Transcript of 22nd Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Katherine Lippard, Wednesday, October 22, 1997 at 4:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Katherine. Welcome back.
Ms. Lippard: Thanks. I wish I could say it was good to be back.
Dr. Balis: Oh? What's wrong?
Ms. Lippard: Well, I guess I misspoke. It's not bad. Just the same stuff again. Sometimes a vacation gives you a new attitude so life doesn't seem so drab when you get back, but sometimes the vacation just somehow fails to do that.
Dr. Balis: Your life seems drab?
Ms. Lippard: Yeah. Well, no more than usual. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate my life. Sometimes, I have a real good time. But I think I did mention a general feeling of dissatisfaction. I was hoping it would just go away.
Dr. Balis: I think you're going to have to make that happen yourself.
Ms. Lippard: Yeah. I don't know what I expected. Magic, maybe. That things would somehow look different after a week away. Oh, well. You know, it wasn't a real vacation anyway; I was with my family, after all.
Dr. Balis: And how did that go?
Ms. Lippard: Actually, pretty well. Phil and I had a great conversation on the plane, we caught up on all kinds of things. He's going to be rich again soon.
Dr. Balis: Oh?
Ms. Lippard: Yeah, he got a contract with UCSF for a mural in the athletic building. He was sketching it out on the plane. It's a huge enterprise--ten feet high and forty long--depicting all the sports the college is involved in. He's got until after the Christmas break to finish it, and it pays almost as much as he made all this year. He says it's a compromise to his "real art," but he has to pay the bills. And he asked me for investment advice! I think little brother may be coming to earth and realizing that he has to plan for the future.
Dr. Balis: Oh? And how do you feel about that?
Ms. Lippard: Um, it's nice to know he has some financial sense. I don't want to see him die poor. And I'd rather he didn't freeze to death when the winds come off the bay and through his walls this winter. But that's not what you meant, is it?
Dr. Balis: No, I was...
Ms. Lippard: Wait, I think I can get this. You remember me saying how I admire Phil for living by the seat of his pants, not knowing where his next meal is coming from, and yet being happy all the time, rich or poor. He's not worried about money or getting ahead. And now he's moving away from that mentality and towards mine. You think I may be disappointed?
Dr. Balis: Something like that.
Ms. Lippard: Ha! Someday, I won't need you anymore, Doctor Balis.
Dr. Balis: That's the plan. So what about it?
Ms. Lippard: It wasn't the lifestyle I admired, it was the attitude. Phil could enjoy everything, no matter what happened. But I don't think he's changing his mentality, just his behavior. I still think I can learn from him. In fact, I did a little during this trip. The trip--it's the real topic of the day, isn't it?
Dr. Balis: As always, the topic is whatever you feel you need to discuss.
Ms. Lippard: I guess I'll tell you more of what happened. Rachael threw Joey a big party at their house and invited all the local glitterati. I didn't know Joey was such a big shot. The mayor came by, and two or three state senators, and some judges, and someone from the attorney general's office, and of course lawyers and socialites from four counties. And Rachael spent the evening dropping names of all the people who couldn't make it, right up to the governor himself, though Joey admitted to me that they'd never met. I got so caught up in all the ego tripping going on that by the end of the party, I was introducing myself as, "the CFO of a major computer company in San Francisco." I have three cards from name partners who want to expand their work to the West Coast. As if the company doesn't have a legal department.
Dr. Balis: Did you enjoy yourself?
Ms. Lippard: Yes, I did. I've been in the corporate culture long enough that I can fit in pretty well with that kind of crowd. But you know what? I can fit in with the artsy crowd too, and I like them better--more real, more colorful, much less concerned with how others view them. Which brings me to Philip.
Dr. Balis: What about him?
Ms. Lippard: He loved the party. He found an empty serving tray and walked around with it like it was a paper plate, putting canapes and drinks and big Dagwood sandwiches on it. Once, he picked up a whole bunch of grapes and bit them right off the bunch, one by one. Poor Rachael went pale at that one. But the hotshots loved him! He was so colorful--a real bohemian, just like they've seen on TV. He always had a bunch of them in stitches. I think they felt like they were connected to the common man somehow, talking to a real living artist from San Francisco. And he can be a real charmer when he wants to. I think he could have had half the women there, married or not.
Dr. Balis: He does seem to know how to enjoy whatever situation he's in.
Ms. Lippard: You said it. I want to be Phil Lippard when I grow up.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. Was your mother there?
Ms. Lippard: Oh, yes. And Rachael even made a couple of toasts to her. Everyone paid their respects to Joey's mother in truest Southern manner. Then she and her boyfriend left early.
Dr. Balis: Boyfriend?
Ms. Lippard: Yeah, she's been seeing this man Gary for years. He owns an upscale clothing store, does pretty well. But they're both comfortable just dating perpetually.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Lippard: So the party finally broke up, and we three kids stayed up until dawn, just talking and catching up on everything. I don't spend enough time with my family. You know, Joey may be rich and important and all, but I still love him. I mean, of course I love him--he's my brother. But I like him, too, you know? He's an okay guy. He knows his wife is stuck up and hard to get along with, but he listed several things that make her okay. And he loves her in his own way. Not that it stops him from sleeping around sometimes and staying away occasionally, because she can be hard to live with. And he doesn't respect me just for what I've accomplished, but he does for what I am. Of course, he's proud of my position, but he's more glad that I'm strong and self-sufficient and straightforward and...well, all the things you talk about that make me a good person.
Dr. Balis: He likes you for you, not for your position.
Ms. Lippard: Yeah. And I like him for him, in spite of his position. And Phil...well, Phil loves everyone, and everyone loves Phil. That's just part of being Phil.
Dr. Balis: So you had a good visit.
Ms. Lippard: Yeah. It was good to see Joey again, and more so to have the three of us together.
Dr. Balis: Doesn't Joey have children?
Ms. Lippard: Yeah, Jeff and Lynn. We took them out Sunday--just them and Uncle Phil and Aunt Kathy. They've built a nice park, since we moved away, with a stream and a pond and wide open spaces--great for kite-flying. Jeff is wild and free, like Phil, but with a success-driven streak like Joey. But Lynn is kind of a snot. I'm afraid she's growing up like her mother. But she can't always pull it off. We got her to smile in spite of herself a few times, and her brother's a good influence on her. She might be okay.
Dr. Balis: Good.
Ms. Lippard: And Mama had a barbecue Sunday night--excuse me, a cookout. Barbecue is shredded pig in a sauce. We just cooked a meal outside on the grill--that's a cookout. I'm getting too citified. So it was the whole extended family including Rachael but without Gary. And Rachael loosened up. Take her out of the hoity-toity and she's almost a regular person. She even ate barbecue chicken with her fingers and was just a little mad when Jeff and Joey had a--excuse me, Jeff and Phil--had a belching contest.
Dr. Balis: So your sister-in-law isn't the snob you thought she was?
Ms. Lippard: Yes, she is, but only to impress people. Which makes her a fake, which I still can't respect.
Dr. Balis: A fake? But don't you change your behavior to fit the company you're in? Does that make you a fake?
Ms. Lippard: No, because I'm not trying to impress anyone. I'm just using diplomacy to get along.
Dr. Balis: I suspect she would say the same thing.
Ms. Lippard: Maybe. But seeing this side of her, I don't hate her as much. And I have more hope that the kids will turn out all right.
Dr. Balis: You can help by setting a good example.
Ms. Lippard: Like making a success of my life rather than just my career? Like being true to myself rather than being what will get me ahead? Like hanging out with the people I like better, rather than the people it's politic to be seen with?
Dr. Balis: Right.
Ms. Lippard: See? I've been listening to you.
Dr. Balis: I knew you had.
Ms. Lippard: Speaking of people I like better, Jake was glad to see me come back. He said he missed me.
Dr. Balis: Oh?
Ms. Lippard: Yeah. And I think he meant it. He was much more loving, paying attention to me, stroking my hair. He didn't talk about himself at all, seemed actually interested in my trip and my family. And the sex was more tender than it's been in weeks--more like making love than the exciting passion we've been having. All that stuff is fun, in and of itself, but it doesn't make a bond, you know? Our lovemaking has been more bonding, more enjoying each other's company and each other's selves, than the sex we've been having recently. I think he's realizing what a good thing he has in me, and is beginning to appreciate me for who I am.
Dr. Balis: That's good.
Ms. Lippard: I hope so.
Dr. Balis: Why do you say that?
Ms. Lippard: Well, I'm not sure yet. But our time's about up, anyway.
Dr. Balis: You mean our time? Yes, I guess it is. See you next week?
Ms. Lippard: Yeah. Um, never mind. Next time. Good night.
Dr. Balis: Good night, Katherine.
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