Transcript of 73rd Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. Alex Rozzi, Wednesday, February 10, 1999 at 5:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Alex. It's good to see you. How are you doing?
Mr. Rozzi: Hey, Doc. I'm fine, I guess. But people are still crazy from that full moon we had last week. You'd think that it would be easy to see me on my bike in this bright jacket, but no! I nearly got killed out there just now.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. I've always thought that riding a bike in San Francisco would be quite a challenge...
Mr. Rozzi: That's putting it mildly, dude! You could probably play Russian Roulette with a full cartridge with better odds. Jeez!
Dr. Balis: I'm glad you made it here okay. So tell me, Alex, what's been going on since we last met?
Mr. Rozzi: Oh, I don't know where to start--so much has happened. It seems like a long time since I saw you, and at the same time, it feels like no time has passed. It's weird. Well, let's see...oh, I'm free at last!
Dr. Balis: Hmm?
Mr. Rozzi: I'm free! I turned eighteen two weeks ago. And I got a GED--no more school!
Dr. Balis: Well, happy birthday, Alex, and congratulations. I didn't know you chose to get a GED.
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, well, it happened somewhere back there, during the holidays. I called at the last minute. The test was the next day. I had no time to look over the materials or study at all. I just kind of jumped into it. But I passed, no problem. It was too easy. Oh yeah, I got my driver's license, too!
Dr. Balis: Really? Well, you've orchestrated some big changes in your life while I was away.
Mr. Rozzi: This is nothing. There's so much more, dude, believe me. So much more.
Dr. Balis: Well?
Mr. Rozzi: I'm trying to decide what to tell you next. I'm back at Ralph's. He's not doing so good these days.
Dr. Balis: What happened?
Mr. Rozzi: Do you mean why am I back at his house?
Dr. Balis: Well, yes, that too, but what's going on with Ralph?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, he had another surgery about three and a half weeks ago. They wanted to get the last of the tumors in his colon. But when they went in, they noticed something in the pelvic area. They did a quick biopsy on the tissue, and it turned out to be cancer. And there are so many little tumors there they can't even operate. The only choice left now is to try to control the cancer with more chemotherapy.
Dr. Balis: I'm sorry, Alex, that's not good news.
Mr. Rozzi: Well, it really surprised all of us, especially Ralph, but his doctors, too. He was expecting to come out of this okay. But now...well, now, he's in a not-so-good mood these days. He's really down, and I can't blame him. But the reason I went back to live with him wasn't because of him, it was because of Luke.
Dr. Balis: What happened?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, I don't know what happened really. Luke had started his drive home from New York. I told him to go slow--he had a trailer and all that stuff--but he had to push it. Well, he got started and then got caught in a snowstorm, and had a minor car accident. All that delayed him by ten days, and he wasn't able to get home in time for Christmas. But we talked on the phone every day. I did what you told me to do--I tried to talk to him about our relationship, about what was going to happen when he got here, about me needing time to get adjusted and stuff. But he didn't listen. He just kept changing the subject, interrupting me and shit. So finally, this one day, he called and said that he wanted me out of his condo by the time he got back to the Bay Area.
Dr. Balis: Why?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, that was what I wanted to know. I was all...I mean...I was just like, "What is this about, Luke?" But he just told me to get out, so I left. I went back to Ralph's, and he was real glad to see me. He even signed over one of his cars to me. So now, I have something to drive.
Dr. Balis: That was generous of Ralph. Did you ever find out why Luke asked you to leave?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, not directly, but I think I figured it out, maybe. He came back and called me the moment he got in. He said he needed to see me, so I went over to his place. Luke tried to act like nothing was wrong, like it was normal for him to ask me to leave. It's so like him to skirt the issues that make him uncomfortable. But at least he called, he tried. I think Luke felt rejected when I asked for some time and to take it easy when it came to our relationship. I tried telling him that I wasn't rejecting him at all--I have a lot on my plate right now, and I thought he would understand. I guess I just expected him to understand...
Dr. Balis: Did Luke try to understand where you were coming from?
Mr. Rozzi: He asked me to move back into the condo with him. But I told him no. It was too late. Now I have Ralph to think about. He's going to die, and I need to be there for him.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Rozzi: But I don't want Ralph to know how worried I am, though. And Luke...well, he doesn't really know what he wants. And he thinks I don't know what I want, which is probably more true than I want to admit. So, for now, we're just sort of dating, I guess. We went out to dinner a few times, and to a play, and even to a few movies. Oh, last Friday night, we did Critical Mass. There were about a hundred and fifty of us on bikes, and we rode through town with some hot police escorts on motorcycles. Besides the men in uniform, my favorite part of the ride was Haight Street. There are all kinds of different people up there, it's a veritable human cornucopia or something. I just love it! At one point, a bunch of us lifted our bikes above our heads and started cheering. The people on the sidewalk were looking at us funny. The ride was very cool. I wish we could do Critical Mass every Friday night.
Dr. Balis: I'm glad you don't.
Mr. Rozzi: Oh, did you get caught up in our bike jam?
Dr. Balis: No, but...
Mr. Rozzi: You ought to get out and get a bike yourself. Dude, you could use the exercise!
Dr. Balis: Thank you, Alex.
Mr. Rozzi: Hey, what are friends for? Sorry, dude, it's the truth, though. You could use some sit-ups, while we're on the subject...
Dr. Balis: Well then, let's change the subject. What is going on with your legal troubles?
Mr. Rozzi: Ouch! That hurts. My legal troubles? You make it sound so formal. Well, I told Cecil to kiss my ass--he expected me to accept that stupid plea bargain garbage he dreamt up.
Dr. Balis: Oh?
Mr. Rozzi: Yes! No way, I'm not going to do that! No fucking way! So we had another little hearing thing, and now the trial date is set for sometime in March. Oh, I should tell you about what happened with Benny and Ethan. I've told you about my cousin Ethan, didn't I?
Dr. Balis: You have. What happened?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, everyone told us that we look alike. So one day, Ethan was at Ralph's house, and Benny showed up out of the blue, unannounced. He thought Ethan was me. Benny told him how sorry he was. He said he didn't remember anything about that night, but he knew he must have done something real bad to make me hurt him like that.
Dr. Balis: How did Ethan handled Benny?
Mr. Rozzi: This is what I like about Ethan--he went along with it and pretended he was me. I guess Benny is pretty messed up now. He was using a cane to walk, and he was stuttering a lot apparently. I wish I could have been there to see it for myself. Ethan had Benny going, and I guess Benny left thinking Ethan was me. Ethan thought Benny was brain damaged and all. But I don't know. Anyway, Benny is one sick son-of-a-bitch, but he went away.
Dr. Balis: Where?
Mr. Rozzi: I guess Benny's mother brought him to live with her somewhere in Grass Valley. He took me there once. There was this great river to hike along, and we lay out naked in the sun...a lot of men went to cruise there. I was so surprised to find so many of us up there, so far from the city. I guess we're everywhere. Anyway, what were we talking about? Oh yeah, Benny. He went away up to the foothills--there is a hospital or something that will help him to get better. The brain damage is the result of some strokes Benny had. It's bad, I guess, but he asked for it. So I'm going to trial because I think my story should stand up to a jury. Benny instigated the whole thing, and I was only reacting to his attack. And I only terrorized him; I didn't hurt him, even though I could have. If I had agreed to that stupid plea bargain, I'd probably be in jail right now.
Dr. Balis: So you believe your chances are better going to trial?
Mr. Rozzi: Definitely! But both Cecil and my mom wanted me to accept the plea, they seemed disappointed when I refused. I guess it would have been easier that way, but I believe it's the principal of the whole thing. Speaking of my mom, she's pregnant again. I think that's why she has been so nice to me lately. This time, she's not having as difficult a time as with the last two pregnancies. She's due in June, and they are waiting until then to find out if it's a boy or a girl--they just want to be surprised.
Dr. Balis: Congratulations, Alex. You'll be a brother once again.
Mr. Rozzi: Thank you. Oh, a weird thing happened just the other night. While I was riding home from the Alliance, I rode past Rosemarie's house and saw Mark come out her front door. I didn't know why Mark was there, so I stopped and said hello to him. He was kind of jumpy. I asked him what he was doing there, and he said he was talking to Rosemarie about my mom. But I didn't believe him. I don't think they are having an affair. But Mark asked me not to tell my mom I saw him there. I don't know what's up with that. Now, I'm riding my bike past Rosemarie's house more often--I want to know what Mark is up to.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, I almost thought that they were having an affair, but Rosemarie has a boyfriend. So I don't know. Mark didn't expect to see me there, that's for sure. My mom's birthday is coming up soon, so maybe his lame little story has something to do with that. But I can't help but be suspicious. It's in my nature, I guess. So, what else? I've got a job!
Dr. Balis: You did? Where?
Mr. Rozzi: I ran into Jake one day, and he told me about this assistant job he thought I'd be good at. It's at another gallery he helps to run sometimes. It's located near City Hall. They specialize in sculpture, and my job is to help set up the work. It's kind of cool, and they pay me real well. This will hold me over until I start school again.
Dr. Balis: So you're planing to go to collage?
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, I'm trying to get into the California Culinary Academy. I already turned in all my paperwork, and now I'm waiting for my letter of acceptance.
Dr. Balis: So you want to be a chef?
Mr. Rozzi: I love that place, and I think I have the touch with food. I went on a tour of the place, and it's cool. It's in the old German Embassy building on the corner of Polk and Turk, real fancy place. I can't wait to begin. The money Aunt Sofie left me will pay for it, and my job at the gallery will help, too, if I can work it out with the class schedule and all.
Dr. Balis: Good for you, Alex. I'm glad you're thinking of the future. I hear it's quite an education at that school.
Mr. Rozzi: Well, I can handle that. So I guess we're running late again.
Dr. Balis: We are. It was good to catch up, Alex. I'm happy things are going so well for you.
Mr. Rozzi: Me too, it's about time. Now, all we need to do is get on with this stupid trial thing, and then everything will be all right. Well, I guess I'll see you next week?
Dr. Balis: Yes, same time. Good to see you, Alex. Take care.
Mr. Rozzi: Later, dude!
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Alex.
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