dr. Balis: But why? Lloyd clearly wants you back. Why would he be interested in helping Richard get custody of your boys?
Ms. Bows: Richard used to be Lloyd's lover.
Dr. Balis: Oh.
Ms. Bows: I was surprised too...I mean, I've been with the guy. I'd never have imagined that he swings both ways. And him and Lloyd...but it does make sense.
Dr. Balis: So the fist fight between Richard and Nils...
Ms. Bows: Jealousy. When Nils found out that he had been used by Richard, he blew up. Nils still considers himself to be Lloyd's boyfriend. When he saw the lawsuit and the information it contained, Nils realized that he had been used and went after Richard.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Bows: Richard got violent when Nils accused him of using sexual favors from Lloyd for his personal benefit.
Dr. Balis: What else would you use sexual favors for?
Ms. Bows: Nils said that Richard broke his nose.
Dr. Balis: So you never knew about Richard and Lloyd?
Ms. Bows: Not until Friday. I'm telling you my version of the story, of course. Nils was trying to ingratiate himself with me. He kept telling me how he was an unwilling pawn in this whole thing and how sorry he was to be inadvertently responsible for anything in Richard's custody suit, or its publicity. Yada yada yada.
Dr. Balis: I got it.
Ms. Bows: So at least, now I know.
Dr. Balis: You lead a complicated life, Sylvia.
Ms. Bows: It's late. Thank you for listening, Doctor. You're the only one who really knows the whole story at this point.
Dr. Balis: Well, keep me posted. And Tom strikes me as being a good strategic thinker. Why don't you make him your confidant? Maybe you can achieve a greater intimacy thinking up vile revenge plots against Richard, Lloyd, and Nils.
Ms. Bows: It's an interesting idea. At least I'll have something to talk to him about other than breast pumping and diaper rash. I'll see you next week, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Yes, next Tuesday at four. See you then.
Ms. Bows: Goodbye, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Sylvia.
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