Transcript of 19th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. Alex Rozzi, Wednesday, October 8, 1997 at 5:00 pm.

Mr. Rozzi: Hi, Doctor Balis! You'll never guess what just happened out there!
Dr. Balis: Hello, Alex. Please, sit down. What happened?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, you know Katherine? This is so weird and cool, too! Anyway, she and I have been passing each other outside since I've started coming here later in a day. And today, she gave me this card. I'm so excited! See? I have this picture to show you, and I was looking at it. When Katherine came out of your office, she saw it and told me that her boyfriend--I think his name is Jake. Yeah, that's his name, see? It's on the card. Anyway, he manages an art gallery here in the city, and she told me to call him. Maybe I could show my work there! Isn't that so cool? I mean she was like totally nice to me and seemed really interested in my work, especially these little mosaic-like things I do. She's seen some of the other stuff I've brought before. You know, besides maybe you and Ralph, no one else has ever been interested in my drawings and stuff?
Dr. Balis: That's very interesting news, Alex. That was nice of Katherine.
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, she seems so...I don't know, maybe different. Yeah, different from a lot of women I know, particularly my mother. She seems like the kind of person who wouldn't need someone else to make her feel like a complete person, you know? I mean she's not like a bitch, but you can tell she means business. Or at least she really means what she says, but I'll bet she doesn't act like a bitch about it either. Does that make sense?
Dr. Balis: I think I follow you, Alex. You seem to be very taken by her.
Mr. Rozzi: Well, yes...I mean, no...I mean...well, I don't know what I mean. She's totally cool, okay? How often does someone like that come into your life and show interest? Usually older people don't even notice I'm around unless I light myself on fire or something. And then Katherine comes along and...well, I think I could really get into a woman like that, you know?
Dr. Balis: What do you mean?
Mr. Rozzi: I don't mean like date her, but maybe as a friend. Oh, I don't know. I wish my mom was more like that. You know--had her shit together and stuff? But it's so cool! Maybe I'll become a famous artist or something. Who knows? And since the modeling thing isn't going to work for me, well maybe then this will be a good opportunity.
Dr. Balis: I encourage you to pursue it, Alex. Why isn't the modeling working out for you?
Mr. Rozzi: I guess I forgot to tell you about that. Well, remember I told you about Nala and Beilund? They wanted me to help them during the Macy's Passport show a few weeks ago--the weekend that Tony went to St. Helena. They had me in the dressing area backstage and these guys--these models...I mean, men--they were so wrong! This one guy was treating me like I was a slave, and that didn't sit too well with me. Each time he came back to change, he would talk down to me. And finally, after about ten nasty comments, I got pissed at him and gave it to him good.
Dr. Balis: Oh, Alex...
Mr. Rozzi: I kind of gave him a black eye.
Dr. Balis: Alex, you don't just kind of give someone a black eye...
Mr. Rozzi: Okay, I punched him out. But he deserved it--he was such a jerk treating me like that. So Nala told me that runway--or catwalk or whatever they call it--isn't going to work because I need to be able to take shit like that. And then the print work they seemed to have for me suddenly disappeared soon after. I guess they didn't like me to stand up for myself. But that jerk deserved it, you know? He even told me that he deserved it himself, so go figure.
Dr. Balis: Alex, this is the reason you came here in the first place--to work out these anger issues that get you into trouble. Remember the mindfulness exercises we did?
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, I do. And?
Dr. Balis: Alex, you're going to be facing difficult issues like this for the rest of your life. It's important to learn now how to deal with things that make you angry. If you go around punching people because they upset you, you'll end up an outcast and in jail. There are times and ways to stand up for yourself in a socially acceptable and responsible manner. Do you understand?
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, I get what you mean. But you don't understand--what if they deserve it?
Dr. Balis: What if everybody went around punching each other out?
Mr. Rozzi: Hmm.
Dr. Balis: This guy was testing you. You tested me in the beginning of our relationship here, remember? He wanted to see how far he could go, to see what he could get away with, you see?
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, I guess. But...
Dr. Balis: You didn't gain anything by punching him out, did you? In fact, you lost out on a chance for a modeling career with Nala. You gave in to your impulses and lost. You see how important it is to think things out before acting? Take the guy at your school--the one who gave you a shiner...
Mr. Rozzi: Tommy. And? So?
Dr. Balis: Tommy gave into his impulse, too. Did you enjoy having a black eye? Of course not. Do you see what I'm getting at? Sometimes, doing nothing is the best defense. Getting suspended from school for fighting was yet another way your impulses worked against you.
Mr. Rozzi: Okay, okay. Enough already. I get it, man. Think first, then punch!
Dr. Balis: No! That's not what I'm saying.
Mr. Rozzi: I know. I was just playing with you. But sometimes, I think I can't control it, you know? It just overcomes me--I get pissed and then I go off.
Dr. Balis: Are you still using the punching bag?
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, just about every day lately. This thing with Tony...and now Roly is out on the streets. Well, it's all gotten to me. It's like the world has gone crazy. Oh, yeah, and I almost forgot. You remember the letter I told you about? Well, whoever is doing that did it again. Only this time, they sent a photo. This has been real weird--the picture they sent was one of those gay porn ads. It looked a lot like kiddy porn, and it had Ralph pretty upset. We turned it and the other stuff over to Cecil. Ralph figured that the sooner the lawyer gets involved the better. He's pretty worried over it.
Dr. Balis: Doesn't it worry you, too?
Mr. Rozzi: Why should it? I know that Benny is behind it, and there's nothing he can do to keep me from testifying. I'm going to do it--he's totally going to fry, you know? But Cecil went over to the district attorney and gave them everything I got so far. I guess they plan to have a chat with Benny about it.
Dr. Balis: It's good that you got the lawyer involved. Maybe they need to watch Benny closer.
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah. Well, I figure what goes around, comes around, you know? I've seen Karma do it's deed too many times. Like my dad, for instance--he got just what he deserved. And it wasn't a moment too soon.
Dr. Balis: Let's talk about him some more. Last week you told me a story about the bike. You've told me a lot of other negative things about your grandfather, Alex. Do you have any positive memories of him?
Mr. Rozzi: No. Ah, now...well, I can think of one happy moment with him.
Dr. Balis: Would you care to tell me about it?
Mr. Rozzi: Before he witnessed that murder, we had a pretty good life, I think. At least I don't really remember him going off like he did. But there was this thing we used to do--it was in the early spring when the winds were high. My parents used to take me down to Montara Mountain, and we would fly kites up there. This one day--I remember because we climbed up to the highest peak--the clouds were all puffy and white, and the sky was real deep blue. The mountains seemed to roll on forever, and I remember the big butterflies that used to flutter around--Monarchs, I think. Not many of those these days, you know?
Dr. Balis: Go on.
Mr. Rozzi: So anyway, I must have been around six--I was still a little guy. But what I remember most is laughing and my dad running around getting the kite to go higher and higher. He had a huge smile. I don't really remember why that day sticks out in my mind so much, except that we were all real happy then. Long car drives up and down the coast, the smell of his cigarettes in the grandmother used to just stare at him with these little stars in her eyes--he was very good-looking, even the cat used to stare at him. I loved it when he picked me up and held me close. I felt...I felt safe. But, I think that...uh...uh, I don't know why I'm getting all weird about this, but...oh, shit!
Dr. Balis: Here, Alex. Take some tissues. This is a memory that evokes some very strong emotion in you.
Mr. Rozzi: No, shit! Damnit! I wish I wouldn't puss-out like that.
Dr. Balis: Alex, you're safe here, and anything you feel is right. It's okay to have sad or mixed feelings about your grandfather. He played an important part of your life.
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, well...he's gone now, so I don't have to worry about him anymore.
Dr. Balis: The memories you have of that happy time will always be inside you. Sometimes it's good to remember that it wasn't always bad.
Mr. Rozzi: Well, I try not to think of him at all. You're the one who wanted to know more. Thanks a lot!
Dr. Balis: I'm sorry, Alex.
Mr. Rozzi: Well, you know better than anyone else that he has been on my mind quite a lot lately. I don't know why, though.
Dr. Balis: That's okay. It's just what you're thinking now.
Mr. Rozzi: It just is...hmm, I like that. It just is.
Dr. Balis: It's a good way to look at some things in life--they just are. It helps to put things in perspective.
Mr. Rozzi: about it. You know, Roly is out on the streets now? He's homeless. Got his butt kicked out of that dump in the Tenderloin. And since he's persona non grata with his dad, he has no money except for the bucks he hustles and even that's getting harder for him. He's like a crazy person. I gave him some money the other day. He got his front tooth knocked out last week. He was sleeping under the freeway down there off Third Street, and these people came in and started rummaging through everyone's stuff. Roly tried to stop them. Well, he got himself all beat up. Now, he looks like a crazy person--like any other dirty, messed-up, crazy homeless. Ralph doesn't want him around the house. And between you and me, neither do I. You know, that could've been me out there? That was me for a while. This really gives me some perspective on my situation. Shit, if it weren't for Ralph, I could be out there, too, you know? But if Roly keeps this up...well, he's heading for a big fall, and he's desperate for some speed. I just got to stay away from him, you know? I hate to say that, but I think my gut feeling is totally right on the mark this time.
Dr. Balis: I'm sorry to hear about Roly. I can tell this is hard on you.
Mr. Rozzi: No one wants to see someone they care about be such a big fuck-up. But I realize that there isn't anything I can do for him anymore.
Dr. Balis: It's admirable that you want to help Roly. But Roly needs to want to be helped, so your insight is probably correct in this case, unfortunately. He may need to hit rock bottom before anyone can help him.
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah. Well, I hope that it won't be too late for him. Tony is lucky, but Roly...well, I'm not so sure that anything good is going to come out of it. I can't stand to be around him too much anymore...enough of that. I know we're out of time, so here are the drawings I wanted to show you. These are the rough-drafts I did, and then I did them over again but much larger. The big ones I think I'll bring over to that guy Jake. What do you think?
Dr. Balis: I think you should, Alex. I'm interested in what might happen. So I'll see you next week. And, Alex, good work today.
Mr. Rozzi: Thanks a lot, man. I mean for your encouragement and all. It really means a lot to me. See you later, dude!
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Alex.
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