Transcript of 13th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. Alex Rozzi, Wednesday, August 20, 1997 at 12:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Alex. Please come in. You're riding your bike today? You don't mind all the traffic?
Mr. Rozzi: Nah. Actually, I kind of like it. It keeps my head focused on the present, you know?
Dr. Balis: Well, I suppose that it would. Are you having trouble with staying focused on things lately?
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, sometimes I do. There's a lot going on in my mind right now, and I seem to find it harder to keep focused on any one thing.
Dr. Balis: Well, there's certainly a lot going on in your life. But I'm glad that you've figured out one way to remain focused and in the moment. And it's a healthy way to do it, I might add.
Mr. Rozzi: I got a new bike last weekend. Actually, Ralph got it for me. It's a Schwinn Mesa GSX. It has the rock-shocks on it and the new style braking system--it's real cool. Haven't been able to stay away from it for too long. I was thinking about riding it down to Belmont to see Roly, but I think that he might be home before I build myself up to such a distance, you know? But I did get down there to see him, a couple of times actually. I didn't even recognize him, they have him so drugged up.
Dr. Balis: How did it make you feel to see him that way?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, at first I was shocked, because he really looked different to me. He lost a lot of weight. I know he didn't lose it all overnight or anything, but he really is skinny right now. And his skin is whiter than white. His hair was all messed up like it hadn't been combed in days. But it was his eyes that really scared me.
Dr. Balis: Why?
Mr. Rozzi: I was expecting his eyes to be bloodshot or something like that. But here he was with this totally blank expression in them, like he wasn't really in there, you know? I guess they plan to keep him there for a while. I'm sure his father is behind all this.
Dr. Balis: What does his father have to do with it?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, even though Roly is over eighteen, his dad still calls the shots. Roly doesn't even have a job, so his dad is paying for that place and I'm certain that it isn't cheap. But since his dad pays for it, he gets to decide when Roly gets out. And it's not that his dad really cares about Roly or anything; it's just a matter of his dad's convenience.
Dr. Balis: Alex, I'm sure there's more to the situation than what you see. Roly's condition tells me that. Plus, Roly's doctors are the ones who make the decisions about treatment, not his father.
Mr. Rozzi: Never mind. You don't understand his father, but that's not all that important. Roly's dad is this rich guy who uses his money to manipulate people, and I'll bet they have Roly all drugged up because his father wants it that way. It keeps Roly out of his hair for a while. He did it to him before, when he was in the hospital the last time. But this isn't what I wanted to talk to you about anyway. I have other things I want to talk to you about. The first part of my plan is coming together. I just got my admission package to the Culinary Academy, but it looks like I won't be able to start there until next year because of the GED thing and my age.
Dr. Balis: I'll bet it feels good to get things rolling.
Mr. Rozzi: It's good, I guess. Kind of pissed me off that I may have to wait a while before things start to happen though. People my age have absolutely no rights at all. That pisses me off too, you know? I'm not a stupid person, but most people my age are, so go figure. Most people my age are sitting in front of a TV or a computer all day, and I mean all the time! That's no way to learn anything. I learned things the old fashioned way--by experiencing them and by reading books. My grandmother wouldn't even let me see a television, let alone turn one on. We didn't have TV in the living room like most people do, and I think that they did me a favor by being like that. Mom told me that they did the same thing with her, too. But she doesn't even use her brain, you know? And she's not really a stupid person, she just does stupid things. Oh, by the way, I'm not going back there.
Dr. Balis: Hmm?
Mr. Rozzi: I'm not going to live in that house.
Dr. Balis: What happened? Last week it seemed like you were gearing yourself up to move back in.
Mr. Rozzi: I don't know what it is, but something is going on there that I haven't been able to figure out. Mark's birthday is coming up, and mom called to ask me to go with her to the Embarcadero Center to get him a present. When I got to the house, I could hear Mark and my mom fighting with each other, but I didn't hear what it was about. So when I went inside, they acted like nothing was wrong. I was looking at my mom and she was playing innocent. So I just came out and asked Mark what he thought he was doing--fighting with my mom like that, yelling the way he was. Then he and I went outside and I was ready to kick his ass, you know? He told me that mom was having a hard time adjusting to all the changes in her life--Mark and the girls moved in and Aunt Sofie lying in the hospital. I started to think of Aunt Sofie in the hospital--it reminded me of my grandmother and what she went through. I guess Aunt Sofie is sort of going through the same thing. I bet it reminds my mom of the same thing, you know? So this all made sense then. Although the idea of my mom being hard to live with wasn't a surprise to me!
Dr. Balis: I'm sorry to hear about your aunt, Alex. But what was it that bothers you about going back home?
Mr. Rozzi: Think about this for a minute. What happened to Mark's wife? Why don't Racyl and Rhea know what happened to their mom? My mom and I don't get along and all. But if I had a dad and he took me away somewhere, I think that she would look for me or something. So I asked Mark that, too. I asked him where she was, and he didn't have a good answer.
Dr. Balis: What did he tell you?
Mr. Rozzi: He told me that they got a divorce and that he got custody of the girls. Come on! I wasn't born under the turnip truck, you know? They were married and living as a family just a few months ago. I don't believe that the bureaucracy is any different in Canada than it is here. But the weird part is that neither Racyl nor Rhea seem to care much about her. I asked them and they weren't even bothered by it.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Rozzi: But that's not the only reason I am not going back there. When my mom and I were shopping, she needed to go into the bathroom just about every ten minutes. I asked her what was wrong, and she said that she must have eaten something bad or something. But I think she was lying to me.
Dr. Balis: Why do think she would lie to you about that?
Mr. Rozzi: Do you remember what she looked like? I mean what her appearance was like? Only weeks ago, she had some color in her cheeks and a little fat on her body. And now she has lost weight and looks like hell. At first, I thought she wasn't wearing any makeup, but then I really looked at her--she was wearing makeup but it made her look just that: made up. At least before, she looked like she was ready for a stage performance. Now she looks made up and phony. You know, I just realized how superficial so many things are. People, events, media--it's all so superficial and concocted, you know? But you know what I think it is with my mom?
Dr. Balis: What?
Mr. Rozzi: I think she is dying.
Dr. Balis: Because of the weight loss and her repeated visits to the bathroom?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, those things all by themselves wouldn't make me think that. But all of a sudden she is being sweeter than sweet to me and trying to get us all together as a family--it's really bizarre. I asked her and she said there is nothing wrong. But I know that something is up with her, something serious, maybe even something bad.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. Well, don't jump to any conclusions just yet, Alex. There might be a perfectly reasonable explanation to all of this.
Mr. Rozzi: I don't even know how I feel about it, you know? If she dies then I will be left pretty much alone. But I'll still have Ralph, and he's trying hard to make things work out better for us. How could I move back in with her and then have her die on me? I just don't...ah, I really haven't thought about how I feel about all this.
Dr. Balis: Well, Alex, I think that it would be better if you sat down with your mom and told her your concerns--not about her dying, but about the things that make you feel uncomfortable or that you think are odd. As I said, maybe there's a logical explanation for all this. Tell your mom that you're worried about her. Say that you would like to know what's going. I'll bet if you try to keep yourself from being confrontational, she'll tell you what you want know.
Mr. Rozzi: I don't know that I want to know, you know? That sounded funny. But I may be better off not knowing. I'll think about it though. Guess what else Ralph did? He went out and bought a bunch of stuff and set up one of the extra bedrooms as an art studio. That was a big surprise.
Dr. Balis: Is Ralph an artist?
Mr. Rozzi: No, not at all. He did it for me. I showed him some of the drawings I did, and he went wild over one of them--he actually took it and had it framed. Since he did that, I've been making these mosaic style drawings--they sort of look like stained-glass windows. And playing around with the colors has been a lot of fun. I realized this week that keeping myself busy is going to save my sanity, you know?
Dr. Balis: That was certainly a nice thing for Ralph to do. And a new bicycle, too.
Mr. Rozzi: Well, I think he's just trying to kiss my ass and keep me there longer, you know? But it did feel good to come home and find my drawing matted and framed like that. It was the Porsche that I showed you, remember? The one that was made up entirely of dots?
Dr. Balis: I remember.
Mr. Rozzi: Well, Ralph is being very good to me, and it feels good. I figure that I'm worth it, you know? It's not like I asked for these things, and plus I work my butt off cooking dinner for him just about every night. This is his way of showing me that he appreciates it. And he really is trying to make things work with us. Really.
Dr. Balis: Who are you trying to convince?
Mr. Rozzi: What the hell does that mean?
Dr. Balis: Alex, you don't seem to be very convinced about what you're telling me yourself. Please, correct me if I'm wrong.
Mr. Rozzi: Well, I can't really place it into words. Shit. Okay, there is something else going on there, too. Or maybe it's just me, I don't know. He brought over this man--this seventy-six year old man who used to be an art instructor. This guy was looking at my work and telling me that I have a promising talent, and he was offering to teach me--just like I was telling you I wanted to do.
Dr. Balis: What's wrong with that?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, when Ralph left the two of us alone for a while, this guy started to act all weird--like he was drooling over me and being all perverted and stuff. I guess I thought that he was going to grab my crotch or try to do something to me--not that he would or even could get away with that kind of shit--but it made me feel like I was being prostituted out for some reason. It reminded me of Tony. And it reminded me of Benny, too.
Dr. Balis: Who is Tony?
Mr. Rozzi: Tony is Marney's little brother. He was my best friend in the whole world up until I got involved with Benny. He disappeared. He was into the trick scene and then he vanished.
Dr. Balis: Do you think he's dead?
Mr. Rozzi: No, he's not. That I know for sure. Every once in a while I get a cryptic message on my voice mail from him. So I know he's alive. I just don't know where he is and neither does his family. That's why Marney came back--someone contacted them in France and told them that they saw him recently here in the Bay Area. So she came back to look for him.
Dr. Balis: But why did this remind you of Benny?
Mr. Rozzi: Benny was the one who got Tony into tricking in the first place, just like he got me into it. Only Tony kept getting bad tricks--they would hurt him in some way. This one trick became obsessed with him, and I think that's where he is now--with that trick. And there were probably drugs and stuff too, but I'm not certain of that. That trick was a real old dude from what Tony had told me about him. So that's why this old fart reminds me of that. But I kept control of the situation with that old art teacher guy--I wasn't going to let him get away with anything.
Dr. Balis: Do you think that Ralph intended...
Mr. Rozzi: Oh no! No way! No, Ralph wouldn't do anything like that. It was probably just me and my pointy little head working a number on my mind, you know?
Dr. Balis: Hmm, I see. Well, Alex, our time is up for today. If you get these intuitions about people that Ralph is trying to...
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, I know--call you.
Dr. Balis: That's right. Okay, Alex, I'll see you next week.
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, I guess so.
Dr. Balis: Okay then, take care. And Alex? Keep up the good work.
Mr. Rozzi: Huh? Oh yeah, right. Later, dude.
Arrow, Straight, Left, Earlier Arrow, Straight, Right, Later

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