Transcript of 55th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. Alex Rozzi, Wednesday, July 22, 1998 at 5:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Alex. Please come in.
Mr. Rozzi: Hey, dude.
Dr. Balis: How was your week?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, did you ever feel like saying: "Hey! Stop this ride, I want to get off!" That's just how I've been feeling lately--I want to stop this ride and go get on another one, one less bumpy and with fewer ups and downs. My life is too crazy sometimes. Today, I wasn't even sure I would make it here.
Dr. Balis: Why is that?
Mr. Rozzi: Mainly it's because we have these visitors from Southern California--Mark's cousin Simon and his wife and kids. I almost got into it today with his wife. She's one of those born-again Christians. That bitch just knows entirely too much; at least she thinks she knows it all.
Dr. Balis: What did she do?
Mr. Rozzi: They got here yesterday. But as usual, no one told me ahead of time that they were coming, so I was surprised when Racyl and Rhea and these two other kids, twins, showed up at Ralph's door. My mom sent them over to surprise me and they did. Ralph didn't need the disturbance and neither did I--a lot of stuff with him has sort of fallen in my lap suddenly, but that's another story. So they just showed up, and I was like, "Okay, what's up?" So to make a long story short, these people are on their way up the coast to Oregon, and they decided to drop by. Mark and my mom thought it would be fun to surprise me and sent them over. I had to leave Ralph alone and go down to my mom's house. And the first thing that lady wanted was to know why I wasn't living with my family, as if it was any of her business. Mirdle is this social worker, like my social worker Marty.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Rozzi: So she was nosy and bossy. You should have heard her. And I thought my mom was a bossy bitch...but this one wrote the book on bossy. Anyway, Mirdle wanted to know why I was living with Ralph. And then when she realized I was gay...well, it totally went down the toilet from there. She stopped me as I was leaving, handed me this big envelope, and said that I should wait until I get home to open it.
Dr. Balis: What was it?
Mr. Rozzi: A magazine. It's put out by the Christian Coalition or something. I'm not really sure who puts it out. It's one of those zealous Christian-Republican-Southern-anti-abortion-always-got-a-cause organizations. It was titled "Family Values" and had a picture of three people, two women and a man. The quote at the bottom of the page read something like, "How so-and-so, so-and-so, and so-and-so overcame homosexuality." Ralph thought I was having a coronary--I screamed so loud. I couldn't believe that this bitch--whom I just met--thought it was her right to try to fix me. On top of that, she included a handwritten list of bible study radio broadcasts for the local radio stations. Arggh! Oh my god, I couldn't believe the nerve...and Ralph was in hysterics over it, too. At first, he laughed and then, he got mad. He started to yell at me, saying that I should take that stuff back over to my mom's and shove that shit down the bitch's throat. And I was like, "No!" I thought that woman was just an ignorant bitch, she probably really truly believed that she was doing me a favor or something.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Rozzi: Well, I talked to Cami about it. And today, I went over to the house and saw Mirdle again. I told her right out that she was wrong and had no right. I told it to her like this: "I know you think that you were helping me, but trying to change me would be like me coming into your house and trying to tell you to change your eye color." I used the same old line I always use. And Mirdle was like, "But, but..." I told her, "But nothing!" This woman would have had a heart attack if she had seen some of the stuff I've seen in my life. And I'm talking only about the stuff I've seen in the past few days. She has no clue at all, you know? Such ignorance, and she lives in California, too!
Dr. Balis: People like Mirdle can be very frustrating.
Mr. Rozzi: I told her, "Thank you, but I don't need your help, and I certainly don't want it. I know you mean well and all, but..."
Dr. Balis: I think you handled it well, Alex.
Mr. Rozzi: I came straight here from there. My mother stayed out of it, she probably found it amusing, knowing her. Mark kept his mouth shut because he knew I was right to say something. And his cousin Simon just sat there watching the whole thing as if he'd seen it all before. And I'd bet my last penny he had. She even said to me, "God forgives." I was all, "Gee, thank you very much. That's so important to me!" Oh well. So, let's see...what else happened this week? I went to the G-Spot for this record release party. It was a very interesting experience.
Dr. Balis: G-Spot?
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, it's really a gay bar called the End-Up, but once a week they call it the G-Spot and it becomes a lesbiterian bar. Do you want to talk weird? It was a party celebrating the release of Stevie Nicks' box set, and they were handing out free CDs and posters--that was the only reason we went, for the free stuff. Events like that really attract some of the most fanatical fans. People were dressed up like her, in shawls and lace and stuff. I went with Cami. She is totally familiar with that place. She said that those women won't mind a guy being there. But I was probably the only guy in there, although I saw a bunch of people in drag sort of. Everywhere I looked, I saw these girls that looked like boys--short little boy haircuts and little boy clothes. But if all these women are attracted to women, then why don't they want to look like women? Why did they all want to look like boys? Cami said that they do that probably out of this unconscious need to contradict what the mainstream society says a woman should be.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Rozzi: That sort of makes sense to me. But it was weird seeing all these girls dressed as boys. I caught myself almost cruising one of them until I realized I was looking at a girl. It was a different and odd sort of drag. I hadn't really paid attention to it before. And these two girls that Cami knew through Regina were there, dressed up like Stevie Nicks. They gave attitude to Cami as if she did something wrong. I thought it was because she was with me, but Cami said it was because Regina is a troublemaking little B-word.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Rozzi: So I got this cool promo CD of Stevie Nicks. Cami took the poster. And we were both happy. That night, I kept dreaming of Stevie Nicks and lesbiterians. I don't know if those dreams qualify as nightmares, but...
Dr. Balis: The Stevie Nicks party clearly made an impact on you.
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, Stevie Nicks and lesbiterians are haunting me! Go figure. Some people say we create our own realities, I wonder what I did to create this? Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Ralph will begin his chemotherapy this week, and Edward is now gone. At least I think he's gone, and I hope it's for good.
Dr. Balis: What happened to Edward?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, the other day, I found this wild bird in the backyard--a baby Peregrine falcon. It had a broken wing.
Dr. Balis: A falcon?
Mr. Rozzi: Oh, they're all over this city. They nest in the tops of the taller buildings downtown, and they hunt for small rodents, even rabbits and stuff like that. I think they even eat ducks, too. Just because we're in a city, doesn't mean that wildlife doesn't exist here.
Dr. Balis: That's true. So please go on about Edward.
Mr. Rozzi: So anyway, I ran into the house to call the Humane Society. And when I picked up the phone, Edward was talking to someone. I heard him say something like it won't be long before Ralph is gone and then everything will be his. It sounded as if Edward thought that Ralph was going to die any day now and that he would inherit Ralph's property. This time, the tables were finally turned. When he was finishing up the call, I spoke into the phone and said, "Edward, I heard what you just said, and now I know what you are up to!" He was in front of me in a flash. He begged me not to tell Ralph. He even hinted that I could have some of Ralph's stuff. But I just looked right through him, and he looked at me with daggers and his face went full white. I knew I had him by the balls. When the people from the Humane Society got there, I noticed Edward taking off in a hurry. Later, Ralph told me that things between him and Edward weren't working out and that he didn't really know what he was thinking by bringing him here. I guess he was hoping that things would be different between him and Edward. He said Edward probably won't be back. So, good riddance!
Dr. Balis: I agree...
Mr. Rozzi: Edward, the scum bag, was the one digging for gold, but he practically accused me of that! The guilty party is always the first one to speak up, you know?
Dr. Balis: Well, I'm not sure I'm very surprised by Edward's motives. His conduct towards you was unconscionable.
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, that old queen just brought trauma and drama into our lives--sashaying around like he owned the place! Jeez! I kind of wish Ralph had caught him, but it worked out either way. So now I'm helping Ralph out like Edward has been--I'm keeping track of his medication and stuff. I practically had to force feed him the other day. But he does his own damn bag, I'm not touching that, uh uh, no how, no way!
Dr. Balis: I'm glad you're able to take on such an active role in Ralph's care. I know it must be very hard on you.
Mr. Rozzi: But it's cool. Ralph is easy enough to get along with, even though he's in a bad mood all the time now. But even his bad moods are better than my mom's good moods, so it's pretty easy still. Oh, the other day, I was walking down Castro Street after picking up a prescription for Ralph and I ran into--and I mean I literally ran into--this guy who looked a lot like Benny. We ran smack into one another, neither of us were looking where we were going. I looked at him and he looked at me, and my mouth dropped to the ground and my heart stopped. He smiled at me and said he was sorry. I muttered something and then just stood there staring at him as he walked away. He even turned around once and looked back at me again. He looked so much like him. They could have been twins. It was too weird. But they say everyone has their twin somewhere out there.
Dr. Balis: I can imagine that must have been strange.
Mr. Rozzi: That's why I said earlier that I want this ride to stop so I can get off, you know? It's too much all of a sudden. I...well, I just can't seem to make sense of things sometimes.
Dr. Balis: On the contrary, I think you're handling yourself and dealing very well, Alex.
Mr. Rozzi: You think so?
Dr. Balis: I do.
Mr. Rozzi: I don't know. It just keeps coming at me full speed...
Dr. Balis: Such is life sometimes. I know how overwhelming it can seem.
Mr. Rozzi: That's for sure! Uh, we're out of time now, aren't we?
Dr. Balis: Yes, it looks like we are.
Mr. Rozzi: Okay, I'll see you in a week, dude.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Alex.
Arrow, Straight, Left, Earlier Arrow, Straight, Right, Later

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