Transcript of 16th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. Alex Rozzi, Wednesday, September 10, 1997 at 5:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Alex. Where's your hair?
Mr. Rozzi: Here, let me take off my beanie. There, see? It's still there, only a lot less of it. I had to cut some off to get that burned part out.
Dr. Balis: It looks nice.
Mr. Rozzi: Well thanks. It really makes a difference when I'm wearing my helmet. Ralph says I should go all the way and cut it short, but I think to my shoulders is short enough, you know?
Dr. Balis: It looks nice this way, Alex. So tell me what's been going on with you this week? Oh, and how is school?
Mr. Rozzi: Do we have to talk about school? It's there, that's about all I can say. The only good thing is that I was able to get into a couple of art classes including sculpting. I like papier mâché and perspective drawing. They are offering these little mini courses within a class. So that should be cool. The other classes I have are Economics, the typical Algebra and History, and the other shit that we have to take. Oh, and I got into an advanced English class. But everything is so controlled these days, you know? Even the media--all controlled.
Dr. Balis: What do you mean?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, do you ever pay attention to ads? I mean really pay attention? They are not only pretty stupid, but they are subliminal. Little messages come out of them: "consume, consume." It's all a joke. It's all so superficial, just like those pretty-boys down there at school--superficial. Roly is like that too, in a way. He spends money like it's nothing. And all he wants to do is buy things: clothes, watches, CD's--and he has a lot of them, too. But there's so much more to life than buying things. So many things are available that you don't have to buy, but most people don't see it that way. A walk on the beach, for example, that's free. Petting a dog--free, too. So I see that a lot of stuff just isn't necessary. And so many people go out of their way to make things hard, you know?
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Rozzi: Did you ever call a business and got someone who put you on hold or transferred you around and around? I just want to scream when they do that. People are totally rude to each other. The other day, I saw this old lady, I mean she was really old or something. She was driving along the freeway, and this dude cut her off. So she jutted her car around and in front of him and then slammed on her brakes while giving him the finger. It was an old lady, for Christ sakes. What an example for the younger generations, you know?
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Rozzi: And controlled. Our society is totally controlled by these fucked-up old white dudes who don't even have a clue how real people live. Now they have cameras at stoplights, and if you run a red it takes your picture and then you get a ticket in the mail. Happened to me while I was driving mom's car. She was pissed because the ticket got mailed to her. So now I try to stop at the lights more than before. Before I used to race to get through the intersection. Soon, I'll bet, they'll put up scanner devices on the freeways--if you go too fast, you'll get a speeding ticket. And they won't need as many cops and stuff, you know?
Dr. Balis: Alex, you seem very wound up today. How are you feeling right now?
Mr. Rozzi: That's a hard question, Doctor. How am I feeling? Well, I'll tell you. Ralph was getting irritated with my irritation last week--I've been real irritated lately, you know? So he goes out and buys...see? There we go again--brash consumerism. He buys a huge punching bag and installs it in the garage. When he took me down there to see it, I had no idea what he wanted me to do with it. So he gives me the gloves and then hands me a marking pen.
Dr. Balis: What was the marking pen for?
Mr. Rozzi: That's what I wanted to know. He told me to write anything on the bag that would help me get my aggressions out and then wail away on it.
Dr. Balis: Did you?
Mr. Rozzi: You better believe I did! Man! It was exhilarating, too. I was a little hesitant at first, but then he showed me how to punch it and stuff. And when I did, I let out a yell and then kept punching and yelling. Guess what I wrote on it?
Dr. Balis: What?
Mr. Rozzi: I wrote two things: "Die Benny" and "Fuck you Dad." I guess you can say that I'm not as wound up as I was.
Dr. Balis: That's a good way to release your aggressions, Alex. Better than some past actions you've taken. How do your arms feel?
Mr. Rozzi: Right now, they feel pumped. But the first day or two, they felt like rubber.
Dr. Balis: I'll bet. If this is helping you, then I would encourage you to keep it up.
Mr. Rozzi: You know I will. I haven't missed a day hitting that thing. Marney watched me do it, and then she did it, too. It was so cool to see her do that.
Dr. Balis: Have you told her about her brother yet?
Mr. Rozzi: Yes I did. It was hard to do it. But I thought about what you said last week. You know, I reminded myself how I felt when I discovered that someone--that bitch--kept secrets from me. I asked her again, you know? Only this time, I came right out and said it: "Mom, are you pregnant?" Well, she still lied about it and then got mad at me for asking. I don't know why she thinks she has to hide it from me. But she got what she deserves for it, that's for sure.
Dr. Balis: What do you mean? What happened to her?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, her drama and antics put a lot of pressure on her. For every lie she made, she had to make up another one. And then before she knew it, it was all too much to deal with, and she totally stressed out and ended up in the hospital for a few days. Now she has to lie in bed all day long or she will lose the baby, at least that's what Rhea told me. Got what she earned, you know? The bitch.
Dr. Balis: That sounds pretty serious, Alex. Did your mom finally tell you the truth?
Mr. Rozzi: Mark did. Then when she realized I knew, she told me to get out.
Dr. Balis: She threw you out?
Mr. Rozzi: I'm the cause for her problems, you know? She always needs someone to blame, and who's better to blame than me? I'm the bad seed, the rotten son--you name it and she's called me it. You know what I told her? I told her that the only reason she's pissed at me is because this pregnancy reminds her of when she was pregnant with me and now everyone's going pay.
Dr. Balis: You act like you don't seem to care either way about her pregnancy. How do you really feel about it, Alex? Are you relieved to know that she's not dying or very ill?
Mr. Rozzi: I hope that baby gives her morning sickness all the way up to the end, you know? She deserves it. I think it is pretty sick--someone her age having a baby. Especially since there will be such a big age difference between me and it, you know? Sick, sick, sick! That's how I feel about it. As far as what I thought before, this is better because now she gets to suffer!
Dr. Balis: I see. Alex, have you thought about writing your mother's name on that punching bag?
Mr. Rozzi: You're a real funny guy, you know that? But it's a good idea. Maybe I'll do just that. Maybe I'll write her name all over it. Hmm, hadn't thought about it before now, but that really is a good idea. Thanks, Doctor. I'm going to go do that right now. Bye!
Dr. Balis: Alex, we still have plenty of time. I would like to talk a bit more about Marney. What happened after you told her about Tony?
Mr. Rozzi: I told you already. She pummeled that punching bag, remember?
Dr. Balis: And what happened after that?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, she wanted to go right over there and get him--just like I told you she would. But I kept her from doing that right away. We made a plan, and I got Roly in on it, too.
Dr. Balis: You found Roly?
Mr. Rozzi: He found me, actually. He's staying in this sleazy place over in the Tenderloin, and he's trying to stay clean. Operative word: trying. He goes back and forth, up and down. He's a human yo-yo! Crazier than the masses, he is. But he's harmless, really. So anyway, I agreed to try to get Tony out of that place. But I told Marney that I didn't want her there when we do it, because I don't want her to see the stuff that's in that house. It would make her sick to know what kind of sex goes on there. And the toys in there are enough to make deep-throat blush! But Roly and me are going to go over there this weekend, when the old fart is out of the house, and get Tony. Tony knows something is coming down, but he isn't sure what. And I want to keep him kind of in the dark about it until the very last minute, you know?
Dr. Balis: Hmm. Alex, this could be a very dangerous thing for you to do. What if that man comes home and tries to stop you? What if Tony doesn't want to be saved? Have you thought everything through?
Mr. Rozzi: Look at me, Doctor. I'm bigger than most adults, and I've seen that old fucker. He's big, but he's not that big. I know I can take him. Roly and I together surely can overpower him, if we need to.
Dr. Balis: This is what I'm talking about, Alex. If it comes to blows...
Mr. Rozzi: Not a problem. He won't give us any trouble. And don't try to talk me out of it, because Tony and Marney are my friends, probably my only true friends besides Ralph and maybe you. And it's the least I can do for them. So don't give me any shit about it, okay?
Dr. Balis: Hmm. I can certainly understand wanting to help your friends, but in case something goes wrong...
Mr. Rozzi: I've thought of that already, Doc. I'm going to call Marney as soon as we get up to Castro street--she'll give us thirty minutes to get in and out. So we already covered that part of it. The next part is to get Tony to a doctor. He's in real bad shape. He told me that he is HIV positive, but he isn't showing any symptoms yet. And the drugs aren't helping any--his addiction to them is what's been keeping him there. I just have to keep Tony and Roly from spending too much time together.
Dr. Balis: Alex, you're taking on a lot of responsibility here. And you don't really have to...
Mr. Rozzi: No shit, remember? I told you to not give me any shit about it!
Dr. Balis: I'm concerned that by taking on all of these worries and responsibilities...please keep in mind that I'm a phone call away, if you need me.
Mr. Rozzi: I guess you're telling me that we are out of time?
Dr. Balis: I'm telling you that if you feel things get out of control or over your head, to call me. And yes, we are out of time for today. Same time next week then? Oh and Alex, I'm glad to hear about the art classes. And Ralph's punching bag idea--it's good.
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, I'm glad he got it. Oh well, got to catch that bus, you know?
Dr. Balis: Where's your bike today?
Mr. Rozzi: I took it over for its first tune-up. They told us to bring it in after a month or so for some adjustments and stuff. I'll get it back tomorrow.
Dr. Balis: Okay, then. Take care, Alex.
Mr. Rozzi: Hanging loose, man. Hanging loose!
Arrow, Straight, Left, Earlier Arrow, Straight, Right, Later

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