Transcript of 26th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. Alex Rozzi, Wednesday, December 3, 1997 at 5:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Alex. Please come in. What's happened?
Mr. Rozzi: It's that obvious, huh?
Dr. Balis: Well, I can tell by the look on your face that something has happened. Do you want to tell me about it?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, it's a lot. I mean a whole lot. Too much, I guess. Now, don't get all worked up, at least I am sleeping. The melatonin idea you had was a pretty good one. But I guess it's time for me to put another notch in my belt buckle.
Dr. Balis: What do you mean?
Mr. Rozzi: Aunt Sofie. First, it was my dad, then my grandmother. Then, Benny and Roly. Now, Aunt Sofie.
Dr. Balis: What happened to your aunt?
Mr. Rozzi: She died. And on Thanksgiving! Can you believe it? We were all having this great Thanksgiving. Even Mom and I were getting along pretty well. Sofie worked her butt off to make that dinner for everyone. Remember? I told you she never really got better since being in the hospital, and then she insisted on doing all the cooking. My mom is such a lazy bitch--she didn't protest enough against Sofie doing it all. But it was all too much for her in the end.
Dr. Balis: That is awful, Alex.
Mr. Rozzi: Well, at least she got to eat her last meal with the family, and it was a nice night. Everyone was getting along all right, even Tony and his parents. That's the other part of all this--Tony and his family. But she just looked like she was asleep. No one even bothered her. I don't even know how long she was dead before...I mean, there she was, sitting on the sofa between Racyl and Rhea, and it looked like she had just fallen asleep. You know what the worst part of it was? The last thing I remember her saying to me was that the truffles I made were "to die for." That's the very last thing she said to me. It was too weird. And then mom totally freaked. The doctor has her on bed rest for a couple days.
Dr. Balis: I'm sorry about your aunt, Alex.
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah...and then there's the part about Katherine.
Dr. Balis: Katherine? Did she accept your invitation to Thanksgiving with your family?
Mr. Rozzi: No, she didn't. But she missed out on a great dinner, except that the person who did all the cooking kicked the proverbial bucket. But what a strange and small world we live in, you know?
Dr. Balis: What do you mean?
Mr. Rozzi: Last Wednesday night after my session with you, I went out to dinner with Katherine and her brother, Philip. We had a real good time, and he was so nice. He's a little disheveled-looking, but he was way cool too, just like Katherine! And his mural at U.C.S.F. is a trip, too. But at dinner, I felt kind of...I don't know. I guess I was sort of like attracted to him, you know? We went to China Court for dinner, and I knocked over the teapot and spilled some of the rice. He made me nervous, in a way. But he wouldn't be interested in me. He was nice to me, though. Anyway, here we were, Katherine and I, going up the steps to Ralph's, when there was my mother going down the stairs with all the Thanksgiving food in her arms. I introduced her to Katherine, and my mom was looking Katherine up and down--giving attitude. I didn't know what was up with that, you know? Well, Katherine didn't seem too phased, but I did notice her distraction when Ralph and I gave her a little tour of his garden. She seemed to like the house though, so I didn't quite catch what the looks were all about until the wake Saturday night.
Dr. Balis: What happened at the wake?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, I spent the whole day on Saturday siting in Ralph's garden. He has this fancy garden in back with this old man--this quiet old Asian man--who comes and tends it every week for him. So I sat out there most of the day, just thinking. Even Ralph came out a few times to check on me since it was raining and I wasn't coming back in. But I didn't mind the rain, I just needed to think again and walking wasn't an option that day, you know? But I forgot what I was supposed to be talking about.
Dr. Balis: You were telling me about the wake.
Mr. Rozzi: Oh yeah. Anyway, we were all talking a little after, and my mom had obviously got a huge bug up her butt. She was acting jumpy and bitchy--which was normal for her--except that she was the "nth" power on bitchy. More family secrets came out, but a bizarre circumstance came up, too. My mom and Katherine work at the same company, which never even crossed my mind. Katherine is some sort of CEO or something, and my mom...well, she's just in charge of the mail room. So it's not like they work together or anything like that. But my mom announced, "Alex, I want to talk to you in the other room!" And she said "in the other room" like some movie queen or something--so dramatic! And then, she laid it into me about Katherine--"How did I meet her? What were she and I doing together? What could a woman Katherine's age want from me?" It was shit like that. And I was like, "Why do you care?" So she told me that she figured out how we met. We had to have met in her office, and she wanted to know what was going on. I was like, "Mom, you're way off base here. Katherine only helped me to show my artwork." But she was ranting and raving about Katherine being too old for me to hang with. I was telling her to chill out, that it shouldn't be such an issue. What was her problem anyway? So later, I got to thinking. What kind of trouble can my nasty mother stir up for Katherine at work? I started to get worried about it. So I was wondering, do you think I should say something to Katherine about this? Or should I just pretend the conversation never happened?
Dr. Balis: Hmm. Do you really believe that your mother would do something to Katherine? What could she really do?
Mr. Rozzi: My mom could think of lots of ways to stir up shit, you know? I've told you about her crap.
Dr. Balis: Yes, but do you really believe that she could do anything? Your mother and Katherine might both work for SII, but they don't work together.
Mr. Rozzi: Right. They probably see each other very little. Thinking back on it, I know Katherine didn't recognize my mom and my mom didn't recognize Katherine at first. But Katherine's face was plastered on SII newsletter because of some promotion she just got, and that was how my mom figured it out. If that newsletter hadn't been circulating so recently, my mom may have just walked right by Katherine. I don't know. Do you think my mom would be so stupid as to start trouble like that?
Dr. Balis: Well, what do you think?
Mr. Rozzi: I don't know. With my mom it's hard to tell what she'll be doing next, you know? I think I probably should tell Katherine. Yeah. That's what I'm going to do. It's probably better for her if she was aware of this in case my mom does do something. That way, Katherine can be prepared for it.
Dr. Balis: Sounds good.
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, well, whatever. If my mom does something like that, it'll all come back to her. And I have a feeling that Katherine won't put up with any shit, you know? Not from someone like my mom--someone so small-time, you know? Actually, she's already getting some of her shit back, anyway.
Dr. Balis: How so?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, like I said earlier, more family secrets came out. Oh yeah, and I almost forgot the little trick she pulled on Tony. She got Tony's family to come over for Thanksgiving, but she didn't tell me or Tony that they were coming. And Tony had just told his mom and Marney to go away and leave him alone. It was the last thing he expected. But my mom...well, she had to play her little games with people. So we got there and were having a nice time when the doorbell rung. The door flew open, and there they all were--Tony's family all lined-up with smiles on their faces. It could've really blown up, but Tony was cool about it. He actually went for a walk with his dad, and they had a long talk and cleared the air of some important things. So it worked out okay. But the best part was the latest family secret--Rosemarie. She's my mom's nemesis.
Dr. Balis: Who is she?
Mr. Rozzi: She's Aunt Sofia's long-estranged daughter--the one no one ever spoke of and I knew nothing about. My mom said she was sniffing around for Aunt Sofia's money. But I instantly liked her. I mean, here was this educated woman from New York. She was way more sophisticated and far more attractive than my mom--you could tell they hated each other. You should have seen Luke. He was entranced by all the colorful events in my family's life. His face was priceless, I'm telling you! He was so taken by Rosemarie and my mom--the two bitches at each other's throats. It was the stuff legends are made of. So Rosemarie wanted to be back in the family. But Sofie--bless her heart--wrote her out of the will. There's nothing for Rosemarie. She was the bad seed of the family, and Sofie wrote her off years ago, according to what Mark told me. So here was my mom trying to be the controlling bitch that she can be, and then Rosemarie came along and snubbed my mom like an old cigarette. Man! She was boiling mad! She got what she deserved, though.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Rozzi: I'm going to miss my aunt and all, but...but at least she doesn't have to suffer anymore.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. She had a lot of physical discomfort?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, that too! But what I meant was that she doesn't have to suffer because of my mother anymore!
Dr. Balis: Oh, I see. What kind of feelings do you have over her passing? You spoke of sitting in the rain in the garden and thinking.
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, I did a lot of thinking out there. Things are so temporary. Everything is temporary, you know? I know she didn't mean to leave me, personally. But...
Dr. Balis: But what?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, it's just another person I care about who died and left my life. I don't really know how I feel, I guess. It's like I'm numb or something. Does that make sense?
Dr. Balis: It makes sense, Alex. Most people have a period of time where they feel numb or detached before the gravity of the situation takes hold. It's a normal reaction to the death of a loved one.
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah. Well, she always treated me well. She talked with me as if I were her equal, never like I was a cheesy kid. She even was beginning to encourage me to pursue my artistic abilities. She was the only one in my family who encouraged me to do anything, and now she's gone. But she did leave me with something. She left me some money on the understanding that the money went toward art school or culinary school, but she stated that culinary school was what she preferred. It's just's just that I don't know if I'll ever be able to make another truffle again.
Dr. Balis: I can understand that. But perhaps this feeling will change with time. It was nice of her to think of you this way and leave something of value for you. That's going to be a tremendous help to whatever schooling you ultimately decide upon.
Mr. Rozzi: I know. It's just that now I don't want to make any decisions about school or anything like that. But I'll always remember her for her encouragement.
Dr. Balis: That's a good, Alex. We've run out of time, I'm afraid. Same time next week, then? And, Alex, if you need me, I'm just a phone call away.
Mr. Rozzi: Thanks, dude. I know that. Catch you later!
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Alex.
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