Transcript of a Chance Encounter between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. Peter Hossfeld, Saturday, November 15, 1997 at 10:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Peter! You are Peter Hossfeld aren't you?
Mr. Hossfeld: Oh...uh, hi, Charles. I've been meaning to get in and talk to you, but I guess I never got around to it. Things have been happening so fast...
Dr. Balis: I'd like you to tell me about it.
Mr. Hossfeld: For free? Sorry, but my money thing's really not happening these days. I guess I just haven't been dealing with it.
Dr. Balis: That's not important. I've really been worried about you--how have you been?
Mr. Hossfeld: I'm fine, I'm great. Really, I've never felt better.
Dr. Balis: Really? I mean...forgive me, but you don't look so good.
Mr. Hossfeld: What do you mean? I'm healthy, happy. I've got a real family for the first time in my life. Hey, guys, this is Charles. Give him a sniff. Come on, he's okay. He's a friend of mine.
Dr. Balis: Is this the family you were talking about--these dogs? Nice boy, nice boy, that's a good boy...
Mr. Hossfeld: Don't patronize them. That's an alpha male. Don't call him 'boy.'
Dr. Balis: Sorry. What should I call them?
Mr. Hossfeld: Try calling him 'sir;' dogs are sensitive about their honor.
Dr. Balis: Okay, I can accept that. How do you fit in? Are you an alpha male as well?
Mr. Hossfeld: I'm working on it. I'm just grateful that they let me hang around. Dog society is a lot more straightforward than the human kind, and I guess I like it better.
Dr. Balis: So you've given up on people?
Mr. Hossfeld: Yeah, I guess I've gone to the dogs. There's a lot of wisdom there, we just never notice. We think it's beneath us, but that's because we don't have the equipment to approach it. Do you have any idea of the richness of the olfactory realm that dogs inhabit? Limited as I am, I'm starting to pick up things I've never thought possible. It's a matter of focus.
Dr. Balis: I suppose I've just got a lot to learn...
Mr. Hossfeld: So did I. I'm working on it, though; it's a whole different reality I'm just getting a glimpse of.
Dr. Balis: And is it helping you work out the problems you were talking about the last time we talked: the voices, the alien entity, the compulsions?
Mr. Hossfeld: So far, I've been dealing with it a lot better. I'm getting a lot of help now, not that you didn't try. I'll give you credit for that, but you've never really understood the power of the moon. So you couldn't really be expected to deal with it.
Dr. Balis: So you're getting...uh, a little help from your friends here?
Mr. Hossfeld: I didn't expect you'd understand. Maybe that's why I never called. But Belshazzar here has a lot of talent for therapy. He's a great listener.
Dr. Balis: That's the alpha male?
Mr. Hossfeld: People think that being reborn as a dog is some kind of big disgrace. But did you ever think they all might have it backwards? Sure, some things fall away, but is that the real essential stuff? Maybe I'm lucky to be halfway there already. I thought it was a curse before. But from here, it seems more like a gift. I'm sure this had to happen to me, so why fight Karma? Belshazzar was a king in Babylon, but you don't see him bitching about his life. He has the wisdom to accept things enthusiastically, to be grateful for whatever they can do to enrich his spiritual life.
Dr. Balis: Right. Hmm. Peter, I heard you were in jail last month. The police said you had confessed to a murder. I really wanted to talk to you about that.
Mr. Hossfeld: Oh that. I guess I got a little confused, that's all. I could picture it so clearly. Those images were filling my head; I couldn't get them to stop. I knew I had to get locked up that night, or who knows what would have happened? I'm pretty sure I didn't do it, or they wouldn't have let me go, would they? But sometimes, I still think I did--the picture's so clear in my mind. How can I be sure?
Dr. Balis: Peter, I had made arrangements for you to spend some time in a private institution. Why did you decide to go to jail instead? Didn't you want to get some help?
Mr. Hossfeld: I guess I didn't want that kind of help. Believe me, it was tempting. The thought of wrapping up in a drug cocoon for a few months or years--no responsibility, no reality, just white walls, bland food, and clean sheets--was almost appealing; you almost made it sound like the answer. But I couldn't do it. I chose life in the street instead, and that's a valid choice, too. Don't you think? You know, when I was a programmer, I never felt connected to the work I was doing. It was just something I could do for eight hours a day--letting my mind and body go to waste. But now, I'm a useful member of the pack; I'm making use of my human skills while I learn their special ones. Without me, they can't get into a dumpster or recognize the animal control truck at a distance--I'm handy for lots of things. For once, I feel needed. I feel part of something larger than just me.
Dr. Balis: And is this going to help you control those violent fantasies you were telling me about? The moon is about full tonight, isn't it? Are you planning on going back to jail? I wish you'd give me a call instead. Do you think you could do that?
Mr. Hossfeld: I don't think I'll need to. I really don't. It's not so bad now that I'm not all alone, when we can all howl at the moon together. I'm starting to think that the need to chew things up was just a normal puppy thing, and I can grow out of it. Any dog that's left alone will be a little lost. We've got to be together if we're going to learn how to act. I'm getting a lot of support from these guys and a lot of guidance.
Dr. Balis: I'm glad to hear that, but we need to keep in touch, too. I want you to call me if you ever feel yourself losing control; don't worry about the money.
Mr. Hossfeld: I've been working with bones a lot, I find that really helps--just turning off the upper mind and letting the animal brain and the jaws take over. I guess it's what meditation is all about, too. As a matter of fact, no offense, but I haven't talked so much for weeks, and it's really bringing back a lot of stuff that I don't want to deal with right now. Thinking about it doesn't help--I tried that, and it only made things worse. I don't mean to growl at you, but we have to be moving on. We've got a lot of territory to cover, and since the moon is full, there's a big howl on tonight. That's what I really need to do. You can't imagine how good it feels to let all those feelings out like that.
Dr. Balis: Uh huh. Would you be willing to come with me?
Mr. Hossfeld: You want to lock me up? I don't think so, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: I didn't think so. I don't suppose there's anywhere I can reach you?
Mr. Hossfeld: Not really. Here's as good as any place.
Dr. Balis: Well, all I can say is not to forget there are people who care about you, even if you don't feel like dealing with them right now. Try to keep in touch. Please?
Mr. Hossfeld: Yeah, I'll try. Got to go now.
Dr. Balis: Take care of yourself, Peter.
Arrow, Straight, Left, Earlier Arrow, Right, Up & Out

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

Button to Peter Hossfeld's Transcripts Transcripts of Peter Hossfeld's Communications
Button to Peter Hossfeld's Patient File Peter Hossfeld's Patient File

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