Charles Balis' Journal for the Week ending 8/22/97

Saturday, August 16, 1997

Sunday, August 17, 1997

Monday, August 18, 1997

Tuesday, August 19, 1997

1 pm. Sixth Session with Kester Langford. What struck me about today's session was Kester's inability to focus on any one topic. We glanced from topic to topic, stream of consciousness style, without fixing long enough on any subject to be able to analyze his feelings about it. However, Kester was voluble about any number of things and, in fact, said that he was amazed at how much he was willing to open up. We talked about his sexual problem--an awareness that his previously prodigious sex drive is slowing with age. Instead of being disappointed, Kester is coming around to a view that it is a positive that finally his cravings for sex match his body's abilities. Kester also claims to be increasingly self aware, and he finds self awareness through his marks--apparently by examining them after they are created. But Kester's self awareness seems mostly to be a rumination about himself and his current circumstances, rather than any real understanding of his inner emotional states. At one point, he was about to say something interesting--about a feeling of being temporally disconnected, but then he veered off to another topic--his new job as a nighttime security guard. It has disrupted his sleep cycles, which probably has contributed to Kester's inability to concentrate. And apparently, it has disrupted his eating habits as well. I decided to let Kester wander during this session, but next time I'm going to insist on him staying more focused.

4 pm. Fiftieth Session with Sylvia Bows. Sylvia's problems with Richard continue. He is dying--apparently his cancer has spread to his kidneys, a particularly horrible form of cancer. And he prevailed upon her to meet him for lunch. She agreed and listened to his demands. Apparently, he is seeking genetic testing of the twins to determine paternity. If Sylvia would be willing to allow the testing to go forward, he would be willing to drop the litigation. The deal was made even sweeter by Lloyd Major--he told Sylvia that he had set up a $1,000,000 trust fund to benefit Richard's progeny. But proof of Richard's paternity is necessary, and Richard's parents would have to be allowed "grandparent" access to the twins. I asked Sylvia how Tom felt about all these developments. She told me that she didn't think he would go along with it, although she made it clear that she hadn't told him about Richard's demands or Lloyd's offer of the trust fund. I urged her not to keep Tom in the dark about any of this. Their relationship is just starting to get back to normal and jeopardizing it like is simply stupid in my opinion. I also think that Tom might surprise Sylvia. Tom knows that the twins aren't his. He probably won't care overly about the results of the genetic testing, especially since Richard is on his way out. If it ends the legal entanglements and makes one or more of his children eligible for a million dollar trust fund, then why not allow the testing to go forward? Sylvia wants to play it differently. She wants to do the genetic testing without telling Tom. If the children turn out not to be the progeny of Richard, then she hasn't done any damage to her relationship with Tom and Richard will quietly drop the suit. If one or both twins do turn out to be Richards, then she can tell Tom. I think she's wrong and I urged her to carefully think through her actions. Given that it's Sylvia, I needn't have bothered. Sylvia is like a chess player--she'll think through all her moves in detail, and do exactly what she wants to do.

Wednesday, August 20, 1997

12 pm. Thirteenth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex seems to be vacillating between trust and suspicion in all his interpersonal relationships. He wants to return home, and yet he feels there is something odd there--he believes something is wrong with his mother's behavior and he thinks that she might be dying. Alex also noted that he is suspicious about the circumstances surrounding Mark's custody of his two daughters. Alex points out that just a few months ago, Mark was living with his wife and daughters in Canada. Now, Mark shows up saying that he is divorced and has custody of the daughters. Alex said that he didn't believe that bureaucracy moves substantially more rapidly in Canada than it does in the U.S., so how could this be? I have to admit he has a point. Alex also praised his relationship with Ralph, but it was obviously hollow. When I probed, he told me that Ralph had introduced Alex to his friend--an elderly art teacher. When Ralph left the two of them alone in his house, the art teacher behaved strangely--Alex thought that he was trying to make a move on him and was upset with Ralph for prostituting him in this way. But although Alex is eager to dismiss that experience as his imagination, there might be something to his intuition. Ralph is obviously a pedophile and his friends are possibly similarly inclined. And it wouldn't be far-fetched to believe that Ralph had told his friend that Alex used to be a prostitute, which would account for the drooling licentious behavior on the part of the art teacher. This whole incident reminded Alex about Tony--Marney's little brother who was also an underaged prostitute in San Francisco. Tony disappeared several years ago, although he still leaves cryptic messages for Alex on his telephone answering machine from time to time. Alex thinks he might have gotten involved permanently with an older trick and perhaps was under the influence of narcotics. Alex also told me about Roly. Apparently Roly is being held in some mental health facility. Alex visited him and was disturbed by Roly's vacant expression. Alex believes that even though Roly is no longer a minor, Roly's father is somehow using his money and power to keep Roly drugged and held in that facility. I explained to Alex that treatment decisions were made by Roly's doctors, but Alex wasn't buying it. It seems to me that Alex is desperate to rationalize away the disturbing events in his life and to rationalize the actions of the people closest to him. But Alex's intelligence makes him unable to let go of his suspicions. So Alex is trying to keep himself busy as a way to avoid thinking and dealing with his problems. At the beginning of the session, he hinted that he was having difficulty focusing. My guess is that, instead, Alex is having difficulty in being able to avoid a constant churning in his mind of disturbing events and troubling motivations. Alex told me that he had received an admission package from the Culinary Academy, although he believes that it will be at least a year until he has a GED and can consider attending.

Thursday, August 21, 1997

4 pm. Fifty-Third Session with Anna Green. Anna realizes that she's at a decision point in her relationship with Kathy and Martin. In the most natural way, Kathy has moved into Martin's apartment, and Anna is spending all her time there as well. So the three of them are living together, and even Anna--who usually requires a ton of bricks to hit her before she's sensitive to such things--feels the sexual tension. Anna is actually thinking if that's what she really wants for herself. Martin and Anna went to a play together and she saw herself reflected in the characters. The play is about a woman who confronts herself at different ages in her life. The twenty-six year old version doesn't much like what she sees in her older selves. Anna started to wonder whether she would like the person who was involved in a three-way relationship. She looks at her parents, who presumably haven't strayed so far from the norm, and feels that they can hold their heads high. She wonders if this is something that she'll be ashamed of in the years to come. At the end of our session, Anna tried to dismiss everything as the result of being tired, but I think that her concerns are genuine and central to her decision-making process.

Friday, August 22, 1997

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