Transcript of 31st Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. Thomas Darden, Monday, September 14, 1998 at 12:00 pm.

Mr. Darden: How's it going?
Dr. Balis: Oh! Hello, Tom.
Mr. Darden: Sorry. I didn't mean to startle you.
Dr. Balis: No harm done; I've been rather engrossed in my notes here and lost track of time. Please come in and take a seat.
Mr. Darden: Thanks.
Dr. Balis: Well, I see you're back at the chair this time. I take it you're getting more sleep these days?
Mr. Darden: Sharon is here.
Dr. Balis: I beg your pardon?
Mr. Darden: Sharon, my ex-girlfriend? She came into town last week.
Dr. Balis: You'd been keeping in contact with her pretty regularly via e-mail, hadn't you?
Mr. Darden: For a while, yes. But the frequency of the e-mails between us eventually dropped off pretty dramatically. So when she called me and told me she was in town, it was quite a shock. I hadn't been in contact with her in over five months.
Dr. Balis: Did she come to San Francisco to see you?
Mr. Darden: No. At least I don't think so. Hell, I'm not sure. She told me that she enrolled at UCSF for graduate studies. She was supposed to have gotten married about a year ago, but that got postponed. I guess she ended up breaking up with her fiancé back in January. Then she graduated from college in June and enrolled at UCSF. I guess they have a really good nursing school there or something.
Dr. Balis: The San Francisco branch of the University of California does specialize in health sciences and it's renowned for both its school and its medical research and discoveries.
Mr. Darden: Really? So she wasn't making it up then. That's good.
Dr. Balis: You sound almost disappointed that Sharon was telling the truth.
Mr. Darden: I guess I am a little. I don't know. When it rains it pours, you know? I want to be with Rachel, but then there's this new girl in the programming department that I sort of find intriguing, too. And now my ex fucking girlfriend is in town and is apparently here to stay, opening up wounds in my heart I thought had long since healed.
Dr. Balis: There's a new girl at work that you're interested in?
Mr. Darden: Okay, let me tell you the whole story. I want Rachel, right? But it appears that she wants to get it on with this other guy who sits in a cubicle about fifty feet away from her. He's the guy who showed up with Rachel at Gina's wedding reception. They hang out with each other after work a lot--at least that's what I hear. And who knows what else they're doing? Anyway, last week, Rachel sent me an e-mail asking me out to lunch. Needless to say, I was ecstatic. I really thought that maybe this was the sign that she finally wanted something to happen between us.
Dr. Balis: But?
Mr. Darden: But when I met her at the lobby that day, she had Kelly at her side. Kelly's the new programmer. She's quite funny, actually, and easy to be around. She's also deaf. It's really amazing how she lip-reads people so accurately. I've never been around someone who's handicapped, and I just had this sense of awe at how well she could adapt.
Dr. Balis: I agree that it takes a great deal of strength to overcome a disability like that.
Mr. Darden: Yeah. Which sense would you lose, Charles, if you had to give one up?
Dr. Balis: Pardon?
Mr. Darden: If you had to give up one of your five senses, which would you lose?
Dr. Balis: I haven't really given it much thought.
Mr. Darden: Come on! Pick one.
Dr. Balis: I can't. I'm quite attached to them all.
Mr. Darden: Oh, for crying out loud. I can't believe no one has ever asked you that little hypothetical before. If I had to choose one, I'd give up my hearing. I mean think about it. If you were blind, you'd never be able to see the beauty of a sunset, or watch a good movie, or see history unfold before you when it's shown on the nightly news. You can't lose your sense of smell because it works hand-in-hand with your sense of taste, which means you'd pretty much lose two senses at once. So both of those are also out. That leaves just your sense of hearing and your sense of touch. And you don't want to go through life not being able to feel physical pleasure, hot and cold, the smoothness of glass, or the softness of a woman's breast. With hearing, what are you losing? Fucking car horns. People blabbering about mindless bullshit. Jack hammers. Snoring. Some annoying jerk sitting next to you who has a loud, whistling nostril.
Dr. Balis: That last one wasn't directed toward me, was it?
Mr. Darden: No. Your nostrils are just fine, Charles.
Dr. Balis: That's good. Well, what about the sound of an ocean surf? Music from your favorite artist? A bird chirping a morning song? Wouldn't you miss those?
Mr. Darden: I think I could live without all that. I can imagine music. Do you ever hum a song to yourself and hear it clearly through your head, replaying over and over again? You don't need hearing for that. Your brain can reproduce sound without any help from ears. I can easily imagine all the sounds I want to hear. I just get a sense that being deaf would be immensely peaceful.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Darden: I'm sorry. Where was I? We got on this tangent on deafness and...oh, yeah! So I met Rachel in the lobby, and she had Kelly at her side. The first thing she did was to introduce me to her, and tell me how Kelly likes to write short stories like I do, and that we have this in common, and we have that in common, blah, blah, blah. Our whole lunch was like that. Rachel was really trying hard to hook Kelly and I up.
Dr. Balis: But you have no interest in Kelly?
Mr. Darden: I think she's really attractive. I'll give her that. But I'm not deaf! She can do sign language, and I have no clue how to do that. Well, that's not entirely true. She did teach me how to sign "asshole" when Scott Collavito was putting his moves on her and she resisted. When she told me about it, I had to laugh. It's just more proof to support my belief that Scott is a swollen, festering gonad. By the end of the week, our whole department was signing "asshole" whenever Scott walked by. It was pretty fucking funny. But I just can't see myself with Kelly. She's almost too good for me. I think she's a little out of my league. Of course Rachel isn't exactly in my ballpark, either.
Dr. Balis: Do you think Kelly realized that Rachel was trying to set the two of you up?
Mr. Darden: Oh, definitely. It was very obvious. And a couple times at the table, while Rachel was going on about our similarities, Kelly and I just sort of looked at each other knowingly and smirked.
Dr. Balis: Did you talk to Kelly at all during this lunch event?
Mr. Darden: Yeah. She asked me if I hung out at the Bull Market after work. I told her that I hadn't been there in a while. They should definitely change the name of that place to "The Meat Market," though. Usually, that's the place to go if you want to go home with one of your co-workers.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Darden: I don't think Kelly was trying to hit on me or anything, though it's hard to tell with the way she talks. I haven't quite gotten used to her speech impediment enough to pick up the inflections in her voice. I guess she doesn't talk completely normally because of her deafness. She sort of sounds like someone who has a really bad cold. I don't know if that's the best way to describe it. It's not distracting or anything...just different.
Dr. Balis: It sounds as if you like her.
Mr. Darden: I do like her. She's really a cool person.
Dr. Balis: But not someone you'd consider asking out?
Mr. Darden: I don't know, okay? This is all very confusing for me right now. When Sharon and I were in bed together this past weekend, it was like I had stepped back in time.
Dr. Balis: You and Sharon...
Mr. Darden: Did the nasty. Yeah. We met and went out to dinner. I had a few drinks, and she came back to my apartment. One minute, the two of us were on the couch talking, and the next minute, Sharon's head was bobbing up and down in my lap.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Mr. Darden: Look, I know it probably wasn't the wisest thing to do. Getting involved with Sharon again is not my intention. I wanted to get laid, all right? I hadn't had sex in over two years, Charles. Playing with yourself gets a little old after a while and makes you yearn for the real thing that much more. I think Sharon knew I didn't want anything more than what we had that night. I guess you could say that we came to an understanding. Ha!
Dr. Balis: Cute.
Mr. Darden: But when I was making love to her, I could feel those old feelings emerging. I couldn't keep our sex at a purely lustful, impersonal level. I'm probably one of the few men on the planet who can't separate sex and love. Most men wouldn't give a woman a single moment's thought after they'd just fucked them. I can't do that. I get attached. I get emotional. I'm like a fucking girl.
Dr. Balis: I don't think mixing emotions with sex is necessarily a bad thing, Tom. Quite the contrary. I'd be more concerned if you had an emotionless sexual encounter. However, I don't like the idea of you getting involved with Sharon again. You and I both know that the two of you were together for all the wrong reasons.
Mr. Darden: I'm aware of that. But we've both grown since then, and I'm sure she's no more in a hurry to jump back into a relationship with me than I am with her. And my heart still pines for Rachel. I think. Fuck! Three fucking women! I'm just going to buy a Twister game and a bottle of baby oil, and then I'll call all three of them over so we can have a wild orgy. Call it "Sexfest '98."
Dr. Balis: I don't think that would be a good idea. How's the medication doing? Are you experiencing any side-effects since you've switched to Zoloft?
Mr. Darden: Nope. At least none that I've noticed. Except I think it took a little longer for me to get it up with Sharon that night. But I might have had a whiskey-dick, though.
Dr. Balis: A whiskey-dick?
Mr. Darden: You know, when it's difficult to get an erection because you're too drunk? Never mind.
Dr. Balis: Well, our time's about up. I'll see you in two weeks?
Mr. Darden: That's fine. Thanks for rescheduling me last week, by the way. I had to go to that Seybold conference they held downtown.
Dr. Balis: No problem. Take care, Tom.
Mr. Darden: Later, Charles.
Arrow, Straight, Left, Earlier Arrow, Straight, Right, Later

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

TCT Bottom Bar Links to Top of Page Pipsqueak Productions © 1998. All Rights Reserved.