Transcript of 71st Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. Alex Rozzi, Wednesday, December 9, 1998 at 5:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Alex. How are you doing this week?
Mr. Rozzi: I'm doing pretty good, man, pretty good. This has been a good time for me, actually.
Dr. Balis: Oh?
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah. Remember I told you they arrested someone for assaulting Benny? I know who it was now. Brent Woodson.
Dr. Balis: Who is he?
Mr. Rozzi: He's the father of the kid Benny molested--the one they arrested Benny for molesting in the first place.
Dr. Balis: Really?
Mr. Rozzi: Pretty weird, uh? According to Cecil, the guy had been harassing Benny ever since he came home from jail. He phoned and threatened him, and they had a little run-in one day at the Safeway store over on Market Street. I remember the guy, too.
Dr. Balis: You know him?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, I never actually knew him, I just knew who he was. He sat there in court every day of Benny's trial, and he always had this mad, frightening look on his face. It was like he was ready to kill or something. It was kind of scary, really. He was pretty obvious about it, sighing out loud sometimes at certain points in the trial. I know other people noticed him, too. He wasn't disruptive, but he got noticed because of the way he acted. I remember Cecil pointed him out to me one day. And once, after I knew who he was, he made eye contact with me. But he didn't look at me in a weird way, he just looked into my eyes and held me there for a minute or so. I remember that. So I guess he was following Benny around, waiting for the right moment to strike. And...well, you know the rest. The fact that I was there too was totally convenient timing for him.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Rozzi: Oh yeah, Benny is home from the hospital.
Dr. Balis: He is?
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, and it's with less than a full load, too, at least that's what Ralph said. I didn't go and check. Not that the thought didn't cross my mind, but I knew I couldn't go there. I just can't.
Dr. Balis: I think that's a wise decision.
Mr. Rozzi: Oh, do you think I don't know that? He affects me like alcohol affects an alcoholic; I think I've said that before. It's pretty scary what he does to me, you know? He's left a wide path of destruction behind him. And now he's been hurt so bad and has a room temperature IQ--I'm sure--so payback's a mother fucker, you know? It's hard to believe the guy beat out a million other sperm, if you think about it. Okay, that's enough of trashing Benny, because I could go on...
Dr. Balis: Don't.
Mr. Rozzi: Thank you!
Dr. Balis: Have the charges against you been dropped?
Mr. Rozzi: Well...uh, no, they didn't do that. Cecil went to court the day they held the guy's hearing, but they didn't do things the way I thought they would. Cecil only got to sit and watch, just like everybody else. But he did get them to schedule another hearing in light of this new arrest and the evidence that came with all that. Apparently, the guy confessed; he told them he wanted Benny dead. I was all, "Who doesn't?" My hearing will be held soon. I can't remember the date--this month I'm a little screwed up with my dates. This year has gone by so fast! The hearing will be in a week or so. Cecil is pretty confident they will drop the charges against me, but I'm more skeptical.
Dr. Balis: Why?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, things just don't work out for me that way. I don't know. It's's...uh, it's just that I got this feeling going on down there, in my gut. It's some sort of instinctual thing. But it's just a feeling. We'll see. Uh, we need to change the subject or something. So, what else is going on? Oh! I had a nice conversation with Katherine last Monday night.
Dr. Balis: Oh?
Mr. Rozzi: She called me the moment she got home from work. She wanted to know what was up with my mom.
Dr. Balis: Why?
Mr. Rozzi: Over Thanksgiving, I told my mom I wanted her to apologize to Katherine, remember? Well, she did. First thing Monday morning, my mom was waiting at Katherine's office. Katherine told me that when she saw my mother, she thought, "Oh shit, here we go again!" And of course it was for a good reason, too--we both know how my mother can be. Imagine if my mom was waiting for you first thing on a Monday morning. Scary, huh? It's hard for her to open her mouth without sticking at least one foot in it and then trying to make it seem as if it was all your fault. But she did it! Just as I asked her to, she apologized to Katherine.
Dr. Balis: Are you surprised?
Mr. Rozzi: Aren't you? Katherine said my mom asked for her forgiveness and promised she would try not to let something like that happen again. Katherine said she accepted her apology and then shooed her out of her office fast. Katherine said that all the while she was wondering what dirty little trick my mother had up her sleeve. I was all, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." But I didn't tell Katherine that I told my mom to do that, I just let her think she did it on her own.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Rozzi: So my mom did it, can you believe that? She didn't call me herself to say she did it, she wanted Katherine to tell me, I guess. It's funny, I knew she would do it when she said she would--I could see it in her eyes. I could see that for once her light was on and there was actually someone home. For once, she was being a real person and not someone who just walks away from their own mistakes and pain. I realize that when you run from the hard stuff, you just cut off all your possibilities to learn and grow from it.
Dr. Balis: That's an interesting way of seeing it.
Mr. Rozzi: Well, it's not like she or I...uh...well, we've never given each other a chance to get to know one another. We were quick to fight and to disagree. That's where my mom and I are alike, I think, unfortunately. But we have to stay in the communication mode in order for anything positive to have a chance to come out of all of this, don't you think?
Dr. Balis: Definitely. As long as you and your mother are willing to work on it, in time, you might be able to develop trust, love, and friendship. But keep in mind that you are both "hot heads," as you put it. Don't be too quick to judge her. Nobody is perfect.
Mr. Rozzi: Perfect as a smile.
Dr. Balis: Hmm?
Mr. Rozzi: They're both a lie, usually.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. I know you're apprehensive when it comes to your mother, but remember she's probably apprehensive, too. It's hard to start a relationship with a grown son.
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah. You know I've always asked myself if there was something wrong with me or if it was her. It's pretty scary when you think it's always your own fault and you don't even know why things happened the way they did.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Rozzi: I've always wondered that about myself--was it all my fault? I still do--about everything, not just her. The other night, I went over to Tony's, and we had a pretty good time. We talked for a while. I had biked over there and was wearing my winter riding clothes: tight black pants and a bright yellow long sleeve shirt. It's been so cold lately. But anyway, as I was getting ready to leave, Tony just started groping me, as if I was going to go for that or something! As if! Then he grabbed me and hugged me tight, and he wouldn't let go. I was all...uh, it was was weird. It was real creepy. And I told him not to do it, to let me go. I told him twice that it was not cool. I was all, "What part of 'no' don't you understand?" That wasn't the first time he did something like, either. The way he pushes himself on really creeps me out. Totally! At first, I was wondering if it was something I did: was it my clothes? Was it something I said? I thought it was my fault. My fault! It took me a while to see that he has this...uh, this personal space issue or something. He doesn't understand what violation means. Tony doesn't respect me or my personal space.
Dr. Balis: So you no longer believe that you're to blame for Tony's advances?
Mr. Rozzi: I know that now. But...well, it made me feel bad because he just doesn't get out with other people enough.
Dr. Balis: Alex...
Mr. Rozzi: Wait, let me take that back and say it differently. He just doesn't get out enough with normal people. He's always hanging out with the freaks, and drag-queens, and other scary monsters. And they're all...well, they're not...uh, never mind.
Dr. Balis: You have to make sure he knows how you feel.
Mr. Rozzi: Hello? I told him no two times already, and he still made these little advances on me. I don't know what's up with him. Why does he have to be like that? I told him it was so not cool. He finally backed away and then acted like this shamed puppy the rest of the night. One minute, he's aggressive, and the next, he's ridiculously passive. It's sickening! It makes me want to slap him...but he'd actually enjoy that. So what can I do except be mean to him and continue to tell him no?
Dr. Balis: Telling Tony that you don't want him to make physical advances on you is not being mean. It's just telling him like it is. You can say it calmly, without malice. You can tell him that he shouldn't be offended--you're not rejecting his friendship, just his sexual interest in you. Always remember that you have the right to say no, Alex, anytime and in any situation.
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, I guess, but...
Dr. Balis: But what? Everyone has that right, Alex. Tony knows that.
Mr. Rozzi: Hmm. Okay. I still don't know what I'm going to do about it, or if I'm going to do anything about it at all. I can always avoid him. I can make it so that I'm never alone with him--that's when he tries to get this creepy affection thing going. Or I can just go on as if nothing had happened...
Dr. Balis: Hmm. I think it might be a good idea to try not to be alone with Tony for awhile.
Mr. Rozzi: What bugs me most is that he knows my trip. He knows where I've been and how it's all affected me. He knows! But he still does these pseudo-sexual antics with me, knowing how really bugged I get and how it creeps me out. I'm almost at the point where I may just bag on him if he does it again, you know?
Dr. Balis: Well...
Mr. Rozzi: I don't have any other option. Luke says I can't go to Tony's alone anymore. He was pissed when I e-mailed him about what happened between Tony and me.
Dr. Balis: I would like to talk about Luke, if you don't mind. Your relationship with him is improving?
Mr. Rozzi: Have you been thinking about this all week, since I mentioned it last time?
Dr. Balis: He is an important person in your life...
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah, right. Well, we've been keeping in touch by e-mail, massaging each other a lot. He's coming back to San Francisco after the first of the year. He wants me back.
Dr. Balis: He does? How do you feel about that?
Mr. Rozzi: Ha! You are too funny, Doc. Yes, he does want me! But I don't know about it. We slept together in the same bed while he was here, but we didn't...uh, we didn't do anything. We just slept and kind of cuddled. He was thrilled to have me so close again, he could hardly contain himself, if you know what I mean. Well, I was kind of excited, too...secretly.
Dr. Balis: Secretly?
Mr. Rozzi: Well, yeah, secretly. I didn't get naked with him or anything like that. It would have been easy to go there with him. But I knew it wasn't the right way to begin again, if that's what we are going to do. I still need some time to figure things out, to figure myself out. For all I know, I could be in jail in a few months! So I really need to keep on figuring all of this out. And that's what I've told him. In the meantime, I'm staying at his place, and I'm okay alone for now. When he comes back, I may have to go someplace else, maybe back to Ralph's. Or I may just stay there. I don't know yet, but it's good to have a choice. I told Luke that I don't want him to come back if his only reason for doing so is his desire to get back together with me. He needs to have other reasons, too.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. And what did Luke say to that?
Mr. Rozzi: He said that his main reason is that he just can't be away from the West Coast for very long and winter back East isn't pretty. Plus, he said he only went away because he was pissed at me. And that is a totally wrong reason to go all the way to New York. Plus, his sister is here, and his father's house is here, if not his father. Luke is homesick.
Dr. Balis: I'm glad you've been putting so much thought into your relationship with Luke. That is very good. I'm proud of you, Alex. You need to give yourself a pat on the back.
Mr. Rozzi: I haven't been figuring all this out on my own. Katherine and I had a very good talk the other night. She really helps me to see things right, you know? She is the only other person, besides you, that I can talk to like this. And she knows what to say and how to say it. The woman is a goddess, I'm telling you. She's a good friend.
Dr. Balis: I'm glad.
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah. Well, Doc, I guess this is it for today.
Dr. Balis: Yes, we are out of time. Alex, I'll be going out of town for a few weeks...
Mr. Rozzi: How few?
Dr. Balis: I won't be back until February.
Mr. Rozzi: I see. That's more than just a few weeks, hmm?
Dr. Balis: It's a fairly long time. Doctor Whitestone will be covering for me while I'm gone. She's very nice, you'll like...
Mr. Rozzi: When are you leaving?
Dr. Balis: After next week.
Mr. Rozzi: That's a hell of a short notice, don't you think? How long were you planning on keeping me in the dark about this?
Dr. Balis: Last week didn't seem like the right time...
Mr. Rozzi: Yeah...well, I've got to go.
Dr. Balis: Alex, I'm sorry about this, but I need to spend some time with my father. And you can always get in touch with me if you need to. Okay?
Mr. Rozzi: Sure.
Dr. Balis: All right. I'll see you next week, Alex. Goodbye.
Mr. Rozzi: Later, Doc.
Arrow, Straight, Left, Earlier Arrow, Straight, Right, Later

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