Transcript of 19th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Christina Herald, Thursday, October 2, 1997 at 5:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: What in the world...
Ms. Herald: I don't know. Cookies, I think. But I might have screwed them up. You'll have the deciding vote--taste one.
Dr. Balis: Chef's hat? Nice. How did you get into your car wearing that?
Ms. Herald: Talent. Take a bite.
Dr. Balis: What kind are they? They're a bit odd-looking.
Ms. Herald: Oatmeal with crushed hazelnuts and toffee pieces. They may look weird, but they're good, I think. I was bored after school and had about two hours to kill before coming here. It was an invention.
Dr. Balis: Why test it out on me?
Ms. Herald: Because I knew you'd be too faultlessly polite to refuse.
Dr. Balis: Unjust.
Ms. Herald: You bring it on yourself by being so supportive and stuff. Eat.
Dr. Balis: They're good, actually. Very good.
Ms. Herald: Good. Here. Don't eat them all at once. Did you know that there was a Princess Di sighting already?
Dr. Balis: No, I hadn't heard that, actually.
Ms. Herald: Bessa was telling me about it. Apparently someone saw her last weekend. I knew this was going to happen. Just for the record, Elvis is dead, too. And the President does not have an extraterrestrial advisor. Where do these people come from? It's insulting that the average intelligence of the typical resident of the Western world appears to be sinking with each publication of a tabloid newspaper.
Dr. Balis: It is rather disheartening.
Ms. Herald: What? No asking how I feel about that or what had happened that would lead me to that conclusion? No normal shrink-speak?
Dr. Balis: I know you well enough by now to know when you're just making conversation and when you're leading up to something. You'll talk about whatever's bothering you when you're ready and not before.
Ms. Herald: I knew I liked you for a reason, Doc.
Dr. Balis: So, is there anything in particular on your mind this week, Chris?
Ms. Herald: What you mean is, "Am I going to say anything serious or just sit here and be entertaining for an hour?" Stop that laughing. It's been a week full of incidents--just little things that make you sit back and go: "What the hell..." First of all...
Dr. Balis: That cough sounds horrible. Have you gone to the doctor yet?
Ms. Herald: Um...
Dr. Balis: I didn't think so. You should. It sounds like it could be bronchitis.
Ms. Herald: I think it was bronchitis. My fever got up pretty high last week--I was getting chills. I always thought it was weird that when your fever is the highest you get chills and the only way you can stay halfway comfortable is bundled up under a bunch of blankets, which only makes things worse. But I'm fine now. The cough is just a holdover, probably because I was smoking while I had all that chest congestion.
Dr. Balis: Now, come on. You should know better than that.
Ms. Herald: I'm an addict. Cigarettes are a harder habit to break than heroin, from what I've read.
Dr. Balis: Yes, well...
Ms. Herald: Well?
Dr. Balis: Anyway, you were saying?
Ms. Herald: Oh, yeah. It's been a week of incidents. Small things. But when put together, they just kind of turn into a whole lot of strangeness. For one thing, I was in my classroom during my planning period, and one of my students came in to pick up something she had forgotten. I had my blazer off, and she saw the top part of my tattoo over the back of my shirt. Now, the entire tenth grade knows that the new English teacher is some sort of a punk. I can only hope that the principal doesn't get wind of this.
Dr. Balis: Lots of professionals your age have tattoos now. It's not a big deal.
Ms. Herald: There you go with that whole "at your age" thing again. I'm twenty-three, Doc. And even though I don't always act it, I'm an adult. I talk to big people in big people talk on occasion, and everything.
Dr. Balis: I know that you're an adult, Chris, believe me. I just meant that it seems to be a trend as of late. Never mind all that. What else happened?
Ms. Herald: I'm sorry I got pissy, Doctor. I tend to be defensive about stuff like that, I suppose. I'm relatively short, and I act like a loony sometimes--I tend to worry about how seriously I'm taken.
Dr. Balis: I understand. I do take you seriously, and I know you're an adult. Believe me?
Ms. Herald: More than I do most others in this world. Okay, what else? I had to take my cat to the vet, because the silly little shit was jumping for the counter and missed. His back was all tender, and he cried when you tried to touch him or anything. Of course I was in a panic. I thought my poor little Lance was about to die. But the vet said that he'd be okay--probably just some pulled muscles or something. I was standing there with my eyes all red and puffy, coughing like Camille and fretting over the little fur ball, and the vet asked me for my phone number. I kind of blinked and was like, "Can't you get it from the records?" He blushed really red and said that what he really meant was that he'd like permission to call me on a more personal level. I was surprised. I did not look my best, nor was I feeling particularly charming or pleasant at that moment. So I was all intrigued and about to say yes, when I catch this little gleam out of the corner of my eye.
Dr. Balis: A needle?
Ms. Herald: A wedding ring. I was hit on by a married man! Oh, he tried to stick his hand in his pocket before I noticed and stuff, but still. It's insulting, kind of. Is this what I've been reduced to?
Dr. Balis: I wouldn't worry. You're coming off a fairly long-term relationship that had deep emotional issues with which you had to cope. Maybe you should just take it slow for awhile.
Ms. Herald: Yeah, maybe so.
Dr. Balis: Is that it?
Ms. Herald: I had an interesting conversation with grandma the other day.
Dr. Balis: Your Grandmother Strauss?
Ms. Herald: Yeah. She says that she has a bunch of stuff that she wants to give me that belonged to her younger sister, my great-aunt Helen. Great-aunt Helen died a long time ago--like back in the forties. She was only about twenty years old, certainly no older than twenty-five. Grandma can be a little hard to follow at times because she mixes her languages all up and the only two of them I can understand are English and some German. As near as I could tell, she thinks that my personality is similar to her sister's and that I would like the things that she kept of hers. So she's going to mail them to me this week.
Dr. Balis: That ought to be interesting.
Ms. Herald: Yeah, I can hardly wait to see what's in that package. Grandma implied a lot, but said nothing specifically. I called Sarah and asked her about it, but she couldn't tell me what was in the trunk. And mom didn't even know it existed. Incidentally, mom and Thaddeus postponed the actual wedding yet again. They may not get married at all--they seem perfectly content living in sin, as my mother gleefully puts it. She isn't sure whether or not she wants to come out for dad's and Sarah's wedding. Ms. Lily Alicia Strauss Herald Strauss, with her silly flighty head for once firmly on her shoulders, said that she wondered if her appearance at the marriage of her ex-husband and the father of her child to her older sister would be in poor taste.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Herald: That's mom. I always thought that she should have been named Daisy instead of Lily.
Dr. Balis: Like in "The Great Gatsby."
Ms. Herald: Exactly! Fitzgerald is something of an American legend. Didn't you just love that book?
Dr. Balis: Yes, I did. Well, we're about out of time, Chris. Thank you for the cookies. My compliments to the chef.
Ms. Herald: No problem. Have a good week, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: You too. I hope Lancelot feels better.
Arrow, Straight, Left, Earlier Arrow, Straight, Right, Later

Button to Dr. Balis' Notes Doctor Balis' Notes on this Session

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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