Two Marks by Kester Langford

Transcript of 3rd Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. Kester Langford, Tuesday, July 22, 1997 at 1:00 pm.

Mr. Langford: Hey, Doc!
Dr. Balis: Hello, Kester.
Mr. Langford: I started to call you several times to cancel our appointment but here I am.
Dr. Balis: I'm glad you decided to come to the session today.
Mr. Langford: Isn't that a little premature, Doc? You don't know what I've been going through. "Glad" is a little too cheery for my part. Nothing would make me feel glad right now.
Dr. Balis: What seems to be bothering you?
Mr. Langford: "What seems to be bothering me?" Pardon me, Doctor Balis, that "seems" is very condescending.
Dr. Balis: I didn't mean it that way. You appear very agitated today, so I was just inquiring about how you were doing.
Mr. Langford: I'm not sure that I really want to talk about it, but I will tell you that I didn't have a good week...or two weeks...whatever. From the time I left this session until right now, things haven't been going too well. I've been given a two weeks notice to move out of my room. And I didn't do any of the things we talked about last time--mostly I slept and watched television. I don't have cable, but fortunately I don't even mind having only a black and white set. I hate soap operas and talk shows. My life really sucks. And news make me angry.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. So what's really bothering you?
Mr. Langford: Very funny, Doc. Take your pick. What would you like for me to talk about first? My love life?
Dr. Balis: I'm interested in hearing about whatever you want to talk about, Kester.
Mr. Langford: I'm asking for a little direction, Doctor. What do you want me to talk about?
Dr. Balis: This is only the second time you've mentioned your love life. Is that what you want to talk about?
Mr. Langford: No. I'd rather talk about where I'm going to live in two weeks.
Dr. Balis: How do you feel about having to move?
Mr. Langford: Shit! Pardon my French, but I told you that I slept and watched television. I'm scared, and I'm pissed off. It's just the same old thing. Who knows? As far as I know, I'm going to be sleeping on a park bench or under the freeway next week. And I have to figure out where I'm going to stash my current collection of marks.
Dr. Balis: I see. Are you looking for a place?
Mr. Langford: I really don't feel up to it, whatever it is. I always go to different coffee houses, read, and put up notices that I need a room. And then I wait. Sometimes I call the few friends that I have and ask them if they know of a place or if I could crash for awhile at their places.
Dr. Balis: Is that what you're going to do this time?
Mr. Langford: I don't know. I just feel like everything is just in a hopeless mess. But if I had the energy, I'd like to keep going.
Dr. Balis: I'm not ready to prescribe any medication for you, Kester, but would you be adverse to taking medication if I decide to prescribe some for you?
Mr. Langford: Medication for what?
Dr. Balis: I think you might be suffering from a cyclic form of depression, which is often triggered by a chemical imbalance in the brain. We have some wonderful drugs to treat this form of depression, and I wanted to know if you'd allow me to consider this form of therapy?
Mr. Langford: Who'd pay for the drugs?
Dr. Balis: We'd arrange that through the insurance company. But why don't we focus on first things first. Do I have your permission to consider drugs in your case?
Mr. Langford: Sure, I'll consider it, if you think it's important. Thank you, Doctor. I feel a little strange right now, almost light headed. I think that I'm relieved in some way. I'm not sure what's happening to me right now.
Dr. Balis: Do you think you can describe it?
Mr. Langford: Well, if I have a chemical imbalance, then there's a chance that I can take medication and feel better. I can maybe even improve the quality of my life. It seems like a glimmer of hope. I've been afraid that you might decide that I was really crazy, you know? Put me on medication or have me committed. Now, I think that taking medication can possibly save my life.
Dr. Balis: I'm pleased that you agreed to take the medication, but I think that you're jumping ahead of yourself. Let's go one step at a time, before we come to any conclusions--just take one small step at a time.
Mr. Langford: Okay, Doc. Fair enough.
Dr. Balis: How do you feel right now?
Mr. Langford: It's hard for me to say exactly, but I feel better than I did when I arrived here today. I do have something to ask you, Doctor, but I'm uneasy about bringing it up.
Dr. Balis: Is there something I can do to put you more at ease?
Mr. Langford: Not really.
Dr. Balis: Take your time, Kester.
Mr. Langford: Well, Doc, I want to know if it would be possible to hang one of my marks up on your wall? Wow, I actually spit it out.
Dr. Balis: I'm sorry, Kester. I would like to, but I have a lot of patients and I have to keep the decor of my office as neutral as I can. If you notice, I don't even have pictures of my family here.
Mr. Langford: Hmm.
Dr. Balis: Do you have any family, Kester?
Mr. Langford: My parents both died within two years of each other. Mom died in 1990 and my Pop died in 1992. My older brother lives in Europe somewhere--we haven't talked in ten years. Chester is a high powered stock broker. Last time I heard, he was into his fourth marriage. We had a falling out, as I said, years ago, and we haven't spoken since. By the time I was able to talk, he had already moved away from home. He had a very bad relationship with the folks, so most of our communicating was done over the telephone. We never really got to know each other very well. So the short answer is that I don't have any family, no.
Dr. Balis: How do you feel about that?
Mr. Langford: Thinking about my family bums me out. But I'm kind of used to it, even though I don't like the way things have turned out. Actually, I'm feeling a little less agitated right now, but I'm still somewhat uncomfortable.
Dr. Balis: Why are you uncomfortable?
Mr. Langford: It's because there's something that I don't want to talk about. But I think I should talk about. It's really natural, and it doesn't really matter, but I'm very upset about it.
Dr. Balis: Can you be more specific?
Mr. Langford: It has to do with being a man. I'm totally embarrassed. I don't think I can talk about it with anyone, even though I think that it happens to most men. Not that I know the statistics, but it just seems like my time has come, like it or not.
Dr. Balis: Do you think you have a medical problem?
Mr. Langford: I'm pretty sure that it's physiological and not psychological or emotional. But of course my fear is that I either have a real medical problem or something is really wrong with me emotionally.
Dr. Balis: Sexual problems are always difficult to talk about.
Mr. Langford: Doctor Balis, how did you know that I was talking about a sexual problem?
Dr. Balis: You gave me a number of clues. But we are coming to the end of the hour, and I think it would be better to start on this next time. Does that seem okay with you?
Mr. Langford: I guess so.
Dr. Balis: What did you think of our session today?
Mr. Langford: It was good, I guess. It seemed real short. And I'm still unsure about where I'm going to live and how I'm going to earn some money. The medication thing could be good. And I decided to be a little more personal.
Dr. Balis: I'm glad. Do you want to make an appointment for next week?
Mr. Langford: Yes. Same time, same station, all right?
Dr. Balis: Good. See you then. Goodbye, Kester.
Mr. Langford: Goodbye, Doc. Thanks.
Arrow, Straight, Left, Earlier Arrow, Straight, Right, Later

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

Button to Kester Langford's Transcripts Transcripts of Kester Langford's Communications
Button to Kester Langford's Patient File Kester Langford's Patient File

TCT Bottom Bar Links to Top of Page Pipsqueak Productions © 1997. All Rights Reserved.