Transcript of 75th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. Alex Rozzi, Wednesday, February 24, 1999 at 5:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Alex.
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, hi.
Dr. Balis: What's the matter?
Mr. Rozzi: What isn't the matter? It's just...well, it's just that nothing ever changes! And nothing will ever be the same. Get it?
Dr. Balis: Hmm?
Mr. Rozzi: Oh, never mind. I'll try my best to explain what I mean without going off on a tangent, okay?
Dr. Balis: Okay.
Mr. Rozzi: So we had a family meeting yesterday night, and Mark and Rosemarie are definitely not having an affair, at least not anymore.
Dr. Balis: Were they having an affair in the past?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, not any time recently. I keep thinking that Ethan and I look an awful lot alike. Everyone who saw us together said so. Even Benny mistook him for me on several occasions. But I guess it was the last thing that would have ever occurred to me, you know? It's because of Mark--we both look like him. So Mark turns out to be Ethan's father, too. Ethan is both my brother and my second cousin, simultaneously. It feels like we're on a Jerry Springer episode or something, doesn't it? Or more like I live in a trailer park, and everyone is related in one way or another.
Dr. Balis: Hmm
Mr. Rozzi: Abandonment, inter-marriages, multiple deaths, mean bitches from hell, inbreeding, you name it--we got it all at my house! Now I can start telling people I come from a long line of trailer trash and really mean it, too.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Rozzi: You said it, dude. "Hmm" is right. I was just sitting there, expecting I don't know what, when they laid it out for us. There we were, all of us: Ethan, Racyl, Rhea, Aaron, and I--Mark's spawn. We were sitting there with my mom, and Mark, and Rosemarie, and they just sort of sprang it on us. I nearly fell off my seat.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Rozzi: This is so not real, you know? So not real. My father's a slut! Did he ever hear of a condom? Or how about STD's? I just asked him right out, "So, how many other kids out there are yours?" I know of at least six, so what's to say there aren't any more? Obviously, the guy can't keep his dick in his pants. But he said he only had the six, not to mention the one on the way.
Dr. Balis: You only named five children just now. Were you counting the baby that's coming?
Mr. Rozzi: No, I wasn't. Mark did have six, only one died. I didn't tell you about that? I thought I had. Mark had a son with Racyl and Rhea's mom up in Vancouver, but he died in a car accident.
Dr. Balis: Oh.
Mr. Rozzi: That's what made his wife go crazy. One day--it was her birthday, actually--Mark and his son...Jason would have been around eight or nine by now if he lived. Anyway, they were driving along a country road in Mark's truck, just the two of them, and this tractor came out of nowhere. Mark tried to swerve to avoid smashing into it and ended up rolling the truck over into a ditch. Jason was thrown from the cab and died instantly. Mark walked away from it without even a scratch. Racyl told me that's when things changed big time for them. Their mom went totally nuts, and Mark became withdrawn. That was only about four years ago. I think that's why Mark came back to us. So this really bad thing is behind our family's reunion. Mark doesn't like to talk about it.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Mr. Rozzi: I don't blame him for it, I guess. I can only imagine the guilt behind all that--he was the driver and all. And it happened on the kid's mother's birthday, too. I bet her birthdays are real special now! So this is something that will be with both of them for the rest of their lives.
Dr. Balis: I imagine so, Alex.
Mr. Rozzi: So my father, the King of Fertility, spills his seed wherever he goes. Yesterday, when Ethan opened the door for me, he said, "Hey, bro!" It was not until later, I realized that he already knew the truth. And I was all, "Fuck me!" Now Ethan is going to start calling me "bro" or something. I'm so not ready for this. But now at least, I understand what is between my mom and Rosemarie. Ethan is less than a year older than me, so Mark was boinking both of them at the same time. They've got to be jealous of each other. And as far as I know, Rosemarie has never been married. Of course this explains why I ran into Mark at Rosemarie's house. But still...this is so not real!
Dr. Balis: I can understand your surprise and conflicting feelings about all this, Alex.
Mr. Rozzi: That's a major understatement, dude! That was the last thing I expected.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Rozzi: You know, I didn't think of this until later last night, but Mark must have known that Rosemarie was pregnant when he left San Francisco. But if I remember my mom's story, she hadn't gotten a chance to tell Mark she was pregnant with me before he left. I don't know...this is all so twisted, so trashy. And suddenly, I'm feeling all proprietary over Mark or something. It's like it's important to me to be near him for some reason now. Part of me doesn't think I should trust him--he's such a dog! But then another part of me wants to just be near him, to be noticed by him, or to be his first and most important son. I didn't feel so much this way with just Racyl and Rhea. But now that Ethan is a part of that picture, I feel this sense of ownership over Mark. And now I even want to call him "Dad."
Dr. Balis: Your feelings, Alex, are very natural...
Mr. Rozzi: You think so?
Dr. Balis: Yes, I do. Most siblings experience a form of rivalry, vying for their parents' affection while sometimes, not even realizing that they are doing it. It's very common. I would guess that this situation is somewhat strange for Mark, too. Before he returned to the Bay Area, he thought he only had the children he fathered with his wife in Canada. Now he finds you and Ethan...
Mr. Rozzi: Well, he must have known about Rosemarie being pregnant when he left, don't you think?
Dr. Balis: Hmm. That depends...what's the age difference between you and Ethan?
Mr. Rozzi: Two months, almost to the day. That means Rosemarie would had been two to three months pregnant when Mark left for Canada--I was conceived just before he left. Hmm. I guess it's possible that he didn't know anything about it. But I'm certain he knew a few months ago, when we had Thanksgiving dinner, because that's when I asked about Ethan's father. I distinctly remember my mom kicked Mark under the table when I asked that question. And Mark got very pale. And Rosemarie nearly choked on her food. Something was obviously up with all that, and the answer was right there in my face but I couldn't see it then. But now, I do, though. Hindsight is always twenty-twenty, isn't that what they say?
Dr. Balis: Yes, that's the saying.
Mr. Rozzi: So...I don't know. I think I'm still absorbing all of this, you know? It's funny--lately, I've been watching a lot of TV with Ralph. He starts more chemotherapy next week, by the way. So we've been spending time with our butts glued to the couch and our eyes stuck to the tube, watching these shows, and I was thinking: no one goes through the kind of teen-angst I've been through, not even the goofed-up people on TV. On TV, peoples' lives are so messed up and know Cami said to me that I live such a dramatic life that I should write a book or something--my life story would make a great movie, far better than the crap they feed us these days. I've never thought about that before. Do you think my life is full of drama?
Dr. Balis: You've had some very difficult times, perhaps more than others your age. But I don't think it's productive to compare lives or experiences. It's not just about the events that happen, it's also important to consider how people perceive those events and how they affect them...
Mr. Rozzi: Well, I do keep an irregular journal. I have put a couple of years of my life in it by now. But I don't know where I'd find the time for actually putting it into a book form or something. Oh well. So I told you that Ralph starts the chemotherapy again next week. Did you know that if the doctors thought Ralph was terminal, they wouldn't even consider doing chemo?
Dr. Balis: That's true...
Mr. Rozzi: Well, when I heard that, I felt a bunch of relief. It does make sense, doesn't it? Why waste those chemicals on someone who is going to die anyway, right? They have to make up the chemicals for chemo just before they give it to him, it's kind of like custom order poison. I guess they do that because of how expensive it is. And it can't be used later, so they can't store the stuff. It's all so complicated, really. But the point is that the doctors don't think Ralph is terminal yet. So that's a good thing, isn't it?
Dr. Balis: I'm very glad to hear it.
Mr. Rozzi: But I shouldn't get my hopes up, right? You don't have to say it--I can see it in your eyes. Well, I think I'm expecting the worse, but I still hope for the best. I wish I could have that attitude with everything...
Dr. Balis: It's a good attitude...
Mr. Rozzi: But it's hard to keep up. Yeah, my attitude about Luke has really changed. I think it's finally over with him.
Dr. Balis: Why?
Mr. Rozzi: You know, it just occurred to me the other day that I didn't hear from him at all on Valentine's Day. I kind of expected that...well, that he would call or something, even if it was only to say hello, but he didn't. I just thought that...uh, that he would call or send a note or something, anything. I expected something from him, but I got nothing. So the next morning, after I spent the night thinking about all of this, I called Luke's number, but then I chickened out and hung up. Well, my phone rang back instantly--Luke has Caller ID, and he recognized my number.
Dr. Balis: What did you do?
Mr. Rozzi: I didn't know what to do, really. I unplugged the phone, letting it just ring in his ear. Then a minute later, I plugged the phone back in, and hit star sixty-nine, and rang him again. But when they answered, it was some guy, not Luke. It was probably the same guy who was wrapped in a towel that day I went over there. This time, he told me Luke was in New York, finishing up the big fashion week going on out there. He said that Luke'd be home in a few days. But I keep asking myself, "What the hell is this guy doing there anyway, answering the phone so early in the morning?"
Dr. Balis: Do you believe that Luke was home but this guy was covering up for him?
Mr. Rozzi: No, I didn't mean that. It's just...what is up with that? Luke said that he told me he was going to New York. And he said that since we haven't been able to see each other without me getting pissed lately, he didn't think about Valentine's Day at all. And he claims this guy is just staying with him temporarily. But I'm like, "Whatever." He could do whatever he wants, he does anyway, but I don't need to be a part of it. I kind of get the feeling that I'm never going to get from Luke what I need in a relationship anyway, so what's the point? With everything going so fast these days, I hardly have time for a relationship. I'm busy at the gallery all day long, and the Alliance has a lot going on right now, too. So it's all a bit much. But at least I'm staying out of trouble--that's my middle name--and I'm being productive. I don't know. Luke is slowly moving out of the picture as a possibility for me, and I think I'm okay with that. Oh my God! Is that clock right? I've got to go! I need to get the van back in the garage before they shut it down for the night. I'll see you next time, okay?
Dr. Balis: Sure, Alex...
Mr. Rozzi: Later, dude! Bye!
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