Transcript of 2nd Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. Joseph Mazurka, July 22, 1996 at 4 pm.

Mr. Mazurka: Hi Doc. Bet you were surprised to hear from me again. Thanks for making time to see me so quick.
Dr. Balis: Actually I expected that you'd call me, Joe. You've been experiencing some real symptoms, and I think you realized you needed some help.
Mr. Mazurka: Yeah, well it probably won't hurt to try this stuff, you never can tell.
Dr. Balis: We'll take this at your own pace, okay? We don't have to talk about anything you don't want, but please don't leave before the fifty minutes are up.
Mr. Mazurka: Sorry about that, maybe I have been going off half-cocked lately. Ask my wife. Well anyway...
Dr. Balis: Do you want to talk about your wife?
Mr. Mazurka: Nah. Oh all right, why not. She's a bitch, what else is there to say?
Dr. Balis: Have you always felt this way about her?
Mr. Mazurka: Well before she hooked me she hid it pretty well. It's the old story; you forget that every woman in the world has the same damn thing between her legs, and pretty soon you're promising your life away.
Dr. Balis: How long have you been married?
Mr. Mazurka: Twelve long years--it seems like fucking forever. I don't know, I guess we were happy at first, or at least we didn't have time to think about it, what with the baby and no sleep, and working two shitty jobs and trying to tell myself I was going to finish school sometime, yeah right. I think she was tired of studying herself, figured she'd screw her way into a meal ticket. Well she picked the right chump--good old balls-for-brains Mazurka.
Dr. Balis: Was she pregnant when you married her?
Mr. Mazurka: By me or some other guy, I don't know. Everybody says the kid looks like me, but what are they supposed to say? I don't see the resemblance myself. But what do you think, I married her for love? Gimme a break.
Dr. Balis: You have two children, don't you?
Mr. Mazurka: Yeah, two broken rubbers. The girl looks like my sister used to look, sort of; I guess she's mine. I don't know about that boy. He acts like a real jerk sometimes . Must mean he's my kid after all.
Dr. Balis: Are you getting along with your children?
Mr. Mazurka: I don't know, we never talk. They're in their own little world, I'm in mine, we just happen to live in the same house, that's all. I guess I'm not the world's greatest father. Well fuck it. I'm better than some. I think the bitch's been turning them against me; always putting me down in front of them. I don't know what she wants, but I'm not it, she knows that much.
Dr. Balis: Have things been getting worse lately?
Mr. Mazurka: You could say that, yeah. She gets on my nerves more. Just the way she does things pisses me off; and the way she looks--well she really let herself go, you know. I mean some women, twenty years later, they look just like in high school. Well not her. She sits around eating like a hog all day, but when I come home and want something to eat , then she's on a fucking diet. It makes me sick.
Dr. Balis: Have you had any symptoms besides the arm problem?
Mr. Mazurka: Oh God, I feel like nothing works right anymore. My shoulder's fucked up, my stomach's no good, I can't see straight, my back hurts, and sometimes I can't even get it up these days. I don't know, maybe I'm ready to cash it in.
Dr. Balis: Do these things happen all the time, or just on certain occasions?
Mr. Mazurka: Well I don't need a hard-on all the time, it's just when I want it happening it craps out--not that I'm getting a lot of chances any more.
Dr. Balis: Have you continued having relations with your wife?
Mr. Mazurka: Once in a blue moon, whether I need it or not. But she don't care, it was just a means to an end for her. I used to think she liked it, but now it's just a nasty chore. Not that she was ever so hot, but what the fuck--you want a professional job done, go to a professional.
Dr. Balis: Have you been using prostitutes?
Mr. Mazurka: Well, I'm on the road a lot, you know. What's a guy supposed to do--cold showers? Fuck that. It's relaxing, you know. Those chicks know what to do, and you don't have to waste a lot of time farting around with flowers and shit. You get right to the point, and she's out of there, that's it.
Dr. Balis: Do you experience any difficulties maintaining erection in these encounters?
Mr. Mazurka: I never used to. Okay, yeah, this last time, she was hot to trot, I just didn't feel ready. I don't know what's the matter. It's not like she didn't know her stuff, it just wasn't any use. I don't feel guilty or anything, the damn thing just quits on me. I don't know what to do. How about it, Doc, you got any miracle cures?
Dr. Balis: I don't think it's a matter of miracles, Joe. Sometimes our bodies tell us things we don't necessarily want to hear.
Mr. Mazurka: What, you mean I'm getting old? I'm only thirty-three. I should be in my prime, goddamn it. Instead I'm falling apart.
Dr. Balis: Take the arm problem, for instance. Don't you find that it goes out on you when there is a question of doing something you don't really want to do?
Mr. Mazurka: You mean softball? Hey, I'd love to show those fuck-heads how the game should be played. I used to be pretty good, you know. I'm still in better shape than a lot of those fat-ass desk-jockeys. I just got a bad arm, okay? And don't you think I'd like to have those whores begging for mercy? Fucking-A, you bet. I'll beat this thing, you'll see.
Dr. Balis: Are you really willing to try and get to the bottom of it? I'm afraid it's going to take a lot of work on your part. And frankly Joe, it doesn't seem like that is going to happen. Do you think you could stop blaming other people and take an honest look at what might be going on in your life?
Mr. Mazurka: I don't see what good that's going to do. Do you think it's all my fault, everything that's wrong with the whole stinking world? I didn't dig this hole, I just fell in.
Dr. Balis: Nobody can get you out but yourself, Joe. I can try to help, but really it's up to you. From what you've told me so far, it seems that you really haven't been controlling your life, you've just been letting things happen, so you haven't felt responsible for these negative outcomes. I think that if you could see what's happening, you could decide for yourself what needed to change, then you could take charge and make some positive changes. But you've got to work at it, right?
Mr. Mazurka: You really think people can change? I dunno. We can sit and bullshit for hours, but what's going to be different when we come out? Not a fucking thing. The wife'll still be a bitch, the job'll still suck, and my arm is still going to feel like it was run over by a train. Maybe you believe that talking about problems makes them go away, it seems to me it just makes them worse.
Dr. Balis: If you ignore something, it doesn't necessarily get better. These problems have a way of getting your attention whether you want them to or not. It seems like your arm problem maybe an example of this, not to mention your impotence.
Mr. Mazurka: I'm not impotent! Who told you that? I said I was sick and tired of the crap I've been getting from a bunch of jerks and losers. Who wouldn't be? I don't know why I have to listen to this, I've got more important things to do.
Dr. Balis: Take it easy, the hour's almost up. You've made a start today. If you want to continue it is entirely up to you. I would advise that you begin to keep a journal--just jotting down your thoughts and feelings. This helps bring things into focus for most people. And keep any random sketches or doodles you might make. Sometimes these can tell us things that you can't put into words just yet. We'll schedule you for an appointment next week. Does this time work for you? Monday at 4 pm?
Mr. Mazurka: Yeah, I can make it.
Dr. Balis: I hope we can make some progress, okay?
Mr. Mazurka: Yeah sure, whatever. If you think it's going to do any fucking good...I don't know. The thing is, see, I'm going down the tubes--maybe I'll take you with me.
Dr. Balis: Let me worry about that, okay? See you next week.
Mr. Mazurka: See ya, Doc.
Arrow, Straight, Left, Earlier Arrow, Straight, Right, Later

Button to Dr. Balis' Notes Doctor Balis' Notes on this Session

Button to Joseph Mazurka's Transcripts Transcripts of Joseph Mazurka's Therapy Sessions
Button to Joseph Mazurka's File Joseph Mazurka's Patient File

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