Charles Balis' Journal for the Week ending 2/21/97

Saturday, February 15, 1997

Sunday, February 16, 1997

Monday, February 17, 1997

President's Day Holiday

Tuesday, February 18, 1997

I received an e-mail response from the Anonymous Faxer. He told me not to try to trace him, that HAL was a pseudonym, and asked if I got his messages. I responded immediately, inviting him to come in for a session or to continue the dialogue via e-mail, if that is what he preferred. I am thrilled at the opportunity to finally open up a two way conversation.

10 am. Fifth Session with Peter Hossfeld. Peter has discovered that he can induce seizures by a combination of his computer monitor and a flourescent light fixture that he rigged up from a hardware store. But he continues to insist that he is a psychic multidimensional travellor rather than an epilepsy sufferor. I can see how the former is more attractive than the latter, but I am concerned that he is strengthing the pathways and making the seizures more frequent and less controllable than before. Any appeals to reason are dismissed as more western medical propoganda. Dr. Hardaway is an "old quack" and I'm too rooted in western traditions to be able to see miraculous occurences when they happen right in front of me. Peter is having an affair with Serena (not her real name), the psychic who told him that he was going to die. Now, she thinks that he may pull through with her help. They are experimenting with tantric sex in between experiments with altered consciousness and herbal teas. She is helping him direct his male energy to build up his strength so that he can deal with the "heavy shit on the spirtual plane." I asked Peter to come back next week, but he was giving no guarantees.

12 pm. Second Session with Eliza Raven. This was a very revealing session. I'm starting to feel like I'm getting some sense of Eliza and her problems. Apparently Eliza is involved with a band. About two years ago, she was driving back from a performance with Gary, her fiancé's father. Gary was a bit drunk and he was driving. There was a head-on collision which caused Gary's death. Eliza was thrown from the car and had multiple injuries, including cranial trauma. She was in a coma for a week after the accident. After regaining consciousness, she learned that she had been pregnant and had suffered a trauma-induced miscarriage. Luke didn't help matters much--when she told him that she had been pregnant and had suffered a miscarriage, Luke blamed her for the accident using some theory that I can't fathom. She is having a horrific recurring nightmare about the accident which quite specifically internalizes the guilt which Luke wishes to lay at her feet. The dream has her acting in a malicious, evil manner to intentionally cause the accident, escaping serious injury herself. She tears the little baby apart and then is horrified when, zombie-like, Gary and the baby come after her and tear the skin from her face and arms. We clearly have a lot of work to do. Eliza is used to other people making decisions for her, although she doesn't like it much. In the safe confines of my office, she rails against the restrictions, but clearly she takes it somewhat passively when the power of decision is taken from her. Since the accident, she has undergone extensive medical treatment. Physically, she seems in good shape. Although she said that she had facial reconstructive surgery, I really didn't notice anything until I looked quite closely. Under close examination, there are hairline scars following the line under her chin, but it really is remarkable work. She wears long sleeves, but I caught a glimpse of one of her arms and it has clearly been massively abraded. She has been in a large amount of pain since the accident, and is taking Percocets. She has also started to have crying spells with a frequency from once a week to twice a day. The crying spells seem uncontrollable and are accompanied by nosebleeds. During the session, Eliza constantly fiddled with a handkerchief--twisting it and trying to tear at its corners. At one point, she accidentally spilled a part of the contents of that giant stuffed purse she carries. She had a whole carton of cigarettes inside, along with a package of three lighters in plastic, a notebook, several blood-stained handkerchiefs, a spare piece of clothing--it might have been a blouse, a bunch of candy wrappers, an old fashioned quill pen and a bottle of India ink, and a bunch of candy wrappers. She seems to prefer Skittles and Starburst candies. And that was not all the contents of the purse by any means. Eliza clearly gains security by being supplied with all her essentials all the time.

2 pm. Fourth Session with George Landau. George came in slowly and sat down heavily in the chair, as if the cares of the world were pressing him down. He sat there, with his arms folded in front of him, daring me to try to wrest his secrets from him. He didn't wear his wrist brace to this session. George declined my invitation to discuss Mr. Taylor, so I decided to ask about George's wrist. He calls his carpal tunnel syndrome an irritation rather than a major annoyance and believes that it came from computer use. The diagnosis of CTS came from his own practitioner, a Dr. Harris. George was careful to tell me that he'd moved his practice, as if worried that I'd check up on his wrist. He seemed unsure about whether nerve conduction tests had been performed, although he then claimed vehemently that they had. Actually, George strikes me as an atypical CTS sufferer. I will request George's medical records be sent to me from SII. George's previous boss, Tom Windsor, gave George more latitude on account of his disability, switching his duties away from office work and towards the kind of social interaction which George prefers in any case. Simon Taylor apparently does not permit George the same flexibility. George was aggravated by my suggestion that he increase his technological skill base, and became more and more actively hostile towards the end of the session until I felt that there was no constructive reason to continue.

4 pm. Thirtieth Session with Sylvia Bows. The twins are doing fine, with a weight which would make them probable survivors even if they were born today. But Sylvia's attention is elsewhere--at the intrigue at SII over her position. Lloyd Major called her back last week and tried to set her mind at ease. Apparently, Lloyd stashed Nils Landor in her position as a temporary sop for an ambitious lover. Lloyd has no intention of firing Sylvia. But Nils is trying to secure his tenuous position. Interestingly, Lloyd might have encouraged Nils to instigate the investigation of Sylvia, knowing about Sylvia's indiscretions with many company men and her breach of company security respecting their health records. Why Lloyd would have taken such a step is a matter for conjecture. Tom and Sylvia both believe that he is up to something, but Tom is urging Sylvia to dismiss it from her mind until after the twins are born. Sylvia is still marveling at Tom's paternal turnabout. The depth of his genuine concern about the health of the twins has surprised her, especially after his prior strongly negative position on fatherhood.

Wednesday, February 19, 1997

No image from the Anonymous Faxer this week. Perhaps he'll send an answer to my last e-mail instead.

Thursday, February 20, 1997

Anna was off today, going to Michigan to spend the weekend with Martin. I find myself thinking a lot about Anna. I really have to keep it in check if I am to properly serve her as her doctor. And yet with's so easy to be drawn off the track. I missed seeing her for her session.

Friday, February 21, 1997

I received another e-mail from The Anonymous Faxer today. This one was not about detection, but rather he started to talk about himself, albeit incredibly tentatively. He said he was not good at talking to people and was better with pictures. He also said that he was born in the South. I believe he is shyly testing the waters. I wrote him a response where I started asking personal questions as if he was in therapy. I don't think it will scare him--I think questions about his family are what he most likely expected from a therapist, so I didn't disappoint.

1:22 pm. Telephone Conversation with Mr. Simon Taylor Respecting George Landau. Simon Taylor called me unexpectedly today. I'm familiar with my patients exaggerating the negative characteristics of their bosses, so I'm not sure exactly what I expected from Mr. Taylor. I at least expected him to be all business--brusque and autocratic or something. I was somewhat surprised to find that he seemed warm, reasonable, and sympathetic. I got the strong sense that he was genuinely concerned about George's well being. He was trying to tell me something...he seemed surprised that I hadn't divined it already. He said something about how George is always trying to hide it. But he thought better about it, apparently thinking it wouldn't be fair to George to interfere in our Doctor/Patient relationship, so he abruptly ended the call.

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