Transcript of 9th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Katherine Lippard, Wednesday, June 25, 1997 at 4:00 p.m.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Ms. Lippard, come in. Sorry to keep you waiting. Oh, I'm sorry--Katherine.
Ms. Lippard: Thank you.
Dr. Balis: So how was your date?
Ms. Lippard: Wonderful! I couldn't believe it, Jake is like no one I've ever met before. He's charming, and sweet, and...well, natural. You know, I'm so used to the stuffy business types, all educated and formal--with a tie, a candlelight dinner, and a Lincoln Town Car. This is a real change. And damnit, Doctor, I like it!
Dr. Balis: I'm glad you had a good time. Want to tell me about it?
Ms. Lippard: Okay. He called early to tell me to dress warm. I didn't understand that--it being June and all. But he was mysterious about it, and I decided to play along. Well, he showed up on a motorcycle! Oh, wow, what a blast! And at sixty miles an hour, even in eighty degree weather, it was cold. But it was wonderful! The road just right there a few feet away. Leaning into the turns. The roar of the engine...exhilarating.
Dr. Balis: You've never been on a motorcycle before?
Ms. Lippard: No, I haven't. I want to go again, soon.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Lippard: Something wrong with that?
Dr. Balis: Well, motorcycles can be dangerous, particularly with no experience. He might have asked you first, to be sure you were comfortable with that.
Ms. Lippard: Oh, Jake's an excellent driver. And he insisted I wear a helmet, although he didn't. He said it dulls his senses.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Lippard: And he has a stereo on it. On the highway, he was singing along. Some group...birds? Crows? Yeah, something about crows. Many Crows? I caught parts of it--heavy, deep thinking stuff, just what I'd expect from him.
Dr. Balis: Where did you go?
Ms. Lippard: He said he was taking me to the mud flats. I was thinking great, a swamp or something. But it was nice--trees, open spaces, breezes. We had a picnic. It's a big bike--he just kept taking stuff out of the saddlebags, wine, fruit, French bread, cheese, paté. It was really romantic.
Dr. Balis: Gold Wing?
Ms. Lippard: Excuse me?
Dr. Balis: The motorcycle, was it a Honda Gold Wing?
Ms. Lippard: Oh, no. I've seen those--real luxury. This was more serious than that. Loud, authoritative. More like a real, pure. No windshield, exposed engine--that sort of thing. It's a Yamaha, 1300 something. Something 1300. Whatever. Counting Crows!
Dr. Balis: Sorry?
Ms. Lippard: The tape he was listening to. The group was called Counting Crows.
Dr. Balis: Oh. So you enjoyed the picnic?
Ms. Lippard: Oh, yes. Jake is...well, we talked about everything. Child-rearing, although neither of us has kids, politics, science, philosophy. The weather. Everything but finance. He wouldn't recite any poetry for me, though. He says poetry is nighttime stuff. We were there for hours, talking, walking around; we even played frisbee for a while. But...
Dr. Balis: Yes?
Ms. Lippard: Well, he never laughed. I was having a great time and several things struck me funny, particularly when we were chasing that frisbee around on the wind. I laughed a lot, it felt great. But Jake didn't laugh. He smiled sometimes, but it's like he's so serious. No, that's not right. He takes things seriously. I think he was having fun, but it was as if...I don't know. Like there's too much on his mind for the laughter to get through. Am I making sense?
Dr. Balis: I get the idea.
Ms. Lippard: I mean he's real smart, and he knows a lot, and he thinks a lot. Maybe that's it.
Dr. Balis: Maybe he was just reserved, nervous about making a good impression.
Ms. Lippard: I get the feeling Jake is never nervous. He has this incredible poise about him--great inner strength, and confidence. I think it's something else.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Lippard: Um hmm.
Dr. Balis: Something more?
Ms. Lippard: No, I'm through with Jake. Shall we move on?
Dr. Balis: Okay.
Ms. Lippard: Well, I though you might have some ideas.
Dr. Balis: Actually, I do. You talked a little about your family background last week. Would you like to expand on that?
Ms. Lippard: Okay. Some basic history first?
Dr. Balis: That would be fine.
Ms. Lippard: Okay. There's Joey, named for my dad,, Richard Lippard. Joey's 35. He's a senior associate at Cheatum, Craven & Swine in Columbia...
Dr. Balis: Cheatum, Craven & Swine? Is that really the name of the firm?
Ms. Lippard: No, that's just what I call them. It's really...uh, Cheatham, Calvin, something-or-other. I've just always called them that. I don't even remember the real names.
Dr. Balis: I see. Sorry I interrupted you, that just sounded odd. Please go on.
Ms. Lippard: I think I already told you about his marriage and kids. He has a boy, Jeffrey, 8, and a girl, Lynn, 6. They're in the best private school in the midlands, and they go to camp in the summer. I'll have to say, though, Joey does seem to really love the kids. Then there's my mom, also in Columbia. That's her home town. All her family is there. We moved there when Daddy left. And we all went to USC--that's South Carolina, not Southern Cal. Joey majored in Political Science and then law school. I majored in Accounting, then a CPA, then the MBA from Harvard. I told you how I did that, didn't I?
Dr. Balis: Yes, you did.
Ms. Lippard: Okay. Then Phil never managed to declare a major, just took what he wanted for a while, did poorly, and dropped out to become a starving artist. We all worked through school, but Mom somehow came up with a lot of the money. We found out later that she had thousands in mutual funds and treasury notes. All the time after Daddy left, while she was working two and three jobs, she kept us living at the poverty line, while she socked away money for college.
Dr. Balis: How do you feel about that?
Ms. Lippard: How do you keep doing that? You always know just when to ask the tricky questions.
Dr. Balis: It's part of my training to recognize these opportunities.
Ms. Lippard: Yeah, I guess it would be. Well, I feel two ways. I appreciate that she saved all that money, looking out for us so we could go to college and all. But I kind of resent it, too.
Dr. Balis: How so?
Ms. Lippard: We were so poor. We had subsidized lunches at school. Phil and I wore Joey's clothes years after they went out of style. We ate beans and macaroni & cheese two nights a week. Kids shunned us, and teachers felt sorry for us. And all that time, it turns out Mom was making decent money. We could have had decent things. Doctor Balis, is it wrong of me to resent my mother for doing what she thought was best at the time?
Dr. Balis: Feelings are not right or wrong, or even good or bad. They just are. Your emotions exist, they're part of you. You can't judge your worth by how you feel.
Ms. Lippard: Hmm. I'm not sure I agree with that. But let's table that for the moment, shall we? More history.
Dr. Balis: Okay.
Ms. Lippard: So we were poor. Then we all went to school, and two of us got post-graduate degrees. Phil was never very interested in school and dropped out. Now, he's poor and aimless, but feels good about it. Joey and I both took the corporate track and are rich and successful, but we're all screwed up.
Dr. Balis: Interesting difference.
Ms. Lippard: Isn't it, though? I keep wondering how that happened. We all grew up the same, had the same opportunities, no one was abused. Then I think, maybe it was Daddy.
Dr. Balis: What about your father?
Ms. Lippard: Well...huh. Yeah, what about my father?
Dr. Balis: You've said he left. Was there a divorce?
Ms. Lippard: Yeah, I guess you could say that. He abandoned us, that's all. Went off to Alaska to pursue his dream. What do you think of that? Wife and three kids depending on him. Has a good job and good pay. And then one day, he just says nope, don't want a family no more, going to go live in the wilderness and be a bush pilot now. How's that for respectable? How's that for family responsibility?
Dr. Balis: Sounds like you harbor some resentment there.
Ms. Lippard: Oh, fuck you, Doctor Balis! Why do we always have to get into that? Fuck how I feel. It doesn't matter. Oh, damnit.
Dr. Balis: Here...
Ms. Lippard: I don't need no damn tissues! Oh! Oh shit, I shouldn't have done that. I'm sorry. Here, I'll get it.
Dr. Balis: Thank you. Are you okay now?
Ms. Lippard: Yes. Yes, I'm sorry. Um...time's about up, isn't it?
Dr. Balis: Katherine, it's okay to...
Ms. Lippard: No, no, no, no, it's not okay. I'm thirty-two years old, and that happened a long time ago, and I should be over it by now. I am not going to get angry, and I am not going to cry. It's over.
Dr. Balis: Obviously, there's still some strong feelings there.
Ms. Lippard: Yeah...well, I'm tired of it. I'm getting on with my life. I have a good job. And I met a nice man. And...well, that's that. Time's up.
Dr. Balis: Are you okay to drive?
Ms. Lippard: Yes, I'm fine. See? Rock solid.
Dr. Balis: Okay. See you next week then?
Ms. Lippard: Yes. Thank you, Doctor Balis.
Dr. Balis: I'm here if you need me, Katherine.
Ms. Lippard: Thank you. Good night.
Dr. Balis: Good night.
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