Transcript of 46th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Katherine Lippard, Wednesday, May 27, 1998 at 4:00 pm.

Ms. Lippard: Hello, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Hello, Katherine. You're looking happy today.
Ms. Lippard: I am, I am. Life is good. It's Spring in the City; my job is easy; my friends are...uh, friendly; my brother is happy and prosperous. The foundation is getting started; my work at the Arts Alliance is moving along; and I think the Recreation Alliance may actually get off the ground. I might not be able to open it until this winter, but by next summer, I think some school kids will have a place to go that encourages learning and self-esteem rather than boredom and crime. I met a school board member, and he seemed receptive to the idea. So we might get the city school system's backing. That would really put the rockets under the project.
Dr. Balis: That all sounds very exciting.
Ms. Lippard: It is, I am excited. And I'm planning a vacation as soon as the budget is finalized. The budget looks wonderful, too, mostly thanks to the Mole.
Dr. Balis: Where will you go on vacation?
Ms. Lippard: Um...Alaska.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Lippard: I'm not sure you do. I've always wanted to see Alaska, it's the last great wilderness. And the middle of summer is the perfect time. And it's nice and far away from here physically, emotionally, and culturally. It's very remote, very good for thinking and getting things in perspective.
Dr. Balis: So you're not going to look for your father while you're there?
Ms. Lippard: Uh...well, not really. Sort of. I do have the name of a town from his letters, and I plan to visit there. I'm curious about what happened to him, what drew him so far from the life he knew. That's natural, right?
Dr. Balis: I suppose so.
Ms. Lippard: And, of course, I'll try to learn something about him while I'm there. If he's still there, fine, we'll meet. But I doubt he will be. There's a couple of J. Lippards in Alaska, but none near Malbae.
Dr. Balis: You've found some men with your father's name?
Ms. Lippard: Sure. It's easy on the web. I was just playing around one night and came up with a few listings. I've never been really sure if I wanted to contact them and find out for sure. I was afraid of what I might learn, I guess. But I figure, since I'm going anyway, I may as well visit his town while I'm in the neighborhood.
Dr. Balis: Will you be in the neighborhood? Alaska's a big place.
Ms. Lippard: Anything is accessible if you have the money. I'll hire a charter or hitch a ride with a bush pilot. I'm going to be going all over anyway, seeing all the natural wonders on the regular tourist routes.
Dr. Balis: What will you do if you find him?
Ms. Lippard: I'll say hello, tell him what I've been doing, get acquainted. I'm not afraid. He'll like me, I'm sure of that. But I don't feel like I need his approval. I just hope he's not a jerk or that he doesn't run from me and try to deny his past. That would hurt.
Dr. Balis: Are you interested in renewing your relationship?
Ms. Lippard: I don't know. It's not that important. If he wants to, fine. But I think it's been too long to expect a real close father-daughter bond. At best, we can be friends. At worst, we can go our separate ways again, hopefully with no hard feelings. But I don't think I'll run into him at all.
Dr. Balis: Why not?
Ms. Lippard: Intuition, I guess. I'm sure he's moved on. He might easily be dead, even. If I run into a clear trail, I'll follow it. But I suspect I'll find he left years ago and no one knows exactly where, if I find anything at all.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. Are you taking anyone with you?
Ms. Lippard: There are a few people I know who would love to experience Alaska. I thought about asking Jake; it's right up his alley. But I don't think I'd be up for all the exciting things he'd want to do, and I don't feel compelled to bankroll his recreation anymore. However, I do want to go camping in the wilderness, and he's great at that. I don't want to do that without an experienced guide.
Dr. Balis: That's wise.
Ms. Lippard: I really want to go with someone I love and communicate with, and with someone who can appreciate the majesty of it all. So I'm going to ask...
Dr. Balis: Phil?
Ms. Lippard: Of course! We'll pack up his studio and take it in a duffel bag. He's perfect for Alaska.
Dr. Balis: I'm sure he'll have a great time.
Ms. Lippard: I'm sure he will.
Dr. Balis: I hope you'll be okay with whatever you find out about your father. Be sure to bring my number with you, okay? I'll be here if you want to talk.
Ms. Lippard: Thanks, I will. But don't expect a call. I'm a big girl now; I think I can handle the world on my own. You've taught me well, doyen. I'll send you a postcard, though.
Dr. Balis: Thank you.
Ms. Lippard: Okay. I didn't tell you about the wedding.
Dr. Balis: Oh, yes, Larraine and Mark. How was that?
Ms. Lippard: I got them season tickets to the symphony--out of sight of my seats, of course. And it turned out to be the perfect thing. They're a much classier couple than I gave them credit for.
Dr. Balis: Oh?
Ms. Lippard: Oh, yes. I expected gaudy ritz: a champagne fountain, sequined dresses, enough chiffon to choke an elephant. What I saw was comfortable, understated class. The wedding at St. Mary's was sober and respectful, and the reception was actually in the Culinary Academy. I should have known they had the perfect hall there. Jake would have loved it, he enjoys architecture. I expected to see him there, but I guess he and Alex are still on the outs. The guest list was impressive, though: socialites and celebrities hobnobbing with mail clerks and Alex's friends. There were more than one elected official and some executives, and very few Rachelesque faux socialites. No one put on airs one way or the other that I could detect.
Dr. Balis: So you were impressed?
Ms. Lippard: Yes. I guess truly high class people don't snub their noses at anyone. It's a lesson I suppose I should take to heart.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Lippard: The whole thing was so impressive and comfortable that I stayed much longer than I originally planned. It was a good thing, too, because I got to see all the festivities.
Dr. Balis: Oh?
Ms. Lippard: Nothing scandalous, sorry. Alex is a tough kid, but he can do the sweetest things sometimes. I guess he really does love his mother, despite all she's done to him. It gives me hope that I can get over my resentment of my mother some day. Anyway, Alex got all weepy when they danced together. A murmur went through the crowd--as they say--and I got there just in time to see her plant a big, wet kiss on his cheek. Alex turned beet red, and they were both crying and hanging on each other. It would have been a real spectacle if it hadn't been so pure and sincere. Alex had to excuse himself. I talked to him later about this, and he was all: "Gee, gosh." He looked embarrassed and about ten years old.
Dr. Balis: That sounds very sweet. Did you talk with Larraine at all?
Ms. Lippard: We chatted a little, it was nothing big. You have to congratulate the bride and groom at their wedding. She did seem genuinely glad to see me, but you never can tell with Larraine. I guess I still don't trust her much.
Dr. Balis: I can understand that.
Ms. Lippard: I met Alex's boyfriend, Luke. Oh, my God! I know the word "hunk" is passé, but it's the only thing that applies. I was spellbound. He's the kind of man who, when he walks by, you just have to stop and look. Do you remember the Coke commercial where these women in an office building stop every day to ogle a construction worker across the street?
Dr. Balis: I remember that one.
Ms. Lippard: That's what I was doing. Alex immediately berated me, took on this big "my man" persona. And it was my turn to be embarrassed. Of course, I wasn't looking too shabby myself, judging from all the attention and proposals I got.
Dr. Balis: So Alex was possessive? Did he really think there was a chance you would make a move on Luke?
Ms. Lippard: Oh, no. It was all in fun. But Lloyd eclipsed us all.
Dr. Balis: What did he do?
Ms. Lippard: He sent this huge, hideous, iron kinetic sculpture. It arrived on a flatbed truck about an hour into the reception. I guess he wanted to make a grand entrance, though I never saw him at all. Oh, the thing was awful! I have no idea what they're going to do with it. When I left, it was still sitting on the sidewalk, just creaking and moving in the wind and generally looking menacing. Sometimes, I think that man has no connection with reality.
Dr. Balis: Everyone has their own taste.
Ms. Lippard: No one has that taste.
Dr. Balis: So you had a good time?
Ms. Lippard: Yes, I did. And I gained a new respect for Larraine and a new insight into her and Alex. I'm glad I went.
Dr. Balis: Good. Our time is running short; is there anything else you wanted to bring up?
Ms. Lippard: No, there's not. Nothing at all, really. Um, I mean...I think I'm through.
Dr. Balis: Through? With therapy?
Ms. Lippard: Yes. We've discussed this before. I know there are some things you'd like to cover, but they don't seem pressing to me. I really can't imagine what I'd talk about if I came back. I feel pretty good about things. I don't have any internal conflicts. My life is wonderful. Congratulations, Doctor, another cure.
Dr. Balis: Yes...well, thank you, Katherine. So are you calling an end to our sessions?
Ms. Lippard: I think that's best.
Dr. Balis: Well, okay. I'm glad I could be of service. My door is always open to you, Katherine. Feel free to call any time you want to talk, I'll be available. In fact, I'd like to hear from you once in a while to find out how you're doing.
Ms. Lippard: Okay, it's a deal. And you'll definitely get that postcard from Alaska.
Dr. Balis: I'll look forward to it. Take care, Katherine. It's been quite a year.
Ms. Lippard: It has, hasn't it? You take care of yourself, too, Doctor. Okay?
Dr. Balis: Thank you, I will. Goodbye, Katherine. I hope you find what you're looking for in Alaska.
Arrow, Straight, Left, Earlier Arrow, Straight, Right, Later

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