Transcript of 19th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Sharon Lough, Friday, May 29, 1998 at 10:00 am.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Sharon.
Ms. Lough: Hi. I hate this rain. I feel so stupid with this garbage bag tied around my cast. Why the hell does it have to rain now? It's almost June. It's a real bitch trying to get around without getting this cast wet.
Dr. Balis: I can imagine. How are you feeling?
Ms. Lough: Cranky, as usual.
Dr. Balis: I see. How did your weekend go with Tony?
Ms. Lough: Okay.
Dr. Balis: Okay?
Ms. Lough: You want to know if we shagged?
Dr. Balis: Shagged? Well, I...
Ms. Lough: Do you take a voyeuristic delight in the sexual exploits of your patients, Doctor?
Dr. Balis: I'm concerned because you've expressed negative feelings about sex and men. Your physical relationships can impact your mental health.
Ms. Lough: Maybe you'd be a little less concerned if you got laid once in a while. Don't you have any cute patients you can fuck?
Dr. Balis: You know it's not ethical for me to do that, Sharon. And my sex life isn't the issue. Are you seeing Tony again?
Ms. Lough: I don't know. I think he's gay. He has a little pretty boyfriend who's obviously a flaming fruit. I can't compete.
Dr. Balis: Did Tony tell you that his friend and he are lovers?
Ms. Lough: No, but if it looks like a know?
Dr. Balis: I see. Where are you staying now?
Ms. Lough: I went back to Rob's on Tuesday after the Memorial Day weekend. Charlotte still hasn't moved any of her things.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Lough: And I don't even know when that fucking cow is planning to come. If she pops in unannounced and gives me any shit, I'm going to tackle her to the floor and beat her with one of my crutches.
Dr. Balis: You have a lot of anger towards Charlotte.
Ms. Lough: Very perceptive. Where does she get off jerking us around like this? First, she said she'd get her junk Memorial Day weekend. Then, she said she'd be "in and out" during the week, and she didn't even show. Fuck that! If she doesn't come by tomorrow, I'm personally going to take all her junk to the nearest Goodwill. And I won't even get a receipt.
Dr. Balis: That might be difficult to do in your condition.
Ms. Lough: I'm sure they have big lugs working at Goodwill whose only skill is lifting heavy objects.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Lough: This whole week has really been the shits. First, Tony with his cute little friend...I hate men who weigh less than I do. And Charlotte the Breed Sow doesn't come through and leaves me to sort through all her garbage. Between kissing Godzilla's ass at work and fucking the hippo at home, it's a wonder I don't head to the nearest clock tower with a semi-automatic.
Dr. Balis: You have a certain pithy way of expressing yourself, Sharon. How are things at home?
Ms. Lough: Rob seems relieved to see me. He doesn't want to face his she-devil wife all alone. If she starts pelting him with pots and pans, I'll probably have to defend him, cast and all.
Dr. Balis: Are you and Rob on good terms?
Ms. Lough: We're not at each other's throats.
Dr. Balis: What's the tension between you and Rob?
Ms. Lough: It's not worth analyzing that much. Rob is kind of like a zombie. After years of verbal abuse by his lovely and charming wife, he's learned to shut off his emotions. If you get hit often enough, you build up a callus.
Dr. Balis: I see. How is work?
Ms. Lough: That horrid beast keeps asking me out to lunch. I can't stand it when people are so aggressively nice. She has that happy glazed look indigenous to born-again Christians and other cult members. Must be all the M&Ms she eats.
Dr. Balis: Is that Godzilla? What's her real name?
Ms. Lough: I don't know. That's part of the reason why I don't want to go to lunch with her. She might be offended if I call her Godzilla to her face. I also don't want to have to see this thing eat. You know, I've never actually sat down to a meal with her. But just by observing her feeding habits at her desk, it's not any surprise she has a weight problem. She should just install a trough next to her rolodex.
Dr. Balis: It sounds like she's trying to be friendly. Why are you so resistant to her overtures?
Ms. Lough: Because she's revolting, and I'm fairly certain she's up to something. Besides, I don't want to pick up her eating habits and turn into a 200-pound troll.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Lough: Maybe we should go see that movie together. I heard it was really awful. Oh, by the way, a funny thing happened. I heard from someone I knew in high school.
Dr. Balis: Really?
Ms. Lough: She found my e-mail address through some Internet yellow-page listing. She wrote me and asked how I was doing. It was a real shock.
Dr. Balis: Was she someone you were friends with in high school?
Ms. Lough: Not really. She was nice to me, though. I didn't have a lot of friends in high school. Anyway, I'm sure the only reason she's calling is to dig up dirt and tell the rest of her overachieving friends what a loser I am.
Dr. Balis: Don't be so quick to judge. People don't always have ulterior motives.
Ms. Lough: What planet are you from?
Dr. Balis: I understand why you find it necessary to protect yourself with a bit of healthy cynicism, but if you always expect the worst...well, you might be projecting the worst, too. You might unwittingly bring about a negative result just by being defensive and hostile.
Ms. Lough: Experience has taught me that few people are altruistic. I'm sure even Mother Theresa had her reasons for feeding the maggot-ridden masses. Maybe she hung out with the most impoverished and pathetic people so she could feel glamorous by comparison. You can't beat lepers and amputees for making you feel superior. I'm sure that was Princess Diana's strategy.
Dr. Balis: How long has it been since you've seen this friend of yours?
Ms. Lough: Acquaintance. It's been at least ten years. She was a real brain. She got a scholarship to Dartmouth--you know, typical Asian whiz kid, except she majored in English. My mother used to say that half-breeds like me weren't as smart as full-blooded Japanese kids.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. If I remember correctly, your mother is Japanese?
Ms. Lough: Yeah, a farm girl who had the good fortune to be knocked up by a GI. I hate it when people ask me about my ethnic background.
Dr. Balis: Why?
Ms. Lough: Because I've been told I don't look particularly Japanese. I look like my father, which I really hate. Some people think I look like Filipino, which is even worse. Anyway, I only know a little Japanese, just a few phrases and insults. But I feel like I'm being dishonest if I try to pass myself off as white. Everyone's so color-conscious now. Godzilla's a Native American, or so she claims. She's always wearing that ugly turquoise jewelry with feathers and shit hanging off of it. It's really unattractive, especially on a woman her size. She may as well be wearing road kill. When she first told me that her great-great-grandfather was a full-blooded Cherokee, I thought, "Yeah, right." She looks white to me. Then I realized that I must look pretty white myself.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Lough: Most of the disparaging remarks I've heard about "hapa" kids like me are from Japanese people, usually the ones that aren't Americanized. It makes me angry and defensive. Once, this shriveled up, little old lady clucked her tongue at me when I told her my father was Caucasian. I told her: "I'm so fucking sorry my eyes don't slant enough for you." And then I said that if it weren't for the United States bailing out Japan after WWII, she'd still be knee-deep in a rice paddy. Needless to say, I didn't win her over to my point of view.
Dr. Balis: Do you have any interest in exploring your Japanese heritage?
Ms. Lough: No. It would just make me feel inferior. Besides, the Japanese have a very dull culture. It's all about keeping up appearances and "saving face." They're very plastic and materialistic, and it's even worse in Japan, I've heard. They're a dull breed. Just look at their food. I hate Japanese food; it's all the same basic four or five ingredients, all mushy, and pale, and tasteless. I'd much rather have Thai or Korean.
Dr. Balis: Do you like your food spicy?
Ms. Lough: I remember eating a lot of bland food growing up. I wish that Ivy League bitch hadn't called. She'd brought back a lot of unpleasant memories about high school.
Dr. Balis: Such as?
Ms. Lough: I think I'll spare you the tales of adolescent angst.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Lough: I never felt very Japanese. I was always bad-tempered, passionate, and neurotic. When I was growing up, I identified with Jewish characters, like Woody Allen or the guy in that Philip Roth novel. I think his name was Zuckerman?
Dr. Balis: I'm not sure.
Ms. Lough: I used to want to convert to Judaism, thinking I'd find a sense of kinship and community there. I used to find Jewish men particularly attractive.
Dr. Balis: What made you change your mind?
Ms. Lough: About the Jewish religion or Jewish men?
Dr. Balis: Either. Both.
Ms. Lough: Well, being an orthodox Jew involved a lot of dietary restrictions, and I like eating too much. Plus, there were all those candle-lighting, singing, family dinners, and dull ceremonies. Feh! And most of the Jewish men I've slept with were disappointing. Rob's Jewish, on his father's side--I think his paternal grandmother was Jewish--and he's a lousy lay.
Dr. Balis: Well, that settles it.
Ms. Lough: You mock me. I'm not an anti Semite or anything. If anything, I have a pro-Semite bias. I'm all for circumcision and Kosher delis.
Dr. Balis: Well, that's a hardy vote for the culture. Have you spoken to your sister, or your parents lately?
Ms. Lough: See, that's the other thing about being Japanese that's a real pain in the ass--you need to maintain a strong sense of filial duty.
Dr. Balis: I take it that means no.
Ms. Lough: Why would I want to talk to them? It just depresses me, and I'm depressed enough as it is. I know I'm a big disappointment. I don't need to have my face rubbed in it. Besides, my sister is going to inherit everything, so there's no point in sucking up to my parents now. If they wanted me to care for them in their old age, they should have been nicer to me growing up.
Dr. Balis: Do you still have a lot of resentment towards your parents?
Ms. Lough: I fucking hate the whole lot of them--my parents, my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and bratty, loud, snotty-nosed cousins. Especially those on my mother's side--all the ones who were "pure Japanese"--have always looked down at us. It always pissed me off--there's no such thing as a pure race. I liked telling them about archaeological evidence that showed that Japanese were descended from Koreans, just to get their goat.
Dr. Balis: How about your father's side of the family?
Ms. Lough: They just about disowned him when they found out he married an Asian woman. I guess in the late 60's, anti-miscegenation laws were still in effect in some states. My father's redneck family was appalled.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Lough: Did you see the movie, "Bulworth?"
Dr. Balis: No. I heard it got good reviews.
Ms. Lough: I really enjoyed it. It was inspirational. Maybe I'll actually vote this election.
Dr. Balis: Good for you. The primary's next week.
Ms. Lough: Yeah. I think my registration is still good.
Dr. Balis: Do you know who you're going to vote for?
Ms. Lough: Dennis Peron.
Dr. Balis: The marijuana guy?
Ms. Lough: Yeah. He's running as a Republican, can you believe it? He has no chance of winning the primary, but I'll throw away my vote just to give him the support. It really sucks that all the medical marijuana clubs shut down. How could anyone be against compassionate use?
Dr. Balis: I suspect you have ulterior motives in this case.
Ms. Lough: Yeah, yeah, yeah. As long as Al Checchi doesn't win.
Dr. Balis: Al Checchi?
Ms. Lough: You must not watch much TV. He's the wop with the hair plugs from hell. What a sanctimonious asshole. One of his commercials runs nearly every ten minutes on television. He thinks he can brainwash the public if he pays for enough commercials. He wants to buy the election. God, I fucking hate him.
Dr. Balis: I admire your newfound political consciousness. Don't forget to vote on the propositions, too.
Ms. Lough: I'm just going to vote "No" on all of them. I don't want to have to read all the propaganda on both sides.
Dr. Balis: At least read the paper, Sharon. They usually print a synopsis of all the issues that you can use as a guideline. You might find something worth voting for.
Ms. Lough: All right, maybe I will. Well, see you next week.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Sharon.
Ms. Lough: Bye.
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Button to Dr. Balis' Notes Doctor Balis' Notes on this Session

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