Transcript of 21st Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Christina Herald, Thursday, October 23, 1997 at 5:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Chris. Each time you come in here, more often than not, you're bearing some sort of offering.
Ms. Herald: Consider it an unexpected bonus, Doctor. Here.
Dr. Balis: Oh, it's a picture of my kitten...
Ms. Herald: Aha! So little Clio's your kitten now, is she?
Dr. Balis: I...well... Hmm. I just meant...stop looking so self-satisfied.
Ms. Herald: Sorry. But in an another week or two, she'll be ready to move. The kittens are all taking to solid food easily now.
Dr. Balis: Well, that's good. How have you been, Chris?
Ms. Herald: Well, do you remember my student Jane Doe I spoke of last time I was here?
Dr. Balis: Of course.
Ms. Herald: Well, she's officially in a family way. Gynecologist approved and everything. Her family turned out to be far more supportive than either she or I anticipated. The baby's due in the summer, and she's going to give it up for adoption and come back to school in the fall.
Dr. Balis: A happy ending, then.
Ms. Herald: Not exactly.
Dr. Balis: Hmm?
Ms. Herald: Look, I know I was probably pretty harsh in my comments about Jane's boyfriend last week, and I'm sorry. What can I say? He got her pregnant and then wouldn't have much to do with her. So my estrogen put on combat boots and started chanting for blood. But I'm over that now. However, I don't think Miss Jane's older brother is.
Dr. Balis: Did he threaten your student's boyfriend?
Ms. Herald: It depends on what you consider threatening. If watching him like he was a bug under a microscope is threatening, then not really. If watching him like he's an ant that her brother is about to ignite with a magnifying glass is threatening, then her brother is probably being threatening.
Dr. Balis: But has he done anything...
Ms. Herald: No. But I heard quite a bit about this guy from Mr. Tyler--the Senior English teacher--who said that Jane's brother was always kind of bad news. His exact wording was that Jane's brother was a "human powder keg." Mr. Tyler is convinced--with all his hysterical, paranoid little heart--that Jane's brother is going to do something nasty.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Herald: Yeah, tell me about it.
Dr. Balis: Are you in any danger?
Ms. Herald: Me? Uh uh. I'm pretty safe. He has no reason to be angry with me.
Dr. Balis: Good. Just be careful, all right?
Ms. Herald: Of course I will.
Dr. Balis: All right.
Ms. Herald: The silliest thing is that I can't help but feel that it all ended too easily. I mean just a week or two ago, it all seemed so constrictive and so hopeless. There was absolutely nothing I could do. And now, it's just business as usual in the woods.
Dr. Balis: You were very worried about your student, and your personal make-up requires your active involvement. I think that you're thinking that it's too simple because of the relief of the anti-climatic, if you understand what I mean.
Ms. Herald: You could be right.
Dr. Balis: How's your personal life?
Ms. Herald: Ha ha. What personal life? Oh sure, I go out with my friends. I have drinks with Bessa and Robyn, and I go to see Anders perform. But that's really it. I go to work, pour a whole lot of energy into my students, come home and grade papers, then feed my cat and, on my more conscientious nights, myself. And then I fall into bed. I love what I'm doing, but I guess I really am kind of lonely even though I have a lot of people around me. I kind of miss Malcolm. The relationship would never have worked, but it was secure and cozy--a warm fuzzy noose with which to hang myself--I know that. But I still hate sleeping alone, and I hate not having that support. I don't necessarily have to have a man around, but it's kind of a nice little luxury to put up with.
Dr. Balis: But do you feel ready for another relationship now? It doesn't sound as though you are.
Ms. Herald: You're absolutely right. No, I'm not. But that doesn't change the fact that my hormones are going on a rampage.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Herald: But I'm not going to just jump at the first man that comes my way, you know? I'm too damned picky for that. I'm beginning to sound redundant, am I not? I think I have probably already said this about a hundred times before. All of it. But I don't really care. It's not ruling my life or anything.
Dr. Balis: That's good. You seem to have a firm grip on your priorities.
Ms. Herald: What I have right now is life by the balls, Doc. Everything's going perfectly except for the fact that the perfect man is absent. And if that's all that's missing, then I'm a hell of a lot better off than most. I love my job, my home, my cat, my friends, my family. There's only that one thing missing, and it can bloody well wait. Hey, Bessa decided not to move. Isn't that great?
Dr. Balis: I'm glad that you're happy.
Ms. Herald: Yup, it's going to be nice. She's claimed your kitten's brother as hers--that funky orange colored one in the picture with her. She's calling him Shakespeare. It goes well with some of the other pet names in our group of people. Lancelot, Clementine, Shakespeare, Hector...
Dr. Balis: Hector?
Ms. Herald: Didn't I tell you about Hector? This is a lovely story. You'll like this.
Dr. Balis: Hmm?
Ms. Herald: Well, Joanne had this little ratty Pomeranian dog named Papillion or something ridiculous like that. Dad hated it. It was yappy, obnoxious, and it peed in unique places, like Dad's two hundred dollar Italian loafers. So when Joanne moved out and took her yappy little dog with her, Dad made his way to the pound and came back with this huge dog that was perhaps as dumb and ugly a creature that I had ever seen. But there was something about that animal. He was only dumb on the surface, and he had personality like you wouldn't believe. Dad named the dog Hector for the boxer Hector something or other. That's what kind of dog it was--a boxer, a big brindle boxer that is reasonably fond of Sarah and utterly worships my father. Hector is the coolest dog in the world.
Dr. Balis: I think I'm being set up.
Ms. Herald: Hmm?
Dr. Balis: Don't give me those big innocent eyes, young lady. I know perfectly well what you're up to. You're trying to impress upon me just how wonderful pets are so I'll bring that kitten home with me. You have, for some reason, decided that I need companionship. But I will not be forced into this decision, do you hear?
Ms. Herald: You referred to her as your kitten earlier, Doc. I think your mind is made up. You're just being stubborn.
Dr. Balis: May I ask why you have made it your singular mission in life to see to it that I am comfortably settled down with the right animal?
Ms. Herald: You have that look about you. I recognize it from myself before I got Lancelot--that "I need companionship" look. So I thought I'd help it along. Anyway, I've got to go--papers to grade and all that.
Dr. Balis: It's still early.
Ms. Herald: Yeah. I hope you don't mind. I'll see you next week. Good night, Doctor Balis. Keep the picture, I have others.
Dr. Balis: Good night, Chris.
Arrow, Straight, Left, Earlier Arrow, Straight, Right, Later

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

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