Transcript of 12th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Katherine Lippard, Wednesday, July 23, 1997 at 4:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Katherine.
Ms. Lippard: Hello, Doctor Balis. Are you feeling better?
Dr. Balis: What? Oh, no. I wasn't ill. I had a family emergency. I'm sorry about canceling last week.
Ms. Lippard: Oh, I'm sorry. Is everything okay?
Dr. Balis: It was my dad. He's much better now and is home from the hospital, thanks. But we're not here to talk about me.
Ms. Lippard: No, I guess not. Well, here I am, all in one piece as promised.
Dr. Balis: So you are. Did I see you limping?
Ms. Lippard: Yeah, a little. It didn't happen during hang gliding, though. We didn't get to go last weekend, the weather wasn't right. So we went last Sunday. Oh, it was incredible! Better than I had imagined. Such freedom! We soared, and swooped, and dived--it was awesome. I don't think I've ever felt so alive. And Jake was so wonderful, smiling more than I've ever seen before. Gone was the dark, somber, deep thinker, and in his place, a free spirit, excited and enjoying life. A girl could almost fall in love, you know?
Dr. Balis: Almost?
Ms. Lippard: after we landed, I was dancing around, literally jumping for joy, making a fool of myself at the top of this cliff, when I came down wrong on a loose rock and fell. I have the most incredible bruise on my butt. But when we got home, Jake...well, he kissed it and made it better.
Dr. Balis: Oh?
Ms. Lippard: Yeah, it was so sweet and romantic. We got in, I was limping pretty badly, and he said, "That really hurts, doesn't it?" I said it did, and he said, "Here, maybe I can help." He came around behind me, slipped off my shorts, then he got down on one knee and kissed, bruise. And it got better! It really felt better, I didn't just imagine it. I could move more and everything.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Lippard: So then--and this is the really wonderful part--he slid my pants back on, kissed me sweetly on the lips, and went to make me some tea. It wasn't an excuse to get my pants off, it wasn't about seduction. He just wanted to make me feel better. And it worked.
Dr. Balis: It sounds like you had a good time.
Ms. Lippard: Oh, yes. Oh my, yes. I've never felt so alive. The sky and the man...the wonderful man who cares so much about me. And the was magical.
Dr. Balis: I'm glad you enjoyed yourself. And that you came back relatively unscathed.
Ms. Lippard: We made love that night.
Dr. Balis: Really?
Ms. Lippard: Yes, first time. That's another wonderful thing about Jake--he never pushed for sex. We've been going out...what, a month now? And he seemed content to wait another month, if that's what it took for me to be comfortable. But Sunday I was. And it was amazing. Stupendous. Words do not begin to describe it. It was the best sex I've ever had, not for being the most exciting or the number and strength of my orgasms--although, I think I set records there, too. We were at it for hours. And it was great because of the feeling behind it. I mean, sex is not always a chore. Sometimes, it can be a lot of fun. But it's always been just something you do--like another recreational activity during a date. But this was different. This was about us, about our wanting to be together. Wow, I didn't know it could be like this.
Dr. Balis: So you've never experienced sex as a sharing, as an expression of emotion between two people in love?
Ms. Lippard: How could I? I've never been in love.
Dr. Balis: Are you in love with Jake?
Ms. Lippard: Well that's another question entirely, isn't it?
Dr. Balis: Is it?
Ms. Lippard: How am I suppose to tell? What are the signs? Define it for me.
Dr. Balis: Love is an emotion, Katherine. And like any emotion it's very hard to define in concrete terms...
Ms. Lippard: Come on, Balis, you're a psychiatrist. Emotions are your job. You can do better than that.
Dr. Balis: What does it mean to you?
Ms. Lippard: I knew you'd say that. Okay, love. Hmm. Love is caring. Closeness. Like his life means more to me than my own. Like I always want to be with him--there's this longing all the time that we're apart. I get this tingly, butterfly sensation when the phone rings and I think it's him. I can tell him anything, he'll keep any secret. I can forgive any little annoyance--the way he flosses twice a day, and how he lets the dishes stack up two sinks full before he washes them. I can't look at him without smiling. I feel so good to be with him. I just want to do everything for him. I want to make him happy any way I can.
Dr. Balis: Do you feel this way about Jake?
Ms. Lippard: Well, who did you think I was talking about?
Dr. Balis: So...
Ms. Lippard: So what? Oh. So, am I in love with him? Well, it sounds that way, doesn't it?
Dr. Balis: Yes, it does.
Ms. Lippard: Is that good?
Dr. Balis: How does it feel to you?
Ms. Lippard: Okay. It feels pretty good, actually. Okay, I'm in love with Jake Winter. For the first time in my life, I'm in love. And that's okay.
Dr. Balis: Good. I'm glad you're comfortable with that. I'm happy for you.
Ms. Lippard: Thank you.
Dr. Balis: Katherine, I want to make sure I heard something right. Did you say, "his life means more to me than my own?"
Ms. Lippard: Yes. So?
Dr. Balis: Is that how you feel?
Ms. Lippard: Sure. I mean, if it came down to one of us having to die, I'd rather it be me. I'd want him to go on living. What's wrong with that?
Dr. Balis: When you put it that way, nothing. I can appreciate these feelings. I was concerned that you might have meant that you couldn't live without him.
Ms. Lippard: Hmm. You mean like if we broke up, I'd kill myself?
Dr. Balis: You understand, I have to be alert to these things.
Ms. Lippard: Yeah, I know that. Don't worry, Doctor Balis. If Jake dumps me, I promise to call you before I slit my throat. But I don't see that happening.
Dr. Balis: I certainly hope not.
Ms. Lippard: Me too.
Dr. Balis: Katherine, I hate to bring up a touchy subject, but are you practicing safe sex?
Ms. Lippard: Um...well, not this time. But I have an appointment Friday morning to get a shot. Depo-Provera--very convenient, no side effects. Well, at least less than the pill.
Dr. Balis: That's very good, but pregnancy is not the only danger.
Ms. Lippard: Doctor Balis, Jake and I have discussed this. It's not as if this was a total surprise. Neither of us has ever had anything, and it's not like he's been sleeping around indiscriminately.
Dr. Balis: I'm sure you trust him, but you can't be sure about what his former partners have been doing. AIDS can be carried for years before disease develops, and there are other sexually transmitted diseases that can hibernate symptom-free for some time. Syphilis, for instance. I'd to encourage you both to get tested.
Ms. Lippard: Hmm. I'll think about that.
Dr. Balis: Maybe you could discuss it with Jake.
Ms. Lippard: Maybe I could.
Dr. Balis: When are you planning to see him again?
Ms. Lippard: Tonight. We're going to the symphony. I'll get to see him in a tie. But we can't make love again like that--I'll never be able to get to work tomorrow. Besides, I want to get the shot first.
Dr. Balis: Okay. But please, think about getting tested. And remember, it's only good if you both go.
Ms. Lippard: Okay, okay, I said I'd consider it, and I will. What you say makes sense.
Dr. Balis: Good. We have some time left, is there anything else you'd like to discuss?
Ms. Lippard: You mean like my father? I know we have to get into that again, and I actually planned on doing it today. But we got a little sidetracked, didn't we? I don't think that there's enough time left to really go there right now. I feel like this is a pretty deep issue.
Dr. Balis: It is. Would you like to call it a day then?
Ms. Lippard: Sure. I can use the extra time. And we'll get back to my father, I promise.
Dr. Balis: Good.
Ms. Lippard: Next time. Plan on it.
Dr. Balis: Okay. See you next week.
Ms. Lippard: Good. Good night, Doctor Balis.
Dr. Balis: Good night, Katherine.
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