Transcript of 6th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. Kester Langford, Tuesday, August 19, 1997 at 1:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Good afternoon, Kester.
Mr. Langford: Good afternoon, Doc.
Dr. Balis: What are you laughing about?
Mr. Langford: It's rather involved.
Dr. Balis: The session's just begun--take all the time you need.
Mr. Langford: I was reliving the incredible contrasts between how I felt when I first came to see you, the euphoria of the week before last, and the present. Wow! What a ride! I was enjoying my awareness of these contrasting transitions. I know it's like giggling to myself. It's a benefit of self appreciation. I get the impression that you don't think I like myself very much. I think you're wrong.
Dr. Balis: Well, you're self appreciation has definitely gone up since we started together.
Mr. Langford: Thank you for not asking me to defend my opinion of myself. Between getting set-up in the apartment and getting used to an entirely new schedule, the week before last was exhausting. I was so tired that I could barely appreciate what a let down it was when Evelyn flew off to her new adventure. I've had other girlfriends off and on through the years, but none like her; Evelyn and I are soul mates. What was really a relief was that she never noticed any difference in me during our very sensual love-making. I had recently become aware that I'm not as automatically physically turned-on or stimulated by seeing a sexy girl or woman clothed or naked. My mind is still hungry and full of desire, but my body only reacts to physical contact, like kissing or touching. That surprises me. Talking doesn't do it anymore. Even five years ago, if we were having this conversation, I would have been physically aroused.
Dr. Balis: Do you mean that you would have had an erection?
Mr. Langford: Exactly. It's interesting to me to watch this transformation. I remember from my teens through my early twenties, being stimulated every morning and night--and quite a few times during the day--was normal for me. I've been noticing changes from when I was around thirty-five. It's been a gradual slow down. I think that I'll appreciate this change. It makes things a little simpler. I definitely feel less driven sexually, my mind is beginning to slow down to the pace of my body. But I'm very happy that everything is working just fine, though. There's just been a slow down in certain ways. It takes getting use to.
Dr. Balis: You're describing a natural progression that most men go through. You sound like you're taking this in your stride.
Mr. Langford: I think so. I started telling you, that during my youth, I spent way too much time in a state of sexual arousal. Many times, I remember saying to friends that it was getting in the way. It's a lot more difficult thinking about anything but sex when you're so turned-on all the time.
Dr. Balis: You mean with an erection?
Mr. Langford: Yes. It's not that I don't think clearly, it's that I'm focused on doing something about my condition--making love, taking care of myself, or taking a cold shower. I've heard the "cold shower" suggestion throughout much of my life, but the truth is that I didn't learn it from reading, watching television, or going to the movies. Nobody ever told me, "If you're horny, take a cold shower." It was a personal discovery. I used to take a lot of cold showers. Way too many, in fact.
Dr. Balis: How many?
Mr. Langford: Is that really very important?
Dr. Balis: Well, I don't know what 'too many' means.
Mr. Langford: But it's in the past, and I'm telling you that it's not happening any more. I don't think my passion is gone. It was a kind of spontaneous intensity that I found more annoying and confusing than anything else. When my mind and heart were saying that what I wanted was honesty, closeness, a true caring, an exchange between loving human beings, my body was lusting after any female that caught my eye. I've always been attracted to strong women with opinions and lots of ambition. But I've often settled for someone warm, friendly, and near-by. Expediency and ecstasy were long time companions. I've never met a woman without some female problems, but that's a long story that I don't want to get into right now. I think that my mother only planned on having Chester and that I was a mistake. I'm not saying that I was unwanted, it's just that the enormous age difference between Chester and me was hard to miss. My parents had long gotten rid of any hand-me-downs.
Dr. Balis: We're covering a lot of ground here. What do you see as the important part of what you're telling me?
Mr. Langford: I don't mind answering that, but it seems like such an odd question. Most of my life, I haven't really confided in many people. Maybe that's what's so special about Evelyn. I don't know why I'm totally uninhibited with her--we've always been search the depth of our souls. That's rare. Most people don't seem to be very self aware, or if they are, it's really superficial--they don't show a passion for getting beneath the surface. My marks have been my way of expressing my passion and, through the years, they've ended up serving as a wonderful mirror to see myself. At the very least, they reflect an aspect of me that is intense, profoundly satisfying, and exciting. The marks are very emotional, and their spiritual nature comes from somewhere deep inside me. They're so strong but rarely erotic. They've been at times more satisfying than most other experiences in my life. I feel like I'm trying to sell you on this. I'm really not.
Dr. Balis: You're not?
Mr. Langford: No, I'm not even trying to sell myself on my life's experience. As outrageous as it may seem to you, it's my life and I really love it. I just haven't had many people to share it with, and I'm glad to finally be able to express myself so directly in words.
Dr. Balis: It's good that you're starting to trust me and can speak openly.
Mr. Langford: I didn't think that is was going to be this easy or this healing. Actually, this is hard. Last week when I wasn't here, I was really tired. I felt down and lost and abandoned. It was like being deflated after soaring so high. I think there should be some middle ground--like my Buddhist friend Oshiro would say.
Dr. Balis: What do you mean?
Mr. Langford: Well, I'd like it to be more like roaming plateaus and less like riding roller coasters. I want to feel a stable, solid foundation beneath me. I want to feel more of a connection between what I'm doing today, what I've done in the past, and what I'm going to do in the future. Can I tell you about this new job?
Dr. Balis: Sure.
Mr. Langford: It seemed like it was going to be such a piece of cake. First of all, I have to lock up the gallery, set the alarm, check all the cameras in the gallery plus the two cameras outside. What a set-up. I had to call Jake at least three or four times to help me with certain details. And then it's very difficult to stay awake all night, and even more difficult to sleep during the day. Even though I was so tired during my vigil time, I had a very hard time falling asleep and staying asleep after my shift. The first week, it was like all I was doing was taking cat naps. I had to figure out a way to block the light from coming in through the windows. Jake gave me the money to buy some blinds and they work well, fortunately. I had a greeting card that I drew on the desk, and Jake mentioned that he thought it was cool. But there was so much going on besides my marks, that the conversation never went any further. I've had to learn to literally turn my life upside down. I don't know what I was thinking. Yes I do--I was desperate. I'm not really complaining, I'm describing what's happening as openly and as honestly as I can. I never got a chance to tell you about the board thing. You know, the job was for room and board. I have a weekly allowance for food, but I also have some half-price coupons for a place across the street that serves vegetarian everything.
Dr. Balis: With such a change in your sleeping habits, how have you been eating?
Mr. Langford: Even with the allowance and the coupons, I have not been eating much of anything. It seems that when I'm the most hungry, I'm also the most tired. So I can barely eat. And then when I'm ready to make my marks, I'm too focused and hyper to eat. I think that the changes that I'm going through--the new job and place to live--are good for me. It's actually more than just a place to live, it's more like a way of life. I don't mean to be overly dramatic, but it feels very different--good but different. I feel like there's been some personal growth.
Dr. Balis: I think you are making progress.
Mr. Langford: I don't want to get too comfortable and lax about this job with the gallery business the way it is. Who knows how long it will last?
Dr. Balis: It sounds wise to be a bit cautious, but you're just beginning this job, so take advantage of it while it lasts and see what happens.
Mr. Langford: I agree. We seem to be in sync this afternoon.
Dr. Balis: Yes, I think so too. You covered a lot of ground today. So I'll see you next week then, same day and time. Okay?
Mr. Langford: Sure, that'd be great. Thank you. Bye.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Kester.
Arrow, Straight, Left, Earlier Arrow, Straight, Right, Later

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