Transcript of 13th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Christina Herald, Thursday, June 19, 1997 at 12:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: an interesting hat.
Ms. Herald: Thank you. I felt a need to escape reality. So I look like Dr. Seuss on an acid trip today. How is life for the young shrink about town?
Dr. Balis: Yeah. Right.
Ms. Herald: What's wrong? Not getting out much?
Dr. Balis: Well, I...hey, wait. This is your therapy session, not mine.
Ms. Herald: I don't mind, if you want to talk...
Dr. Balis: No, that's okay. Not very professional, and besides I'm here to help you, not the other way around.
Ms. Herald: Details, details, petty little details...okay, okay, you can stop giving me that horrid Herr-Doktor frown. I'll behave.
Dr. Balis: Well, it's not an issue of you're getting me off track again. Stop that.
Ms. Herald: Hey, you did it yourself that time, so don't blame me. But anyway, on to my rather mundane week. I am seriously beginning to believe that these kids in Carmichael's summer class have left their brains at the beach. I graded thirty essays on Saturday afternoon, all of them on the subject of King Lear, and could not find a coherent thought aside from the stuff that they print in Cliff's Notes in any of them. I was so disappointed. Last semester there were some really brilliant kids in his class, and these kids in the summer session are all just in it because they have to take a lit class since the college of arts and sciences says they must be cultured. Blah. It's annoying.
Dr. Balis: Well, there will be good semesters and bad.
Ms. Herald: Yeah, I know. Still. This stuff set me absolutely on fire when I was first reading it, and I guess I'm having a hard time seeing past that. Of course, I started reading Shakespeare when I was younger.
Dr. Balis: I know, I remember you saying that.
Ms. Herald: Ah, well. Patience is not one of my virtues, but I'll have to cope.
Dr. Balis: How's your brother?
Ms. Herald: Well, Joanne hasn't come back yet. Monica says that she intends to completely disown Jonny: "I have no son" and all that melodramatic bullshit. The divorce is in the works. Dad is serious about this one. He and Joanne are actually communicating through lawyers already. In a way it's kind of sad, but I also think that it's no more than the bitch deserves. I just hope that Dad doesn't get taken to the cleaners; he's planning on retiring early. By Thanksgiving, actually, if all goes as planned.
Dr. Balis: That sounds good. What is he planning on doing afterwards?
Ms. Herald: Well, he'll still do some work with finance. He's discussed consulting on a part-time basis, freelance. But he wants to travel and relax. He's looking at sailboats. I think he just really wants a vacation.
Dr. Balis: As hard as you've said he works, that is entirely reasonable.
Ms. Herald: And in my opinion, long overdue. But anyway, back to the Jonny situation. Dad decided to put on an apron and have a meet the kids' boyfriends night. He grilled steaks, and Malcolm came over. Jonny brought Greg, too, so it was a pretty big event that, thank god, did not turn into a disaster.
Dr. Balis: Your father met Malcolm?
Ms. Herald: And, get this, he was, in Herald the Horrible's own words, "Very impressed with the young man. He's got a good job, with plenty of room for advancement, and a promising future." Dad also thought that Mal was intelligent and responsible. Of course, he doesn't know about the catastrophe a month or two past. Greg and Dad hit it off really well, too. Greg's majoring in business, so they had lots to talk about.
Dr. Balis: It sounds like you had a lovely evening.
Ms. Herald: Perfect. Dad and I have gotten along really well lately. It makes me wish that it had always been this easy.
Dr. Balis: I've gotten the impression from our earlier conversations that you and he had some definite conflicts.
Ms. Herald: Yeah. Dad and I had some different views, all right. I think I became a liberal just to make him angry. I was rebellious intellectually rather than going out and getting drunk, high, whatever. But he's mellowed, and so have I.
Dr. Balis: Yes, I think that's true. You've mellowed even from the time that I first met you. You look and act...I don't know...
Ms. Herald: Grown up? Well, when I'm not wearing this silly hat, that is.
Dr. Balis: Even with the hat. You must have been quite an interesting teenager.
Ms. Herald: Hell on wheels. I'll bet you were the quiet one.
Dr. Balis: More often than not. So, how's your resident ghost?
Ms. Herald: You're mocking me, aren't you?
Dr. Balis: No. Well, teasing you.
Ms. Herald: I gave it a name.
Dr. Balis: You named the ghost?
Ms. Herald: Yup. Well, if it turns out that my fears and neurotic imaginings are unfounded, I'll have named the house. Its name is Bill.
Dr. Balis: Bill the ghost.
Ms. Herald: Yes, Bill the Ghost. Capital G, please. Stop that laughing!
Dr. Balis: I see. Well, what made you settle on Bill as a name for your resident ghost?
Ms. Herald: Good all-purpose name. Bill. Bill the Ghost. I just like the way it sounds for some reason. Anyway, do you want to hear about my adventure over at the Irish pub in Berkeley this weekend?
Dr. Balis: Adventures in Irish pubs are usually amusing. Go ahead.
Ms. Herald: This was, too. I'm down there sitting at the bar next to, of all people, Anders, who was in full regalia. That guy has a really perverse sense of humor. I have my nose happily in my second pint of Guinness, Anders is doing shots of whiskey, his husband Phil is sitting next to us quietly sipping a mineral water. I feel this tap-tap-tap on my shoulder, and who should be standing there but Andrew Fraiser, the foxy AP History teacher at my new workplace.
Dr. Balis: I see. Go on.
Ms. Herald: Well, he and I are chatting, he buys my third pint...I was feeling no pain, which is not unusual if you know anything about Guinness. Anders is making enthusiastic obscene gestures whenever Andrew isn't looking--odd, considering that he was one of the main orchestraters of my reconciliation with Mal. Anders must have been really plowed. Well, this band starts playing these Celtic folk melodies, kind of like the stuff my great-grandpa used to play on his fiddle before his arthritis got too bad. Just a moment before, Andrew and I had been discussing Riverdance, the video with the Irish dancing and music, and we just give each other this really impish grin, and next thing I know we're off in the middle of this crowd of loud happy dancing people. And we are being loud happy dancing people right along with them.
Dr. Balis: You had a good time, then?
Ms. Herald: It was great! Andrew is a really, really interesting person. We went to a twenty-four hour cafe afterwards and sat until the sun came up, chatting about everything. I told Andrew the whole story about Malcolm, and he listened and nodded almost as well as you do, Doctor. Anders and Phillip went home early because Anders was on the verge of passing out. Imagine an amazingly tall, African-American drag queen weaving out the door and yelling, "Erin go Bragh, darlings!" at the top of his lungs. He was funny, though. Whiskey isn't quite refined enough for him usually, but there was no champagne to be had. Then before he left, he got up and sang with the band. They played the cliché drag song, "I Will Survive," with a Celtic beat to it. I have never seen anything so funny! Andrew and I were holding on to the bar to keep from falling down, we were laughing so hard. I love Anders. A more honest, frank, funny person I could not imagine. It gives one a hell of a lot of respect for him.
Dr. Balis: Yes indeed. And Andrew?
Ms. Herald: Andrew? Oh, nothing, really. We talked for a long time and that's about it. I have a boyfriend, remember? As foxy as I think the guy is, it's not going to go any further. Besides, he's a co-worker, and I don't believe in mixing business with pleasure.
Dr. Balis: Probably a good policy. Well, Chris, it seems we're about out of time for the day. Did you remember your journal this time?
Ms. Herald: Ta-dah! All in a shiny new notebook, all for you. And I have a few pictures but I can't let you keep them.
Dr. Balis: Is that Lancelot? My, he's gotten...
Ms. Herald: ...huge. I know. I think his mother was a bobcat or something. You need a cat, Doctor. Cats are a good thing. Oh, look at this one. That's the house I'm living in now.
Dr. Balis: Who is the blonde woman standing next to you? Monica?
Ms. Herald: No, that's my friend Bessa. Pretty, isn't she?
Dr. Balis: Yes, very. This must be Jonny and your father.
Ms. Herald: Yeah, that's them.
Dr. Balis: You and your brother both look a lot like your father.
Ms. Herald: Yup, I know. They stamped us out of cookie cutters. Well, I'll leave you in peace now. See you next week, Doc! Take care!
Dr. Balis: You too, Chris. Try to stay as happy as you seem today. You look better than you have in awhile.
Ms. Herald: See? Escaping reality is good every once in awhile. Even if you're grown up.
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, June 13 to June 18, 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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