Charles Balis' Journal for the Week ending 1/03/97

Saturday, December 28, 1996

Sunday, December 29, 1996

Monday, December 30, 1996

11:30 am. Telephone Conversation with Tom Bows. I got a call from a clearly exhausted Tom Bows. He told me that Sylvia went into the emergency room just a few hours after our last session. She was having an adverse reaction to the Terbutaline: breathing problems, tremors and the like. My decision to stay out of it was incorrect--when I saw her last, I should have called Dr. Malleson to inform him of her drug interaction. They changed Sylvia's drug and sent her home. She tolerated the new medicine better, but it seemed less effective. She started to have serious contractions and went back to the emergency room. They switched her to an IV of Warfarin Sodium. Unfortunately, Sylvia ripped the stitch in her cervix. She has been ordered to spend the rest of her pregnancy flat on her back. Tom and Sylvia are both terrified about losing the babies--they are twenty-four weeks now. Tom said that Sylvia was completely out of it today, but said he'd call me when she gets home. Tom asked me to help Sylvia keep it together during her bed rest period and I promised to do all I could to help with that. The twins desperately need these next several weeks--every day they can stay in utero is an enormous plus.

2 pm. Twelfth Session with Sarah Wright. With an uncharacteristic freedom in discussing sexual matters, Sarah told me about a series of sexual liaisons she had with Glen, her best friend Lisa's husband. She's not guilty about having sex with Glen, because it seems that she had explicit permission from Lisa to help herself. It seems that Lisa enjoys her husband sleeping with other women and then describing the encounters in detail to her. So Sarah went at it with a certain amount of gusto--and describes with awe and admiration Glen's penis, which she characterises as having the girth of a soup can. Sarah rejects the term "affair" because she feels an affair means that you are going behind someone's back--but she holds her husband Jeff in such contempt that she doesn't even consider him in deciding whether to apply her definition. It's beyond feeling no guilt. Sarah doesn't even conceive that she might feel guilty for having extra-marital sexual contact. Sarah recognizes that there is little emotional fulfillment in empty sex with Glen, but she certainly likes the sex itself. Sarah believes that she can replace emotional fulfillment with the satisfaction of physical needs, for at least some time. I need to make sure that she doesn't confuse the physical and the emotional as this relationship progresses.

Tuesday, December 31, 1996

Wednesday, January 1, 1997

Thursday, Janurary 2, 1997

Another fax was waiting in my machine this morning. I presume that the Anonymous Faxer sent it to me at his usual Wednesday time, but it was a holiday and I didn't come into the office. This one is peculiarly tied to the New Year. A muscular male figure clutches a 1997 calendar with one hand while the other (perhaps protectively?) seems to cover his genitals, all while calendar pages from the 31st of December fall around and over him. On the 31st of December, I was surprised by what I assume is a San Francisco custom of tossing the calendar pages out of the office windows. People find offices with windows which open, or outdoor fire escapes--any place that is high up--and toss their "day at a glance" calendar pages out. It makes an incredible, soggy mess when it hits the ground, but has a festive, ticker-tape kind of feel while the pages float through the air. There is also a certain appeal in the brief voyeuristic window provided into an anonymous life by looking at the disconnected pages on the ground, many with appointments or other information penned in. In any case, this image is reminiscent of that feeling. Most of the pages are duplicates--the thirty-first of December. There are also entire 1996 calendars which appear to be discarded. Only the 1997 calendar is clutched protectively. Perhaps there is a positive almost optimistic quality to this image. At least he's grabbing hold of the New Year. But I note that his eyes are still covered by last year's calendar. He's not drowning in it, but he's still immersed in the immediate past.

4 pm. Twenty-sixth Session with Anna Green. The pitiable John showed up at least mostly uninvited to join Anna during her New Year's Eve festivities. She was planning on going out with Caren and her boyfriend Greg. So she brings John along. They were sitting in the back seat and John tried to put his hand on Anna's knee. Anna jumped in her seat. John decided to then accuse Anna of having an affair. The charge completely stunned Anna, not because it was true or false (apparently false) but because John would have the temerity to think himself in a position to accuse her of anything. Anna went off on John and John confessed his love for her and started to cry. Anna never actually dealt with John, though, because Greg stopped the car and went and had a long talk with John. Apparently he got through because John stopped crying and rejoined them in the car and for the rest of the evening, although nobody had a very good time. Anna is still furious with him. I urged her to not be too harsh with him, because he clearly had his heart broken. I was a bit harsh to Anna, telling her that she had led him on and then broken his heart, but it didn't seem to faze her--she's still so angry with him that she doesn't see his human side at the moment.

Friday, January 3, 1997

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