Transcript of 53rd Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. Alex Rozzi, Wednesday, July 8, 1998 at 5:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Alex. Alex, your face...
Mr. Rozzi: Never mind, it's been a rough week. So don't start, okay? What? What's wrong? Why are you looking at me like that?
Dr. Balis: Are you going to tell me what happened?
Mr. Rozzi: Okay. Sorry, dude. It's's...well, it's been a real shitty week, you know? Ralph is home now, and it's not pretty, I'm telling you. And my little slip with Sharon backfired on me for the second time, but no thanks to her. Regina tried to crash a party on the Fourth of July but failed; failed; failed! About the only good thing that has happened lately is that I got to spend some time with Katherine before she left for Alaska. So where do you want me to start?
Dr. Balis: You spent some time with Katherine?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, a few days before the party she threw at the Alliance on the Fourth, she and I went for a cool boat ride with Professor Cullem and his wife on their sailboat. It was so totally cool! The boat isn't very big, but we went out on the Bay, and up through the Golden Gate, and out into the open ocean for awhile. After we got off the boat, my legs felt like rubber for the rest of the night. It was a trip! The professor is cool for an old dude. He's into anthropology or something like that. His wife was nice, too. She wore all this jewelry, like an old Indian woman would wear, and she was kind of...I don't know, she was sort of mystical or something. But anyway, the boat was fun. They let me steer for awhile. They had everything which had to do with sailing that thing down to a science, so I just watched in awe. I was hoping and praying that a huge whale would jump clean out of the water near us. Everyone would have shitted in their pants if it happened. I know I would have!
Dr. Balis: Sounds like a nice day.
Mr. Rozzi: It was. After that, Katherine and I went back to my place. Ralph wasn't home from the hospital yet, and I hadn't cooked all week--no real need to. And you know what she wanted? Fondue.
Dr. Balis: Fondue?
Mr. Rozzi: You heard me right. I thought that stuff was a thing of the past, the seventies, at least that's what I've heard. But I searched until I found a recipe and I made it from scratch. It was so Velveeta! And I baked some sourdough from scratch and some vegetables. And man--I gorged myself silly. Katherine really liked it, it was what she said she wanted. She brought over something, but I couldn't eat any of it--that fondue shit fills you up! I let out a huge burp, and Katherine just laughed. She looked good. By now, she's probably in Alaska, I guess. We talked and talked for hours. We talked about anything and everything: her trip, and what she hopes to find; and me, and my current little psychodrama. It was just as if no time had passed since we last spent any time together.
Dr. Balis: That's good. I thought she had already left. I'm glad you were able to get together with Katherine before her trip, Alex.
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, me too. I hope when I'm her age, I'll be like her. Successful, that's what she is. Successful--that's when you can just get up and go somewhere--wherever you want, whenever you want--and have no responsibilities. Well, it's not that she doesn't have any responsibilities, but you know what I mean. Well, it was fun and the should have seen it. All kinds of people showed up, including Regina. It was such a great mix of people. I think some of the people there were from SII, but mostly they were art people. I saw Selvyn there; I haven't seen him in a long time. I told him about Ralph, he didn't know. I saw a lot of people I recognized. I was expecting Jake to show up. It was sort of a going away party for Katherine, the way it turned out, but he never...oh well.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Rozzi: And that foolish little bitch Regina tried to crash the party. Before I knew what was happening, there was some ruckus going on. And then I saw her--it was as if the entire crowd turned their eyes towards her. She practically crawled away in shame. Later, a rumor came around that she had a gun--she bought it at a gun shop. But yeah, right. I don't believe she could buy a gun if she wanted to. She's not even eighteen, and they don't sell to kids.
Dr. Balis: I hope she doesn't have a gun...
Mr. Rozzi: She doesn't. She couldn't. No way. Do you think? No, she wouldn't have the balls to. Well, I'm not going to concern myself with that trash. She got just what she deserved--trash should be escorted to the curb!
Dr. Balis: Well, maybe it would be wise to be a little extra cautious, Alex.
Mr. Rozzi: I guess. Damn! She really bugs the hell out of me sometimes. Shit! I can't think about her right now, you know?
Dr. Balis: All right. Tell me where you got the fat lip.
Mr. Rozzi: Huh? Oh that! Well, we can thank that nut case Sharon for that.
Dr. Balis: Sharon hit you?
Mr. Rozzi: No. Ha! Ha! You act like you know her or something. Jeez, dude, get a hold of yourself. No, Tony gave me the fat lip. But it was because of Sharon and her big fat loose-lipped mouth. And don't say: "I told you so."
Dr. Balis: What happened?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, it seems she told Tony what I said, and he got mad just like you warned me he would. He called and asked me to come over, he said he wanted to talk. When I got there, he didn't just come right out and say what was on his mind. He was really pissing me off--he was acting like a total jerk. But then he went, "Why did you tell her I have HIV? What are you so fucking jealous of her for?" And I was like, "I'm not jealous!" And before I knew it, I was on my back on the floor, and he was on top of me. We were rolling around and knocking the furniture around. It all happened so fast. It was like lightning. So anyway, a few things were broken, and the place was a total mess. We ended up just sitting there on the floor and out of breath, looking at each other. And then all of a sudden, something clicked and we both busted out laughing. There I was with a bitten tongue and lip, and I was bleeding. Tony had chipped a tooth and got pretty banged up, too. He even had a couple of bloody scrapes on him. But we were both laughing our heads off. You're looking at me in that way you do...
Dr. Balis: What do you mean?
Mr. Rozzi: Come on, Doc, you know. It's like you want to say, "I told you so." Don't you? Okay, just say it then.
Dr. Balis: I did try to warn you.
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, I know, but I didn't listen--typical me. Sometimes I get an idea, and I just have to go with it for some reason regardless of whether it's right or wrong. I just can't help myself sometimes. But at least now everything is out in the open, and Tony knows where I stand, and I know where he stands. The bitch isn't going anywhere. If anything, this has probably brought them closer together. So it really backfired on me three times: once, when I told her; then when Tony and I had our little knock-down-drag-out fight; and now they're closer together than ever. Payback's a real motherfucker. And okay, you did try to warn me. I accept my defeat like a man. I just can't help but blame Sharon for the stupid fight, though. If she hadn't opened her big mouth...I guess I'm going to see her again sometime, and I hope I can maintain my cool when I do and not go off on her. I've got to be cool for Tony, that's what Cami said.
Dr. Balis: Hmm?
Mr. Rozzi: Cami. She said that I've got to be cool for Tony. It doesn't matter if I like Sharon or not; I've got to make it seem like I like her for Tony's benefit.
Dr. Balis: Perhaps that's not a bad idea.
Mr. Rozzi: I'll try to hold it back when I see her next time. Can we change the subject or something? I'm not really into talking about this anymore, okay?
Dr. Balis: Okay. Earlier, you mentioned that Ralph is home from the hospital. How is he?
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, they let him come home a few days ago. We have this nurse coming over to the house a few times a week so Ralph can get used to his...uh, his bag.
Dr. Balis: Oh. He has a colostomy bag?
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah. That's bad, but they said it's only temporary. So anyway, Helga, the head nurse, came and steam-rolled the house. And then Edward showed up at the front door.
Dr. Balis: Who's Edward?
Mr. Rozzi: Ralph's ex. He's really his only ex. They were together a long time ago, and Ralph has always had this thing for him, even though they aren't together any more. Ralph must have called him while he was still in the hospital. But between Helga the head nurse and Edward the hurricane, I was thinking I may have to move into the art studio. Edward is such an old queen, and I hate old queens! He is a nurse, too. So he just comes in like a hurricane and takes over. He even tried to take over for Helga. He's like Mary the control freak or something. He's so frou-frou, too, such a sis, it's totally gross. So he wants to run everything, and he just brushes past me like I'm some street I don't even exist. I mean, fuck me! I don't know how long I'll be able to last. And Ralph is such a big whiny-butt, he's totally milking it, you know?
Dr. Balis: Alex, try to step back for a moment and look at this in a different way. With the nurse coming over and Edward running things, it's not all in your lap. You said before just how difficult it was on you. So their help is a good thing.
Mr. Rozzi: I hadn't thought of it like that. It's not as if I can't or wouldn't do it, it's just...I don't know. It's like I still can't believe this. In a few weeks, when Ralph heals up some, they're going to start radiation and chemotherapy. How do I help with that? I'm totally useless in this.
Dr. Balis: Not really. Take your time. Edward seems to want the responsibilities, so let him have them. You can help Ralph by being his friend and being there for him. There will come a time when he needs you or wants you to do something for him. But mainly, just treat him like you usually do. I think he'll appreciate that more than anything else. Try to avoid treating him like he's sick and needy. Help him out if he needs it.
Mr. Rozzi: I'll try, but with little Miss Edward buzzing around all the time...I don't know. It just really bugs me, all this upheaval. I thought I was through with that. Who knows how long this Edward person is going to be camping out in the extra bedroom? He even rearranged some of the furniture already, can you believe that? Dammit! I get so...I don't know, so weird about this. I'm thinking all these things: like what's going to happen to him? Is he going to be in a lot of pain or discomfort? Am I going to be in the way or will he still want me around? How can I help him if I don't know what to do? I feel so helpless. It's like there's really nothing I can do.
Dr. Balis: Just be there for him, Alex. Just be there and be his friend, okay?
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, I know. But...
Dr. Balis: I understand, Alex. It's not unusual to feel the way you do.
Mr. Rozzi: I just hope he doesn't start talking about that Hemlock Society stuff again. That would be just what I need to hear right now, you know? I can't even think...I don't want to think about Ralph as dying, but he is, isn't he? Wait! Don't answer that. I know he is. At least he might die, but...
Dr. Balis: No one can answer that.
Mr. Rozzi: Well, I should be going now. I've got a lot to do at The Alliance. And Luke said he may show up tonight. So I'll see you later, okay?
Dr. Balis: All right, Alex. I'll see you at the same time next week. Call me if things get out of hand or are too much for you to handle, okay?
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, okay. It's all right, dude. I'll be fine. Later!
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Alex.
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