Transcript of 76th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. Alex Rozzi, Wednesday, March 3, 1999 at 5:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Alex?
Mr. Rozzi: Oh, hey.
Dr. Balis: What are you doing?
Mr. Rozzi: Oh, I was just looking out the window and thinking, I guess.
Dr. Balis: Well, why don't you come in and have a seat. Now, what's on your mind?
Mr. Rozzi: I was just thinking about what I'm going to do.
Dr. Balis: About what?
Mr. Rozzi: About my living situation, mostly.
Dr. Balis: Are you thinking about a time when Ralph will be gone?
Mr. Rozzi: No, not really. I'm thinking about right now, and I don't really want to be doing this, but...well, I think I'm going to have to...
Dr. Balis: What you are talking about, Alex? I'm not really following you.
Mr. Rozzi: I'm not sure where to begin. Even though Ralph is pretty sick, he looks okay. Actually, he looks great. And for a guy his age, he looks pretty good. He's forty-seven, and from all outward appearances, you wouldn't even know he was so sick. Anyway, he said to me over the holidays, before he went into the hospital, that all he really wanted was to have sex again. He hadn't had sex for so long, and now he's worried that his surgery may leave him permanently unable to do it anymore. Sex has been on his mind for a while now.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Rozzi: Ralph has this board thing in the kitchen that you can write messages and stuff on. So one day, I was cleaning up, and I noticed he had written on it something like: "BB Party... at such and such time." That kind of freaked me out.
Dr. Balis: Why?
Mr. Rozzi: I think that he was going to go to a bare-backing party.
Dr. Balis: Hmm?
Mr. Rozzi: You don't know what bare-backing is? I hear that it's become the big thing around town lately, as stupid as it sounds. Bare-backing is when you have unprotected anal sex.
Dr. Balis: Without a condom?
Mr. Rozzi: Hello? Doc, sometimes you really surprise me. Yes, without a condom! If you were blond, I'd be trying to think of a good dumb blond joke right now. Sometimes, you're about as bright as Alaska in December. But that's the idea of it--no condoms, skin to skin contact. I mean...I can't even imagine!
Dr. Balis: That's unsafe. I've read something about that...
Mr. Rozzi: Oh yes, it's unsafe. That's what I'm so freaked about. Ralph doesn't need to go to some bare-backing party and pick something up. He already has it bad enough. But what if he picks up something else, some other STD? So I asked him about it, and sure enough, that's where he was going. He said everyone there is already HIV positive, so there's nothing to worry about. I was all, "This is so not real." Well, nothing I've said was changing his mind; he was determined to do this.
Dr. Balis: It's very risky, regardless of everyone's HIV status.
Mr. Rozzi: That's what I'm trying to say. But he won't listen to me. He went to one and came home on top of the world. He said it made him feel like it was the nineteen-seventies again: "such freedom," "no barriers," "a real connection," "skin to skin," and on and on. Well, this really freaked me out. And now I'm thinking, "What if Ralph decides to have these parties at his house or something?" That would just be too gross! And little did I know that it wasn't the worst thing that could happen.
Dr. Balis: Hmm?
Mr. Rozzi: He went to another party. Then another and another. It's becoming a nightly thing. I'm totally horrified that he took to this like a drug! He completely changed. And to make matters worse, he met someone at one of the parties and brought the guy home one night. The guy hasn't left since. Needless to say, Ralph's new little boyfriend and I haven't been getting along so well. The guy tries to run everything, and I am so through with all that, you know?
Dr. Balis: Hmm, I see your predicament.
Mr. Rozzi: Well, it seems I have a few big decisions to make. The gallery I work at is really expanding, and they have other retail locations. Anyway, I really seem to fit in there, and my job has sort of grown. I have more responsibilities now...
Dr. Balis: That's good, Alex.
Mr. Rozzi: What I'm getting at is that they offered me a job at their Monterey gallery, and I'm seriously thinking about it. If I don't accept it, I'd still have my job at the Hayes Street location, so that's cool...
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Rozzi: Are you surprised that they'd made me an offer like that?
Dr. Balis: No. I'm happy for you, Alex. But are you sure you want to move?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, it's not like I've had much luck in my life here. This stupid weirdness with Luke makes me think I'm better off alone. So there's no love connections for me here...I've been thinking...I've decided that from now on I'm only going to date illegal immigrants!
Dr. Balis: Hmm?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, when they threaten to break up with me, I can call INS and have the bastards deported. That way, they won't be hanging around and bothering me like some others have in past--we won't mention any names, though.
Dr. Balis: Alex...
Mr. Rozzi: I'd like to say that I can trust men, but I'd be lying. Men are pigs, dogs, jerks, you name it! It's a prerequisite to be that way, if a penis is part of the anatomy.
Dr. Balis: I see. So what does that make you? Me?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, you and I are different--we're not like the rest of them.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Rozzi: You know, I think all my ex's should be rounded up and put on a desert island. The island can be gated, and the ground can be electrified. I'd have the button that controls the electrical surge, and the rest would be kismet or something. I don't know.
Dr. Balis: Interesting fantasy, Alex.
Mr. Rozzi: Thank you, I thought so, too. Actually, I think all my ex's should be strung up like a piñata and beaten with a stick. That'd teach them! So anyway, as far as my living arrangements are concerned, there's no easy answer. I feel like time is running out for me at Ralph's. And this time, if I leave, I'm never going back again. Luke is not having his front door open wide for my return or anything. And rent is so damned high in the city. It almost doesn't make sense to stay any more, do you know what I mean?
Dr. Balis: I can understand your reasoning. But I think Ralph does still need you, regardless of his new love interest. You're his family now. The boyfriend might just be a passing stage which won't survive the harsh realities of Ralph's illness. And what about school? Didn't you apply to the Culinary Academy? Whatever came of that?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, it's nothing yet. I'm still waiting for them to respond to my application. I can always go to my mom's house. They have room. Wouldn't that be fun?
Dr. Balis: I wouldn't recommend that at the moment.
Mr. Rozzi: Well, if I went back to live there, it would guarantee my need for therapy for a long time, thereby guaranteeing a steady income for you!
Dr. Balis: That's not the way I look at things. Alex, running away isn't going to solve anything. Your problems will follow you wherever you go.
Mr. Rozzi: You got it all wrong. Have you ever heard of a fresh start? And anyway, there's really no point in talking about all this right now. With the trial still looming in my not-so-distant horizon, I won't be going anywhere until it's over, and it hasn't even started yet. I may go see Katherine this weekend. I know she'll give me good advice. Cecil has asked her to be a material witness at my trial.
Dr. Balis: Really?
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, he thinks with someone like Katherine on the stand, it can't go too wrong. She's the kind of person that everyone likes, you know? Well, everyone except my mother, but who is responsible for that? My mother doesn't like anybody. But with Katherine up there testifying on my behalf, I think it should be pretty okay, don't you think?
Dr. Balis: I think it would be good to have Katherine as a character witness.
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah. Cecil even mentioned something about talking to you about your testifying. Has he called you yet?
Dr. Balis: No, he hasn't called.
Mr. Rozzi: Hmm. Dr. Elgin is going to testify on my behalf, so that's pretty cool. I'm pretty worried about this, you know?
Dr. Balis: I know, Alex. I'm concerned, too.
Mr. Rozzi: Well, the trial begins in a few weeks. I hope it will be over soon. I just wish time would speed up a little. This waiting is enough to drive a person insane, but I guess I'm in the right place for that, hmm? Have you got one of those straitjackets around here?
Dr. Balis: I don't think that will be necessary, Alex. You seem to be handling things pretty well...
Mr. Rozzi: For now, maybe. I'm still catching myself counting as I pedal my bike around town, but at least I'm catching it now. With all the stupid things I've done, I just know I'm depriving a village somewhere of an idiot!
Dr. Balis: Don't be so hard on yourself, Alex...
Mr. Rozzi: I'm just kidding, dude. The only way I seem to be able to maintain my sanity is to joke a lot. We do tend to laugh a lot at work.
Dr. Balis: Good.
Mr. Rozzi: We do a lot of men bashing there, too. Serena, my boss, says she's been dumped more times than the garbage dumpster out back. She says it's the main reason she's switched to women. I told her I'm thinking of switching to small farm animals myself!
Dr. Balis: I see.
Mr. Rozzi: Sorry. I'm only kidding, dude. Gosh! You take everything so seriously. Loosen up, dude! So, I guess we're out of time, hmm?
Dr. Balis: Yes, I'm afraid we are, Alex. So until next time, take care of yourself.
Mr. Rozzi: Okay, man. Thanks, and you too!
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Alex.
Mr. Rozzi: Later on, Doctor B!
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