Transcript of 42nd Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. Alex Rozzi, Wednesday, April 22, 1998 at 5:00 pm.

Mr. Rozzi: Hey, Doc.
Dr. Balis: Hello, Alex. How are you doing this week?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, I'm the one that's going to say, "I told you so."
Dr. Balis: About what?
Mr. Rozzi: My mom, the bitch. I knew it wouldn't last with her, I just knew it. She's back to her old self again, but this time it's probably more my fault than I want to admit, you know? It's like, "Bite me, spank me, whatever!"
Dr. Balis: You're having problems with your mother again?
Mr. Rozzi: Duh, that's what I'm trying to tell you. Yes, I'm having problems with her. "Problems" is a generous word, as far as she's concerned. She really knows when to stir up the shit pan, too. The other night, Friday night, I brought Luke over there. It was only his second time there and probably his last, but I'm getting sidetracked. What was I telling you about? Oh yeah, my mom. So anyway, we were having this nice dinner. She was being too quiet. I noticed that Mark and I were doing most of the talking. After dinner, I decided to help with the dishes and stuff. She was in the kitchen, pounding and slamming things down. Her jaw was all clenched tight, but she wasn't saying a word to me. Well, I knew the time had come, finally--she was ready to blow any minute. So I just said, "Out with it, mom."
Dr. Balis: What did she do?
Mr. Rozzi: What didn't she do or say? She said, "I'm damn mad at you!" And she was going off loud enough for everyone in the other room to hear. She told me she was angry about the shoplifting. It turned out that she knew the lady at that particular shop, so I embarrassed her. And she was pissed because she was certain that I'm doing drugs, remember? At the trial? Well, she remembered. Yeah, you remember and so did she. Everything I said on the stand at Benny's trial came back to haunt me, thanks to my mother. She accused me of doing speed. And I was like, "No way!" But of course, as usual, she didn't believe me. Then she went on to tell me that she wasn't about to sign any papers that will allow me to graduate from school early--it turned out that I have enough credits to graduate right now. And even though Mark wanted me to live there with them, that wasn't necessarily what she wanted.
Dr. Balis: How did you respond?
Mr. Rozzi: Not good. I raised my voice back at her. And before I knew it, she brought her hand up to slap me in the face. Can you believe that? She was going to slap me! But I put my hand up and caught hers in time. And that's when Mark came in, just at the right moment to see me with her wrist in my hand.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Rozzi: It was wonderful, just wonderful! I was all like totally out of there, you know? Luke and I just got up and left. But that wasn't even the best part of all this. There was a whole lot more.
Dr. Balis: What do you mean?
Mr. Rozzi: So here were Luke and my sisters and Mark all out in the dining room, listening to every word, because we were yelling. And so now, Luke knows about the shoplifting, I didn't mention that to him before then. He was all cool, kind of quiet, but I thought that he was maybe stunned or something--he never saw my mom and me fight before, I don't think. So he told me that he was thinking that maybe we ought to have a trial separation. And I was like, "What?" He said that he needs some space right now. I was all, "Okay, but where did this come from all of a sudden?"
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Rozzi: You know, I was wondering what was wrong. But we hadn't even had a fight or anything. So he asked me when I was planning to tell him about the shoplifting. And I was like, "What can I say," you know? What could I say to him? Then he went on about the S&M and all that. Oh, and I forgot. While my mom and I were fighting, the baby started screaming. He wanted to join in I guess. And my mom was like, "Look what you've done now! You made him cry!" That bitch really hates me, you know? Well, sometimes I just hate her, too.
Dr. Balis: Alex, take a moment now and breathe in deep and slow. Yes, like that. There, much better. Good. You were going pretty fast there for a minute, I was afraid you might hyperventilate.
Mr. Rozzi: I think I did hyperventilate the other day. We were in Santa Cruz, Tony and I, and Regina and Cami came along, too. Luke was going to go, but he dumped me or something. Anyway, we got stoned before climbing aboard the Giant Dipper, and we rode that damned thing seventeen times or something like that. That thing was spinning my brains all around. And I was all in my head about all this shit. And when we got off, all of a sudden, everything was going dark on me and I couldn't breathe. Tony said I started to turn blue before he punched a quick and hard blow to my chest, and then I came out of it. I was pretty shaky for a while after that. Later, we headed down the pier and ate at this fish place. And then we watched the sunset with all those high dusty clouds turning all purple and pink and orange. It was so cool! But, dude, when I blacked out...I was so scared.
Dr. Balis: Have you had anything like that happen to you before?
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, I think so. Once or twice maybe. Why?
Dr. Balis: When was the last time before the Santa Cruz incident?
Mr. Rozzi: You know, I do remember the last time very vividly. It was the first night after I did my testimony at Benny's trial. I was standing there painting--and it was the same thing except I was alone--and the next thing I knew, I was eating the linoleum. It was too weird. And I was real shaky after that, too. So anyway, yeah...Luke broke up with me. And the funny thing is maybe it hasn't really hit me yet. I don't think I'm feeling the way I'm suppose to feel about it. Does that make sense?
Dr. Balis: Maybe the reality of the break up hasn't hit you yet. Did you say he only wanted a trial separation? Have you really broken up?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, I didn't get that far yet. He was telling me all these things--especially things about the S&M--that he doesn't like. And he refused completely to even try to understand. He thought it was a sick thing to do, and he didn't understand how I could let someone do that to me, let alone a girl, a lesbian. Well, that didn't hit me quite the way he intended it to. I was pretty damn offended by it, you know? I was like, "Okay, so now we're getting down to the bottom of all this." He's homophobic, is that the right word for it? He doesn't like lesbiterians. And you know what else? I don't think he really accepts his own homosexual nature. You know that?
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Rozzi: So here we were standing out in front of my mom's house, and I was all freaking and getting more and more upset. And he just stormed off. Just like that, he walked away. And that was last Friday night, and I haven't heard from him since. I don't plan to call him. Fuck him! I really...I don't need his shit anyway. He can...well, it's...uh, it's his loss, you know?
Dr. Balis: You are feeling really bad about this.
Mr. Rozzi: Huh? Isn't that what I've been telling you all along? Earth to Doctor Balis! Earth to Doctor Balis! It's not like I'm all out there, busting out, running wild and free in the sunshine, all happy. It's fucked up, you know? It totally blows. What a mess all of a sudden. It's's, uh...well, I don't know. I just don't know anymore. I haven't been sleeping well at all, and I'm not very hungry.
Dr. Balis: Alex...
Mr. Rozzi: I'm not done with the story. Yes, there's more. After all that with Luke, I was so upset that I walked over to Regina's house. I knew she'd be home because she lives with her dad and he's kind of old and needs someone there at night in case he falls or something. He's sick and stuff. So I went over there, and I was trying not to cry in front of her. I hate crying. And she saw all over my face that something was wrong. Her dad was all passed out, so we went down to the garage to burn some.
Dr. Balis: To smoke marijuana?
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, to burn a little. We were down there talking and smoking, and all of a sudden, the door slammed open and her father was standing there pointing his finger at me and yelling, "I can smell that shit you're giving to my daughter! I don't want this boy in my house ever again! Get him out of here!" And he tried to come down the stairs. And Regina ran up to stop him. And I was all...I was just standing there frozen, not knowing what I should do. And he kept yelling, "Goddamn little son-of-a-bitch, corrupting my daughter!" And she was pushing him back into the house. And I was thinking if he only knew. It wasn't even my dope, it was hers! I can't win. I was corrupting her! Can you really believe that?
Dr. Balis: You had a rough week.
Mr. Rozzi: To put it mildly. Very mildly! Now I am faced with this old fart hating me for nothing, but hating me just the same. Then, late that night, like at two in the morning, Regina came knocking on my bedroom window. She decided to run out of there.
Dr. Balis: She ran away from home?
Mr. Rozzi: You can say that. She just took off. I guess she had had enough already. So now, she is sleeping in the studio at night.
Dr. Balis: Does Ralph know that?
Mr. Rozzi: Well...
Dr. Balis: Alex?
Mr. Rozzi: He knows now, he didn't the first night. But I knew I couldn't keep something like that from him. He'd shit in his pants--which is nearly what I did when her father came careening down into the garage. So Ralph's cool with it so long as it's a temporary thing. She is making arrangements to go with Cami. But Cami is staying with some other people...oh, it's all so complicated. My life is such a mess.
Dr. Balis: I know it seems that way now, but things will settle down. Alex, how much marijuana are you smoking these days?
Mr. Rozzi: Huh? Why? I mean, I'm not a pot head.
Dr. Balis: Well, I'm sure you don't think so. But you told me that you smoke regularly before you paint, you smoked in Regina's father's garage, and you were smoking before the roller coaster ride. I'm concerned that your smoking is getting out of hand, Alex. With everything else going on in your life, the marijuana only inhibits your ability to cope. Have you realized that your life seems to be out of hand lately?
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, so?
Dr. Balis: I worry when you tell me that you are hyperventilating. It sounds like classic symptoms of severe anxiety. Now, if the anxiety was something occurring of its own accord and if you weren't smoking marijuana, I would be able to treat it. But smoking dope only exacerbates the situation. It breaks down your judgment, directly inhibiting your coping ability.
Mr. Rozzi: Uh huh, right. You just want me to stop smoking it.
Dr. Balis: Of course I do. But I think the reasons are obvious and I just laid them out for you.
Mr. Rozzi: Are you saying that pot is the cause of all my problems? You have got to be kidding!
Dr. Balis: No, it's not the trigger, but it is making things worse. You seem really on edge these past few weeks, and I don't need to point out the trouble you have been in lately. Alex, your judgment is off. I think that this has something to do with your unresolved feelings about Benny, the trial, and Joe. You're trying to numb yourself into not feeling any pain, but that's a dangerous alternative to doing what we do here together. I know that talking it out is hard, but it works. Covering up your pain with drugs never works.
Mr. Rozzi: It''s...why do you do that? So what if Benny is on my mind, all the time. So fucking what? And who cares if Joe is still in the back of my mind? The past is the past, and I don't ever want to dwell on it, see?
Dr. Balis: I understand that, Alex. But this is what we are here for. We are here to work through your problems. And you are using marijuana to escape from them.
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah. Well, I don't appreciate you bringing up...oh well, you kind of hit the nail square on, you know that? I don't know how you do that, you must be psychic or something. That stuff is always there in my head. I don't know. What do I do?
Dr. Balis: Take some time to think about things.
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, I guess I can do that.
Dr. Balis: Now, we've run out of time, Alex. Take care, and I'll see you next week. And if you need to talk to me sooner, just give me a call and we can work it out, okay?
Mr. Rozzi: All right. Well, thanks, dude.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Alex.
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