Charles Balis' Journal for the Week ending 12/27/96

Saturday, December 21, 1996

Sunday, December 22, 1996

Monday, December 23, 1996

5 pm. Twenty-third session with Sylvia Bows. I saw Sylvia at her house. She just returned from a two day stay in the hospital where she went for pre-term labor. She had an uncomfortable night of cramps and Tom and his sister insisted that she get checked out. Apparently, she had been having a series of contractions. Dr. Malleson gave her an injection of terbutaline sulfate as a tocolitic, stabilized the contractions and sent her home with an oral dosage. Sylvia appeared pale and shaky, with a rapid pulse (130), possible high blood pressure, and shortness of breath. As hospital personnel saw her just two hours ago, I told her to call Dr. Malleson in the morning if she still felt the same way as she does now. Sylvia is terrified of losing the twins. She saw an ultrasound picture which really is remarkable--it shows the face of one of them looking a little like Bergman's vision of Death in The Seventh Seal, if truth be told. While she was in the hospital, Tom stayed with her night and day. She was grateful that he did. She seems to grow more and more dependent on Tom as her pregnancy progresses, and he seems to be there with his support. Perhaps they will ultimately be able to find some way to bridge the divide that separates them now.

Tuesday, December 24, 1996

Wednesday, December 25, 1996

Thursday, December 26, 1996

9 am. Under the door was a folded piece of paper. On one side was an image of a distorted human face. On the other side was what looked like half of a shrimp. When the paper was unfolded, the two images created one face. The work is obviously that of Helen Gregory. I guess this was a form of Christmas card. I think the building was locked up for Christmas yesterday, so I'm not sure I know how this was delivered. But Helen was a janitor and might have connections in the building "underground." Does this mean that she is back in the country? Might I hear from her soon? I certainly hope so, if not for her sake than for my own. I would very much like a resolution of her strange mystery. I'm obviously not a very good detective, so I haven't been able to put all the pieces together. Of course, Ruby could have delivered this for Helen and slipped into the building somehow, so my surmise could be completely incorrect. The dual split face is a haunting image--half twisted human, half grotesque crustacean, almost insect like. Is she commenting on the nature of humans in general? I would not put it past her. I remember her talking about certain people as wearing masks covering their true selves which she did not even consider as human. Whatever it means, I was glad to hear from Helen again.

9:30 am. There was nothing from the Anonymous Faxer yesterday. It was Christmas, so maybe the last image was an indication of going out of town. Or perhaps he wasn't able to get to a fax machine after all. In any case, my plan of trying to unveil his identity failed. There will be no Christmas log entry to check. I have to go back to square one.

3:15 pm. Twenty-fifth Session with Anna Green. Anna made a special trip from Davis today to make her session. She arrived unannounced forty five minutes early and asked to be seen. I was able to accommodate her. Anna is an only child. Her parents take a strong interest in her social life. Anna complained briefly about her mother's friendship with Caren--apparently a back door source of information about Anna. She did not feel comfortable talking to her parents about her relationship with John, whom she now considers as irrelevant to her life. Instead she talked to her parents about me. Without giving out the defining characteristic of our relationship--that of a doctor and a patient--Anna talked to her parents at length about my looks, intelligence, and ability to understand her. She did tell them that we have not gone out on a date yet. But "yet" was the main point. Anna even told them a little about stripping for me in my office, although her version of the story was about me accidentally catching her naked. At some point I finally had to intervene and stop her. I am not sure whether she was telling me the truth or this was just another fabrication designed to get to me. When pressed, Anna retaliated by saying that she wouldn't tell a lie to her parents and that I was in fact the most important thing going on in her life currently. I am very disturbed that Anna has taken her infatuation with me outside these sessions and my office. By giving her parents the impression of me as a possible suitor, Anna gave even more reality to her fantasies of our possible life together. I am disappointed at my inability to channel Anna's emotions into a more constructive relationship. Since Anna seems to do better and be stronger emotionally when she is pursued or already in a relationship, I sincerely hope that she meets someone soon. But I also must be careful to make sure that I don't get her to inappropriately transfer her emotions from me to someone with whom she otherwise wouldn't make a commitment.

Friday, December 27, 1996

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