Transcript of 36th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. Thomas Darden, Monday, February 15, 1999 at 12:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hi, Tom. Come in and take a seat.
Mr. Darden: Hi, Charles, how is it going?
Dr. Balis: Not too bad.
Mr. Darden: How was your vacation?
Dr. Balis: It was good, thank you.
Mr. Darden: Yeah, it's probably a good thing you took the long break when you did. I was in no hurry to come back for an appointment, anyway.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. Things have been going well for you then?
Mr. Darden: I guess you could say that.
Dr. Balis: I've never seen you smile quite so widely before.
Mr. Darden: Yeah. Well, what can I say? I'm a lot more satisfied with my life now. Things seem to be falling into place and are starting to make sense again.
Dr. Balis: Since when?
Mr. Darden: Since...
Dr. Balis: Yes?
Mr. Darden: Since I got engaged!
Dr. Balis: Engaged? Engaged to whom?
Mr. Darden: You'll never believe it. Sharon and I are getting married.
Dr. Balis: Oh, I see...
Mr. Darden: We had been seeing each other for the past couple months, and soon everything became clear to me--Sharon and I know each other too well not to be together. We know how each of us thinks; we finish each other's sentences; we have a virtual map in our head of each other's body--these are things husbands and wives do. A few days ago, the two of us took a long stroll across the Golden Gate. Now, I've been in San Francisco a while, and the novelty of the Golden Gate Bridge had worn off the moment I paid my first $3 toll to reenter the city. But for Sharon, it's still an object of romance. As we were walking across the bridge; I stopped her, took her hands in mine, and then proposed to her, pulling out the ring I'd bought--damn expensive one at that. It's put a crimp in my budget for a while, but I guess I'll manage.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Darden: Anyway, I presented the ring and asked her to marry me. It was a really great place to do it, I thought. It was a clear day, the sun was about to set, and it wasn't too chilly like it usually is on the bridge. Some Japanese tourists actually stopped and took pictures of us as they maneuvered around Sharon and me.
Dr. Balis: What did Sharon say?
Mr. Darden: Well, what do you think she said? I already told you we were engaged. She smiled and said yes, of course! It did take her a couple minutes, though, but I'm sure she was too surprised to answer right away.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Darden: So what do you think?
Dr. Balis: What do I think?
Mr. Darden: Aren't you going to congratulate me?
Dr. Balis: Congratulations.
Mr. Darden: You don't approve.
Dr. Balis: I'm a bit surprised. I wasn't expecting your relationship with Sharon to get that serious, considering your history together.
Mr. Darden: Yeah, well, I think the two of us have grown a lot since then.
Dr. Balis: Really? How so?
Mr. Darden: Sharon has had time to "sow her oats," so to speak. She was too young for a long-term relationship when we first dated. But it's been over three years since our break-up. Sharon has gone through a couple of relationships since then, had her one-night flings, and experienced the many fraternity and sorority parties. I think she's had her fill. She told me recently that she couldn't get over how wild she used to be. I think she regrets not sticking with me the first time. The guys who wined, dined, and sixty-nined her since our breakup never really cared about Sharon as a whole individual. And I think she knows now that I've always loved her as a person, not merely as a walking ejaculate receptacle.
Dr. Balis: While I can concede the possibility that Sharon has evolved over the past three years, I question whether you have. Frankly, I'm worried that you haven't really experienced enough social interaction or had relationships that would have allowed for substantial growth since the two of you were last involved. It's for that reason that I'm concerned you may not be seeing this situation as clearly as...
Mr. Darden: Must you always attempt to undermine my attempts at happiness, Charles? Here I am, telling you how my entire outlook on life has changed, how the love of my life has come back to me, and how I can hear Julie Andrews singing a little ditty in my head every time I wake up in the morning, and what do you do? You try to make me feel like shit again. I thought I was paying you to make me feel good about myself, but lately, it seems like I feel worse leaving your office than I do coming in.
Dr. Balis: I'm sorry you feel that way, Tom. Believe me when I say: I'm here to help. It's my job to point out that there are some problems with your relationship with Sharon. Now, it's entirely possible that I'm dead wrong and the two of you will end up happily married to each other for many years to come. But I honestly don't feel that either of you are ready for this type of commitment, especially in light of your past. There's just not enough stability...
Mr. Darden: Fuck you.
Dr. Balis: Tom...
Mr. Darden: God, you are such a piece of shit, Charles. How did you get to be in your profession, anyway? You know what? Let me just whip out Mr. Happy and you start sucking on it--I need to feel I've gotten my money's worth out of this fucking session.
Dr. Balis: Tom, please...
Mr. Darden: Let me tell you something, Charles. The last few weeks in which I haven't seen you were beyond wonderful. I've never felt happier in all my life. While you were gone, I didn't have someone drugging my ass up, or telling me to get out and socialize more often, or to read crappy self-help books as homework. I think I've found the source of my problems, and that source is you. And the irony of it all is that I fucking paid your sorry ass to make me feel this way.
Dr. Balis: If we could just take a moment...
Mr. Darden: We've taken enough god-damned moments, Charles. The time for us to part has come. I'm cured. I'm happy with who I am and with where my life is headed. I don't need some overpriced, so-called "professional" to try to convince me that I still have issues when everything in my life points to the contrary.
Dr. Balis: Will you give me a chance to...
Mr. Darden: You're fired, Charles.
Dr. Balis: Tom? Tom!
Arrow, Straight, Left, Earlier Arrow, Right, Up & Out

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

Button to Thomas Darden's Transcripts Transcripts of Thomas Darden's Communications
Button to Thomas Darden's Patient File Thomas Darden's Patient File

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