Monday, May 12, 1997
I received a fax from Martin Silverman respecting a new patient, Alex Rozzi. Martin Silverman is a social worker for the City of San Francisco. Apparently, Alex is a 16 year old male who has been involved in prostitution and most recently assualt. Several times, he has run away from home which consists of Larraine, his young, unmarried mother. Silverman describes Alex as "extremely intelligent with a propensity for fits of anger and uncontrollable rage." Alex has had several encounters with the juvenile justice system. His mother works at SII and so I have been selected for a court ordered psychiatric evaluation and possible treatment. I scheduled an appointment for Alex on Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 14, 1997
2 pm. First Session with Alex Rozzi. I really didn't know what to expect. I have little experience with kids and I've never treated a juvenile male prostitute before. So I was a bit apprehensive. Ironically, Alex's attempt to find his limits with me put me immediately at ease as I told him that he couldn't smoke in my office and reprimanded him for putting out his cigarette on my desk. The actions were so patently designed to challenge my authority and test his limits, that I felt completely comfortable in setting down rules. But I'll try not to fall into the disciplinarian mold with Alex. I think he needs someone who can provide much more positive support than that. Although he looks much older than 15, when he talks he betrays his age, although he is clearly intelligent. Tall, with long black hair, Alex has very white--almost translucent--skin. He moves with attitude but also with a certain grace, like he's modeling his black clothing, and the leather and silver jewelry that he sports. The left side of his nose is pierced with a small silver hoop. Alex told me of some of his criminal activity. In one ruse, he uses some form of drug which renders his victims unconscious and allows him to rob them of their money and jewelry. His current trouble with the authorities stems from an assault charge which left a man hospitalized with damage to the facial nerves. Alex feels no remorse for the incident, believing that he was justified. Alex tells the story without making himself sound like the innocent, which I found interesting. I would imagine that Alex would have accused the man of having started the fight, but Alex said that he punched the man first because the man wanted him to have sex for free. After the man was punched, he started to fight in earnest. I don't have much knowledge of these things, but I have difficulty imagining that the injured trick of an minor prostitute is going to press charges. I assume that the trick wouldn't want to face the criminal penalties associated with having sex with minors. That sense probably pervades Alex's shadowy world--that he is immune from the normal legal strictures because his victims have too much to lose to report his crimes to the police. Alex is amazingly judgmental and critical of his mother. He believes that she is morally his inferior--at least when he has promiscuous sex, he charges for it. Alex seemingly has no male role model in his life, except for Benny--a friend who isn't a prostitute himself but checks up on Alex and makes sure that he hasn't been murdered by one of his clients.

Friday, May 23, 1997
12 pm. Second Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex walked into my office in a fairly foul mood--he found out that he would be required to do some community work as part of his rehab program. Alex thinks of this as another proof that his life is all about not having any choices but just following someone else's commands--his grandparents, his mom, teachers, social workers, and individuals that took advantage of him at different points in his life. While Alex didn't actually came out and said it, he made it plain that he was repeatedly raped by a neighborhood bully when he was about ten. The older Benny saved Alex from the sexual abuse and in the process became his friend. In fact, Benny is much more than just a friend to Alex. Alex describes him as his first love. Alex clearly admires Benny and looks to him for guidance and companionship. But while Benny might have saved Alex from one horrendous situation, he is also, I believe, responsible for getting Alex into prostitution and even drug running. Alex tried to shock me by describing an unpleasant scene--Benny and he engaging in violent sex on the campus of grammar school. Alex said that it was the possibility of being seen by the young children that turned him on the most. By telling me this story, Alex was trying to accomplish two goals: inform me of his preference for homosexual partners outside of his prostitution, and test my willingness to understand and to accept him. I told Alex that I understood the thrill that the possibility of being discovered added to his sexual liaison. It's a fairly common fantasy. What's unpleasant about Alex's story was the fact that it potentially involved little children. But given the fact of his own very abusive childhood, it's not that surprising. Alex described to me today how he found out that Larraine was his real mother. Apparently, for years he was told that his grandparents were actually his parents and that his mother was actually his older sister. It was not until his grandparents died that he finally learned the truth. Alex has never been able to find out who his actual father was--Alex thinks his mother might not know, and even believes that it's possible that she was turning tricks when he was conceived. Alex said that he still has nightmares about this. Several times during this session, Alex broke down into tears, although he refused to admit it and tried to dismiss his tears as allergies. It's clear that Alex is very disturbed by his past and is acting out by putting himself into dangerous situations as a way of dealing with his emotions. One thing that I was relieved about is that Alex is very cautious about sexually transmitted diseases and takes the possibility of getting AIDS and HIV very seriously. He gets tested every six months and so far is negative. Alex talked about writing down his dreams and feelings in a journal. I asked for an opportunity to read it sometime. While the idea of allowing me that close to him was very scary to Alex, he didn't refuse my request outright. I believe that after a few sessions, Alex might actually show me his writings. At the end of our session, I tried to give Alex a visual way of thinking about his bottled-up emotions. I used a bucket and water analogy to describe his emotions. I was trying to tell him that if he didn't talk about his problems and feelings with some one, it would reflect in his life style and choices--prostitution and thrill-seeking being prime examples.

Wednesday, May 28, 1997
12 pm. Third Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex described in some detail how he was stalked by a man who looked familiar but whom Alex couldn't quite place. In my office, Alex suddenly thought that the man looked like the one he assaulted a few weeks ago. I'd like to believe that it was some twinge of conscience on Alex's part, but I don't. I think he really might be the target of that man's revenge. To make it worse, Alex's mother has taken off for over a week, leaving Alex alone in the house. Since Alex is 16, I imagine it wouldn't be considered child abandonment, but it seems close to me. How completely irresponsible! Alex described a series of symptoms which sound a bit like hypomania. Specifically, Alex describes a distinct period of elevated personality lasting several days. During that period, he has a decreased need for sleep, he has a feeling of elation, and he has a pressure to keep moving--psychomotor agitation. I would guess that, during his manic phase, he has excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for unfortunate consequences--specifically sexual indiscretions combined with thrill-seeking. Although I haven't noticed any particular tendency towards depression, I should keep it in mind when treating Alex.

Wednesday, June 11, 1997
12 pm. Fourth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex came in with a large contusion, approximately 8 centimeters in width, on the left side of his forehead. He told me that he was working at a strip club for some extra cash while his mother left him unsupervised, and that the man who has been following him around--the man whom Alex previously assualted--grabbed Alex by the arms and then slammed his own head into Alex's. Alex lost consciousness as a result, and paramedics were called--apparently Alex wasn't brought to a hospital which I thought was standard procedure. Benny and another friend Roly were both present, and they took off after the man--Alex doesn't know what they did to him, but they reported to Alex that he wouldn't have to worry about him again; Alex hopes they killed him. Alex has been suffering severe headaches with rapid onset and rapid resolution since the injury. I urged him to see a neurologist or, failing that, to see his general practicioner. Alex reluctantly agreed. He also was quite resistant to my request that he have his mother call me. Alex believes that his mother is a master manipulator and that she will use her seductive ways to confuse me. I told Alex not to worry. Alex also has a pet rat--Darla--who he brought to the session. I'm not very fond of rats, generally, but Darla seemed harmless and actually could do some impressive feats, such as jumping onto Alex's shoulder on call.

Wednesday, June 18, 1997
12 pm. Fifth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex started the session in a panic because his mother was planning on joining us. She was busy parking the car--she's fussy about getting a parking space that reduces the potential for damage--while Alex told me about her. He's convinced that she is some sort of femme fatale that will use her wiles to ensnare me. He also said that she was on a rampage--ever since she returned from Canada and found that the house had been broken in to. Having met her, I can see what Alex means. She's scattered, and rude, and mean and abusive towards Alex. I tried to point out that Alex has some serious problems--including a possible concussion from the head butt he received two weeks ago--but she dismissed it as an attempt by Alex to seek attention. During the session, Alex had another spell where he hyperventilated and almost became nauseous. I believe that it might be related to the blow on his head, and I urged Ms. Rozzi to have her general practitioner set up Alex with a radiologist to get a set of films. She airily waved off my suggestion. I think she might be a candidate for "Mother of the Year." And Alex was right that she did try to pick me up. I immediately put a stop to that, and frankly, I found her more repellent than sexually appealing, for all her good looks. But I get a feeling that the way she relates to men is primarily oriented around her sexuality and she will have difficulty trying to deal with me in any other way. Alex told me that when she came back from Canada, she brought a man with her whom she claimed was his father. I quizzed her on this, and she said that he had disappeared before learning of her pregnancy with Alex, and that he recently sent her a letter out of the blue. She seemed sincere, but I don't know what to believe. Alex clearly thinks it's a load of crap. He said that she has frequently brought home men whom she wanted him to address as "Daddy." I think that we'll try to set up a session with just Alex's mother so that I can get some of the background that I'm currently missing. My arrangement with Alex was that he would go and smoke a cigarette while I spent a few minutes with his mother. But he just disappeared, without saying anything. I thought that was strange and not typical of Alex, but he was clearly upset by his mother's presence during the session. The weirdest part, though, is that he dropped his wallet in the hallway just outside the pharmacy downstairs. Dick gave me a call and is holding the wallet for me at his store.

Monday, June 23, 1997
5 pm. Session with Larraine Rozzi relating to Alex Rozzi. Larraine came in today to talk about Alex. She is a somewhat hateful woman: vain, selfish, and manipulative. Her best quality, perhaps, is that she has a fair degree of self-knowledge. She admits that she never wanted Alex because of the responsibility that he presents and she doesn't try to color many of the ugly aspects of her relationship with Alex. Apparently, he is staying at the house of someone named Ralph, whom Larraine knows. Larraine believes that Alex's wildness is a reflection of her own when she was his age. But Larraine told me about the circumstances that led her mother to raise Alex as her own child. She also told me about Alex's father Mark--a cocaine dealer who left her alone and pregnant with Alex when he became concerned for his personal safety after his partner was murdered--and how she felt after he abandoned her. Mark's story is that he never knew she was pregnant when he left--and that he had to go or he would have been killed too. Apparently, she was taking illicit drugs while pregnant with Alex and she tried to commit suicide by swallowing a handful of pills. Alex was born by emergency c-section probably somewhat prematurely. Mark contacted Larraine now because he is in a relationship in Canada with which he is unhappy. He has two young girls and a wife, but he (or Larraine) is talking about leaving them and starting a relationship with Larraine. Larraine is completely unconcerned about whether Alex got medical help or not for the significant contusion which he now sports.

Wednesday, June 25, 1997
12 pm. Sixth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex looked much better today--he was more relaxed and his forehead looked almost normal. When I questioned him about running off last time, he told me that he simply couldn't be around his mother any longer and took the opportunity to leave when it presented itself--in the form of a young paramedic named Sael. He did promise never to do run off on me again. That's good--I was very concerned. Alex confirmed that what his mother said to me on Monday--he is staying at the residence of the man named Ralph. This is the same man that hired Alex to perform unusual sexual acts for his pleasure--Alex rolled around naked on buttered slices of white bread. Needless to say, I don't consider Ralph to be an adequate substitute for paternal care. I tried to show my feelings towards Ralph to Alex. Alex clearly believes Ralph to be a positive influence in his life right now, and Ralph seems to be doing a good job of taking care of Alex. Apparently Ralph runs the male strip joint that Alex dances at sometimes. He got a friend of his who is a doctor to check out Alex's head--his conclusion was that it was also a bad concussion. I'm furious at Larraine for not following up on Alex's medical condition. She was completely unconcerned that he skipped his doctor's appointment. I urged Alex to set up another time when he can get a full check up. But I have no confidence that Alex would follow through on that. Alex said that he hates his mother and now he believes that Mark might actually be his biological father. Alex is very upset that his friend and lover Benny is no longer returning his calls and is otherwise avoiding him. Benny is married and has a little girl. Alex apparently feels stronger about Benny than Benny does about Alex. So the situation is ripe for pain all around. I tried to talk Alex through some of it, but he is not in the mood to hear anything negative about Benny just yet. Alex admitted that he was in love with Benny.

Wednesday, July 2, 1997
12 pm. Seventh Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex is complaining of some panic symptoms and apprehension which he believes stems from the head butt incident of several weeks ago. But he is still unwilling to be checked out by his physician. Alex told me that he went on a car trip down south to the log cabin of Ralph--the trick he's been staying with for the last week or so. They came back in time for the Gay Pride Parade on Sunday, where Alex verbally mixed it up with a protester from the religious right. She believed that gays were recruited from among the youth, and Alex made the novel point that if a policy of recruitment was in operation, there wouldn't be so many unattractive men among the gay people at the parade. The recruiters would target the attractive youths. She wasn't convinced. Apropos of nothing, I remember an issue of National Lampoon when I was a teenager called: "The Gayish Issue." Part of it had roving gangs of gays who would kidnap innocent youth and force them to learn how to dress fashionably and how to decorate a room with style. They'd make them learn to cook omelettes and how to choose an appropriate white wine--stuff like that. They had a before picture of this one nebbish kid--but the after picture was an image of Jean-Claude Killy. I thought it was funny. Anyway, apparently the confrontation attracted a few other marchers and protesters and it got heated. Alex slipped away before the police arrived and started to make arrests. Alex is still upset about Benny's attempt to break up with him. Roly went to see Benny and confirmed that Dora took the baby and left him. Perhaps Benny sacrificed Alex to try to convince Dora to return to him. Alex later told me that, although he tried to get Benny to tell him that he loved him over the years, he was never successful. Alex told me an interesting story about his childhood. He remembers going to a department store with his grandmother when he was about 5 or 6, and hiding in a rack of clothes and watching in amusement while the adults panicked and tried to find him. Although Alex has tried to have as little contact with his mother as possible, she went to see him at Ralph's. Alex said that he was surprised, mostly because she made an effort to be nice to him. She apparently took my advice, and told him about Mark and herself and what Mark told her about leaving to keep her from being involved in any retribution for his criminal drug activities. Alex found none of it very shocking, except for a picture which she produced showing her with Mark at about the time that Alex was born. Alex said that Mark looked a lot like he does now. Alex also told me that he has a talent and a passion for cooking, which I was surprised to hear about. He has a secret desire to attend the California Cooking Academy. I urged him to try to pursue his ambition.

Wednesday, July 9, 1997
12 pm. Eighth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex's life is crowded with incident. He is becoming increasingly obsessed with trying to find out why Benny has dropped him as a friend. Roly, another friend who knows both of them, seemingly has some information, but he isn't telling Alex. So Alex followed Roly to Benny's house and tried to spy on them through a window. But he slipped and caught his nose ring--I've always thought they were dangerous--on something. It tore the nasal vestibule. Alex said that it looked worse than it felt. When he fell, he alerted Benny and Roly to his presence, and they confronted him outside. Alex demanded an explanation of why Benny wouldn't talk to him, and Benny laughed at Alex. Alex lost control and assaulted Benny, causing him to have a bleeding head injury of some kind. Alex thought that Benny was about to say something, but then Benny's expression changed and he ordered Alex away forever. Alex believes that he has destroyed any chance of reconciliation with Benny. But Alex is tortured by not knowing why Benny is acting the way he is. It's as if the not knowing is worse than the termination of the relationship. Alex took his tour through the California Culinary Academy, and liked it very much. He even speaks a little French. And he had an unplanned conversation with Mark, his father. Mark told him about why he left his mother, and showed Alex pictures of his half sisters in Canada. Alex said that he strongly resembles both Mark and his half sisters.

Wednesday, July 23, 1997
12 pm. Ninth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex discovered why he has been dropped as a friend and a lover by Benny. It turns out that Benny is a confirmed pedophile and Alex is just too old for him now. Benny is apparently in police custody following their discovery of his molestation of a 12 year old boy. Alex had staked out Benny's house. When no one came in for several days, Alex, who knew the location of a spare key, entered the house. In Benny's bedroom, Alex discovered video tapes, surreptitiously shot, which depicted Benny having sex with numerous young boys including Alex. Although Alex described a feeling of being unclean and tainted--he spent considerable time in the shower scrubbing at his skin--Alex still can't admit to himself on some level that Benny used him. He says that he feels tainted and dirty and he is clearly angry, but he still says that he loves Benny and that Benny took care of him. Alex feels guilty because he derived sexual pleasure from Benny's actions, even if they occurred when he was very young. I tried to explain to Alex that, as humans, we are designed to feel sexual pleasure upon certain stimulus, but that initiating sexual activity with a very young boy was still an act which harmed the victim emotionally and mentally, even if the victim experienced sexual pleasure. Although I urged Alex to turn the tapes over to the authorities, Alex strongly resisted. So I told Alex that he should at least put the tapes back where he found them. I think it likely that the police will eventually get around to searching Benny's residence and will find the tapes. Alex doesn't want anyone seeing the tapes of himself and Benny together, and I certainly understand how he could feel that way. But the other tapes should be adequate to convict Benny. Alex complained of insomnia and he had clearly not slept in several days. So I decided to prescribe quazepam on an as-needed basis, 7.5 mg at bedtime, 15 tabs total. The consent form which Alex's mother signed allowed me to prescribe drugs for Alex's benefit, so I wrote the prescription directly to Alex. He told me that he was hesitant about taking the drugs, but that he'd have the prescription filled.

Wednesday, July 30, 1997
12 pm. Tenth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex is having trouble understanding his feelings regarding Benny and his incarceration for child molestation. We spent most of the session trying to explore those feelings in ways that I thought Alex would accept. If I had asked Alex head on to talk about this issue, I think he would have shut down. But by talking around the issue, Alex revealed a great deal of violent anger toward Benny. He described a particularly violent fantasy where Benny was getting publicly flogged by his victims and their families. He clearly tried to get a reaction out of me as well by describing the fantasy in gory detail. Alex said that he's finally getting some sleep although he's not using the quazepam which I prescribed. And Alex reports that he quit smoking cigarettes. Marnie, Alex's ex-babysitter, surprised him by showing up unexpectedly where Alex is living. Alex clearly has a lot of affection and respect towards Marnie, although I somehow doubt that she's everything I could desire in an adult role model. But perhaps I'm wrong. We talked a bit about Benny's pornographic tapes which depict minors surreptitiously caught on tape engaging in sexual acts with Benny. Apparently, Alex has burned a number of the tapes, particularly the ones that depict either him or Roly. I urged Alex to turn any remaining tapes that he had in his possession over to the police. But Alex resists that suggestion. Alex brought up the time that his house was broken into while his mother was away in Canada. Alex believes that Benny broke in to find a misplaced video cassette showing Benny engaged in a sexual act with some minor. Benny was apparently frantic to get his hands on the tape, but ultimately, it turned out that the tape had been discovered by his wife. It was she who turned the tape over to the authorities, precipitating Benny's arrest and incarceration. It was also the reason Dora left him and took their child. Alex said that while he was getting Benny's tapes, he also picked up some drawings of cars that he had made and given to Benny. Apparently Alex has some artistic abilities. When I asked Alex to tell me a little more about his artistic efforts, he was very enthusiastic, saying that no one, including Benny, had shown any kind of interest in his talent before. Alex said that he primarily uses pen and ink for his creations, but lately he has been experimenting with color. What with his culinary ambitions and his artistic aspirations, Alex appears to have a creative bent which should probably be explored. I asked Alex to show me some of these drawings and he said that he'd bring some in.

Wednesday, August 6, 1997
12 pm. Eleventh Session with Alex Rozzi. Suddenly Alex is seeing himself as a victim. Instead of being the sure, confident young man that he's always been before, suddenly Alex is displaying the classic signs of someone suffering from childhood sexual abuse. He says he doesn't feel safe anymore. He says that he can't seem to look people straight in the eye. He says that other people can tell just by looking at him what happened. He's lashing out more. He says he feels dirty and used-up. He says that he is of no use to anyone. He thinks that he is now "totally fucked-up." I haven't quite understood why Alex has undergone this sudden shift in his outlook. Several weeks ago, he was in love with Benny, his abuser. Then Benny broke up with him and he found that he had been used--videotaped engaging in sex with Benny. I would understand a myriad of responses to that--including many that Alex previously exhibited--rage, pain, and a feeling of being dirty and used. But now Alex has taken on the role of the victim in a way that almost makes me think that I am being conned for some reason. I don't think I am, but there is an element of the theatrical in Alex's crisis. I think that Alex is subconsciously slipping into the role that everyone is expecting of him. The tapes have been turned over to the police, and Alex has been interviewed by the authorities. Alex's mother is back on the scene, evincing concern about Alex. His father has moved back with his mother, bringing with him two daughters--Alex's younger half sisters. Alex's mother is making an effort to reunite her family. Alex might feel that while he was on the streets by himself, he could have one attitude, but now that he is rejoining the family, he needs to justify his previous actions and take on the persona of the victim--a play for sympathy rather than condemnation. In particular, Alex's father might have difficulty understanding Alex's history as an underage gay prostitute as a matter of choice, but as a child forced into it by someone else who is now incarcerated, Alex's past history might be a lot easier for him accept. And in the role of a victim, Alex doesn't have to account for his actions or explain them. Everything is explained for him. As a victim, all his actions subsequent to the molestation are forgiven.

Wednesday, August 13, 1997
12 pm. Twelfth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex was decidedly upbeat during this session, almost strangely so. There seemed to be a tinge of hysteria just under the surface. Apparently, Alex has been trying to exorcise the demons which have tormented him since he found out that Benny had been using him to satisfy his pedophiliac lust. When Alex found out that Benny's interest in him was motivated by perversion rather than affection, all of the sexual acts which Alex had happily engaged in when he thought that the two of them were in love became memories of being used and abused . Benny's wife Dora called Alex and told him that Benny tried to commit suicide in his cell and was placed in the prison's psychiatric ward. Alex has no sympathy for Benny's current predicament and plans to testify against him. Alex told me that Roly's reaction to discovering Benny's pedophilia has been more severe than his own. Watching Roly break apart motivated Alex to try to avoid a similar self destruction. The night after Dora called him to tell him about Benny's suicide attempt, Alex and Roly snuck into Benny's backyard teahouse to drink a bottle of tequila and smoke some marijuana together. With an intent to destroy Benny's cars, they broke into his garage and started to smash at his car with sledgehammers. Screaming and smashing in the middle of the night, I'm amazed that the police didn't come. But Dora did. Alex turned around and saw her standing, crying and child-like, but making no move to try to stop them. Alex said that the image of her standing there weeping was very sad. They all reacted emotionally and had a "group cry" as Alex put it. Dora told them that they needed to forgive Benny, but Roly and Alex aren't ready to do that yet. So Alex and Roly left Benny's house and they went to sit on some girders underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. I think that Alex got violently sick there. Roly "freaked out," as Alex put it. The police were called and Roly was arrested for public drunkenness. But afterwards, Alex was left to himself, and he spent much of the night sitting underneath the bridge thinking about his life. He made some decisions, all positive. He decided that he wants to get a high school equivalency degree and he wants to apply to a school that will allow him to exercise his creativity, perhaps the Culinary Academy or an art school. Alex thought about the possibility of rejoining his family as well. The impetus, apparently, is his two half sisters, Racyl and Rhea, thirteen and twelve respectively. Alex was rather surprised to discover himself feeling brotherly affection towards them. Alex has fantasized about being part of a big family, but as it came to pass, he felt himself an outsider. I told him that feeling was likely to be temporary and that he would soon adjust to his new circumstances.

Wednesday, August 20, 1997
12 pm. Thirteenth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex seems to be vacillating between trust and suspicion in all his interpersonal relationships. He wants to return home, and yet he feels there is something odd there--he believes something is wrong with his mother's behavior and he thinks that she might be dying. Alex also noted that he is suspicious about the circumstances surrounding Mark's custody of his two daughters. Alex points out that just a few months ago, Mark was living with his wife and daughters in Canada. Now, Mark shows up saying that he is divorced and has custody of the daughters. Alex said that he didn't believe that bureaucracy moves substantially more rapidly in Canada than it does in the U.S., so how could this be? I have to admit he has a point. Alex also praised his relationship with Ralph, but it was obviously hollow. When I probed, he told me that Ralph had introduced Alex to his friend--an elderly art teacher. When Ralph left the two of them alone in his house, the art teacher behaved strangely--Alex thought that he was trying to make a move on him and was upset with Ralph for prostituting him in this way. But although Alex is eager to dismiss that experience as his imagination, there might be something to his intuition. Ralph is obviously a pedophile and his friends are possibly similarly inclined. And it wouldn't be far-fetched to believe that Ralph had told his friend that Alex used to be a prostitute, which would account for the drooling licentious behavior on the part of the art teacher. This whole incident reminded Alex about Tony--Marney's little brother who was also an underaged prostitute in San Francisco. Tony disappeared several years ago, although he still leaves cryptic messages for Alex on his telephone answering machine from time to time. Alex thinks he might have gotten involved permanently with an older trick and perhaps was under the influence of narcotics. Alex also told me about Roly. Apparently Roly is being held in some mental health facility. Alex visited him and was disturbed by Roly's vacant expression. Alex believes that even though Roly is no longer a minor, Roly's father is somehow using his money and power to keep Roly drugged and held in that facility. I explained to Alex that treatment decisions were made by Roly's doctors, but Alex wasn't buying it. It seems to me that Alex is desperate to rationalize away the disturbing events in his life and to rationalize the actions of the people closest to him. But Alex's intelligence makes him unable to let go of his suspicions. So Alex is trying to keep himself busy as a way to avoid thinking and dealing with his problems. At the beginning of the session, he hinted that he was having difficulty focusing. My guess is that, instead, Alex is having difficulty in being able to avoid a constant churning in his mind of disturbing events and troubling motivations. Alex told me that he had received an admission package from the Culinary Academy, although he believes that it will be at least a year until he has a GED and can consider attending.

Wednesday, August 27, 1997
12 pm. Fourteenth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex admitted to smoking marijuana with Roly. He mentioned several times before that Roly smoked pot, but I don't think he ever admitted to doing it himself. I tried to press him on this issue, but Alex was very volatile today--he was constantly on the defensive, he accused me of "coming down" on him, he expressed his distrust of me, and was generally very jumpy. Alex also told me that he helped Roly to escape from the mental facility Roly was residing at. Apparently Roly stopped taking his drugs, flushed them down the toilet, and begged Alex to help him get out of that place. I told Alex that he should try to convince Roly that what he's done was dangerous and that for his own health he should seek medical help. But I doubt that Roly would do this. Benny tried contacting Alex--he called him at Ralph's and asked for his help. Alex told me that Benny's voice had a very strong affect on him, but he managed to stand his ground and even laughed at Benny's request for help. Dora told Benny about his car--Roly and Alex trashed it a few weeks ago. But Dora also made Benny believe that Alex was responsible for putting him in jail. Benny threatened revenge for himself and his car. Alex said that he has nightmares about Benny all the time, and with Benny's threat they are even more pronounced. Alex also told me that he had bad dreams about the old lecherous art teacher that Ralph introduced him to. But Alex did confront Ralph about his friend, and while Ralph confirmed Alex's suspicions about that man's intentions, Ralph also managed to make Alex feel better and less apprehensive about it. Alex also confronted his mom. Last week, Alex told me that he was very worried about her health. But when Alex pressed his mom with his worries, she got angry and that conversation was cut short. Alex didn't stop his investigations there. He got into his mom's house when no one was there and looked through Mark's papers. He found a photograph of Mark's ex-wife and some letters from her addressed to Mark and the girls. Based on the information he discovered, Alex now believes that Mark might not actually be divorced and that his wife Lori might be in jail. While I didn't see those letters, based on Alex's descriptions, I have to say that I'm very suspicious of Mark as well. I don't think there was enough time for him to get a divorce, and like Alex I find his daughters lack of interest in their mother disturbing. Also, based on the reactions and symptoms that Alex described, I'm beginning to speculate that Alex's mom might be pregnant with Mark's child. This would certainly explain her frequent trips to the bathroom and general malaise, and Mark's strange response to Alex's questioning him about his mother. All this is taking a very strong toll on Alex. He is having problems sleeping and he complains of his mind constantly wandering and worrying about his circumstances. And he was clearly edgy during out entire session. I suggested trying to use physical actions to help Alex focus on the here and now--stomping his feet on the floor, slapping his hands, or any other physical action that would help to disrupt Alex's train of thoughts. This is a little thing, but it might help. I'll see how well Alex is doing next week.

Wednesday, September 3, 1997
12 pm. Fifteenth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex seemed to almost turn a corner for me today. He is starting to think about the future, and to see his choices as having consequences. Don't misunderstand that this is a total victory for adulthood--far from it. But Alex is starting to mature. He's even agreed to use a bicycle helmet. Alex believes that something about him causes the people he cares about to leave. I pointed out the obvious fallacies in Alex's magical thinking--his grandparents left because they died, for example. But we did touch a number of important items. Benny called a second time and threatened Alex. Alex used the occasion to finger Dora as the one who turned the incriminating videotape over to the police. The call shook Alex, and he has had a recurrence of his nightmares, probably as a result. While Alex thought about Benny in jail, he started to loudly laugh at his taunting jests about Benny being sexually abused by the other prisoners--his laughter became almost hysterical in quality. Alex also got a phone call from Tony, Marnie's lost brother, and was able to visit him briefly. Tony has become addicted to "crank" (heroin or speed, in my day) and is being held captive, although apparently not against his will, by an older man who Alex believes will kill Tony if he tries to escape. My guess is that Tony is unwilling to give up his supply of narcotics. Alex hasn't told Marnie where her brother is, or even that he's seen him. Alex is afraid that Marnie will want Alex to help her in rescuing her brother--even when he doesn't want to be rescued. Alex doesn't really know what to do. I advised him that he had to let Tony's sister know where he was, and I reminded Alex how it would feel if he were in Marnie's position. He was ready to be empathetic, even if he was still concerned about Marnie would expect from him. Alex let me have a Xerox of a drawing that he created--a portrait of the Fleetwood Mac vocalist, Stevie Nicks. Alex has some aspirations towards art--he said that it helps focus him, in a manner similar to what I was trying to accomplish with the knee slapping. Alex answered the phone at his mom's place, and had a brief conversation with Lori, Mark's previous significant other. Lori told Alex that she was on her way to San Francisco and couldn't wait to be reunited with her family--which sounded odd, especially if Mark and Lori are supposed to be divorced. Furthermore, Alex got the distinct impression that Lori was running away from something. There's also a chance that his mother is pregnant. Alex has a lot of issues that he has to deal with in his life right now--he will start high school next week. And he has to confront a host of family problems. With Alex's new found maturity, I think that he has the coping skills necessary to overcome them.

Wednesday, September 10, 1997
5 pm. Sixteenth Session with Alex Rozzi. I am very worried about Alex--not because of his mental health but rather because of the dangerous heroics he is planning to free his friend Tony from the bondage of drug addiction and sexual slavery. I thought about suggesting police involvement, but I knew Alex wouldn't hear of it, and he might be right. He has found Roly, and the two of them plan to go themselves to free Tony by force, if need be. The "self help" remedy is obviously very risky--and Tony also might not react the way that Alex envisions. Alex started school and his only positive comment involved art classes. Alex gave me a little inspirational lecture about how many of the good things in life are free. I had a feeling that he was practicing it on me prior to trying it on someone else, but it didn't feel like it particularly represented his personal feelings. What I got was a certain amount of envy over Roly's ability to purchase things that Alex can't afford--specifically a large CD collection. Ralph bought a punching bag for Alex and encouraged him to visualize the sources of his aggression by writing on the bag with a marker and then punching away. It really seemed to work for Alex, who was captivated by the idea. So every day, Alex has wailed away on this bag after having marked it "Die Benny" and "Fuck you Dad." Later in the session, when he revealed a great deal of hostility towards his mother (who is pregnant), I suggested that he might add her name to the bag. It hadn't occurred to him, although he found the idea immediately captivating. Alex's feelings towards the pregnancy are quite strong and negative. He voiced a hope that his mother would suffer as much as possible throughout. I'm not really quite sure I understand why his feelings towards an infant sibling are so pronounced.

Wednesday, September 17, 1997
5 pm. Seventeenth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex has been suspended from school with a possible expulsion. He was in a fight--he's sporting a black eye. And even though his intentions were honorable--he was trying to protect a younger student from a school bully--he's still in a lot of trouble. I hope he will manage to work things out and get back to school in the near future, but we didn't have a chance to talk much about the importance of education. We did cover some very important ground today. We talked more about Alex's feeling for his mother. He feels a lot of anger and resentment toward her. He's very hostile toward his mother's pregnancy and the idea of another baby. He kept insisting that his mom was too old to have children. I pointed out that 32 is a very reasonable age for childbearing. What Alex is really upset about is that this time his mother wants to have the child. She really wants this baby. She's trying hard to be good to herself--to eat healthy and get plenty of rest--to insure that her baby will be okay. Alex hates the fact that when his mom was pregnant with him, she purposely did things that could hurt her baby--she took drugs, even tried to induce a miscarriage. And then finally, she gave Alex away to her parents to raise as their own. Alex kept repeating: "She doesn't want me. She never wanted me and she never will." Alex added his mother to the list of people on his patching bag and has been relieving his aggressions toward her in that manner. We also talked a bit about Tony. Alex and Roly weren't able to rescue him from the clutches of his sex-master. And from everything Alex's been telling me about the man that is keeping Tony, he's very bad news. I'm very worried about Alex. I think there's a high probability that he might get in a lot of trouble trying to save Tony. Alex, Roly, and Tony's sister Marney are going to attempt to get Tony again this weekend. I tried suggesting that hiring a detective might be a better way to go. They are professionals and know how to handle these kind of situations. Tony's parents would probably insist on hiring a detective if they knew the danger in which their daughter was putting herself in trying to save him. Of course, Alex will do what he will do. I can only hope that everything will turn out okay. Alex also told me about a foray into modeling. He came in dressed in somewhat outrageous fashion today. He said that his outfit was especially designed for him by Nala of San Francisco. I have no idea who she is, but Alex insisted that she was big in the world of fashion--he chided me for being so out of it. He also told me that this is not the first time he was interested or was asked to model. Apparently, when he was younger, he even did some live shows. But his grandfather--father, as Alex calls him--was very much against it. He thought that modeling was for "sissy boys." Alex described an incident during which his grandfather was physically abusive to his grandmother over an argument about modeling. Alex said that he wished him dead at that moment, and even went around telling people that he had died. When that got back to his grandfather, Alex ended up in a lot of trouble. Alex said that he now thinks it was wrong of him to wish his grandfather's death.

Wednesday, October 1, 1997
5 pm. Eighteenth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex disclosed a fantasy about running away to join the circus, which really is an expression of his desire for independence. He won't be eighteen until January 1999, and he is frustrated by the age requirements which won't allow him to take his GED exam. Alex has worked as a male prostitute, but he desires the ability to earn his living legally. Ironically, society's rules designed to protect children, force Alex into illegal and dangerous activities in order to survive. I urged Alex to take advantage of his current stable living situation to complete high school, but Alex brushed off my advice. The conversation turned to Tony, who has had a remarkable change of circumstances. After the failed intercession, Tony was badly beaten and required hospitalization. Tim, his tormentor, is dead of a drug overdose, and Tony turns out to be the main beneficiary under his will--and is now the new owner of a successful leather store on Polk Street. Tony is currently in the highly regarded drug rehabilitation facility in St. Helena. I can't think of another situation where one has moved from being so low to so high in the space of a week--from abject, abused sex slave to business owner in rehabilitation. I hope that Tony turns out to be a success story after all. Benny's trial looms large in Alex's life. He is being threatened and told not to testify by anonymous written messages sent from someone not currently in prison. That sparked a reminiscence by Alex of his father being similarly threatened when he was going to testify as to a murder he witnessed. Alex believes that marked the beginning of his father's objectional behavior towards Alex--mostly directed against any notion of Alex's homosexual preferences. I decided to question Alex on his homosexuality--obviously, he'd made it clear enough, but I've never heard him identify himself as gay. He couldn't believe that I didn't know--and of course I did know--but he admitted that he was and asked me if I had a problem with it. I naturally turned the question around, and asked him if he had a problem with it. And he certainly did. He stammered and turned red. It was if he had been caught in a lie, or something. Alex doesn't identify himself as part of the homosexual community, was what I gathered. He thinks of himself as an atypical homosexual, but he was clearly unwilling to talk further about this subject. Perhaps it is his father's homophobia which has made him so skittish on this subject, or perhaps something else is going on. We'll have to explore this in greater depth in a future session.

Wednesday, October 8, 1997
5 pm. Nineteenth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex met Katherine Lippard outside of my office over the last few weeks and they've formed a friendship of sorts. She gave him Jake's business card after seeing some of Alex's drawings, which thrilled Alex. He was very happy that someone thought he had some artistic talent. More than that, Alex has become a big fan of Katherine--mostly in admiration of her controlled, focused, businesslike persona. He contrasts her with his mother and Katherine comes out on top. Alex told me that he had sabotaged his modeling career. Alex was working with Nala on a modeling show for Macys and he ended up physically assaulting one of the other models--he decked some guy who was deliberately provoking him. Apparently, the other guy admitted that he had been yanking Alex's chain, but of course Alex had already savaged his modeling career. All the advertising work that he was going to have dried up. I spent some time trying to give Alex the tools that he needs in order to control his violent temper, and I thought that this time, Alex really regretted his actions. The lure of the modeling career being yanked away so precipitously might have really made an impression. Alex is still getting threatening mail related to his planned testimony against Benny. He's turned all of it over to a lawyer who has contacted the district attorney. Alex seems remarkably unperturbed by it--he seems like he is looking forward to his opportunity to testify against Benny. We spoke about Alex's grandfather--whom Alex always refers to as his father--and I tried to elicit some positive memories. Alex said that when he was about six, he remembers hiking to the top of a mountain with his grandparents and flying kites with his grandfather. He remembers his grandfather had a big smile and that they were all happy. Alex became quite emotional over this memory, although it had no dramatic content--just a time when they were all happy together. Alex told me that Roly has descended to depths of wretchedness such that even Alex doesn't really want to be around him anymore. Roly is homeless and acts erratic and crazy. Alex sees himself in Roly in a "it could be me" way. But Alex recognizes that Roly isn't interested in accepting help right now.

Wednesday, October 15, 1997
5 pm. Twentieth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex looked quite run-down today. I think he might be coming down with a cold or flu; he said that he was experiencing some stomach distress. In addition to his physical condition, Alex said that he has been suffering agonies of self-doubt since allowing his work to be submitted to the Range Galleries, which Katherine's boyfriend Jake runs. Alex is expecting Jake to reject his work and is afraid that it will be crushing to be rejected. Alex is just 17 and has had no formal art training. If something does happen with Jake, it'll be a miracle--things like that don't just happen too often in the real world. It's important to try to give Alex some real expectations without coming off as unsupportive. Just because Alex may get rejected, he shouldn't stop drawing. People get rejected all the time. We might spend some time talking more about the passion of an artist. Among those I consider true artists, the need to do their art is much more important than the need to make money doing it--it's a need to express themselves that is the primary motivator. Alex told me that although his family knows that he is gay, he closets himself more than I would have expected--particularly at his school. Apparently, Alex also had a gay cousin Randy--Aunt Sofie's son--who died of AIDS in the early eighties. Aunt Sofie tried to engineer a reconciliation between Alex and his mother, but it didn't go well. Alex's mother, now quite pregnant, together with Alex, who is openly hostile to his mother's pregnancy, was not a good combination. They fought and their relationship is now more icy than before. I suggested that he might wait out his mother's pregnancy before seeking new opportunities for interaction, although I recognize that Alex is currently living in the house of a pedophile, although somewhat benign. Given a choice between his family, Ralph, and the streets, I can't exactly urge Alex to abandon his current living arrangements. Alex believes that Mark's wife is in a mental hospital in Canada being treated for schizophrenia. Alex also told me that he is now dating Luke, the model who's constant harassment irritated Alex so much during the Macy's show that he ended up assaulting him. Apparently, Alex is somewhat taken with this guy--the first boyfriend Alex has had of his own age--although he is not sure he is ready for a sexual relationship with him yet. I urged him to be as open and honest as possible with Luke and at least find out early if Luke doesn't respect his feelings and wishes. Alex gave me another drawing--a study of a piece which Alex is showing to Jake. It depicts a genii in an Arabian Nights locale.

Wednesday, October 22, 1997
5 pm. Twenty-First Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex's relationship with Luke is progressing quickly into something serious, but Alex is afraid of disclosing his problems with Benny. He's worried that Luke will shy away from someone with the type of problems that Alex has. I, of course, counseled honesty. Benny has acquired private legal counsel and is seeking psychiatric examinations which will delay the proceedings--and frustrate Alex whose strong desire is to testify and get on with his life. I was surprised that Alex talked about his relationship to Luke with Ralph. Alex said that Ralph approves of his relationship with Luke. I expected that Alex would keep the relationship secret from Ralph--I suspected that Alex and Ralph were still physically involved, even though Alex hasn't talked about that with me since the days when Ralph was getting Alex to roll around naked on buttered slices of bread. Alex met with Jake who seemed to like his artwork. He's hanging two paintings up in the gallery and gave Alex some numbers of people to talk to for art services, including one outfit which matches illustrators with children's book authors. Alex is very enthusiastic, although perhaps just a bit wary.

Wednesday, October 29, 1997
5 pm. Twenty-Second Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex came in tired and upset. He was unhappy that Katherine left her session without saying hello to him. He felt that Jake had just humored him, even though Jake has hung two of his paintings in the gallery. He met with Eleanor, the woman from the children's book company, who told him that he wasn't yet ready to produce art professionally. But really, Alex was frayed from the revelation that Ralph has AIDS. Apparently, Ralph has been undergoing treatment for AIDS for the past 10 years and has been having remarkable results with the Crixovan treatment. Alex was stung by the news and was terrified by the idea of Ralph's mortality--he thinks of Ralph as his only family. And Alex told me that he is really all of the family that Ralph has--there are no siblings or parents that Alex knows of. Ralph confessed to Alex that he didn't know how old Alex was when he hired him as a male prostitute to roll around naked on buttered slices of white bread. And Alex told me that Ralph and he have never had a sexual relationship, except for the bread episode. I note that Alex's fear of separation is so acute that he reacted to Ralph's illness with an instinct to flee--although what he was afraid of was clearly abandonment and not some fear of falling ill himself by contact with an AIDS patient. I tried to reassure Alex that AIDS was no longer the death sentence that it used to be, although I am worried about the flu symptoms that Ralph currently exhibits. I urged Alex to take the quazepam I prescribed if he felt further insomnia, but Alex resisted because he said he doesn't want to feel drugged. Alex said that he paints during his sleepless periods and is at work on a large canvas depicting a car using using a stippling technique. He gave me a drawing which he called "Performance Anxiety" depicting a man, obviously late, racing towards a concert in full dress while heavily burdened with a cello.

Wednesday, November 12, 1997
5 pm. Twenty-Third Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex described a two day ramble--wandering around the city, walking across the Golden Gate Bridge, wandering around Sausalito, sleeping under the bridge girders and then walking back and through the city. When Alex first talked about it, he said things like he was lucky that he hadn't been hit by a car and that it was like he was sleep-walking. Obviously, I thought it possible that Alex was in some form of fugue state. I said as much to Alex and he seemed intrigued, but ultimately he rejected the suggestion. Alex insisted he just spent the time thinking and that he was aware of events around him. Alex is still obviously fatigued and is reluctant to even try the quazapam I prescribed because he is sure that he'll feel drugged. I suggested he try melatonin. Alex told me that Ralph was hospitalized, but apparently because of food poisoning rather than the flu. Lately, he's substantially recovered. But Ralph was just a trigger for Alex's pensive meandering. He is also preoccupied with worry over Benny and Tony, particularly. He walked past Jake's gallery and noticed that his painting had been taken down, which surprisingly didn't upset Alex too much--he said that he would never have been able to top the success he'd have felt if the painting had sold. I think it possible that Alex has a mild form of situationally antagonized clinical depression. I noticed a good deal of psychomotor agitation during this session, and Alex told me how he was unable to sleep because he was unable to rest his racing, worried thoughts. I gave Alex a pamphlet on depression and suggested to Alex that he might do some further research at the library.

Wednesday, November 19, 1997
5 pm. Twenty-Fourth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex actually did read up on depression and tried to fit the symptoms that he read about with his own experience. He was particularly impressed with the symptoms of manic depression, noting a certain inflated grandiosity of thought and a running internal monologue which sometimes is symptomatic of manic episodes. However, I've seen little to suggest that Alex is bipolar. Rather, Alex seems to suffer from a mild form of clinically significant but situationally antagonized depression. I've asked Alex to take either the quazapam or the melatonin to sleep well all next week, so that we can assess which symptoms unrelated to the insomnia to determine an appropriate treatment plan. Alex consummated his relationship with Luke during a trip to Carmel--apparently a good experience. He also put out a garbage can fire accidentally started by a tenant of Ralph's who appears to be a habitual and frequent substance abuser.

Wednesday, November 26, 1997
5 pm. Twenty-Fifth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex was ebullent during today's session. I allowed him to roam across a number of topics, because I was interested in trying to evaluate his possible depression after he had gotten some sleep. With the exception of Thursday night--where he had a drama involving the police and Ralph's tenant in back--Alex has been getting sleep. When he's not exhausted, he's naturally very enthuasiastic and upbeat. I don't think it's mania, exactly, and I've yet to observe a cyclic rhythm in Alex's behavior. So Alex is enthuasiastic that Katherine Lippard invited him to meet Phil and see his mural. Jake has hung his painting in his office, which Alex takes as a positive sign. The tenant who lives behind Alex at Ralph's apparently has a fascination with guns which led to a confrontation with the police. He's been taken away. Tony is back from drug rehab, which is making Alex's boyfriend Luke jealous. Alex was also speaking of his mother in very positive terms--he invited me to Thanksgiving dinner there and sounded sure that everyone was going to have a great time. He's invited both Tony and Luke, trying to convince Luke that there is nothing to be jealous of respecting Tony, who's just a friend. Alex spoke a bit of feeling wistful about last Thanksgiving, which he spent with Benny and Dora. It was Benny's birthday, and Alex remembers that he loved Benny at the time and thought of him as a father, a lover, and a friend. And now, Benny is in jail and Alex feels betrayed. I told Alex that it was perfectly normal to have conflicting feelings and he was likely to think of Benny every once in a while for years to come.

Wednesday, December 3, 1997
4 pm. Twenty-Eighth Session with Katherine Lippard respecting Alex Rozzi. Katherine is not emotionally satisfied with her relationship with Jake either, whatever she professes to me. We started to talk about Alex Rozzi, and Katherine admitted that she had briefly thought of him as a romantic prospect before realizing how young he was and his sexual orientation. So she's looking. Katherine took Alex over to meet Phil on Wednesday. Alex was apparently attracted to Phil, but Phil was oblivious of Alex's interest. After supper, Katherine took Alex home and met Ralph--she described him as wealthy and was concerned that Alex was his "boy toy" in exchange for living accommodations. She also met Alex's mother Larraine--she called her "Lorraine"--whom she described as a bitch with forceful personality. Katherine describes herself as feeling maternal towards Alex.

Wednesday, December 3, 1997
5 pm. Twenty-Sixth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex was clearly shook up over the events of the past week. His Aunt Sofie died after preparing a sumptuous Thanksgiving feast. She died quietly so that everyone thought she was just sitting and napping on the sofa after the big meal. Alex relates it to his own feeling that anytime he gets close to someone, they suffer through some calamity. He cites his father, his grandmother, Benny, Roly, and now Sofie. Alex thought of Sofie as being the only member of that family that encouraged him in any of his pursuits. In fact, Sofie left him a stipend of money in her will with the understanding that he use it for either art or culinary school. Ironically, Alex remembers that the last words she said to him were that the truffles--Alex's contribution to the dinner--were "to die for." Tony was at the meal too, and the event was used by Alex's mother as an opportunity to get Tony together with his family. Tony didn't react badly, actually. Alex is still distressed over the events of the week and was having difficulty remaining clear and focused. Alex also had dinner with Katherine Lippard and her brother Phil this week. He said that he was somewhat attracted to Phil, which made him act clumsy--even though Alex was sure that Phil wouldn't be interested in him. Actually, I have no idea whether Phil is gay or not, and I thought that Alex was in a committed relationship with Luke. Alex took Katherine and Phil back to Ralph's and there met his mother coming down the stairs. His mother, who heads up SII's mail room, recognized Katherine from some company newsletter announcing her promotion. His mother made a fuss about the incident to Alex later and he believes that his mother is going to try to use the fact that Katherine and Alex have been seen together somehow against Katherine. He plans to warn Katherine of his mother's intentions. Alex also found out another family secret--his Aunt Sofie's long-estranged daughter Rosemarie. Alex thought she was educated and more sophisticated and attractive than his mother--they hated each other, apparently. Luke was enthralled by the cat fight--it sounds like a scene from "The Women," actually. Alex's mother believed Rosemarie was doing nothing but sniffing around for Aunt Sofie's money. But Aunt Sofie had written Rosemarie out of her will.

Wednesday, December 10, 1997
4 pm. Twenty-Ninth Session with Katherine Lippard respecting Alex Rozzi. Katherine was all business as she told me about the smear campaign that is being waged by Alex's mother Larraine and that toady, Nils Landor. Apparently, Larraine has it in her head that Katherine is romantically involved with Alex--she must know his sexual preference makes that unlikely--and has decided to go after Katherine within the company. She has the ear of Nils Landor who told Lloyd Major all about it. Lloyd, who's never been one of Katherine's big supporters in any case, came to talk to her about it--apparently concerned that scandal will lower the stock price. I suspect that Lloyd was just hoping for something juicy to relieve the tedium--he gets a certain pleasure from stirring the shit. Katherine plans to fight back, and she seems to be a formidable adversary. Larraine is a venal, petty woman, but she didn't strike me as particularly stupid. She must realize that picking a fight with a high-ranking corporate executive could be detrimental to her job. It just struck me--I didn't mention this to Katherine--but Larraine might have lost interest in her job now that she is pregnant and perhaps she is seeking some pretext to get fired rather than to just resign. Is it possible that Larraine wants a roll at "litigation roulette?" If that's Larraine's game, I'd better urge Katherine to be particularly careful.

Wednesday, December 10, 1997
5 pm. Twenty-Seventh Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex is furious with his mother for her interference in his life and her treatment of Rosemarie. He found out from Katherine, just before the start of the session, about the rumor-mongering that his mother has engaged in at work. He was furious and wanted to immediately leave and confront her over it. I urged Alex to gain control of himself first and to try to think through whether such a course of action would have the desired results. Alex was quite agitated--perhaps more than I've ever seen him before. He spoke in a rapid-fire pace and demonstrated psychomoter agitation as well. Alex has three current issues with his mother. The first and foremost is that she is trying to make trouble for Katherine at SII. He also believes that she is treating his Aunt Rosemarie unfairly now that she has to cope with her mother's death. And he believes that his mother's behavior at Aunt Sophie's funeral may have scared off Luke, who missed a date with Alex and hasn't called. Alex told me that he is taking the melatonin nightly and still sleeping--he even expressed surprise given the thoughts continually racing through his mind. Alex also told me that the gun-wielding maniac who is living in the cottage on Ralph's property has returned from his stint in jail. Ralph is going to begin eviction proceedings, but it could easily take several months to get him out of the apartment. I asked Alex how he was coping with Aunt Sophie's death. He said that he has nightmares occassionally--usually focusing around truffles and her last words to him--that his truffles were "to die for." But he misses her, and the reality of her death is now sinking in.

Wednesday, December 17, 1997
4 pm. Thirtieth Session with Katherine Lippard respecting Alex Rozzi. Katherine also told me about the internal machinations surrounding Alex's mother's attempt to stir the shit. Apparently, she was pretty effectively put down, although Katherine hadn't considered the possibility that Larraine was trying to set up an unlawful termination claim.

Wednesday, December 17, 1997
5 pm. Twenty-Eighth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex was jumpy and skittish during this session. He seemed uncomfortable, constantly shifting in his seat and even experiencing tremors at one point. Surprisingly, considering the fact that he hasn't slept in several nights, he didn't appear tired--actually, quite the opposite. He appeared hyper, almost wired. At times, he was almost hysterical--laughing inappropriately. If I didn't know Alex better, I would suspect some form of amphetamine abuse. Alex believes that he doesn't really need sleep. He says that he goes through periods where sleep is unnecessary--he just "runs and runs." Obviously, I want to encourage him to get appropriate rest--Alex's decision-making abilities are always impaired until after he's had some sleep. Alex has a contusion on his forehead from a fight with Mark over his mother's actions against Katherine Lippard. Apparently, Mark got the worst of it with three cracked ribs and a dislocated jaw. Luke has reappeared, suddenly making urgent demands on Alex for sex. Alex is beginning to worry about why Luke never introduces him to his family or friends. I sloughed off the concern, suggesting that Luke might be private and need time to open up and even suggesting that Alex's sleeplessness may be inducing paranoia, but actually Alex does raise a legitimate point: perhaps Luke either doesn't view the relationship with the same seriousness as Alex or Luke may not have announced the fact of his homosexuality to his family and friends. I just don't want Alex thinking about these issues before he's had some sleep; he'll make the wrong decision otherwise. Alex told me something odd. He said that Rosemarie has hired a lawyer to contest her mother's will. Rosemarie and Alex's mother were at odds previously; now they'll be at war. But the odd thing is that Ralph has rented the back unit of his house to Rosemarie. What with the fight, it seems that Alex's mother and Mark are going to be on one side of the line and Alex, Ralph, and Rosemarie are going to be on the other. With Alex yet to gain his majority, it's going to be difficult if Alex's mother attempts to exert some parental authority over Alex. Perhaps I should suggest that Rozzi seeks to get "emancipated minor" legal status to protect himself against Larraine's machinations.

Wednesday, January 7, 1998
4 pm. Thirty-First Session with Katherine Lippard respecting Alex Rozzi. Katherine told me that Larraine Rozzi had been admitted to a psychiatric facility. She seemed ready to take the blame for Larraine's psychiatric problems, but I was able to convince her that she was not responsible with a minimum of effort.

Wednesday, January 7, 1998
5 pm. Twenty-Ninth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex showed up with a goatee, but it was just a harbinger of the other changes that have occurred in his life. The most startling is a reconciliation of sorts with his mother and Mark. His mother ended up in the mental health facility at California Pacific Medical Center sometime before Christmas. She was suffering from recurrent panic attacks, exacerbated somewhat by the conflict she was engaged in at work with Katherine Lippard, and by her current pregnancy. But Alex, whose attitude towards his mother has become noticeably more sympathetic, said that she had apologized to him, and she laid out some of the difficult circumstances surrounding her parenting of Alex--not as an excuse, really, but more as an explanation. Alex also said that he connected with Mark as the two of them discussed his mother's problems. He seems perhaps overly optimistic as to his future with his parents, but I didn't feel it right to urge caution. He is naturally cautious. He met with Luke's sister, who knows Luke is gay. But Luke is hiding his homosexuality from his father, which perhaps explains Luke's reticence to introduce Alex to his family. Alex has an uneasy feeling about a girl who appears in several photographs with Luke in his house, especially since every time he brings her up, both Luke and his sister dodge his questions. Alex told me about a vivid dream that he had of Benny standing over his bed, crying and begging forgiveness from Alex. When Alex awoke, he found the bedroom window open, which he was sure was closed. The dream made a large impact on Alex, although I'm not certain exactly how Alex felt about it.

Wednesday, January 28, 1998
5 pm. Thirtieth Session with Alex Rozzi. Roly committed suicide. He was the one who had triggered Alex's dreams of Benny at his bedside--it was Roly, coming in from the streets, trying to reach out to Alex. But Roly wouldn't actually wake Alex, he'd just climb up to Alex's window and into his bedroom and then watch him sleep. He left a suicide note in Alex's room and then threw himself in front of a BART train. Alex counts him as another of Benny's victims. Roly's suicide has triggered a strong emotional response from Alex, but surprisingly directed inward towards memories of his own past history of being the child victim of vicious sexual abuse. He's been having an upwelling of dreams and memories about Joe, the man who repeatedly raped Alex at knife point. Alex feels a great deal of guilt because he sometimes felt physical pleasure while being assaulted by Joe. Alex has been repressing his memories of these sexual assaults for years, but now that they are coming to the fore, they are having a strong impact on every part of his psyche. Alex complains of feeling unclean, of feeling itchy. He's compulsively scratching at himself. He can't sit still and says that he can't get comfortable. He feels unprotected. He feels like he is infested with bugs. He is unable to enjoy normal sexual relations with Luke--now the thought of sex makes him feel nauseous. His heart races, and he feels as if he is having difficulty breathing. He's even had a dermatological reaction--a rash on his neck at the point where he remembers Joe holding a knife blade. While Alex is reluctant to discuss Joe--he says he doesn't want to relive it again--I think it is essential that we uncover this issue. Alex's current emotional crisis could be a disaster in the making, or it could be an opportunity to make a real breakthrough in Alex's therapy.

Wednesday, February 4, 1998
5 pm. Thirty-First Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex is making real progress coming to terms with the childhood sexual abuse he suffered. He sees it as one area in his life over which he has no current control, and he has a deep-seated feeling of guilt because he believes that he was partly responsible for being abused--he derived some pleasure from the sexual acts that were taking place. With Benny, that feeling of responsibility is even more pronounced because, although Benny clearly abused Alex, Alex loved him and was willingly expressing that emotion through sex. Alex doesn't want to feel like a victim. Alex finds that he has to look at the memories of his past sexual activity, some of which he eagerly participated in, and now must reinterpret them as abuse. As he opens up to me in our sessions, he's opening up more and more to Luke and the others around him. Although he hasn't felt comfortable sharing the worst of it, he has told Luke about Benny and Roly. Luke is being supportive. Alex is also trying to disassociate himself from the reality of Benny and Joe. He told me that he sometimes feels that it wasn't real--as if it is a story that he saw on television instead of something that actually happened to him. It's an odd paradox that as Alex comes to terms with these events from his past, he struggles to ignore and repress them. Alex wrote Benny a cathartic letter of forgiveness that would be difficult to characterize. Alex first says that Benny was trying to protect him when he broke off their relationship--that Benny must have had an inkling of the legal trouble he was about to suffer. But then Alex chides Benny for finding a younger boy than him--and concludes that Benny wasn't interested in Alex as a person but really only wanted his youth. Alex concludes the letter by saying that he won't testify against Benny in court. I know that Alex has often expressed how much he is looking forward to testifying against Benny, but I suspected that much of that was bravado. However, I wouldn't be surprised if Alex changes his mind again and decides to testify--and I told him as much. Alex now feels that he wants to put Benny behind him and thinks that he can only do that if he isn't part of the trial. I decided not to push Alex on this point. Luke told Alex about how he feels responsible for an ex-girlfriend's car accident that left her brain damaged. They each told the other that the past didn't matter and they concluded the evening with sex, although Alex says that he felt distant. I told Alex that he shouldn't be surprised if his interest in sex ebbs and flows while he comes to terms with what happened to him. A variation in sexual interest is a common reaction to therapy of this type. I told Alex to make use of the support that his friends and family are offering him. He seemed to understand and agree.

Wednesday, February 11, 1998
4 pm. Thirty-Fourth Session with Katherine Lippard respecting Alex Rozzi. Katherine talked about her conversation with Alex and sympathized with his difficulties. She said that she'd like to "fix it," although she knew that she was providing a valuable service by just listening. Katherine said that her problems seemed more manageable after hearing his, although I cautioned her to avoid comparing her situation to those of others.

Wednesday, February 11, 1998
5 pm. Thirty-Second Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex is developing a friendship with Katherine Lippard and was able to open up to her sufficiently to explain about Benny, Roly, and his mother, although he couldn't bring himself to talk about Joe. She reacted with sympathy and understanding, and Alex felt good about opening up to her. I encouraged him to continue to do so. Katherine wanted to do something meaningful--here's a chance for her to do some good for Alex. I suspect that she also bought one of his paintings--an anonymous buyer purchased a painting, and Alex was elated. He really wants to know who the buyer was. He even suspected that I might have bought it. Alex took his mother for a doctor's visit and got a chance to see the baby on an ultrasound monitor. As it does for many new fathers, the ultrasound image made his little brother real for Alex. Now he is full of anticipation over what the baby will be like. His mother exhibited her tendency towards labile emotions--shooting Alex an unmotivated look of hatred. Alex responded by staring her down--a much better response than the normal volatile reactions she inspires in him. She backed down and Alex credited her with a lot of insight and thought about her behavior that was probably merely his optimistic projections. Alex's mother failed to protect him from Joe, and didn't respond with assistance when he told her, at age eleven, what was going on. Alex told me that he was ten or eleven when Joe raped him. Joe was five or six years older and a neighbor. Benny apparently came upon Joe and Alex while they were engaged in a sexual act and apparently beat Joe up and essentially took Alex for himself. Alex is still trying to work out his conflicting feelings about both Benny and Joe. He feels that he loved Benny, and rationalizes much of what Benny did as Benny's effort to protect him. He also has a tendency to blame himself for being victimized by Joe, probably as a result of having some sexually pleasurable feelings and misinterpreting them as equating to some form of consent to being sexually abused. I tried to get Alex to realize how vulnerable he was at eleven years old, but Alex retreated into a daze--I thought he might be taking drugs, but Alex assured me that he was just spacing out. I imagine that zoning out is a coping technique, but I urged Alex to retain his focus.

Wednesday, February 18, 1998
5 pm. Thirty-Third Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex was giddy with excitement over the birth of his younger brother, Aaron Justin Jarrod. Alex's mother sounds like she suffered from preeclampsia. Alex said that her blood pressure rose precipitously during the delivery, and that immediately afterwards, she had a grand mal seizure and then stopped breathing. Alex mentioned toxemia and high blood sugar. Apparently, they administered CPR after her heart failed, and they were able to revive her. She's stable now and out of the intensive care unit, but it clearly shook Alex, although the only emotion that he reported was one of guilt--he feels that he wished it on her. Of course, I tried to reassure him that he wasn't responsible for her complications related to childbirth. Alex was contacted by Cecil, the lawyer that Ralph contacted who is coordinating Alex's planned testimony against Benny with the district attorney's office. Alex now doesn't wish to testify, but he never told Cecil that. Cecil told Alex that Benny's trial is coming up. Alex believes that they have enough evidence to convict Benny without his testimony. I said that I didn't know, but I pointed out to Alex that even if he desires to avoid testifying, his testimony can be compelled by subpoena. Alex thought that he had achieved closure on that part of his life with his letter to Benny, but I had to point out that it was just the beginning. He was able to confide in Luke about Benny, which I think is a positive development, although Alex is still having difficulties with physical intimacy. Although he hasn't been able to tell Luke about Joe, he was able to confide in Tony, his friend who submitted to sexual slavery. Both of them found a common bond when they each confided to the other that there were parts of their ordeal which gave them physical pleasure. At the very end of the session, Alex told me that he had been a truant from school--he'd missed eight days. The school administrators contacted social services and spoke with Martin Silverman, Alex's caseworker. The school wants to expel Alex, which would obviously not be in his best interests. I told Alex that I would run interference for him this time with his caseworker but I obviously don't approve of Alex's actions and I think it important that he ultimately suffer the consequences of his behavior.

Wednesday, February 25, 1998
5 pm. Thirty-Fourth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex is having difficulties in school although he tells me that he isn't currently a truant and has been keeping up with his schoolwork. He particularly dislikes P.E., especially getting naked around other men. When I mentioned that people who have endured childhood sexual abuse often have similar feelings, Alex reacted strongly. He really doesn't like to be identified as a victim, and doesn't want to be defined by reference to his past. Alex was concerned about Katherine. He talked to her and she told him that she had been in a car accident in Texas. Alex said that she sounded strange--sort of shaky, perhaps. I told Alex that Katherine would be fine. Alex also told me that his mother is exhibiting the same lack of maternal feelings towards Aaron that she demonstrated with Alex. She's ignoring the baby since she came home from the hospital and Alex said that Mark has to force her to feed him. Racyl told Alex that his mother wanted her to talk Alex into leaving. Alex is reminded of how his mother ignored him when he told her about what Joe was doing to him. As he told me the story, he kept on losing track of where he was, as if he has been suppressing these memories for so long that his brain just automatically derails any consideration of what happened. Alex described his mother as a party girl, and what he told her about Joe was ignored because it was sobering. Alex can't remember her precise reaction when he told her that he was being sexually assaulted, but he said that after he told her was when things became particularly bad between them. Alex has been having dreams about Roly since his suicide. He even described a waking hallucination where Roly said that Alex was becoming complacent. Alex also saw someone who looked like Roly standing on a street corner. Although Alex thought these incidents were strange, he was unrattled by them, actually. He seemed almost matter of fact, although he said that he was concerned that he might be hallucinating. But Alex also got a telephone message from Benny on Ralph's answering machine. That had a much stronger effect on Alex. Benny said that he had received Alex's letter and told Alex that he was sorry. Then, on the tape, Benny cried. It was the crying that most affected Alex. And then Sael, the paramedic that Alex had been briefly interested in last year, just showed up to visit. His grandfather died and he was in San Francisco for the funeral. Alex said that he was visited by three men from his past this week.

Wednesday, March 4, 1998
4 pm. Thirty-Sixth Session with Katherine Lippard respecting Alex Rozzi. Katherine told me that Alex visited her at work, and she was surprised to see the open gawking of people around the office as they whispered and pointed fingers. Katherine went to Alex's house and saw his mother, who seemed a totally different person from the one who accused her of an illicit relationship with her son. Katherine isn't sure what to make of it--Katherine described the two Larraines as two different people, and Katherine thinks it possible that neither was genuine. Most of the session was devoted to Jake, though. It turns out that Jake was the buyer for Alex's paintings. He'd intended to give them to Katherine for her birthday--he missed it by a month--but then, when she talked about her interest in contributing to the arts, he decided to donate the paintings in her name to the Bay Area Youth Arts Alliance. Now Katherine has the decidedly unpleasant task of telling Alex that his paintings weren't bought by the anonymous art connoisseur that Jake invented, and Katherine has to further convince Alex that she didn't buy the paintings out of feelings of charity or pity. Alex has invested a lot in the idea that the paintings were purchased for their own sake. I think he will be quite disappointed. And Katherine realizes she has to tell Alex about the paintings before he finds out for himself.

Wednesday, March 4, 1998
5 pm. Thirty-Fifth Session with Alex Rozzi. Benny's trial is scheduled for March 12th and Alex is still resistant to testifying against him. He defiantly says that he can't be compelled to testify by legal process. Benny called again and spoke with Ralph, who apparently got into a shouting match with him. At one point, Alex said that one of the reasons that he didn't want to testify is that he's afraid that Benny will find a way to hurt or kill him if he does. Roly's ghost haunts Alex's dreams--he's convinced he's real. In his dream, the ghost has a broken object that he wants Alex to fix. I suggested that perhaps the dream and Benny's trial are linked. Alex said that he needs to think some more about whether or not to testify. I told him that I would support whatever he decided to do. On another subject, Alex is alternately thrilled and suspicious of an apparent change of heart that his mother has exhibited. She invited Katherine to the house and apologized to her, and she reversed herself and allowed Rosemarie to move into Sophie's house. Alex got an in-law apartment there as an art studio. Alex feels that his mother has been too mercurial in the past for him to view this as a fundamental change, although I think he's willing to enjoy it while it lasts. When Alex spoke to Katherine about what a good mother she'd make, he noticed a whole range of emotions flit across her face. I've never talked to Katherine much about her feelings on becoming a parent. Alex is still mystified about who bought his paintings, but it bugs him. He really wants to know. He hasn't cashed the check from the gallery yet--he's holding it as a symbol of good luck.

Wednesday, March 11, 1998
4 pm. Thirty-Seventh Session with Katherine Lippard respecting Alex Rozzi. Katherine spent a good deal of time during today's session talking about Alex. We even talked about her concerns that I might be performing therapy on Alex through her, or using the information that I glean about Alex through my sessions with Katherine to treat Alex. I assured her that I keep the sessions separate in my mind, and that Alex is only relevant in Katherine's sessions to the extent that he is part of Katherine's life. I might have been a bit disingenuous however. If Katherine told me a shocking piece of news about Alex, I'm not sure that it wouldn't color my feelings about it, especially if it was something that Alex chose not to share with me. But it hasn't happened yet, and I don't think there is any serious ethical issue to be grappled with here. If I learn something about a patient from a source outside of therapy, that's completely legitimate. I would only have to be careful not to violate Katherine's confidentiality by disclosing to Alex what I had learned during my sessions with Katherine. Actually, I'm somewhat surprised that they are becoming such close friends. But they are. Katherine told Alex that Jake was the buyer of his paintings, but she didn't tell Jake that she has told Alex. Alex hasn't confronted Jake, so Jake is continuing to spin out the lie about the anonymous art buyer. Katherine realized that she has to tell Jake that she told Alex. I agree that she should not spend her psychic energy trying to protect the social secrets of others. Katherine did tell me a bit of news: Alex has been subpoenaed to appear as a witness at Benny's trial. Katherine was proud that Alex was able to be so open with her, and that she responded without being judgmental or trying to influence him one way or the other. In fact, Katherine was so pleased with her natural ability to communicate with Alex and with other teenagers she met at the Youth Alliance that she has decided to take on an active volunteer role working with kids through art.

Wednesday, March 11, 1998
5 pm. Thirty-Sixth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex was subpoenaed to testify in Benny's trial and the trial starts tomorrow. I am very worried about Alex's ability to hold up in that setting. He was so upset about the prospect of testifying that I probably didn't do all that I should have to prepare him for the ordeal that he is probably going to face. Especially under cross examination, I am concerned that things are going to come out with which Alex isn't prepared to cope. I hope that Alex is strong enough to undergo the trial and not just leave me with pieces to pick up at its conclusion. When things are darkest for Alex, he takes solace from listing the good things that are going on in his life. It's almost like a mantra for him, and I should echo it when he's going through the toughest moments. So the possibility of a job at the Youth Alliance, which Katherine and Jake have had a part in arranging, may help Alex keep his head above water during the trial. Subconsciously, I think Alex always knew that he had to testify. That's what the ghost of Roly was all about. Katherine told me that she didn't tell Alex what she thought he should do. But she represents the forces of order and society to Alex, I'm certain. If Alex wanted Katherine to approve of him, he knew that he would have to testify. Alex hasn't been sleeping, which is very bad. He's at his worst when he gets wired in that strange, almost autistic way. Katherine told Alex about Jake and his paintings. Alex went and confronted Jake and ended up saying a bunch of things that he now realizes he shouldn't. Alex is still impulsive with his anger, but at least this time he wasn't physically abusive. Tony and Ralph have become friends and they both are suffering from HIV. They've become interested in assisted suicide and have had long philosophical discussions about Dr. Kevorkian. They've apparently both joined the Hemlock Society and Ralph has asked Alex to assist with his suicide if it comes to that. Alex is strongly resisting. It's bad enough that Alex thinks Ralph is going to die--Ralph is one of the most important people in Alex's life--but to assist at his suicide! For Alex, it would be a confirmation of his lifelong sense of responsibility for the deaths of those that he's close to. Alex demanded to know my opinions on assisted suicide but I demurred. I only hope that Ralph and Tony have fastened upon this philosophical argument as a way of keeping Alex's mind off the trial.

Wednesday, March 18, 1998
5 pm. Thirty-Seventh Session with Alex Rozzi. Benny's trial is locked in pretrial motions. Alex, who probably got his impression of the legal system from television programs, is frustrated by the interminable delays. Apparently, there is some problem with the physical evidence in the case. The judge is expected to rule on whether or not it will be excluded from the trial. I presume that it will take some time to pick a jury as well. But other than Alex's frustration, and the feeling of his world turning upside down when Benny looked at him in court, Alex is handling the situation better than I expected. Alex went with Luke to Luke's father's beach house in Carmel over the weekend. Alex really loves it there. And he was able to open up to Luke and tell him about Joe. But Luke didn't think it changed anything. Alex said that Luke hadn't been pressuring Alex for sex during all the time when Alex felt incapable of physical intimacy. But after Alex opened up, it seemed to release the floodgates of sexual desire. Alex was able to engage in sex with Luke again, and described it in very positive terms. I've seen situations where a breakthrough in intimacy can overcome weeks or months of sexual reluctance. I'm hopeful that Alex will not revert back to become sexually withdrawn again. Alex went to the gallery to talk with Jake and tell him that he was no longer angry about the art purchase. But Jake apparently ducked him. Alex is happy with the Art Alliance and has volunteered to paint some scenery backdrops for them. Roly is still haunting Alex's dreams and seems to still want him to fix something which Alex can't identify. Roly seemed to indicate that whatever he was to fix was in addition to testifying against Benny, which was my earlier interpretation. I asked Alex to put off serious consideration of the meaning of his dreams of Roly until after the trial. I still believe the dreams are likely to vanish once Alex isn't under this kind of stress.

Wednesday, March 25, 1998
5 pm. Thirty-Eighth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex testified in Benny's trial. It doesn't sound like he was a uniformly positive witness for the prosecution. However, he couldn't have helped the defense much either. Alex reports that he was on the stand for two days. He lost his temper a few times and scored some humor points at the expense of the prosecuting attorney. He also said that he was threatened with contempt by the judge at one point. I must say that I'm surprised that Alex went through the experience without any apparent scars. He told me how Benny looked and how he apparently forgot that he had set fire to the surreptitious sexually-explicit videotapes of himself. But all in all, I was expecting far worse. Alex said that he feels numb about the experience. He heard a phrase somewhere which he kept repeating over and over: "kiss me, kill me." He apparently interpreted it to mean that you can't win. As Alex left the stand, Benny made an outburst in court saying, "I didn't mean to hurt you, Alex." Alex was stunned, but he dealt with his feelings by painting for hours until finally, Ralph went down to get him. Then Ralph tried to coopt Alex into helping him to commit his future suicide. When his illness advances and reaches unbearable levels, Ralph plans to end his life. Ralph wants to use a combination of drugs and asphyxiation. He wants Alex to actually place the plastic bag over his head, but Alex is understandably resistant to that idea and even questioned its lawfulness. Luke is out of town, and Alex clearly misses his intimacy, even if he didn't mention the sex. I think that Alex is finally reversing his previous antipathy towards sex. Alex painted clouds on scenery at the Art Alliance and enjoyed it. I think Art Alliance will become a large part of his life. It will give him a sense of belonging to a community and provide him with another safe alternative to the life on the streets, although I don't believe Alex will ever return to that way of life. Alex also told me that his mother and father are getting married. He said that's what he's always wanted. Although now, he believes that its too late for him--he's almost an adult. But Mark hinted that he wanted Alex to move back home in with them. Alex is justifiably skeptical about such an arrangement.

Wednesday, April 1, 1998
5 pm. Thirty-Ninth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex finished the trial and Benny was quickly found guilty. Not surprisingly, Alex feels some ambivalence and guilt about the result. Apparently, there was a surprise witness--a childhood acquaintance of Benny--who testified that when they were both about six, Benny molested him using the threat of physical violence. I'm surprised that the prosecution was able to get that in--it seems only tenuously related to the charges against Benny now. But I'm not a lawyer. For the second day of Alex's testimony, Alex's mother was in the courtroom. Alex didn't even see her amongst the sea of faces. I found it interesting that in the context of Alex's new openness with Katherine, Luke, and Ralph, he was appalled that his mother heard any of his testimony. He's convinced that even though his relationship at the moment is good with her, she'll figure out a way to use his admissions in court as ammunition against him. Alex was odd during this session. It seemed to me that he had been smoking cigarettes, although he denied it. He was very tired and quite scattered. I got the impression that he hasn't been sleeping. But Alex told me a very interesting story about his childhood that shed some more light on his underlying feelings of abandonment that pervade much of his social interactions. Although I'm unsure of his age in this anecdote, it seems that when Alex was about seven years old, his best friend was a boy named Jimmy. Alex and he would walk to school together and Alex would frequently go to Jimmy's home after school. Jimmy's mother and Alex's grandmother were good friends and they would often do activities together with the boys. One day, after school, Alex went to Jimmy's house and was surprised to find him not at home. He peeked through a side window and discovered that the house was empty--all the furniture was gone. His grandmother was cryptic about what happened and gave Alex no information. To this day, Alex doesn't know what happened to Jimmy. At the end of the session, Alex told me that he had gone to speak to Jake and to let Jake know that he was no longer angry about the incident with the painting. But it didn't come out that way. Jake and Alex argued again, with Alex remonstrating with Jake about the fictitious anonymous buyer. But at least Alex didn't resort to violence. I complemented Alex on that. Alex tried to brush aside my complement, trying to give me the impression that the only reason he didn't hit Jake was that they were too evenly matched. But I do think that Alex has become much more thoughtful since our first session together.

Wednesday, April 8, 1998
5 pm. Fortieth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex has made a turn for the worse. He admitted that he has been arrested for shoplifting, which may be a violation of his parole. He also told me that he has been smoking marijuana, apparently with some frequency. Alex has made friends with a lesbian couple, Regina and Camille, and has engaged in some S&M sex play with them--allowing himself to be flogged. This has caused a reaction of jealousy from Luke. Alex told me that it was on their urging that he stole the radio which resulted in his arrest. He also said that they paint together, smoking marijuana first to enhance performance. Alex believes that the store decided not to press charges because of the flirtatious charm that he used to influence the old woman who owns the store. But that hasn't saved Alex from possible action from the juvenile court system. Alex doesn't believe that they'll make him a ward of the court or introduce him into the foster home system, but I said that it was hard to say what they might do. Alex has decided to keep his shoplifting arrest secret from Luke, because he's afraid of his anger. Alex got a check from Jake, apparently in an effort to make things right there. But Alex is avoiding further conversation with Jake because of the situation between Jake and Katherine. Alex told me that Katherine met the "lipstick lesbitarians" and apparently didn't think much of them, which Alex ascribed to Regina's exorbitant piercings. But Katherine apparently made an impression on them--just what Katherine needs now. Alex still has dark circles under the eyes and he appeared somewhat disheveled. The wardrobe is black, the hair is spiky, and the nose ring has returned. I'm afraid that Alex's new friends are having quite a negative influence, and I'm quite concerned.

Wednesday, April 15, 1998
4 pm. Forty-Second Session with Katherine Lippard respecting Alex Rozzi. Katherine expressed some nonspecific disapproval over something Alex did recently--she described it as stupid teenage shit. I suspect that she was referring obliquely to Alex's recent penchant for abusing drugs.

Wednesday, April 15, 1998
5 pm. Forty-First Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex is getting in a world of trouble both from the juvenile justice system and from his friends and family. Because of his shoplifting arrest, he's violated his parole, even though the store declined to press charges. Apparently, he's going to have to do some more community service work and spend weekends under house arrest wearing an electronic ankle bracelet while he stays with his mother. Luke is angry because of Alex's continued experiments with S&M under Camille's domination. His mother is angry because of the shoplifting arrest and the prospect of having to live with Alex. Ralph is angry because Alex took his car and ended up driving it into a ditch, without the benefit of a driver's license. I suspect he might have been smoking marijuana--the accident was caused by inattention which is a common cause of marijuana related car accidents. Alex also went to Ralph's strip club and performed on stage during amateur night, even though Ralph has forbid him from going there. Alex's juvenile status could cause Ralph some serious legal problems. Alex wants the freedom to go wild--he thinks it might be a stage he's going through--and he becomes very angry when he thinks someone's judging him, including me. He said that Katherine was really his only friend who wasn't judging him, and wasn't currently angry at him. I want him to try to be more mindful of what he's doing and to be aware of the self-destructive nature of his actions. I also note that all of Alex's negative conduct can be associated with his relationship with Camille and Regina.

Wednesday, April 22, 1998
5 pm. Forty-Second Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex's personal relationships have gone right into the toilet. His mother became enraged with him during a dinner where Luke was a guest. By overhearing Alex's mother, Luke found out that Alex had been arrested for shoplifting. Luke, who was already angry at Alex for engaging in S&M experiments with Regina and Camille, decided to tell Alex that he wanted a trial separation. Alex escalated that into a full blown break-up by getting into an argument with Luke about Luke's own uneasiness with his own homosexuality. Alex's mother told him both that she didn't want him to stay with her and that she was unwilling to sign papers which would allow him to graduate early from high school. I find those positions logically inconsistent, but consistent, perhaps, with her desire to wound Alex in any way within her power. Apparently, there was no obvious trigger for her screaming match with Alex--but it was timed to coincide with Luke's visit. After breaking up with Luke, Alex went to Regina's house and, thinking her father was asleep, smoked some of Regina's marijuana with her in the garage. Suddenly, her father was at the top of the stairs, cursing at Alex and telling him that he was corrupting his daughter and banning him from the house. Regina ended up moving out and is now sleeping at Alex's art studio with Ralph's blessing, which surprised me. Alex also described a trip to the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz where he smoked marijuana and then rode many times on the rollercoaster there. Afterwards, he said that he almost passed out--he felt he couldn't take a breath and his visual field went dark. Alex told me that he had suffered a similar experience when he was by himself just after testifying at Benny's trial and he woke up lying on the floor. They sound like anxiety reactions to me, but the marijuana is a confounding factor. We talked about Alex's growing marijuana use. He told me that he smokes before painting and he told me about two incidents this week involving marijuana use. He looked bad. Almost on the verge of tears through much of the session, he also had a glassy, tired look to his eyes; he spoke rapidly at times, almost without taking a breath; and he had a generally disheveled appearance. He told me that he hasn't been sleeping and that he has lost his appetite. I told him that I believed that he was using the marijuana to hide his pain over Benny, the trial, and Joe. Alex reacted strongly to my suggestion--I clearly hit it. He admitted that Benny is constantly on his mind, and Joe is often in the back of his mind. I think we have a lot of work to do.

Wednesday, April 29, 1998
5 pm. Forty-Third Session with Alex Rozzi. Luke is missing and has been for almost a week. Alex and Camille were about to have sex when Luke walked in on them unannounced. Luke was having a lot of problems with Alex's experimentation with S&M, but Alex always dismissed his concerns. After all, both Alex and Camille are homosexuals--why should Luke worry? But walking in on the two of them as they prepared for intercourse must have confirmed for Luke his worst fears. Both Alex and Camille are surprised that they were about to engage in heterosexual intercourse, and they've been avoiding each other since finding out that Luke disappeared. Alex blames himself for Luke's disappearance, and it seems likely that he's partly responsible. He's feeling incredible guilt. The police are involved. Luke didn't show up for work. His condo and pet cat have been apparently abandoned and his car was found locked near Baker Beach. I have a very uneasy feeling about this. Alex also was sentenced to an incredible 1,120 hours of community service with an urban gardening organization. His work at the Art Alliance will also count towards fulfilling his community service requirement. Alex also reported having some sleep disturbances: particularly nightmares involving Luke, Benny, Joe, Jimmy, and Camille. He describes himself as "weirded out" by finding himself attracted to Camille.

Wednesday, May 6, 1998
5 pm. Forty-Fourth Session with Alex Rozzi. Luke turned up at his father's house in Carmel. His father had a medical emergency and Luke, whose car broke down at Fort Point just after catching Alex and Camille together, went to Carmel by bus. I believe Alex is quite relieved to discover that Luke is alive, but Luke and Alex are still estranged. Alex is confused about his sexual preference after finding himself sexually attracted to Camille. He seems to feel that he either likes men or he like women, and there're no other possibilities. I tried to explain that sexual attraction is a complex continuum and that people can be attracted to one gender or the other for a whole series of reasons, none of which necessarily remain stable. He interpreted what I said as a suggestion that he was bisexual, which seemed even more repugnant to him than the notion of being heterosexual. For the moment, he has decided to resolve the situation by choosing abstinence until he gets everything sorted out in his head. Alex also has given up smoking marijuana, at least for now. He believes that marijuana made him stupid--it certainly made him less sensitive to what others were thinking or feeling, and it was devestating to his relationships. Alex did look better during this session than he has in recent weeks. The circles under his eyes aren't as prevalent and the glassy look is gone. Alex's emotions respecting Benny and Joe are both charged and volatile. I just have to mention either of the two of them, and Alex bubbles forth with tears. And despite Alex's expressed admonition to me not to relive his past, I think it is increasingly obvious that we have to work together to help Alex overcome the anguish he feels when he thinks about those two relationships.

Wednesday, May 13, 1998
4 pm. Forty-Fifth Session with Katherine Lippard respecting Alex Rozzi. Katherine has been invited to Alex's parents' wedding. She was contemptuous to discover that Larraine has registered for extravagantly expensive crystal and china at Nordstrom. Katherine believes that Larraine's desire to obtain these luxury items is just a futile, pathetic attempt to buy social status. Katherine is planning on getting them a crock-pot or something equally sensible and, presumably, fitting to her conception of their low social ranking.

Wednesday, May 13, 1998
5 pm. Forty-Fifth Session with Alex Rozzi. The burst of sexual feeling that Alex and Camille felt for each other scared them both. Regina, Camille's lover, senses that something is awry, but hasn't yet identified it. Alex is afraid that Regina will become violent if she ever discovers what happened. Camille has avoided Alex since the day when Luke discovered them together. And Alex has been left shaken in his sexual identity. Alex's friend Tony thought that Alex was making too much of it. He said that these things--"crossing over"--happen all the time. Tony said that Alex was too concerned about appearing the tough guy. And Alex said that he had another dream where Roly appeared to him and told him that he was too easily swayed by how other people perceived him. Alex should follow his own heart. I think Alex is feeling the pressures of growing up. He no longer feels immortal--we talked about a few traffic accidents with teenage injuries and fatalities. And although he looks forward to the emancipation of being 18 years old, he also is worried about the added responsibility. Alex spent time talking with Luke. He described the conversations as unsatisfactory--they go over and over the same material--but he seems glad to have some connection. I pointed out to Alex that even if the relationship won't mend, at least this communication will allow him to have positive closure on his relationship. Even our discussion about Luke seemed to me to be about Alex taking some personal responsibility and acting more like a grown-up. Luke tried to suggest that perhaps Camille's great beauty acted as some kind of magic spell over Alex. But although it would have been a lot easier to agree and to disclaim responsibility, Alex insisted that he was also responsible for what had almost happened. He was unwilling to put his sexual interest in Camille all at her feet.

Wednesday, May 20, 1998
5 pm. Forty-Sixth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex was noticeably improved this session. He didn't have the familiar dark circles under his eyes and he seemed in much better spirits generally. He was even a little playful. He went for a drive with Regina and then found out that she had discovered what almost happened between Camille and him. As Alex predicted, Regina didn't take it well. She stranded Alex somewhere on Devil's Slide, just South of Pacifica. She forced Alex out of the car and then drove away. Alex realized he was holding onto Regina's purse, so in retaliation, he disposed of the contents. He made his way down to a nude beach that was nearby and befriended a gay couple there. They spent a few hours on the beach and then drove Alex home--with Alex warding off the older man's obvious sexual interest. Alex seemed to vaguely like the younger man who Alex said runs a candy store on the Peninsula. Alex and Luke are back together--at least they're going dancing together, even if they're not currently engaging in sex. Luke said that he forgave Alex, especially after he realized the extent of Alex's concern about him when he was apparently missing. Alex said that he's too confused to have sex right now, and that was okay with Luke. I remember Luke also understood about Alex's lack of interest in sex during the time before Benny's trial. We started to talk about Benny, and although Alex is making progress in putting those issues behind him, he still feels that his time with Benny haunts him. He keeps rehashing the events, trying to reconcile his sense that Benny loved him with some of the things that Benny actually did. I told Alex that I believe that Benny is a sociopath. Alex told me that Benny was sentenced to 7 years in prison, but with time served and good behavior, he could be out substantially sooner. Alex told me that Tony was going to Rational Recovery meetings and smoking marijuana at the same time--Tony tries to dismiss smoking marijuana as not being the same as using drugs. Tony also wants Alex to accompany him to the meetings, and I suggested that it might not be a bad idea. At the end of the session, Alex wanted me to crash his mother's wedding and meet his cousin Rosemarie, whom Alex thinks would be perfect for me. I declined.

Friday, May 22, 1998
10 am. Eighteenth Session with Sharon Lough respecting Alex Rozzi. Sharon also said that she needed "a good fuck" and she indicated that she was considering entering into a sexual relationship with Tony, the guy she met at rehab. It just struck me--the Tony that Sharon is talking about couldn't be Alex Rozzi's Tony, could he? Alex said that Tony was going to Rational Recovery meetings, too. It must be just a coincidence--there must be dozens of guys named Tony going to Rational Recovery meetings in the city right now. And besides, Alex's Tony is gay. But I think Sharon said something about once about suspecting her Tony was gay, also. Well, Sharon is looking to Tony to perhaps fulfill her sexual needs and, incidentally, get herself a place to live while Charlotte removes her belongings.

Wednesday, May 27, 1998
4 pm. Forty-Sixth Session with Katherine Lippard respecting Alex Rozzi. Katherine told me about Larraine and Mark Rozzi's wedding--it was not the tawdry affair she had imagined. She was particularly impressed with Luke's appearance--she described him as a hunk.

Wednesday, May 27, 1998
5 pm. Forty-Seventh Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex broke his thumb in rough play with his father the night before his parent's wedding. He also discovered that he's part of a family that he never knew before. Mark's mother--Alex's grandmother--attended the wedding and Alex met her for the first time, along with Mark's brother, Alex's Uncle Cal. Alex felt like he was really part of a family, perhaps for the first time in his life. Alex has an enormous need to belong and he's desperate to have a feeling of belonging somewhere. Some familial emotion swept over Larraine during the wedding as well, and she wept and kissed Alex while they danced together after the ceremony. After his parents went off on their honeymoon, Alex found a random pamphlet for the Toughlove International organization among his parents' personal papers. He assumes that they have the pamphlet because they intend to kidnap him on his return and send him off to some island somewhere to be beaten into submission. It's clearly a somewhat paranoid fantasy. I would imagine that the pamphlet was just one of the thousands of pieces of targeted mail that arrive in everyone's house. I bet that there are marketers who compile lists of the addresses of parents of kids who appear in juvenile court and then sell them to organizations such as Toughlove. Alex seems constantly pulled between two extremes: wanting to belong and fear of betrayal. At Alex's parents' wedding reception, Lloyd apparently made a big hit with his present: a giant kinetic sculpture which he had delivered on a flat-bed truck during the party. It's over ten feet tall, with giant metal parts which move in the wind. Luke was at the wedding as well, and Alex's relationship with him seems to be jelling. Alex did say that someone, presumably Regina, went to his painting studio and trashed it. Luke helped Alex clean up, and Alex told me that Luke is now able to joke about the Camille incident. I imagine Alex is now past the roughest spots in that crisis, although he has a pattern of subconsciously setting up barriers designed to undermine positive factors in his life. Alex is organizing his life so that he won't need his parents' consent to anything. In the past, his mother showed an unwillingness to sign papers which would have given him advance placement in school. Now Alex is close enough to eighteen that he's willing to wait for a driver's license until he can sign as an adult himself. He's also willing to wait out school until he's eighteen. Alex has some valid reasons to distrust the good intentions of his parents. I told him that it would be prudent to hope for the best and expect the worst. Alex resolved that he was going to be so good from now on that he would give no one cause to kidnap him and send him away. Alex talked about Tony and Rational Recovery and confirmed that Alex's Tony and Sharon Lough's Tony are, in fact, the same. Alex even met Sharon, although he wasn't an enthusiastic fan. It sounds like Alex believes that Sharon has a dark side and he even speculated that she might be a psychopath. Alex, though, did say she sort of intrigued him and he thought she was complicated, although shy. But Alex did see that Sharon was sexually interested in Tony, although he said that Tony was oblivious to Sharon's obvious interest. Alex said that Tony has been known to be bisexual on occasion. Alex thinks that Sharon might be living at Tony's place now. Alex also told me that Tony is smoking marijuana "like a fiend" although he has given up crystal-meth.

Friday, May 29, 1998
10 am. Nineteenth Session with Sharon Lough respecting Alex Rozzi. As Alex made clear on Wednesday, her Tony is Alex's Tony. Sharon also spoke briefly about Alex--she clearly didn't like him because she had plans for Tony and she saw him as competition.

Wednesday, June 3, 1998
5:00 pm. Forty-Eighth Session with Alex Rozzi. Rozzi appeared for his session with his face and hands lacerated with scratches. He presented his arm, which was even more severely damaged. He told me that he had a confrontation with Regina. Alex caught Regina in the act of damaging Alex's locker at the Arts Alliance and when he confronted her, she went berserk. She accusing Alex of destroying her relationship with Camille. Camille and Regina broke up. But while Alex was defending himself against Regina's physical attack, Camille showed up. She confirmed that she had broken up with Regina, and shocked Alex by telling him that she was in love with him. Camille wants to consummate and continue a sexual relationship. Alex was taken aback. His earlier episode, where he almost had sex with Camille, threw Alex into some disarray. For the last couple of sessions, he's been nervous over his own sexuality. He's been questioning much of what he's always considered fundamental about his sexual identity. Now that Camille has openly declared sexual feelings for him, Alex is running scared and doesn't want to have anything to do with either Regina or Camille. Alex's relationship with Luke just stabilized and this threatens to throw that into disarray again. Luke arrived at the Arts Alliance soon after Camille's confession. Alex tried to be honest with Luke and told him what had happened. It seemed to be effective; Luke was primarily angry at Regina for her assault. During the session, I noticed Alex frequently rubbing his broken thumb back and forth on the arm of the chair and under the cushions. When I asked about it, he said that it itches inside and his only relief is found by rubbing it against something. Alex's parents returned from their honeymoon early and proved Alex right in his fears about the Toughlove pamphlet. Mark tried to threaten Alex with sending him away, but Alex has been fundamentally independent for too long a time to pay much attention to Mark's threats. I think that Mark is acting with good intentions and is trying to exert his newfound parental authority over Alex to keep him out of trouble. It must be difficult for Mark to suddenly find himself thrust into a parental role of a seventeen-year-old like Alex. In the last few months, Alex has given his parents plenty of cause for concern. He was using marijuana, he was caught stealing, he got into a car accident when he didn't have a license. However, I don't think Mark's approach is the correct one to take with Alex. He should work on building trust rather than resorting to threats. At the moment, Mark doesn't have the moral authority to make demands on Alex. As Alex pointed out, he will soon turn eighteen and be emancipated.

Friday, June 5, 1998
10 am. Twentieth Session with Sharon Lough respecting Alex Rozzi. Sharon told me that she isn't having sex with Tony. She believes that Tony was only using her to make Alex jealous. She said that she's been in that situation before both with homosexual men and lesbian women.

Wednesday, June 10, 1998
5 pm. Forty-Ninth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex was emotionally low during our session today. He came across some old photographs of himself with Benny which made him remember the good times that they shared. It's hard to continually vilify someone who was once loved, even if intellectually, Alex realizes that he was taken advantage of and ultimately betrayed. Intellectually, Alex understands that the relationship was wrong, but his emotions oscillate back and forth through a full spectrum of feeling. At one point, we started to talk about Alex's grandmother, whom he misses very much. With perhaps a bit too much sanctomony, I told Alex that she would always be with him in his memory. Alex's retort was that Benny would be there as well. And Alex commented on the fact that there is really nobody still living who has any memories of him as a child. He feels that as a loss and felt a pang of jealousy listening to Mark talk about the childhoods of Racyl and Rhea. Alex felt his past on the street catch up with him when one of the men who used to pimp Alex spotted him waiting in a car outside of Ralph's strip club one evening. The pimp told him that he had a job for Alex, and Alex got out of the car and verbally confronted him. But Alex didn't use violence, and I was proud of him for that. Alex didn't like being reminded of his previous life as a prostitute. But Alex was a child then and his perception was quite skewed. Then, Alex saw prostitution as a way of getting attention and validation for himself--a sense of worth. Now, even though he understands that he was being used, he still remembers his life as a prostitute with a certain wistful nostalgia. At one point in his life, these were good memories. Now he has to work to reclassify them as bad. It's a difficult thing to do and perhaps it feels a bit artificial. Towards the end of the session, we spoke about Camille. Alex was adamant last time about staying away from her because of the threat she poses to his sexuality. I thought that he had told Luke about her confession of feeling for Alex. But Alex didn't feel comfortable doing that. I suggested that he do so, fully expecting Alex to realize that the way that Camille feels about Alex has nothing to do with Alex's behavior. But Alex is unwilling to tell Luke, because Luke is going to want assurances that nothing is going to happen between Alex and Camille, and Alex now isn't certain that he can promise that. A week of trying to sort through his feelings has made Alex unsure about what he is going to do next. At the end of our last session, I would have thought it unlikely that Alex would be interested in pursuing a sexual relationship with Camille. Now, I'm not sure.

Wednesday, June 17, 1998
5 pm. Fiftieth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex's pet rat, Darla, is sick from apparent poisoning, and Alex believes that Regina is responsible. He's sworn revenge, although he wasn't specific about what actions he's considering. I'm hoping that the veterinarian will rule out Regina's involvement. Alex believes she did something to Darla when she trashed his studio over two weeks ago. If I had to posit Regina's involvement, all I can imagine is that she may have left some poison down and Darla hadn't eaten it until now. But perhaps Regina isn't involved. Alex generalized his difficulties with Regina to difficulties with women, generally. He complained about Camille sidling up to him at the Alliance, being extra nice. And Alex also spoke about Sharon Lough taking Tony away from him. Alex said that he was tired of leaving messages for Tony that were never returned. So he went over to Tony's house one day and discovered, through a haze of marijuana smoke, Tony and Sharon having sex with each other. Alex said that he understood how Luke felt when he happened upon a similar scene between Alex and Camille, although I pointed out that Tony wasn't Alex's boyfriend. Alex is taking it personally and he even voiced a scheme to substitute himself for Sharon in Tony's affections. Alex calls Sharon: "Little Miss move in and take over." He also described her as "odd", although he wasn't more specific. We spoke about Alex's prostitution days. Alex raised those times to show his willingness to use sex as a weapon against Sharon. I reminded him that those days are behind him, a comment Alex interpreted to mean that I thought he had lost his nerve--he was ready to rise to a challenge. I reminded him bluntly about his reaction last week to the comments of the man who used to pimp him, and I elicited tears. Alex confided that he had sex with Luke and that he unconsciously adopted a defense strategy, common in his prostitution days, of detaching himself emotionally from what was happening to his body. Alex and I talked about how people aren't black and white--that people are rarely all good or all bad. That's part of the complexity of interacting with others. I urged Alex to remember where he was a year ago, as opposed to where he is now, and to remember the remarkable progress he has made in that time. Alex acknowledged the progress but said that he still has a host of conflicting feelings that he'd like to resolve.

Wednesday, June 24, 1998
5 pm. Fifty-First Session with Alex Rozzi. Ralph has colon cancer and Alex is trying to cope by ignoring Ralph's illness. Alex spoke rapidly and nervously about Ralph's illness. He made a quick joke of it and tried to change the subject. His demeanor clearly indicated that he was under considerable stress. Alex outwardly is thinking of Ralph's illness only in terms of how it affects him. Because Alex is so terrified of abandonment, he's in denial about the illness. Alex is going to be unable to offer any emotional support or even empathy to Ralph because of his own terror. Perhaps Alex is cutting off all his emotional ties to Ralph as a means of preparing for his death. While it's a short term coping mechanism, it leads to guilt in the long term and, of course, it's a cruel way to treat a dying man. Alex told me that his pet rat Darla died. People get extremely attached to pets and outsiders frequently underestimate the impact that their death has on their owners. Alex was quite attached to his rat, and he took her death hard. He assumed that it was Regina's doing, so he went to her house to exact revenge. Fortunately, Regina was in Tennessee and Alex's plans were thwarted long enough for the veternarian's test results to come back, showing that Darla had died as a result of exposure to the art supplies that Alex kept at the studio. He feels some responsibility as an agent of her death, albeit an unknowing one. Alex spoke with some eloquence about Benny, who was assualted in prison and is now in the hospital. Alex has apparently decided to vilify Benny in his own mind in order to reconcile the conflicting feelings that he's always felt. He's trying to rewrite his memories to clearly place Benny in the role of the villian. He told me a story about how Benny and he had sex together the night that Benny's daughter was born. At the time, I suspected that Alex viewed the incident as evidence that Benny preferred Alex to Dora. Now, Alex asks how anyone could engage in such conduct with his wife lying in the hospital after just giving birth? Of course, I agree that Benny was a terrible factor in Alex's childhood. But it is interesting that Alex can't assimilate his feelings about Benny in all their complexity--he needs to recast them into black and white. Maybe since these memories were created during Alex's childhood, he needs to sort them using very childlike criteria. A more modern memory might be accorded a richer interpretation. Currently, Alex is accutely aware of issues of abandonment in his life. There's Ralph, there's Darla, and there's Tony--whose time with Sharon is cutting in on Alex's time with Tony. Alex says that he is concerned that Tony may be using drugs again under Sharon's influence. I believe that Alex is more likely threatened by Sharon. Now, Alex is threatening to tell Sharon that Tony is suffering from HIV in an effort to split them apart. Frankly, I don't know how I feel about Alex disclosing Tony's HIV status to Sharon. I'd be relieved if Sharon knew about Tony's HIV status. On the other hand, it will clearly put a strain on Alex's friendship with Tony.

Wednesday, July 1, 1998
5 pm. Fifty-Second Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex came to his session with Cami in tow today. She waited for him outside the office for the entire hour. She seems to follow Alex everywhere. But instead of finding Cami's solitious attentions disconcerting, Alex thinks of them as sweet. Without his knowledge, Cami followed Alex as he buried Darla in Golden Gate Park. He later discovered that Darla's unmarked grave was adorned with flowers that Cami left there. Alex said that he feels like she's becoming a really good friend to him. When I questioned Cami's motives, Alex clearly felt very uneasy. I got the sense that Alex was leaving out some details in his relationship with Cami, although it doesn't sound like they are currently having sex. I think he knows that Cami is still interested in him romantically, but with Ralph being sick and Tony being busy with Sharon, Cami's interest pleases Alex right now. But, of course, Alex is playing with fire. If Katherine were still part of Alex's life, she could serve as a stabilizing and sobering factor. Alex told me that Ralph underwent surgery for his prostate cancer. Apparently, the surgery was not successful. Ralph will have to undergo a course of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Prior to surgery, Ralph was given an powerful purgative to empty his bowels. Alex told me that he wasn't very supportive--it sounds like he used the occasion more for comedy than sympathy. Obviously, Alex is masking his concern because he can't come to terms with Ralph's illness. When talking about Ralph's illness, Alex became very nervous. His eyes darted furively about the room and he seemed to be able to leave quickly enough at the end of the session as we were talking about Ralph. Alex needs Ralph. If Ralph dies--and death seems a possibility given Ralph's quickly deteriorating physical condition--Alex will be cast adrift. Because Alex is distancing himself from Ralph, Ralph is seeing Alex less as a member of his family and more as the sex toy that he used to be. Alex told me that Ralph, as he came out of anesthesia, requested that Alex do the dishes clad only in his underwear. I suggested that it might have been the anesthesia talking and I hope that's true. Alex needs as much stability as he can get right now in the midst of a turbulent situation. But Ralph came into Alex's life originally as a voyeuristic trick, and he might leave on similar terms. Alex also told me that he got food poisoning while he was with Tony and Sharon. He used the opportunity to tip Sharon off to Tony's HIV status. Alex was shocked when Sharon didn't visibly react to the news. He was thrown off balance by the coolness which she showed. Alex figures that she somehow already knew, although I don't believe that's true.

Friday, July 3, 1998
10 am. Twenty-Fourth Session with Sharon Lough respecting Alex Rozzi. Sharon told me her side of the conversation she had with Alex Rozzi. Sharon didn't register what Alex was implying by his comment about Tony's fragile health. Only later did she feel that he might have been trying to tell her that Tony was HIV-positive. Even though she was sexually intimate with Tony, Sharon sees Tony's silence on his HIV status as stoic rather than a breach of trust. I urged Sharon to ask Tony about his HIV status and she agreed.

Wednesday, July 8, 1998
5 pm. Fifty-Third Session with Alex Rozzi. When I saw Alex, it was obvious that he'd been in a fight. He told me that Tony was angry that he'd tipped Sharon off to Tony's HIV status. Tony and Alex got into a fistfight which ended with them both bloodied, battered, and laughing together. Bloody fights with someone who is HIV-positive is not a great idea, but I didn't bring it up with Alex during the session. He already seemed upset and quite tense. Tony is developing a real enmity towards Sharon, but he is determined to follow Cami's advice that he pretend to like her for Tony's sake. He does seem resigned to her presence now. I thought Katherine had already left for Alaska. I was surprised when Alex told me that she threw a party at the Alliance prior to disappearing on her trip. I'm fairly certain that she was out of town during the last few months--Alex would have mentioned seeing her if nothing else. Perhaps she went back to Maryland to spend some time with her family before venturing to the frozen North. If she was in town, I'm surprised that I haven't heard from her. I'm glad that Alex had a chance to spend some time with her. She tends to have a grounding influence on him, and he plainly adores her. Alex told me that Regina tried to crash the party and there was a rumor that she brandished a gun. Regina clearly is a danger to Alex and I urged him to be careful. Alex's danger is all the greater because he's still spending a lot of time with Cami in a relationship which is ambiguous. Regina is apt to put the most extreme interpretation on their current friendship--an interpretation likely to drive her to emotional excess. Alex told me that Ralph was released from the hospital. He came home with a colostomy bag and a hospital nurse. In addition, Edward, Ralph's ex-lover, is also a nurse. Apparently, Ralph contacted him from the hospital and Edward has since become a fixture in Ralph's household. Since Alex has been cold to Ralph for the last few weeks, Ralph probably reached out to Edward for the emotional support he needs to get through this. Edward is also able to provide medical support. Alex clearly sees his position threatened by Edward, whom he described as an "old queen." In some ways I agree with Alex that his position is in jeopardy, but Alex placed himself in that position by being unable to cope with Ralph's emotional needs. Alex, at seventeen, isn't capable of giving a dying man either the emotional or physical attention he needs. I told Alex that he should look at the current situation in a positive light--that Edward is taking onto himself some of the responsibilities for Ralph's care that Alex couldn't cope with on his own. Alex agreed but said that he feels helpless. I told Alex to continue to be Ralph's friend and to do his best to treat him normally. But for Alex, the realization that Ralph may actually be dying seems to be finally sinking in. Alex is fighting hard to have everything remain static in his life, but circumstances are forcing the context of all his relationships to keep continually changing.

Wednesday, July 15, 1998
5 pm. Fifty-Fourth Session with Alex Rozzi. As Ralph's condition continues to deteriorate, the reality of his illness is dawning on Alex. When faced with emotional difficulties in the past, Alex has often used long aimless rambles around the city as a way to sort through his feelings and numb emotional pain through physical exhaustion. Last week was no exception. After the nocturnal walk, he sat down with Ralph to speak openly about Ralph's illness and Alex's role in Ralph's life right now. Ralph gave Alex much the same advice that I had--to just continue doing what he was doing and to be a friend. Ralph said that he has Edward to look after his medical needs. Ralph was eager to talk to Alex about something important, but he was interrupted by Edward who was busy being officious. Edward decided to take it on himself to rid Ralph's house of Alex. Edward took Alex into another room and told Alex that this wasn't the first time that Ralph had taken in a "street urchin" and that Alex should pack his bags and get out. Before Alex had a chance to respond--possibly with violence--Ralph himself appeared and intervened, standing up for Alex in no uncertain terms. Ralph told Edward that his home was Alex's home, both now and after his death, and then chastising Edward harshly for his controlling manner. Edward appeared suitably chastened, although he has clearly shown himself as Alex's enemy. Alex told me that he was painting in his studio when Tony burst in, exploding with the news that Sharon had been arrested. Tony was clearly about to tell Alex much more when he suddenly decided against it and clammed up, much to Alex's annoyance. Tony started to smoke a marijuana cigarette and Alex joined in. When Tony was about to go, he grabbed Alex and suddenly began to kiss and fondle him in a very direct sexual manner. Alex resisted and finally succeeded in pushing Tony away. Alex was less upset than I would have expected--he seemed to feel that it was turnabout for his previous plan to seduce Tony as a way of getting Sharon out of the picture. Finally, Alex told me that Regina had been arrested at a museum where Camille works. Apparently, Camille wasn't even working there that day when Regina came and demanded to speak with her. She was arrested when she started to brandish a loaded gun. Regina is not coping well following her breakup with Camille and I'm afraid that she may pose a serious physical danger to others, including Alex, and to herself.

Wednesday, July 22, 1998
5 pm. Fifty-Fifth Session with Alex Rozzi. A year ago, Alex would have hit her. But he was able to limit himself to delivering a tongue lashing to Mirdle, a bossy relative who embraces the Born Again Christian movement. Mirdle tried to convert Alex to heterosexuality and to save him from a life of sin. I was pleased that Alex didn't react with violence to the encounter. Alex told me that he went to a lesbian bar--the G-spot--for a party promoting the release of a record by Stevie Nicks. I know she's one of Alex's favorites--in the past, he's even given me a couple of his drawings of her. (Drawing 1, Drawing 2) He went to the G-spot with Cami and made a series of observations as an outsider about lesbian culture. Primarily, he was amazed by the number of women who dress and act like men. It was interesting that Alex didn't make the connection to the number of men who dress and act as women in the male homosexual subculture of which he's a part. The difference between the perspective of an insider and that of an outsider is always surprising. At home, Alex made an accidental but fortuitous discovery when he heard Edward on the phone scheming to acquire Ralph's money upon his death. Suddenly, Edward was forced to play the supplicant, pleading to Alex not to tell Ralph. I wasn't sure from Alex's account whether he actually did tell Ralph, but Edward decided that the game was up--it was time to go. Edward took off within hours and Ralph said that he wouldn't be back. Alex has been thrust into a more active role as a caregiver, which he's rather gracefully accepting, except for anything involving the colostomy bag. Just the timing of pills can be extremely exacting, especially in modern AIDs protocols, so I'm pleased to see that Alex is assisting Ralph. At the end of the session, Alex reminded me of just how haunted he still is by Benny. Alex told me that he was startled when he thought he saw a man walking down Castro Street who so closely resembled Benny as to be his twin. It's easy to forget what a looming presence Benny still is in Alex's emotional landscape.

Wednesday, July 29, 1998
5 pm. Fifty-Sixth Session with Alex Rozzi. I first saw Alex about May of last year. At that time, he had been working as an underage male prostitute and had been involved in a violent confrontation with a trick who hadn't paid. That man later assaulted Alex in Ralph's male strip bar. Alex's friends, Benny and Roly, took off after the man and later boasted to Alex that the man wouldn't be bothering Alex again. Well now, a year later, the police turned up at Alex's door. Apparently, the man had been murdered about a year ago, and his body was only now discovered in an abandoned building around the corner from Ralph's bar. Although Roly is now dead, Alex's first impulse was to protect Benny. Then he thought better of it and told the police the same story that he told me. It seems that the police believe Alex's version of events and are now interviewing Benny. Alex noted how remote the person that he was then is from the person that he is now. I agree. A year ago, Alex was a drug user who had terrible family problems. He was about to be expelled from school. He reacted with violence to any disagreement. And he was an underage prostitute who was dancing in strip clubs and was being regularly abused by a pedophile. His thinking was disorganized and erratic. Alex has indeed come a long way, and even though his life is still chaotic and filled with unsettling events and unstable relationships, Alex himself is more stable and better able to recognize and react appropriately to the problems that he faces. However, that stability is still fairly fragile and I'm constantly worried that Alex, if if sufficiently pushed, could revert to his prior emotional state. And there are events which could act to push Alex beyond his current emotional endurance. Ralph is dying; his presence has been a major stabilizing influence on Alex's life. In this session, Alex talked about the possibility of breaking-up with his boyfriend Luke. It struck me that Alex is trying to distance himself emotionally from Luke in preparation for that event, but I hope I'm wrong. It was a positive relationship for Alex. There is Cami who has declared her feelings for Alex but apparently successfully sublimated them so that they can have a friendship. But that form of sublimation is not likely to last. And Alex told me that Regina is now out of jail and is looking for him. She came by Ralph's house when Alex wasn't there and pounded at the door demanding to see him. This is a woman who was recently arrested for brandishing a loaded gun at a museum where Cami worked. If this happens again, I'll suggest that Alex seek a restraining order which at least will allow the police to treat a trespassing charge with a greater degree of seriousness. Alex accidentally caught Sharon and Tony on their way to a party where they were both cross-dressed. Alex first didn't recognize Tony, whom he said looked like a tall, beautiful, blonde whore. Alex has a very strong negative reaction to cross-dressing which he described as akin to the horror some people feel towards clowns. I suggested that we change the subject. Alex believes that Tony has a malleable personality and is letting Sharon manipulate and change him. Alex compares Tony's relationship with Sharon to the soul destroying relationship that Tony had as Tim's drugged sex slave.

Friday, July 31, 1998
10 am. Twenty-Seventh Session with Sharon Lough respecting Alex Rozzi. Sharon told me that the "Sick Fuck"--Alex Rozzi--came in and saw Tony and Sharon preparing for the party. Party preparations for Tony included removing all his body hair, applying lipstick, dressing in clothes normally reserved for street-walking prostitutes, and wearing a blonde wig. Sharon said that Alex was livid--he looked like he was going to physically assault them both. Tony told Sharon that Alex already has a boyfriend and possibly a girlfriend. Sharon sees his jealousy as a sign of greed--that Alex wants Tony as well.

Wednesday, August 5, 1998
5 pm. Fifty-Seventh Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex made some truffles and brought some for me. These are the truffles which, last Thanksgiving, his Aunt Sofie said were "to die for" just before she actually did die. The chocolates were really marvelous--completely professional in appearance and wonderful in taste. I know that chocolate is difficult to work with--I've heard about tempering chocolate for certain effects and having the chocolate seize when a little liquid is present or it is overheated. To produce truffles of this quality requires quite a bit of knowledge. I was impressed. Alex told me about the Stevie Nicks concert that he went to, and a physical altercation he had with a religious zealot who was protesting there. I would have been much happier if Alex could have just let it go, but when the protester called Stevie Nicks a witch and a whore, it was more than Alex could take. He says that he pushed the man down to the ground and then slipped away back into the crowd before security could spot him. Alex had another interview with the police about the man who was murdered. The police apparently want Alex to testify against Benny again. Benny has been weighing heavily in Alex's thoughts recently. The interview with the police certainly brought it to the fore. Not all of Alex's memories are negative. In fact, Alex runs the risk of idealizing the predatory relationship that Benny had with him. Alex says that Benny made him feel like the most important person on earth. Alex also saw the man who looks like Benny again--this time, he was at the Dore Alley event dressed in a leather codpiece. That triggered an erotic dream in which Alex engaged in almost anonymous sex with this man. Alex thought it was significant that, during the dream, he didn't think of this man as Benny even though he looked like him. Ralph also believes that his strip bar is being investigated--apparently, there is a surge in requests for admission by underage boys. Ralph thinks he is being set-up by decoys. And Regina has decided to attempt to sue Ralph for maintaining a dangerous premises. Apparently, while she was pounding and screaming at the door trying to get admittance, she injured herself somehow. Alex told me that there were broken flower pots around; perhaps she broke them out of spite or perhaps they were broken because she tripped and fell. Anyway, a lawsuit isn't something that Ralph needs right now. But Alex seems to be fulfilling Ralph's healthcare needs now. I think that's very positive. If Ralph dies, Alex will be able to look back at the care he provided with a great deal of pride.

Wednesday, August 12, 1998
5 pm. Fifty-Eighth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex is still acting as Ralph's primary caregiver and Ralph has completed an initial round of chemotherapy. Ralph's usual good humor is wearing a bit thin. But Ralph told Alex that, if he dies, he wants Alex to have the house and its contents together with his cars. Alex has always blamed himself--or some quality within himself--as the cause when relationships terminate. This is true even when the obvious reason for the separation is death, such as when Alex's grandparents died. Alex's pattern of self-blame seems likely to be repeated if Ralph dies. I noted during this session that Alex's feeling about Ralph's demise are strongly linked to the sense of abandonment he felt when Benny terminated their relationship suddenly. The pain of that sudden cessation of relationship hasn't left Alex yet. He told me that he had a Tarot card reading which gave him permission to forget about Benny and start fresh. But it's the lack of closure that he feels with his relationship with Benny, even given all that happened subsequently, which keeps him from being able to forget him. Alex told me that Benny tried to flatter Alex into appearing in porno movies. Benny apparently had some ties to people who produce that sort of thing. Although Alex was pleased with the complements at the time and considered doing it, he's very glad now that there aren't tapes for sale showing him engaging in sexual activity. Of course, while Benny was recommending this course of action, he was also covertly taping his own sexual liaisons with Alex. All the while, Benny was disingenuously espousing his philosophy of "pushing the envelope" in all aspects of life. Benny is definitely a piece of work. But Benny seems to have had some luck by escaping prosecution for last year's murder of the man who assaulted Alex. Apparently, the coroner's report was inconclusive on whether or not the man's death was a homicide. The man died of a skull fracture that could have been sustained when he used his head to butt Alex's head. So the district attorney's office has declined to prosecute. And Alex's born-again cousin Mirdle contacted social services to turn in Alex because of his living arrangement with Ralph. But Alex's mother told the social worker who came to the house that Alex was providing healthcare services to an old family friend, and the agency bought it.

Wednesday, August 19, 1998
5 pm. Fifty-Ninth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex had a tough week which culminated in being stalked and then assaulted by Regina. Alex's story, greatly simplified, was that he was leaving a pharmacy with prescriptions for Ralph when Regina suddenly surprised him, punching him in the face. Alex fell backwards, clutching a rack of merchandise which also spilled. Regina threw some liquid on Alex and then lit a match, saying, "If this was gasoline, I'd be able to light you on fire right now." Fortunately, the liquid wasn't gasoline. Alex got up and chased Regina out into the street where she was knocked to the ground by a passing car. The police came and the eyewitnesses differed in their stories. One thought Alex had pushed Regina, while another said that she had tried to light Alex on fire. Just then, Alex saw Ralph's car, which he had been driving without a license, loaded on a tow truck. He started to chase the tow truck and the police thought he was trying to escape. So Alex was handcuffed and taken in for questioning. Fortunately, Alex was able to enlist the help of Cecil, the lawyer who represented him during Benny's trial. Eventually, Alex was released without being arrested or charged. Regina, on the other hand, was charged with assault and mayhem. Ralph pointed out that the fact that Regina has been arrested for stalking Alex will put a damper on her lawsuit against him. Alex has been having bad dreams where he is set afire by Regina. Such dreams seem well motivated, actually, given the circumstances. Ralph is doing better, having conquered his nausea. But he's been sad following the death of an elderly mentor. Alex told me a ghost story about going over to the mentor's house prior to the funeral and witnessing bumps and ringing alarm clocks and flushing toilets all of which Alex attributes to supernatural causes. Alex also told me that Tony and Sharon have broken up. Sharon just stopped coming or calling. Tony is apparently quite broken up by the split. Alex says that Tony stopped eating or responding--Alex had to break into his house to find Tony in a fetal position, mostly unresponsive, and clearly showing the signs of having spent the day weeping.

Wednesday, September 9, 1998
5 pm. Sixtieth Session with Alex Rozzi. We spent much of the session talking about Katherine Lippard. She's been back from Alaska for a few weeks now, and she's spent some time with Alex. Although she told Alex some stories about her travels, Alex didn't volunteer anything she might have said about the fate of her father. I might have pressed harder to find out what happened if I didn't have a session planned with Katherine tomorrow morning. Apparently, Katherine is considering the purchase of a fancy house in Seacliff. She went out there with Alex driving her Jaguar. He parked it in a tow away zone and, sure enough, the car was towed while they were looking at the house. Alex was embarrassed but Katherine laughed off the incident. Alex was quite grateful for her attitude. Alex also told me that he received a phone call from Benny, like a bolt out of the blue. Benny told Alex that he had been thinking of him, which made Alex happy. With all that's gone on, Alex still craves Benny's attention. Alex told Benny some of the hurt and pain he had caused, and Benny tried to shake it off with platitudes about the past being in the past. But they had a long conversation which Alex wasn't interested in cutting short. I guess I'm glad that Alex had a chance to express some of his anger directly to Benny, but I'm not thrilled about the prospect of Alex visiting Benny in prison. And Alex doesn't want Benny to feel that, just because he called, everything is now all right between them. It happened that Luke was over at Ralph's house when Alex received the call. Luke was very angry that Alex spoke to Benny for such a long time. And just after the telephone conversation, food which had been ordered from a delivery service arrived at the door. The delivery person was the same man that Alex had previously met who looked like Benny. The delivery guy reacted with obvious recognition and sexual interest, causing Luke to become very upset. Luke left angry on a trip to New York and Alex hasn't heard from him since. Alex has a feeling that this might be it--the end of his relationship with Luke--but I disagree. This sounds more like petty jealousies which will resolve over time.

Friday, September 11, 1998
10 am. Thirty-First Session with Sharon Lough respecting Alex Rozzi. Sharon also told me that her reawakened sexual interest has now withered--which sounds like the predominant reason that she broke off her relationship with Tony. She speaks of him now with nothing but contempt, and was completely unsympathetic to my attempts to get her to give Tony an explanation for her conduct. When I pointed out that it wasn't right for her to take out her anger on Tony, she told me something interesting--she said that she can't control it. And I think that's right. She's angry all the time at something.

Wednesday, September 16, 1998
5 pm. Sixty-First Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex was very upset today. He told me he had gone to visit Benny in jail. Alex was particularly embarrassed and ashamed because he wasn't able to keep his cool and stay unemotional. Instead, he experienced a violent upwelling of contradictory feelings--a recap on all the issues we've spent so much time dealing with over the last year. There was reconciliation, confrontation, condemnation, declarations of love and hate. It was a full spectrum of emotions--the whole nine yards. At the end, Alex felt there was a certain finality, as if perhaps he'd never see Benny again. I'm not sure whether Alex's visit to Benny really represents a catharsis or not, but it certainly has triggered a host of emotions that probably needed to be exorcised one way or another. He had driven to the jail with Cami, and afterwards he was physically ill. He experienced chills, shaking, and nausea. Cami gave Alex some of her mother's pentobarbital. I saw the bottle and they were 40 mg. Nembutol capsules. Alex has been taking them for several days to sedate himself and as a self treatment for insomnia. Of course, I reacted strongly against his using someone else's prescription drugs, particularly a barbiturate as addictive as Nembutol. He said he'd give the pills back to Cami. Alex is also smoking marijuana both to ease his insomnia (and attempt to dull the vivid quality of his dreams) and for recreational purposes.. After Alex had this emotionally wrenching scene at the jail, he turned to Ted, the waiter from Waiters on Wheels who looks so much like Benny. Perhaps he views Ted as an emotionally safe Benny surrogate. Alex calls Ted "Mr. Wow" partly because of the initials of his employer, and partly because of the size of his genitalia. Alex feels a strong physical attraction for Ted, but otherwise doesn't seem to have much real feeling for him. And Luke was not mentioned. Perhaps I was too quickly dismissive of Alex's feeling that his relationship with Luke had come to an end.

Wednesday, September 23, 1998
5 pm. Sixty-Second Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex told me that he has officially broken up with Luke. During the last few sessions, I could tell that Alex's feelings about Luke had grown cold and I felt it was just a matter of time. I didn't believe that Luke was dropping Alex, as Alex believed. Rather, I think Alex just lost interest. And with his new romance with Ted, the Benny look-alike, it was easy for Alex to move on. As he described the break-up, he seemed flat and unemotional, even though there was plenty of drama in the actual concluding moments. I have to remind myself that Alex is only 17. If he was 25, I would find his lack of commitment more serious. But at 17, Alex's behavior in a relationship is quite typical. Even though Alex's sexual history goes back to a very young age, he never learned relationship skills. Those skills are what most 17 year olds are learning with their first relationships. Alex is learning them, too, although he's had a lot more experience with sexual relationships than emotional ones. I encouraged him to look at his relationship with Luke from Luke's point of view. In Alex's other relationships, circumstances always gave his partner the power. Now the power balance in Alex's relationships are more fluid and need to be defined anew in each relationship. There was a fire at Ralph's. Ralph fell asleep after taking Vicodin and left a pan on the stove. Coincidentally and fortunately, Luke arrived at that moment, and acted to save Ralph. When Alex later came upon the scene with Ted, he found Luke and the firemen already there, with Ralph in an ambulence. Luke saw Ted and accurately inferred that Alex had not been sexually monogamous. Alex had a dream that strongly affected him--he interpreted the dream to mean that he was saving himself from himself. I think it most likely that the dream should be interpreted as a manifestation of the anxiety he felt as a consequence of both the fire and breaking up with Luke. Alex said that he's back in school--his last year of high school--and that he's not getting enough sleep. Ralph has a new nurse which should take some of the pressure off of Alex, at least in his role as caregiver.

Wednesday, September 30, 1998
5 pm. Sixty-Third Session with Alex Rozzi. Benny's going to be released from prison. Alex met with Cecil, the lawyer who helped him when he had to testify against Benny, and Cecil told him the news. Apparently, Benny won an appeal, which I assume means that there'll be a new trial. Alex is very upset, to say the least. He wants Benny to simply drop off the face of the Earth. I urged Alex to seek a restraining order against Benny, but I don't think he even heard me. He was bent on exploring a revenge fantasy that I'm afraid may get out of hand. Alex is clearly not sleeping--he has dark circles under his eyes and he stumbled over his words frequently. We're going to have to spend some time practicing for his next encounter with Benny. The man triggers such a strong, contradictory set of emotions within Alex that Alex is capable of doing anything under those circumstances. Alex needs calm, unemotional reflection before he acts, or he'll do something that he regrets later. I have to work with Alex to give him the tools which he'll need to allow him to approach the subject of Benny with some degree of rationality.

Wednesday, October 7, 1998
5 pm. Sixty-Fourth Session with Alex Rozzi. At the beginning of the session, I interrupted Alex kissing Ted--a big man with a muscular physique wearing the distinctive red jacket and black slacks of a Waiters on Wheels uniform. Ted had dropped Alex off for his session. Alex was noticeably cheered today. He cited the positive influence of people who have come into his life since Benny departed it--Katherine, Ted, Cami, Ralph, and he even included me in the list. But underneath the good cheer, Alex is still ruminating about how to appropriately confront Benny. But what Alex thinks is appropriate is far different from what I do. Alex seems bent on exercising some revenge fantasy, although he wasn't very specific about it. It may be as simple as spitting in Benny's face; Alex said that he wants to "fuck with his head a little." Alex said that he realizes how much he's changed, and how little Benny has. When Alex next meets Benny, Alex is determined not to "fold into that blubbering idiot again." Obviously, I'm disturbed that Alex feels it necessary to have any contact with Benny, especially given Alex's desire to antagonize him. It seems to me that Alex is most interested in impressing Benny with how independent he's become. I'm getting a strong sense from Alex that he hasn't resolved the ambivalence he feels towards Benny--I can imagine Alex actually renewing a romantic relationship with him, and that scares me somewhat.

Wednesday, October 14, 1998
5 pm. Sixty-Fifth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex has realized something of the dual nature of his own feelings towards Benny. I was impressed with Alex's self-knowledge, which has clearly come after some wrenching soul searching. Alex said that he realizes that, on some level, he still loves Benny. That love, now, is felt as a certain heart ache which intermixes freely with hate and anger. A stay-away order is in place, offering at least a modicum of protection to Alex from Benny. The order is reciprocal, which at a minimum, will make Alex think twice before trying to contact Benny. Alex confirmed that Benny is going to undergo a new trial. Which, of course, means that Alex will probably be a witness again. Alex realizes, on some level, that he is attracted to Ted because of Ted's similarities to Benny. Beyond a physical resemblance, Alex has found other ways in which Ted and Benny are similar. Alex seemed to indicate that he knew he was using Ted as a surrogate of sorts to work out some emotional issues surrounding Benny. For that to work, Alex wants Ted to be as much like Benny as possible. Alex told me that Tony has become a full-time drag queen. Apparently, ever since Sharon Lough left him, Tony has donned women's clothing and has become a part of the drag queen social circuit. Alex told me that he would injure Sharon if he saw her again because of what she did to Tony, but I don't think he is likely to act upon it. As I recall, Alex always seemed a little intimidated by Sharon. Alex gave me an update on Ralph's condition. Ralph is still undergoing radiation treatment, but there was an optimistic note from the oncologist who told Ralph that the tumor has greatly reduced in size. Alex seems to feel that Ralph's prognosis is favorable, but that conclusion is probably premature. I didn't have the heart to burst Alex's bubble, although I still need Alex to emotionally prepare for Ralph's death. If Ralph dies when Alex is not prepared for it, I think the emotional consequences could be severe.

Wednesday, October 21, 1998
5 pm. Sixty-Sixth Session with Alex Rozzi. After showing me obvious physical evidence that he'd been in a major fight--large contusions on the body and around the neck together with several large abrasions--Alex told me a horrendous story about going with Benny to his house and getting into a violent altercation there. The fight ended with Benny bleeding and unconscious. Alex tied Benny up and then set Benny's video camera up on a tripod and started recording. The video apparently depicts Alex torturing Benny with a knife, telling him how powerless he is. Suddenly, there was someone at the door and Benny started calling for help. Alex left through the back as someone came crashing through the door. The next day, Alex returned to retrieve his backpack. He found the place empty and in disarray, with more blood than he believes was there after his fight with Benny. He left and came back another day to see if Benny had returned. This time, the place was a police crime scene. Alex has used Katherine Lippard as his confident and also received some advice from Cecil. Finally, Alex was called by his mother and told to get home immediately. When he did, he found that the police were there. Benny is missing and they've found the videotape showing Alex torturing him. Alex asked if the video showed the unknown person who smashed through the door, but the police didn't give him any answers. He gave a statement to the police, and he hasn't yet been arrested. But if Benny turns up either injured or dead, Alex is obviously a prime suspect. He has both motive and opportunity, and strong physical evidence ties him to the crime scene. While I want to believe what Alex is telling me, I have a sense that the stranger bursting through the door may be an invention to try to explain the quantity of blood and deny responsibility for truly tragic events. It's only speculation, of course, but I don't think it likely that Benny would be involved in two violent unrelated encounters on the same night, as Alex would have me believe. I think it possible that the day began as Alex described it, with Benny forcing a confrontation and then taking Alex to his home. They fought and Benny ended unconscious and bleeding, just as Alex said. Alex tied him up and tortured him on video. At some point, Alex turned off the video tape--I think it probably doesn't show someone bursting through the door--and perhaps the viciousness of the attack increased. Alex would have been consumed by his emotions and hardly responsible for his actions. Perhaps Alex became frightened by the quantity of blood or the extent of injury that he had inflicted on Benny and ran away. I imagine that Benny, injured, left his house to seek treatment or perhaps ran away, making it appear that he was a victim of foul play. Whatever I think of Alex's story, it's clear that Alex needs my skills as a therapist rather than as a detective.

Wednesday, November 4, 1998
5 pm. Conversation with Lorraine Jarrod (née Rozzi). The ever-charming Lorraine Jarrod flounced into my office in her best accusatory manner and informed me that Alex was in jail. A lifetime of her neglect has nothing to do with it--it's my fault. Benny was found--alive, thank god--severely beaten and left unconscious in the Marin Headlands. Alex is being charged with a whole series of counts including assault and attempted murder. He's being tried as an adult and bail was set at one hundred thousand dollars. Larraine was all in favor of letting her son rot in prison, but Katherine Lippard decided to post bail for Alex, instigating Larraine's fury. Larraine has an interesting theory that babies who don't fuss much as infants turn into troublemaking adolescents. That was the pattern that she observed with Alex and she now is worried that her baby Aaron, who's easy now, will turn into a "disappointment" like Alex is to her. Although I don't think that Larraine has much feeling for Alex, really, I told her that I believed she was having difficulty expressing her love for her son. Somewhat disingenuously, I recommended to Larraine that she tell Alex that she loves him without expressing the criticism that she normally lays on with such relish. I summarized a year and a half's worth of progress with Alex for Larraine, but she was still dissatisfied and left the office muttering threats against me.

Wednesday, November 11, 1998
5 pm. Sixty-Seventh Session with Alex Rozzi. When Alex arrived for his session today, he was furious with me because of my previous skepticism regarding his story about what happened the night that Benny was assaulted. I told him straight out that I thought he had omitted some important information about that night. Alex admitted that he had. He told me that he had been raped by Benny that night. Alex told me that Benny has been working out in prison and used his superior strength to overwhelm and then rape him. Apparently, Alex was seen by a doctor who used a rape kit to collect evidence--Alex reported that he suffered from rectal bleeding for days afterwards. Obviously, I'm very disturbed by the idea that Benny raped Alex. And I want to believe Alex's story--he's generally been truthful with me. I still have some skepticism, however, and I'm also not unaware of the possibility that Alex may have engaged in consensual rough sex with Benny and is now latching onto that as an explanation for the torture video. It's possible that even if he had consented initially, afterwards he would have reacted with violence. The truth is that Benny's emotional effect on Alex is too extreme to be easily predicted. Even Alex has no idea. I probably would believe Alex's story without reservation if it didn't have the extremely fortuitous circumstance of another party bursting in Benny's house and being responsible for all his after-acquired injuries. I mentioned that these people would have been caught on the video tape, and Alex professed surprise, as if it hadn't occurred to him. But then he said that Cecil had said something similar. That struck me wrong. If I was languishing in prison and there was a possibility that a videotape existed which exonerated me, I would be thinking of little else. Even if he hadn't thought of it originally, he would have latched onto Cecil's suggestion. It leads me to believe that Alex knows that the video doesn't contain footage of Benny's subsequent attackers. Alex told me that his mother and Mark have forbidden him from coming to their house, and that Ralph, too, is angry with him. Alex said that the only person who has come through for him was Katherine. She bailed out of prison and has taken to clarifying things for Alex so that he can gain perspective on his problems. Alex worships her. She explained that it would be a personal betrayal if Alex skipped bail, and I genuinely think he won't, even though I suspect that he's in considerably more trouble than he realizes.

Wednesday, November 18, 1998
5 pm. Sixty-Eighth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex has clearly been thinking a lot about overcoming the pain of his childhood and especially that pain caused by Benny. He told me that he split a stump which contained a burned core. He saw it as a metaphor for his own healing process and saw that the burned core made the log stronger. I'm afraid that Alex might have a tendency to push away those people who would be most likely to help him, like Katherine, Ralph, and me. Alex is ready to dump anyone who didn't believe his story regarding Benny's beating. He told me that he sensed that he would have to move from Katherine's place soon, although not because of anything she said or did. He had a feeling that it was time to go and Ralph, apparently, is trying to get Alex to move back. But Alex thinks Ralph wasn't very nice to him after the police arrested him. Alex told me that he's learned that an eye for an eye isn't the right answer. I told Alex that he seemed to be acknowledging his own mistakes and realizing the impact of the violation done to him. I also complemented Alex on his ability to share his fear and anger with me and with others who care about him. I see all of this as a very positive effort to regain control over his life.

Monday, November 23, 1998
12 pm. Forty-Eighth Session with Katherine Lippard respecting Alex Rozzi. I had a surprising session with Katherine today. This is the second time I've seen her since May, and today it was all about selfishness. She feels guilty about it, but she really isn't able to tolerate Alex's continual emotional demands upon her. Alex is living at her house, and she wants him out. She wants to be living alone. While Katherine has devoted herself to doing good works on an abstract level, when it comes to really getting her hands dirty she seems to need to back away. I told her to do what was right for her emotional health, of course. But she didn't feel much like the Katherine that I used to know.

Wednesday, November 25, 1998
5 pm. Sixty-Ninth Session with Alex Rozzi. Perhaps Alex is beginning to see that there are consequences to his actions. While Katherine was in her session with me on Monday, Alex was moving out of her house. He's always been quick to pick up on how other people are feeling towards him. He left a note but he didn't really have any place to go--I'm not sure how much he's burned his bridges with Ralph--and he ended up staying at a Tenderloin motel. He also resumed his nocturnal wanderings and went back to his favorite site under the girders of the Golden Gate Bridge. There, he churned over his interpersonal relationships and came to the conclusion that he always messes them up. He even apparently had some suicidal ideation, but I don't think Alex is in serious danger of taking his own life. He contacted Luke and is staying at the condo Luke maintains in San Francisco, even though he's still in New York. He hasn't contacted Katherine since he left her house on Monday, and I'm sure she's very concerned about him. He said he'd call her after our session. He's very nervous that he might have destroyed his relationship with her. He met with his criminal defense attorney who told him that there is evidence on the videotape which tends to exonerate Alex from the most serious charges respecting Benny. I guess I was wrong in disbelieving Alex about that part of his story, and I'm very happy that he was telling the truth. Alex's mother, while remaining hostile to Alex, invited him to Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. Alex was very emotional as he told me that he intends to accept her invitation.

Wednesday, December 2, 1998
5 pm. Seventieth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex seemed agitated throughout the session. He tended to speak in bursts and often seemed to lose track of his own thoughts. He's clearly been sleeping poorly, evidenced by the dark circles under his eyes. Last week seemed to be one of introspection for Alex, although I'm not sure I agree with his conclusions. Alex feels that something died inside of him when Benny left him, and since then, he's been drifting aimlessly, feeling unworthy and lacking self-esteem. I've always had trouble reconciling Alex's two views of Benny: one, as the hated abuser, and the other, as the longed-for love object. Alex referred to Benny as a "hero object" in his life. He described an interesting social pattern where he sets important people in his life up as heroes in his eyes. Alex said that he learns what he can from each hero and then moves on. I suspect that the heroes have a hard time living up to Alex's expectations, and so end up disappointing him or turning to villains. It's an interesting dynamic which I'd like to explore further when Alex isn't so emotional and even maudlin. Alex appears to be considering the possibility of renewing his relationship with Luke. He's reevaluating that relationship and seems to have concluded that there was nothing wrong with Luke as a boyfriend, rather that Alex just wasn't ready for a relationship at the time they got together. He even said that he felt unworthy of Luke. Alex also described Katherine in hero worship terms: he told me that it is her patience that he most admires. He patched things up with Katherine, although she scolded him for running away rather than talking things out. Actually, it seems that things ended rather neatly for Katherine. Alex's mother didn't know where Alex was and thought that Katherine might be lying to her when she denied knowledge of his whereabouts. So she had a loud, angry confrontation with Katherine in her office at SII, bringing up echoes of her previous charge that Katherine and Alex were engaged in an unlawful sexual relationship. Katherine calmly deflected her allegations, although Larraine left muttering threats and slamming doors. Alex went to Thanksgiving dinner knowing about the confrontation that his mother had with Katherine. His mother, however, did not know that Alex had heard about it. Alex was able to contain his anger through the dinner--he told me that he discovered a previously unknown gay relation and was proud of hitting some sort of nerve when he asked about the boy's father. But Alex saved his confrontation with his mother until later, when they were alone. They actually seem to connect for a moment, mother and son, in the knowledge that they were both emotionally high-strung--"hot heads" is the term they used. Later, Cecil called and told Alex that the police have arrested someone in connection with the assault on Benny--presumably the stranger who kicked in the door. Alex seems to think that he's now in the clear, although I doubt his legal difficulties will disappear so easily. The truth is that I'm worried about Alex's stability, even with all his self revelations. I'm very worried about the month I'll be away in New York, leaving Alex without the routine of our weekly sessions. Given Alex's emotional lability today, I decided against breaking the news of my impending absence to him.

Wednesday, December 9, 1998
5 pm. Seventy-First Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex told me that the man who was arrested for assaulting Benny was Brent Woodson. Benny was arrested for molesting a boy, and Brent Woodson is the boy's father. Apparently, he'd been stalking Benny, waiting for the right time to make his move. He knew who Alex was. Perhaps he saw Alex go into Benny's house and waited a few hours before making his move in the hope that he could disguise his identity from the police. Benny may have suffered some brain damage in the attack, at least according to Ralph who visited him in the hospital. Alex told me that his mother apologized to Katherine, as she said she would. Katherine was somewhat surprised and kept trying to figure out if Larraine was playing an angle, but apparently she was sincere. Perhaps Larraine is also sincere in attempting to forge a bond with her grown son. Alex told me that Tony made unwelcome sexual advances and that he was very persistent about it. Alex said that he kept thinking it was something that he had done--perhaps he was dressed too provocatively or said something which Tony misinterpreted. Of course, I reminded Alex that he has the absolute right to decide with whom he wishes to have sex. Alex told me that he is beginning a new relationship with Luke, although he's taking it slowly. They slept together in a bed and, although the atmosphere was thick with sexuality, they did not have sex. I told Alex that I was going away for my vacation, and I'm afraid he didn't take it very well. He chided me for giving such short notice.

Wednesday, December 16, 1998
5 pm. Seventy-Second Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex seems genuinely hurt that I'm leaving him for my vacation at a time he perceives as particularly critical for him. His legal problems seem to be heating up. He had a preliminary hearing in front of the same judge that he appeared before about two years previously when he started coming to see me. The judge remembered him and decided that there was sufficient evidence to hold him over for trial. Cecil was able to negotiate a plea bargain which would reduce the charges to a misdemeanor. I think Alex believed that the plea bargain meant that charges were reduced to a misdemeanor and now he could try to avoid a conviction on those reduced charges at trial. When I pointed out that, to accept the plea bargain, he would have to plead guilty to the misdemeanor, Alex covered as if he had known that all along, but I don't think he had. Now the choice is go to trial on a felony assault charge and hope for an acquittal or plead guilty to a misdemeanor. Alex has some strong evidence on his side in support of his claim of self defense or, at least, evidence which makes his conduct appear more reasonable. Cecil has found some witnesses to Benny's initiating contact with Alex in violation of the restraining order, and Doctor Elgin can testify as to the results of his physical examination and the evidence he collected from Alex's person which suggest that he was raped. Alex told me that he's emotional labile recently and said that he's been having obsessive thoughts, which include compulsive counting behaviors. Alex said that he sometimes finds himself crying for no apparent reason. Luke is returning to his San Francisco apartment for Christmas, and Alex is afraid that he's going to want to resume physical intimacy immediately, which Alex isn't ready for. Actually, he doesn't know what to expect. We talked about Alex's mother, who sent Katherine a gift basket in apology for her recent outburst and about Alex's cousin Ethan, whom Alex is showing around San Francisco. Alex seems to believe that his trial is going to begin in just a few weeks, while I'm away. I would be surprised if the wheels of justice spun quite so quickly.

Wednesday, February 10, 1999
5 pm. Seventy-Third Session with Alex Rozzi. I got caught up with Alex's life and there were a lot of changes. Alex turned 18 while I was gone. He took and passed the GED and has left high school. He's applied to the California Culinary Academy. He's taken a job moving sculpture that Jake helped him to get. His mother is pregnant. His father might be having an affair with his aunt Rosemarie. His relationship with Luke has gone through some turmoil, although now Luke's back in town and they are dating. But Alex has moved back to Ralph's, and Ralph has taken a turn towards the worst. During surgery to remove a tumor in Ralph's colon, other cancerous tissue was observed to have metastasized to adjacent regions. The other cancers were judged to be inoperable and more chemotherapy is being used in an attempt to control the spread of the cancer. It sounds like the doctors can only offer a bleak prognosis and Alex clearly thinks Ralph is going to die imminently. On the legal front, Alex angrily declined to accept a plea bargain and it looks like he's going to trial in March. Alex told me a strange story about his cousin Ethan, who physically resembles Alex. Ethan was at Ralph's when Alex wasn't and he answered the door to find Benny standing there. Benny believed that Ethan was Alex, and Ethan played along. Apparently, Benny has suffered some brain damage due to a series of strokes caused by the beating inflicted by the father of one of Benny's victims. He stutters and walks with a cane and is leaving for a rehab center to undergo physical therapy. Benny said that he was sorry although he didn't remember anything about that night. Benny left never knowing that he hadn't had a conversation with Alex. Alex's life has so much turmoil in it that we spent the whole session just getting caught up with the incidents which occurred during my vacation without ever delving into how Alex feels about any of these developments.

Wednesday, February 17, 1999
5 pm. Seventy-Fourth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex thinks that Luke is cheating on him. Alex said Luke runs hot and cold--sometimes calling him incessantly and, other times, allowing days to go by between calls. Alex was tired of waiting for Luke, so he went over to Luke's apartment. There, the door was answered by a man he didn't know wearing only a towel. The man told him, with a great deal of hauteur, that Luke was still in the shower. Alex hurled an epithet and then rushed away. He resorted to his tendency for obsessive wandering late into the night. Later, Luke called with an explanation, claiming that it was an innocent misunderstanding, but Alex wasn't having any of it. However, when I also raised the possibility that Luke could have been telling the truth, Alex seemed less sure of himself--he admitted the possibility that Luke could have been telling the truth, although he said that his gut told him differently. As Alex's temper cools, he will probably talk things out with Luke again. I'm interested that Alex was so upset by the idea that Luke had been unfaithful. I thought that Alex has been avoiding any sexual contact with Luke since his return to San Francisco. But Alex still obviously believes that Luke is beholden to him. Alex has been working hard at a gallery that sells modern sculpture in San Francisco. Apparently, he drives around picking up pieces and helps to set them up. He likes the job. He left the Bay Area with Ralph to go to a house that Ralph maintains in Bonnie Doon. Actually, I'm not sure where that is. But Ralph has a house that periodically floods, and it did so again this last weekend. They were without power, but Alex was able to make a meal on the gas stove. During the meal, Ralph began to talk about how he wanted to settle his estate, but Alex wants to avoid the subject. I told Alex that I thought Ralph was right in trying to bring it up. Alex told me that he has noticed some compulsive behaviors in himself--counting the downstrokes of a bicycle as he pedals it, for example, or going for his long nocturnal rambles about the city. I asked him to stay aware of these behaviors. If they grow more disturbing to Alex, we can begin some exercises to combat OCD, although Alex's obsessions have taken a very mild form and do not seem to impinge on his ability to function. There are many items in his life outside of his control--the trial, Luke, Ralph's health--so I suspect that these behaviors represent an attempt by Alex to try to assert control over the facets of his life which are susceptible to it.

Wednesday, February 24, 1999
5 pm. Seventy-Fifth Session with Alex Rozzi. It was like Alex was breathless throughout this whole session. He spoke rapidly, especially when he spoke about Luke. And he constantly interrupted any comment I might make. In a family meeting that included Rosemarie, Larraine, and Mark, together with Racyl, Rhea, Ethan, Aaron, and Alex, Alex was told that Ethan is his half brother--they're just two months apart in age. Mark impregnated Rosemarie at the same time as he was living with Alex's mother, which could help to explain the tension that exists between the two women. Since Rosemarie and Larraine are cousins, that means that Ethan is Alex's half brother and second cousin simultaneously. Alex said that he feels that he's appearing on an episode of the Jerry Springer program. Alex said that he feels his father is a slut for having six children by three different women. I counted five children, but Alex told me that one died at four years of age in an automobile accident in Canada. This was about four years ago. Mark was driving and he was completely uninjured. The automobile accident probably precipitated Mark's breakup with his wife in Canada and is the underlying cause of Mark's reunion with Alex's mother. Alex has a new sense of sibling rivalry with Ethan. Alex is old enough to recognize and analyze this novel feeling of vying for Mark's attention, even though he's still swept up by it. Alex is jealous and said that he wants to be Mark's most important son. Alex is obviously making some progress in being able to view himself from a detached perspective--he said that he'd like to write a book someday about the drama of his life. He even told me that he's been writing a journal, of which I was unaware. We talked about Ralph beginning chemotherapy, which Alex views as a hopeful sign--it's a step above Hospice care. Finally, Alex told me that Luke didn't contact him for Valentine's Day, and that when he called Luke's apartment, he spoke to an unknown man--probably the one with the towel--who told Alex that Luke was in New York. Alex describes it as a definitive end to his relationship with Luke, but it clearly isn't.

Wednesday, March 3, 1999
5 pm. Seventy-Sixth Session with Alex Rozzi. Alex is feeling displaced and dispossessed. Ralph has taken to going to sex parties where all the participants are HIV-positive and disdain safe sex. It's a dangerous trend called "bare-backing" that I remember reading something about in the Examiner a few weeks ago. One of Ralph's sex partners has moved into Ralph's house, making things somewhat uncomfortable there for Alex. Alex is thinking of accepting an offer that his gallery made to him to go and work in Monterey. But while Alex describes it as a fresh start, I feel that it is an attempt to run away from his problems. One of those problems is the trial, which is set to begin in a few weeks. I feel that I need to begin to prepare Alex for the reality that he's about to face--he might have refused the plea bargain without being fully aware of the consequences of that decision. Alex also told me that I may be called as some form of character witness for Alex. I doubt that I'll actually be called in such a capacity, because it would involve Alex waiving his doctor/patient privilege--I would be subject to cross examination. I assume that wouldn't be in Alex's interest. I note that Alex has a real vituperative streak when it comes to his ex-lovers. He told me of his fantasy which involves rounding them all up and subjecting them to electrical shocks. He also ranted a bit about how all men are pigs.


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