Transcript of 8th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Christina Herald, Thursday, May 1, 1997 at 12:00 pm.

Ms. Herald: Hi, Doc.
Dr. Balis: Hello, Chris. How are you feeling today?
Ms. Herald: Listen, can we kind of skip the pleasantries for now? I don't mean to be a bitch, but there is some serious shit going on, and I could use some advice.
Dr. Balis: Of course. What's on your mind?
Ms. Herald: Friday night.
Dr. Balis: Did something happen?
Ms. Herald: It only turned into the biggest cluster fuck you can possibly imagine, Doctor. It was a nightmare.
Dr. Balis: Tell me.
Ms. Herald: Okay. Well, we went to that concert I was telling you about, the one that Malcolm got the tickets for from his friend. Friend--yeah right. Anyway, the band was all right. It's not really my kind of music, but they didn't suck either. Mal had backstage passes, so the three of us--Malcolm, Jonny and I--we headed backstage after the performance. That's where the trouble started. Apparently Malcolm had a relationship with this underage chit in the band, and she turned up pregnant and insists it's his, and he insists it's not. So she drags him off to talk it out, while Jonny is falling deeply in lust with this pretty blond guitarist-boy from the band. I'm just sort of chatting with everyone, and all of a sudden the two of them--Malcolm and the wench--are screaming obscenities at each other. Another girl tries to calm things down, and the wench slaps her, and things just got worse from there.
Dr. Balis: They got worse?
Ms. Herald: I know it sounds like they couldn't possibly have gotten any worse, but believe me they did.
Dr. Balis: Okay, what happened?
Ms. Herald: Well, the screaming match got louder and louder. Meanwhile, I'm hearing shit about Mal from his buddies in the band that is beginning to seriously worry me. I knew he was hotheaded, but what they were telling me about him made it sound like it goes past hotheadedness and curves into pure rage. Plus, this damned ring he gave me apparently is some sort of symbol of his staking a permanent claim. Great, like I need his possessiveness together with everything else going on in my life. When I mentioned giving it back, these guys just laughed. It's not that easy, they told me. He has to take it back himself. Next thing I know, the wench kicks Malcolm right in the balls, and he stoically blocks and immobilizes her with some of his karate stuff. Didn't look like he tried to hurt her, he was just keeping her from causing any other damage. Then in come the police. Malcolm is cuffed and all that, and this wench starts blubbering about how she won't press charges and so on. So he was released later, but I wasn't around.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Herald: The people in the band were really nice to Jonny and I...well, all except for the wench of course. This other girl--Eliza is her name I think--gave me her card and told me to e-mail her if I wanted some answers.
Dr. Balis: Did you?
Ms. Herald: I'll get to that in a minute. I should tell you about the rest of the evening first.
Dr. Balis: Oh, okay.
Ms. Herald: So the token drag queen in the band invites me and Jonny to come back to her place for drinks with the others. Jonny was not quite ready to be torn away from his object of worship despite the circumstances, so we went along for the ride--didn't have many options, actually, as Malcolm had driven us there. I got completely lit up on screwdrivers, and had a very deep conversation with Anders--the drag queen--about the nature of love and other examples of the Almighty's sick sense of humor. It was nice to have a shoulder to cry on, even if it was just for the evening. I passed out on his couch about five in the morning, and woke up around two the next day with a very nice, quiet looking little man standing over me and asking if I wanted some orange juice. It was Phillip, Anders' significant other. Jonny had already gone home; he'd gotten a ride with the one sober person at the gathering. So Anders and Phillip drove me home, and I went upstairs and apologized to my grandmother, who was certain that Malcolm had killed me. He might as well have given how bad that hangover was.
Dr. Balis: And that was your evening?
Ms. Herald: That was my evening.
Dr. Balis: Sounds eventful.
Ms. herald: Yeah, tell me about it.
Dr. Balis: What's your situation with Malcolm now?
Ms. Herald: There really isn't one. I haven't seen him--not for his lack of trying. The police released him after the underage tart refused to press charges, and there was a note on my door when I got home. I ignored it. Then he tried calling but I let the machine pick it up. He knocked but I wouldn't answer. I just can't face him yet, not until I have a better idea of what to do. He said he loved me on the answering machine when he called. A week ago that might have stirred in me some sort of positive emotional reaction. Now it just makes me feel scared, and sort of attracted to him in a perverse sort of way. That's what creeps me out most of all--the sick thrill of it all. I don't understand it, Doctor. Am I stupid?
Dr. Balis: I've always thought of you as a very intelligent woman...
Ms. Herald: Am I insecure? A Wimp? Am I someone who's afraid to take charge and stand up for herself and others?
Dr. Balis: Hardly.
Ms. Herald: Unattractive, then?
Dr. Balis: Far from it.
Ms. Herald: Then I could definitely do better than to be caught in this situation. So what's the problem, then? If I'm an intelligent, educated, assertive person, how did I get stuck here? How could my judgement have been so clouded? I feel like a goddamned fool, and I hate feeling that way. I'm so used to being on top of things, used to having everything pulled together and being two steps ahead of everyone else. I just don't understand, and I feel helpless and almost naked, vulnerable like that. I feel like I'm walking on eggshells. My confidence has been pretty much shot full of holes.
Dr. Balis: You knew Malcolm had a past--part of your attraction was to that bad boy side of him. All that really happened to you was that you were with a guy who was in a fight and got arrested during a rock concert. I think what really got hurt was your pride, Chris.
Ms. Herald: Pride? Pride is traditionally the downfall of the tragic hero in literature. Look at Oedipus, and King Lear. My pride, that whole mindset that I can handle anything that life throws at me, the sheer arrogance that lead me to think I was so much smarter and more controlled than everyone else, that I would never let myself be taken advantage of, has been my downfall. I basically got bitch-slapped into reality, and found out what an idiot I am. Damn. Do you have any tissue?
Dr. Balis: Here you go. Please don't cry, Chris.
Ms. Herald: Yeah, I know. It'll ruin my makeup and my eyes will get all red and puffy. Besides, I never cry. It doesn't do any good, nothing gets solved by sitting around weeping and wailing like a baby.
Dr. Balis: That's not what I meant.
Ms. Herald: Yeah, I know. I know what you meant, Doc. I'm okay now. Just couldn't stop it for a second.
Dr. Balis: You know, if you really feel the need to, you don't have to be embarassed about it.
Ms. Herald: Feel the need to what? Cry?
Dr. Balis: Cry, yell, tear the stuffing out of my pillows--no on second thought, don't destroy my furniture. There, that's better.
Ms. Herald: I couldn't help smiling when I thought of the expression on your face if I actually did tear your pillows apart. But no, the crying thing won't happen. I just don't do that. You know me: too tough and bitchy to resort to anything so quavering and girly. The archetypical feminist ballbreaker, right?
Dr. Balis: Not entirely.
Ms. Herald: Yeah, I know. My secret's out. But don't tell the rest of the world, okay? Only a select few are allowed to know.
Dr. Balis: Your secret is safe with me.
Ms. Herald: Oh, wait a second. Before I go, you wanted to know if I had written e-mail to the Eliza chick from the band, right?
Dr. Balis: Yes, I did ask about that. What happened?
Ms. Herald: Well, I now know why Malcolm left New York.
Dr. Balis: And?
Ms. Herald: Oh you are going to love this.
Dr. Balis: Uh oh.
Ms. Herald: Apparently, he was engaged to the daughter of this businessman. Malcolm's actually college-educated--graduated with a degree in computer science. Well, the papa-in-law-to-be apparently had megabucks, and dear daughter turned up dead. Broken neck, but she hadn't fallen or anything. She was just dead on the living room floor. Malcolm was immediately suspect number one, due to his martial arts skill and bad temper. For some reason or other, he skipped town after that. Eliza said that he told her he didn't do it, that he was being set up to take the fall and it had to do with some sort of underworld connection to his dead fiancée's family. Hence his cross-country exodus. Cute, huh? Sounds like a TV movie. Makes me want to sick up.
Dr. Balis: Sounds charming. So you haven't talked to him since Friday?
Ms. Herald: Nope.
Dr. Balis: Probably for the best.
Ms. Herald: I'd agree. But I'm going to go now, Doc. I'm taking Grandma to the zoo. I don't know why, but she wants to go.
Dr. Balis: That sounds like fun. It's a nice day for it. I've been there--make sure you see the Gorilla habitat. And they feed the big cats at two in the afternoon.
Ms. Herald: Yeah, perfect for Lancelot. But maybe it'll take my mind off of things.
Dr. Balis: Actually, it might serve to remind you. Take care, Chris. Call me if you need anything, okay?
Ms. Herald: Sure. Bye, Doc.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye
Arrow, Straight, Left, Earlier Arrow, Straight, Right, Later

Button to Dr. Balis' Notes Doctor Balis' Notes on this Session
Button to Christina Herald's Diary & Log Journal, April 25 to April 30, 1997

Button to Christina Herald's Transcripts Transcripts of Christina Herald's Communications
Button to Christina Herald's Patient File Christina Herald's Patient File

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