Charles Balis' Journal for the Week ending 02/12/99

Saturday, February 6, 1999

Sunday, February 7, 1999

Monday, February 8, 1999

Tuesday, February 9, 1999

Wednesday, February 10, 1999

5 pm. Seventy-Third Session with Alex Rozzi. I got caught up with Alex's life and there were a lot of changes. Alex turned 18 while I was gone. He took and passed the GED and has left high school. He's applied to the California Culinary Academy. He's taken a job moving sculpture that Jake helped him to get. His mother is pregnant. His father might be having an affair with his aunt Rosemarie. His relationship with Luke has gone through some turmoil, although now Luke's back in town and they are dating. But Alex has moved back to Ralph's, and Ralph has taken a turn towards the worst. During surgery to remove a tumor in Ralph's colon, other cancerous tissue was observed to have metastasized to adjacent regions. The other cancers were judged to be inoperable and more chemotherapy is being used in an attempt to control the spread of the cancer. It sounds like the doctors can only offer a bleak prognosis and Alex clearly thinks Ralph is going to die imminently. On the legal front, Alex angrily declined to accept a plea bargain and it looks like he's going to trial in March. Alex told me a strange story about his cousin Ethan, who physically resembles Alex. Ethan was at Ralph's when Alex wasn't and he answered the door to find Benny standing there. Benny believed that Ethan was Alex, and Ethan played along. Apparently, Benny has suffered some brain damage due to a series of strokes caused by the beating inflicted by the father of one of Benny's victims. He stutters and walks with a cane and is leaving for a rehab center to undergo physical therapy. Benny said that he was sorry although he didn't remember anything about that night. Benny left never knowing that he hadn't had a conversation with Alex. Alex's life has so much turmoil in it that we spent the whole session just getting caught up with the incidents which occurred during my vacation without ever delving into how Alex feels about any of these developments.

Thursday, February 11, 1999

4 pm. One Hundredth Session with Anna Green. It was our 100th session together, and although it is just a numeric boundary, it felt significant to me. It also clearly had significance for Anna. She came in bearing a cake, champagne, and balloons in an effort to create a celebratory air. It was good to see her after such a long absence, and she seemed glad to see me as well. But the celebratory mood soon took a turn towards the dark side, as Anna asked me about my father and then ruminated about the differences for a child between having a parent suddenly die and watching a parent slowly decline. Not only was this subject particularly painful for me, but I also believed Anna was using it as an excuse to talk about my feelings and problems rather than hers. I told Anna that I was unwilling to continue talking about this, and laid my unwillingness to proceed on my personal sensitivity to the topic. She acquiesced. During Anna's probing, she told me of the transition she felt as she discovered that her father wasn't omnipotent. She made that discovery quite late--at fifteen. Anna also averred that it would be easier for her to lose her mother than her father. Anna was clearly uncomfortable with that realization. We then moved on to Anna's time in Tahoe. She didn't go there with her "friends" as I believe she told me during our last conversation. It was with Trevor. She describes him now as a friend and as a lover. And during that trip--but after he had sexually consummated their relationship--Trevor informed Anna that he loved her but that he was currently married and living with his wife. He also told her that he no longer loved his wife and was planning on separating some time in the near future. Anna was furious with Trevor. But now, after a few months have elapsed, she is finding herself willing to overlook the fact of his marriage. I see Anna falling into her familiar pattern of malleability--in this case, she's willing to remake her own strongly felt moral convictions because someone else wants her to. When Trevor told Anna that he loved her, he pressed the button that triggers Anna's willingness to do back flips to try to remain an object worthy of love. Time and time again, I've seen Anna willing to remake herself so that she met someone else's expectations and desires. And now, it's for Trevor. Anna told me that she has strong feelings for Trevor now, although she's not sure she's in love with him. But if she spends any time with him, his desire for her will spawn a belief within herself that she's in love with him, regardless of whether it's actually true. And, of course, my own feelings for Anna, which have not diminished, have me cuckolded from the sidelines, able to do nothing but jeer at the participants.

Friday, February 12, 1999

9 am. I received a fax from the Anonymous Faxer today. It has been eight months since I received the last one--an image which suggested his mother had died. The image I received today is filled with evocative elements. The general image is of a large brick wall which has an ornate Victorian archway through it. Beyond the archway is clearly San Francisco, but on the viewer's side of the portal, the graffiti on the brick wall proclaims it as Prattville, Alabama (or "Albama" as it is written in graffiti on the wall of the image, perhaps in an attempt to imitate southern speech patterns). Attached to the brick wall are a pile of bills together with some legal documents labeled Will, Deed, Trust. Clearly, the Anonymous Faxer has been dealing with his mother's estate and tidying up her affairs. Standing in the archway is a strange figure, part simian, holding up a sign which says: "Welcome Home!" I'm not certain if that's a greeting meant for me after my vacation, or meant for the Anonymous Faxer, who is now able to return home to San Francisco. I don't have much sense from the image about the Anonymous Faxer's emotional state--it's as if the mind-numbing details of wills, trusts, and property have left him unable to properly grieve for his mother. Before the image in June which told me of his mother's death, the Anonymous Faxer seemed to have been embarking on a relationship. I hope that what obviously was a prolonged absence will not have acted to kill it. I think what the Anonymous Faxer requires, more than anything I can provide, is a relationship with someone able to shatter his emotional isolation.

1:10 pm. Telephone Call with Herbert Michel. I got a call from Herbert. Miraculously, his penis has been reattached and is functional. Herbert professed his desire to prosecute Lenore to the full extent of the law--he mentioned the gas chamber. I pointed out to Herbert that Lenore would be able to make a credible case that she had been raped and would not only claim self-defense but would also disclose his drug-dealing. Herbert was outraged that raping his wife could be considered a crime and he thought it grossly unfair that a drug dealer should be accorded so little sympathy by the court system. However, he ultimately understood that my advice wasn't meant to take sides against him but rather was intended to get Herbert to fully understand the consequences of his action. If it happened to help Lenore avoid criminal prosecution, so much the better.

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