Charles Balis' Journal for the Week ending 8/23/96

Saturday, August 17, 1996

Sunday, August 18, 1996

Monday, August 19, 1996

10 am. Third Session with Hal Mainor. After skipping several weeks, Hal returned for a session today. He said that he had skipped sessions because he was now able to write and the physical symptoms of drowning that had brought him to me in the first place had diminished. But now he has engaged in a one-time extramarital liaison with Sylvia Bows at SII, who is his direct superior. He is worried about how this is going to affect him at work and especially at whether he is going to be able to hide this from his wife, who apparently doesn't suspect anything. But Hal feels guilty about his infidelity with Sylvia and thinks that his wife will be able to sense this from him.

I received another letter from Gerald Barkel of CalaCare, dated August 16, 1996. Barkel is asserting that since I refuse to send him the information he seeks, that he is entitled to an indemnification. He sends one which I am to sign and return to him. The indemnity agreement is horrendous and I can't think of a reason to sign it, except to stay in CalaCare's good graces, which I've probably already lost anyway. Barkel is charming, as usual. He completely ignores the issue of the waivers being voluntary, etc. and just skips over my request to have new voluntary waivers executed for the files that they are seeking.

4 pm. Joseph Mazurka was a complete no show for our session. Didn't phone or leave a message with the service.

Tuesday, August 20, 1996
1 pm. Fourth Session with Cassandra Evans. Cassie has been going to work again, although she has had to resign from her improvisational theater group. She still feels unappreciated at work. Cassie has an appointment next week with Dr. Halsey. She is concerned that SII will find out about her medical condition, which I told her was partly unavoidable, given the health plan. She seems to be opening up somewhat to Brian, taking her part way into her confidence regarding her health. Brian has been supportive so far, but Cassie is concerned that he will dump her when he realizes the extent of her problems. Cassie thinks that Brian is not very tolerant of illness based on his comments about an uncle who was ill. Cassie wants to bring Brian to her session with Dr. Halsey or to one of our therapy sessions to explain it all to Brian. Cassie seemed most concerned about the long cured yeast infection, which I assured her was the least of her problems. Her friend Michelle, who is very close--like a sister, doesn't like Brian because he is impatient.

4 pm. Seventh Session with Sylvia Bows. Rene is apparently moving out to San Francisco semi-permanently. Rene's son Robert arrived this week. Robert is twelve and is about to start 8th grade in a school. Sylvia is very attached to him. She thinks he is the reason that she changed her mind with Tom about having kids. Sylvia says that the Zoloft is stabilizing her sleeping and eating patterns, although she is sleeping more. She also says that Zoloft allows her to take things more in stride. However, I am still concerned that her sexual activity may be in part a consequence of Zoloft. She will not consider another substitute medication. Sylvia broke into the computer records of SII and found a list of men who had negative HIV test results. This is the list that she has been using to select her sexual partners. I was impressed by how cold blooded it all seemed, but Sylvia argued that she wanted sexual freedom without risking her life. I was getting nowhere pointing out the ethical problems, so I dropped it. Apparently, Brenda Wolfe is using this event to try to elevate her own importance at the company, because she sent out a memo knowing who had, in fact, compromised the files. Sylvia is particularly unconcerned about the effects her affairs may be having on the men involved.

6 pm. Got a look at Cassandra Evans doodle she brought me today. Clouds with a lightening bolt are above, sun peeks through the clouds below and Cassandra is in the middle left of the frame, a tear in the eye but a half smile on her face. She looks brave. A pierced arrow and two flowers surround Cassie. It has a happy, optimistic feel.

Wednesday, August 21, 1996
Received another anonymous fax today, right on schedule. This one is the most elaborate yet. Beautiful, actually, in a twisted way, it shows a man with smooth, almost anonymous features being pierced by a series of I-beams. He is pinned, like an insect in some collection, and yet he is clearly in movement--perhaps the minute that he has been transfixed in this way. Something that looks like crackling electricity surrounds him. One of the I-beams pieces his groin and abdomen in a violent way, except that piercing isn't the right word. The man himself looks like he is incorporating the I-beam into his body in a liquid metallic kind of way--reminiscent of the metallic Terminator in T2. The man's expression is almost happy, even though the posture is strained. I am more convinced than ever, though, that I am on some strange anonymous fax mail list, though. Nobody could go through this kind of effort just for my benefit without some greater clue as to who they are. There must be dozens of people looking at this strange image spooling off their fax machine this morning.

Thursday, August 22, 1996
2 pm. Fourth Session with Helen Gregory. A very interesting session with Ms. Gregory. She was ebullent and expansive today. Unlike my hypothesis, she speaks in her baroque and breathless way not only when upset or anxious but also when she is up and effusive. Although she sidestepped questions of why she was so happy, apparently she found a package of six letters from Matthew that Calvin had actually hidden from Helen in a desk drawer. I have to admit being surprised. After our last session, I had assumed that the letters were a fantasy--a way for her to deal with the fact that her son doesn't write to her or otherwise communicate with her. But apparently I was wrong. She handed me a letter from Matthew and says that she will let me read them in chronologically reverse order. I would read it now, but I must prepare for my session with Anna. Also, apparently Calvin is mute. Helen says that he hasn't uttered a word for over five years. Helen says that, years ago, she followed Calvin on one of his walks and saw that he disappeared into a strip joint. She was disgusted because he was contributing to the degredation of the women working there. However, she said that she hasn't had coition with Calvin (or any man) in over twelve years. She says that she married Calvin because the Visitors told her to and, although she has been searching for a clue for the last thirty years, she can't figure out what their reasons were for wanting her to marry him. In a telling analogy, Helen describes her life in terms of a television set. There are multiple channels, but you only watch one channel at a time, although for Helen sometimes the channels get switched by someone else as if they had a more powerful remote control than hers. I thought it was a penetrating and highly perceptive description of schizophrenia. Underneath her switching channels is one constant, though. The question "Why?" That is why she is forced to try to sift through the pieces and put together answers to all the puzzles with which she is confronted.

4 pm. Eighth Session with Anna Green. Anna went to Los Angeles on business with several other SII employees and met Tony. Tony listened to Anna's tale of woe about Bill with a great deal of apparent sympathy. Anna disclosed that she was embarrassed about the size of her nipples and Tony disclosed that his penis had a tendency to bend to one side when tumescent. These mutual disclosures led to mutual explorations and Anna ended up in a hot tub with Tony. She says that it was her idea to initiate sexual contact and she performed fellatio on Tony without allowing Tony to reciprocate, although Anna utilized the hot tub jets to induce an orgasm. Anna said that she hadn't had an orgasm for a long time during her relationship with Bill. It was my impression that Tony manipulated Anna into having sex with him, even though Anna didn't seem to see it that way. Anna missed her flight the next day, so she spent the night with Tony making love on a beach in Santa Monica. Anna told Tony that he was the best one-night stand ever, but Tony protested that they could carry on a long distance relationship and has already called her a couple of times at work today. Anna feels that her relationship with Tony could work out. I think that Anna is being set up for disappointment.

5:30 pm. Telephone Call from Sgt. Tracy Keefe of the SFPD. I got a call from Sgt. Keefe regarding Joseph Mazurka. Apparently, on Sunday, August 18, he assaulted his wife, beating her up pretty badly. The kids weren't involved. He was arrested and taken into custody. This morning, he was released on bail, but Carol has applied for a restraining order. The police believed that drugs were involved in the incident, my guess is from psychotic behavior exhibited by Mazurka at the time. Apparently, Joe didn't keep his promise to stop taking the anabolic steroids.

7 pm. I have read the letter from Matthew to Helen Gregory that she delivered today. I really don't know what to make of it. The letter exhibits much of the baroque vocabulary and manner of expressing oneself that Helen exhibits in our sessions. Is this just a family trait, passed on from mother to son either through repetition in childhood or some genetic trait now twisted into extravagant speech? Or is this a son who is trying to reach his mother in a manner which he knows will actually reach her? Or, perhaps, is this the fictional creation of a mother, inventing letters to further her delusion? I cannot say. The letter itself is without an envelope, so it is missing a postmark. The letter has neither date nor signature. The handwriting could be that of a 21 year old male. Or perhaps not. The paper is plain white. Penetrating through the obscuring haze of an impressive vocabulary, the letter appears to lament the fact that the son has not heard what the mother wanted and needed to tell him. Matthew says that he has left England and is in hiding after having finished his studies. He uses a peculiar phrase: "I have left England because I have done something no river could long enough conceal..." Did he throw evidence of a crime in a river? Intriguing. Later he seems to be apologizing for a conflict between honor and the "cruel rules of nature." And still later he writes, "I think I am lost now, mother.... I think I am in some trouble, but yeah to the dead, and farewell to honor." Matthew describes a dream where logs of wood he is drearily carrying across a field turn into the bodies of burnt dead children amidst the emerging sounds of a war. The letter reveals much, but about Matthew or Helen, I am not certain.

Friday, August 23, 1996

Arrow, Straight, Left, Earlier Arrow, Straight, Right, Later
Button to Charles Balis' Diary & Log Charles Balis' Personal Diary & Log

TCT Bottom Bar Links to Top of Page Pipsqueak Productions © 1996. All Rights Reserved.