Transcript of 8th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Katherine Lippard, Wednesday, June 18, 1997 at 4:00 pm.

Ms. Lippard: Hi!
Dr. Balis: Hello. That's a new look for you.
Ms. Lippard: Yeah, it's my new corporate image: Streetnick. Like it?
Dr. Balis: You went to work like that?
Ms. Lippard: No, not really. Truth is I took the day off. I was out late last night so I just told the office I wouldn't be in today.
Dr. Balis: Is that okay?
Ms. Lippard: Sure. I've been out all day on business before, and so has Frank. It's not that unusual. Besides, I've got that office running like a well-tuned Jaguar. If there's no meetings scheduled or anything like that, they can pretty well do it without me for a day or two. And I can log on from home for the news and quotes and such. It's good to be the boss...or, for the time being, the vice-boss. Must be nice running your own business like you do, too.
Dr. Balis: It can be, but it has it's headaches. You were out late last night?
Ms. Lippard: Yeah, went to a poetry slam! With a name like "slam," I expected some kind of party or at least something with energy--shouting or something. But this was just a coffee house with a microphone. People would just get up and read their stuff. I was most impressed with the ones who could recite from memory. Like Jake.
Dr. Balis: Jake?
Ms. Lippard: Jake. Oh man, Doctor Balis, this is incredible. I didn't think a man could be like this. Well, at least not a man I could date. Phil's like this, of course. And you're kind of neat, too.
Dr. Balis: What do you mean, "like this?" Maybe you should start at the beginning.
Ms. Lippard: Okay, yeah. I called Phil last Wednesday, like I said I would. He happened to have several pieces in a show that opened Saturday at...oh, I forget which gallery. He invited me to come along and I gladly accepted. I was being careful to move around, trying to get into the culture like you said. Phil got me into a few conversations, but nothing much was happening. Then, while I was admiring this huge abstract acrylic that took Phil over two months to finish, I hear a soft, strong voice speak to me. I looked and here was this well-built man with a goatee and an earring. He was staring at the painting but talking to me. He wasn't hitting on me or condescending to me like I'm some business flunky who can't understand art. And he wasn't all high-brow about it either--just matter-of-fact, like this was perfectly natural.
Dr. Balis: Sounds like it was for him. Maybe he's as comfortable in an art gallery as you are in a business meeting.
Ms. Lippard: Right on the money again! He works there. He's the assistant manager. But he never tried to sell me the piece. We just talked. I couldn't believe what I was hearing! He didn't talk about materials, or price, or even color and composition. It was about feelings, the passion conveyed in the piece. That was a very emotional painting, and he caught it all. Phil and I talked about the piece several times while he was working on it. So I knew both what I saw and what he was trying to say. Jake read it like a book. I was amazed. We parted after about ten minutes, but I couldn't keep my eyes off him the whole afternoon. He caught me looking at him a few times and just smiled back like we were old friends. Finally, Jake came over to congratulate Phil on the great response his work was getting and found out I was Phil's sister.
Dr. Balis: How did he react to that?
Ms. Lippard: He said that he should have known. Phil and I don't look much alike, and we're about as far apart on the cultural spectrum as you can get. But Jake said he could feel the similarity in the way we thought. Interesting. I've never had anyone feel my thoughts before.
Dr. Balis: Sounds like an interesting afternoon.
Ms. Lippard: It gets better. He invited us to this poetry slam Tuesday. We went and got there just in time for Jake's first poem. He got up three times, one poem each time, but I only remember a little of it. The first one started with something like "Darkness envelops me; We embrace as old friends; familiar lovers." It was something like that. After that, I just got caught up in listening to his voice--such a deep voice from such a small man. Well, he's not small, but his voice is much deeper than you'd think by looking at him. And so smooth, so melodic. And, well, sexy.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Lippard: Do you really? I didn't mean that I wanted to sleep with him just because of his voice. Just that it was...the way he spoke was so...oh, I don't know. Alluring? Attractive?
Dr. Balis: I understand. What happened then?
Ms. Lippard: Well, he saw us and came over for a while. But he was with a group and couldn't stay the whole time. I felt like an idiot. All I could do was stare at his eyes through the haze and complement him. I was fawning. Halfway through his second poem, I noticed Phil staring at me, this big grin on his face. I asked him why, and he said he was glad I was enjoying myself. But I think he was amused by my reaction to Jake.
Dr. Balis: Maybe. Maybe he was pleased, too. Did anything else happen with Jake?
Ms. Lippard: Well, just that he asked me out.
Dr. Balis: And?
Ms. Lippard: And we're going out Saturday morning.
Dr. Balis: I'm glad to hear that.
Ms. Lippard: So you approve?
Dr. Balis: Certainly. This sounds like just the sort of adventure you were looking for. I'm very pleased at how well you handled your first trip out of the corporate culture. You mingled, you enjoyed yourself, you took some chances. And it's nice that you met a man who doesn't bore you.
Ms. Lippard: Yeah, I'm excited. I'm all giddy. That's really why I didn't go to work today--I was just too thrilled to concentrate. I couldn't get into the corporate persona. Do you think this might interfere with my work?
Dr. Balis: I don't...
Ms. Lippard: No, I guess not. I'm pretty much settled down now. It's just that it's so new, so unexpected.
Dr. Balis: You described to me before how you seem to feel unnerved by the unexpected sometimes.
Ms. Lippard: Not this time. It's...well, I'm doing this, see? It's not being done to me.
Dr. Balis: You feel like you're in control of the situation?
Ms. Lippard: Yes, of course. Hey, I'm giddy and all, but that doesn't mean I've lost my mind. I'm not going to let my work be affected by my personal life. I could afford the day off today, but I don't plan on making it a habit. And I'm not the kind of woman to be led around by a man. I thought you'd know that by now.
Dr. Balis: Yes, yes I do. But I also know how easy it is to get carried away by a new and exciting experience.
Ms. Lippard: Oh, you tricky devil. You managed to get in one of those warnings about getting too excited!
Dr. Balis: That's part of my job here, Ms. Lippard.
Ms. Lippard: And that's another thing. I'm not Ms. Lippard anymore, at least not when I'm in here. That's the corporate maven. I'm working on my personal life here, so can you call me Katherine?
Dr. Balis: Okay, that's fair. Katherine.
Ms. Lippard: Can I call you Charles? Or is it Charlie?
Dr. Balis: I think we'd better stick with Doctor Balis. You're not at work here, but I am.
Ms. Lippard: Huh. All right. So we have some time left. What else should we talk about?
Dr. Balis: What's on your mind?
Ms. Lippard: Well, let's see. Work is okay, life is getting to be fun. Oh, my brother is separated again.
Dr. Balis: Phil? I didn't think he was married.
Ms. Lippard: Oh, I'm sorry, he's not. My older brother, Joey. He's a lawyer back in Columbia. He works long hours trying to make partner. He drinks. And he cheats on his wife. Every once in a while, she gets fed up and leaves him, but she always comes back. She was born to be married--she can't stay away from the mansion, the country club, the martinis on the yacht with all the society wonks and their phony Harvard accents. And Joey can't make partner without the trophy wife and 2.5 adorable children in private school. So he cleans up his act for a while and begs her back.
Dr. Balis: Is this a pattern?
Ms. Lippard: Oh, yes. This is at least the third time she's left. And I'll bet the farm, it turns out the same way. "Bet the farm." I don't think I've ever said that before.
Dr. Balis: You've never talked about any of your family other than Phil. Are you close to Joey?
Ms. Lippard: No. We can talk about finance, a little. But he's such a fake--pursuing the American dream, shaping his personal life and that of his wife and kids to get what he wants. Besides, he's always been distant. I get the feeling he always resented me for being born.
Dr. Balis: He was the oldest and an only child until you came along?
Ms. Lippard: Exactly. Then when Dad left, he decided to be the man of the house. He got all authoritative and bossy. So I just took care of Phil and tried to ignore Joey.
Dr. Balis: What about your mother?
Ms. Lippard: She worked all the time. We kind of had to work out the hierarchy for ourselves. Okay. Well, I guess I should go.
Dr. Balis: We can take the time if you want to get into this.
Ms. Lippard: No, that's enough for one day. See you next time.
Dr. Balis: Good night, Ms. Lipp...excuse me, Katherine.
Ms. Lippard: Yeah. You too.
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