Transcript of 38th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. Alex Rozzi, Wednesday, March 25, 1998 at 5:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Alex? Please, come in.
Mr. Rozzi: Hey, Doc.
Dr. Balis: How are things?
Mr. Rozzi: Good. Bad. No good...uh, I mean,, I don't know what I mean. I'm so confused.
Dr. Balis: Confused? About what?
Mr. Rozzi: I don't know. I'm frustrated, I guess. It's this whole trial thing. It's got me going, I'm telling you.
Dr. Balis: What happened? Have you testified yet?
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, they had me up on the stand all right, for two days in a row! Shit! By the time the second day came around, I had had just about enough. I almost got in some trouble, too.
Dr. Balis: Trouble?
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, you heard me. Trouble, with a capitol "T." See, this lawyer...I mean this bitch...what makes people do the stupid things they do anyway? So this lawyer, the prosecuting attorney, was pounding away at me, at my life, and stuff, and she was like a pitbull. When she got ahold of something and didn't let it go, you know? She was relentless. She had asked me probably seventeen different ways what my relationship with Benny was, and she didn't let up. She wanted details, all of the details.
Dr. Balis: What did you tell her?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, what I said almost got me into trouble. She was asking me about my relationship with him and things--like when did we start having sex, how old I was at the time, and stuff like that. It was totally embarrassing, and I couldn't stop looking at Benny. I never saw him that way before.
Dr. Balis: What way?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, he seemed so small, so skinny. He lost a lot of weight. But he was such a small person, you know? And it was the expression on his face that caught my attention. Each time he looked up at me, he looked so sorry, like a shamed puppy dog or something. But that lawyer wanted to know if I would lie to protect him. And I was like, "No way." Then she wanted to know if I helped him with the videos and whether I knew about them. And still I was like, "No!" But then she dropped a bomb on me. She wanted to know what I did with the videos--did I still have them? And I almost forgot about that. It was totally the last thing on my mind. I forgot that I burned them. But how could I forget something like that? The smell was horrible! But when she asked me that, I got mad. I sort of got on autopilot, and my mouth took over.
Dr. Balis: Oh, no.
Mr. Rozzi: Oh, yes! My mouth. You can always count on something to spill out. It's totally out of my control, you know? I was swearing and yelling at her. And before I knew it, the whole courtroom was making noise, and the judge had to tell me to stop, but not before I told that lawyer, "You think you're 'all that' and a bag of chips, don't you?" Well, by then the courtroom was rolling in laughter, and the two lawyers came up to the bench and start talking between themselves. The lawyers and the judge didn't realize I could hear them. The defense attorney, Benny's lawyer, said to the prosecuting lawyer, "The kid's pretty sharp, and he's got you pegged!" And then I was laughing. The judge came down hard on me, told me to straighten up, and stop being like that. And I was all, "I'm pissed off, what can I say?" So they called for a recess, and the judge pulled me and the two attorneys into his office and told me to stop cross examining the lawyers--that that was their job, not mine--and to be more cooperative. So I agreed and apologized. And then we went back out again. And then there were the same stupid questions all over again. It was so frustrating!
Dr. Balis: Alex, people get charged with contempt of court for what you just described.
Mr. Rozzi: That was what the judge threatened me with. Well, I was pissed off, and what else could I do? When I was up there, everything was flooding my memory. Before Benny and I split up, I thought things were going just fine between us. We got along okay. We had fun together. He got weird towards the end there, and he treated me badly. But mostly, I thought we had a good relationship, and I would've done anything for him. Anything. And this I think he knew. But I didn't get all weirded out about things with him until after I found out about the tapes. That's when I added things up and figured out it was Benny who ransacked my mom's house. Only then did I start to really get mad at him for being such a sneak, such a liar. That's when I realized that things weren't so perfect. Here he was, having his cake and eating it too, as they say. He had Dora. And they had their baby, little Rose. And then there was me--the third wheel, sort of. I was on the short end of the stick, not to mention that kid--the one he got popped for. But he really wasn't all there for me, you know?
Dr. Balis: I remember how you felt.
Mr. Rozzi: That's funny, because I don't really remember how I felt. I remember watching Roly go downhill after that. But I don't know that I really remember how I was feeling about all this at the time.
Dr. Balis: How do you feel about it now?
Mr. Rozzi: I don't know. Numb, maybe. Stunned. I feel like I was in a "kiss me, kill me" thing. Kiss me, kill me. Kiss me, kill me. It's an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
Dr. Balis: That's an interesting expression.
Mr. Rozzi: I stole it from someone. That guy that used to hang out at the club, at Ralph's club. His name was Steve, and he was this real tall guy with the funniest sense of humor. He always said the most hilarious things. Yeah, "kiss me, kill me." You can't win. Especially when the lawyers are in it, you can't win. So Monday, after I did my time on the stand, I got up to leave, and Benny stood up and almost yelled, "I didn't mean to hurt you, Alex." Well, my heart just nearly jumped up out of my chest. And I stood there, stunned, just looking at him while they all went crazy and pushed him back down in his chair. I hated to see him that way, I just hated it. After I left there, I went home and started to paint. I think I must have painted for hours and hours before Ralph came out and got me to come back up inside the house. Oh! And that's another thing. Ralph decided to lay out his plan for me.
Dr. Balis: What do you mean?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, remember I told you about the Hemlock Society? He has all his plans all laid out and stuff. He wants me to help him, if and when the time comes. You know what he wants to do? He wants to take this drug combination thing and have me stand by and watch him die. Then--and this is the kicker--he wants me to put a plastic bag over his head in case he doesn't die, because I guess there's a chance that he won't die from the drugs. Pretty sick, huh?
Dr. Balis: Well, how do you feel about all this?
Mr. Rozzi: It's "kiss me, kill me" all over again, you know? I feel like I can't do it. I feel like it's too gross or something. Just thinking about it makes me all crazy. That's probably the wrong way to say it, I know.
Dr. Balis: Did you tell Ralph how you felt about it?
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, well...I tried to tell him, but he wouldn't listen. He heard me and all, but he wouldn't take no for an answer. I am all he's got, and he's pretty much all I've got, you know? I don't want to see him die. And I don't want to see him sick or suffering. But putting a plastic bag over his head...well, that's murder or something. I could go to jail for that.
Dr. Balis: You could.
Mr. Rozzi: It would be difficult to explain. More like impossible. It's not like he'd be able to pull the bag over his head himself after taking all those pills. Isn't there a law against this? How can the Hemlock Society give instructions on how to kill yourself?
Dr. Balis: Giving instructions is not against the law. There are even books about it.
Mr. Rozzi: Anyway. That night, after court and all that painting, I went straight to bed and slept through to the next morning. And now I realize that no matter how much sleep I get, it's never enough. I always feel tired now. I keep having these dreams, these weird dreams that go in slow motion. They are more like nightmares and stuff.
Dr. Balis: Can you describe them to me?
Mr. Rozzi: I don't even think I can describe them to myself. They're just weird and wild. But I do thank Ralph everyday for that punching bag, though. You know, if I didn't have that, I think I'd lose it completely. I'd go natural blotto. And Luke has been on the East Coast since last Wednesday, and he won't be back for another week. But I'm okay with that, I guess. It's not like I'm dependent on him, but I wish he was here, with me, reminding me to stop shaking my leg--he grabs my knee--I miss stuff like that. I hear they recessed the court again and will wrap it up pretty soon. But I don't need to go back for anything really, except maybe to see how it all comes out. But they all have to go back next week sometime, so I have time to think about what I want to do.
Dr. Balis: How do you feel right now?
Mr. Rozzi: Huh?
Dr. Balis: What do you feel about this?
Mr. Rozzi: I feel real calm, almost like the calm before the storm. It's kind of scary, you know? All this has been going on for so long. It's almost like it isn't really happening. But it is, and I'm real afraid of what will happen next, you know?
Dr. Balis: What are you afraid of?
Mr. Rozzi: Not knowing, mostly. Not knowing what will happen. What if he gets off? Will he try to kill me? "Kiss me, kill me" all over again. Will he go to jail for a long time, or will it be short? So many questions are flying around in my head, I can't even keep track of them all. I am worried about it. I almost don't want it to come to an end. But I got to move on, so it's got to end. I guess I have a lot of tension built up because, as you can see, I haven't stopped shaking my leg or shifting in my seat. I can't relax and get comfortable. But when I do relax, for bed that is, I'm out in no time at all. If Ralph lets me, I sleep for twelve hours or more, like I did on Sunday. But last Saturday, I made a real good first impression--I showed up at the Alliance almost an hour late. I overslept.
Dr. Balis: How did it go there?
Mr. Rozzi: Other than being late on my first day there, it went good. I had a good time. I actually forgot about the trial for a few hours. I painted these great clouds, real big, on a deep blue sky. They are really plain, but they look like real clouds, and they can use them on stage. That's what they are for, I mean. I had a good time. I met some other kids, mostly younger than me. But some real cool people were there. Josh seems to be pretty cool. He didn't seem upset that I was late. He actually seemed relieved to see me. But I won't be late next Saturday. Oh, and another thing which is pretty cool, my mom and Mark are getting married.
Dr. Balis: They are? That's good.
Mr. Rozzi: You know, I said exactly the same thing. Yeah, they told me Friday night when I went over there for dinner. Mark was hinting that he would like me back at the house with them. Oh, yeah! And he wants me to be his best man, isn't that cool?
Dr. Balis: That's great, Alex. This is good news.
Mr. Rozzi: It's something that I always dreamed of. And now, it's almost like it's too late for me.
Dr. Balis: Why would it be too late?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, now they got Aaron, and he's quite a handful, too. But now that they got him and I'm almost an adult--well, I am an adult now, practically--it's just not the same as I thought it would be. But it's a good thing that finally my mom is getting married. Her name won't be Rozzi anymore. It'll be my middle name--Jarrod. Rozzi sounds better, though. Oh, well. So, pretty cool, huh?
Dr. Balis: It is, Alex. Well, we've run out of time for now. I'll see you next week.
Mr. Rozzi: Okay. Well, thanks, dude.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Alex.
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