Transcript of 41st Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Sylvia Bows, Tuesday, May 27, 1997 at 4 pm.

Ms. Bows: Oh, Doctor. It's always a pleasure to see you.
Dr. Balis: Hello, Sylvia. It's always a pleasure to see you.
Ms. Bows: No, I'm not sure you understand, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Hmm?
Ms. Bows: Some day they'll make a movie about my life, and no one will believe it. No one. I don't think I will.
Dr. Balis: What happened? Did you talk with Bruce?
Ms. Bows: Yes, I did.
Dr. Balis: How did it go?
Ms. Bows: It went unexpectedly.
Dr. Balis: I see. Do you want to talk about it?
Ms. Bows: Yes I do. But I'm still trying to digest it all. So let's see. I tried contacting Bruce for several days after our last session. But apparently, after a seizure, it takes him a few days to fully recover. He didn't get back to me until last weekend.
Dr. Balis: It's fairly common to have a recovery period of several days after...
Ms. Bows: Oh I understand, Doctor. I wasn't questioning that at all. What I needed to find out from Bruce was his family history. I wanted to know what the chances were that my boys could have inherited his genetic predisposition to epilepsy...
Dr. Balis: You know, Sylvia, a lot of great men throughout history had epilepsy. This...
Ms. Bows: It's not an issue, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: What? I thought that...
Ms. Bows: Bruce had a vasectomy when he was eighteen years old--as soon as he was old enough to carry out his decision. His mother's family had a very strong tendency toward this disease. He watched an uncle die in a car accident--he went out of control during a seizure. In fact, most of his relatives on his mother's side didn't live past fifty. Bruce was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was still a child. By the time he was eighteen, he had read all that there was to read on this subject and had made a decision not to pass on his defective genes to the next generation.
Dr. Balis: That's very noble.
Ms. Bows: Yes. But I also understand the desire not to see your children suffer like that. Bruce said that if he ever wanted to have children, he was going to adopt.
Dr. Balis: Well, that's great news, Sylvia. Now that's one less thing for you to worry about.
Ms. Bows: Oh, I was relieved was like a giant weight was lifted off my soul.
Dr. Balis: That's great, Sylvia. Out of curiosity, how did Bruce react to you posing that question to him? I'm sure he must have been surprised by...
Ms. Bows: Bruce knew all about it.
Dr. Balis: You told him before? I thought he didn't read the article or know...
Ms. Bows: When I finally got to talk to him on Sunday, he knew right away why I was calling.
Dr. Balis: But...
Ms. Bows: Tom told him.
Dr. Balis: Tom?
Ms. Bows: Tom always surprises me with his insight and his ability to see through the confusion of the events to their very core. The night we had dinner with Bruce, Tom realized that my reaction to his seizure was way out of proportion. He knows that's not the way I would react. I'm usually the one who deals in a crisis situation. I don't fall apart like I did that night. So Tom figured there was more between Bruce and I than just friendship.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Bows: Tom said that he wasn't sure that night. But after we got home, the way I looked at the kids convinced him that I thought there was a possibility that Bruce was their father.
Dr. Balis: So while Tom was making love to you that night, he believed that Bruce was one of your lovers?
Ms. Bows: He is a remarkable man. I feel even more guilty now about not telling him about Bruce right away. But to go with my story, Tom also tried contacting Bruce and got hold of him before I did. Bruce said that Tom was a gentleman on the phone. He didn't accuse Bruce of fucking me, which is what you'd think he would do. Instead, Tom apologized for the frankness of his question and explained that he needed to know if his sons were in danger of inheriting Bruce's genetics. Bruce was shocked by Tom, but told him that there was no chance that the boys were his--he told Tom about his vasectomy.
Dr. Balis: I'm very surprised by Tom.
Ms. Bows: Me too. I think any other man in his situation would have turned this whole incident into a nightmare--a husband discovers that the man he's having dinner with is his wife's lover and the possible father of his children and, on top of it all, has hereditary epilepsy. What a mess! But Tom's reaction...he was so close to me the night we made love in Bruce's rose garden. It felt like our souls had merged. And yet, at the same time that I was horrified about the kids and feeling guilty about my affair, Tom must have been experiencing all that pain and horror as well.
Dr. Balis: You've talked with Tom since your conversation with Bruce?
Ms. Bows: Yes. I felt like an emotional volcano that exploded with hundreds of years of built-up energy. After we talked, we made love. I've never felt such intensity of passion before. He broke through all my defenses and reached my inner core. I don't think I've ever loved him more than at that moment.
Dr. Balis: So you no longer feel that your love for Tom is somehow inferior to the love you felt when you first got married?
Ms. Bows: No. It is probably even more powerful than before.
Dr. Balis: Does that frighten you?
Ms. Bows: Yes. But I intend never to be without him again. There is nothing more important to me than to share my life with his forever.
Dr. Balis: I'm glad. I think you'll be very happy together.
Ms. Bows: I know we will be, Doctor. Tom is a great man. He's even managed to retain Bruce's friendship and maybe even more than that. I think Bruce and Tom are going to be close friends from now on.
Dr. Balis: But I thought that Bruce sort of resents Tom for being...I thought Bruce believed that if Tom wasn't around, you and he...
Ms. Bows: Bruce was so impressed by Tom's compassion, insight, understanding, and love that he is completely smitten by him. Bruce told me that he thought that a man would be lucky to have Tom as a friend.
Dr. Balis: How do you feel about it?
Ms. Bows:'s strange. Strange and awkward for me, that is. But I'm sure I'll get over it. I think a friendship between Bruce and Tom could be a very good thing for both of them. Bruce the artist and Tom the businessman...I think I'm responsible for Tom losing a lot of his friends. If Tom and Bruce end up being close, I would be very happy.
Dr. Balis: Good.
Ms. Bows: You know, Doctor, one would think that after my experience with Tom, I'd be very aware of vasectomy scars. Isn't it ironic that two men that I wanted to father my children had that operation and I was completely oblivious to it.
Dr. Balis: I don't think you were concentrating on that at the time.
Ms. Bows: No. That was the farthest thing from my each case. Maybe the common bond of having vasectomies made Tom and Bruce more empathetic to each other.
Dr. Balis: Hmm...I don't think so.
Ms. Bows: Maybe not. In any case, Doctor. I'm going to leave early today. Tom and I have a date.
Dr. Balis: No problem, Sylvia. I'll see you next week.
Ms. Bows: Thank you, Doctor. Good night.
Dr. Balis: Have a good time, Sylvia. I'll see you next week.
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