Transcript of 3rd Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. Joseph Mazurka, Monday, July 29, 1996 at 4 pm.

Mr. Mazurka: Hi Doc. I'm right on time.
Dr. Balis: That's very good, Joe. Are you starting to look forward to these sessions?
Mr. Mazurka: Well, yes and no. I guess it's kind of interesting, but I can't say I'm feeling any better. If anything I'm feeling worse. It's like I'm not really alive, I'm just going through the motions, like a zombie or something.
Dr. Balis: The physical pain you were complaining about, has that moderated at all?
Mr. Mazurka: I guess so, as long as I don't try and do anything. I feel kind of numb. But it's not a good feeling. It's like you could cut off my arm with no anesthetic, and I wouldn't feel a thing--I wouldn't even care. It'd be like you were doing it to someone else--somebody I don't give a shit about.
Dr. Balis: And in your mental life, have you been having any fantasies, or dreams or anything like that you'd like to share with me?
Mr. Mazurka: Yeah, as a matter of fact I did have this weird dream last night. I'm at a Giants game with the wife and kids. Everything's normal, we're even having a good time. So I call over to the hot-dog guy, "Four dogs over here!" and he comes over to our seat, but he's all pissed off, I don't know why. He starts screaming at me. I start yelling back, everybody starts moving away, like in the movies when the hero and his girl have their big dance. A couple of security guys come. They grab me and drag me off, but they aren't throwing me out, they're making me play. They jam me into a jersey and push me out onto the field. The sun is beating down into my eyes. I can hardly see. Then I almost trip over this chick, Suzy. You know that bimbo who works here? Everybody in marketing wants to get into her drawers. She's out there in the middle of left field on a beach towel, wearing this thong thing--you know those bathing suits that disappear up their ass-cracks. Anyway she's about busting out of this thing all over, and giving me this come-fuck-me smile, and I'm sort-of sleep-walking over her way with the crowd cheering when I hear the bat hit the ball, and it's coming my way. I don't have a glove, but it's coming real slow, but I'm in slow motion too, and I make this great catch, you know, jumping way up in the air. But the ball sort of comes apart in my hands like a rotten tomato, and I'm holding these pieces of it and blood keeps pouring out of its cracked skin, and I can't put it down, it's stuck to my hands. This is where I woke up. What do you think it means? Anything?
Dr. Balis: Do you think it means something?
Mr. Mazurka: Nah, not really. It was what it was. I just wish the pitcher had warmed up a little more, then I could tell Suzy I had a wet dream about her. She'd like that, I bet.
Dr. Balis: I think that might constitute sexual harassment. It's okay to talk about it with me, but if you talk about it with her, you could be fired pretty quickly.
Mr. Mazurka: They wouldn't dare. Nobody messes with Mazurka the Berserka.
Dr. Balis: Is that what you call yourself?
Mr. Mazurka: That's what they called me at school. I'm a pretty nice guy most of the time, but I've got a hell of a temper. They found out quick enough. When I got real mad, I'd just lose it. There was this big kid--he was a lot bigger than me, anyway. He was always picking on me, teasing me, pushing me around. I forget what it was that finally set me off, but it was like my mind went red, and the next thing I knew a bunch of guys were dragging me off him. I was on his chest with my hands around his neck, banging his head against the blacktop. I guess I was trying to kill him--they had to take him to the hospital. But he didn't give me any more shit after that. He stayed out of my way real good. A lot of kids were afraid of me. That was okay--I liked having a rep. They never called me Berserka to my face but I didn't mind it, it sounds like a fighter's ring-name.
Dr. Balis: Yes. Have you had any more of these episodes later in life?
Mr. Mazurka: Not too many. I guess the wife and kids know how to keep out of my way when I'm in a bad mood. I haven't really gone off on anybody for a long time. I just sort of keep it bottled up, you know. But I think people know I'm not a guy to fuck with, right?
Dr. Balis: Hmm. How did your parents react after that fight at school?
Mr. Mazurka: Oh, when I came home all covered with blood my mom started to cry. I had to show her I was okay and that it was the other guy's blood that had splashed on me. But my Dad was proud I won the fight, said I had the fighting Mazurka spirit. I guess I got it from him. He was always slapping us kids around. I suppose it was to toughen us up. Mom got her share too. She got real tough. I never saw her so happy as when the old bastard finally croaked. She tried not to show it, but we could tell. Of course, I was out of the house by then, working and going to school. My little brothers had an easy life, compared to me. Mom was real strict, but she never got mean drunk.
Dr. Balis: Like your father?
Mr. Mazurka: Oh yeah. We could tell by the way his footsteps sounded coming up the stairs. Sometimes he'd go into his and Mom's room and stay there. We'd make bets on whether it was going to be fucking or fighting. But when he came into our room it was bad. He'd been in the army in Korea, and he'd line us up like soldiers, and all we could say was "yes sir" and "no sir"--"sorry sir" didn't cut it. So we'd have to stand at attention while he chewed us out about everything that was wrong with us, and our Mom, and his job, and the whole fucking world, and then we'd get punished for it, one at a time, like soldiers I guess. We'd have to drop our pajamas and grip the bedframe while he whaled away with his belt. Then we had to say, "Thank you sir" or he'd start all over again. But I gotta say, I respected him a lot more than my kids respect me, no matter what I do to them.
Dr. Balis: Do you beat your children?
Mr. Mazurka: Hardly at all. Nothing like what I got. But you can just take so much shit from a snot-nosed kid, you know? And sometimes they just pick the wrong time to piss me off. Like last night, I was in the middle of watching this important game, and the little bitch pushes the button on the set and turns it off, just like that. And she had the nerve to hide the remote. Well, I tanned her little butt for her. Then she goes crying to her mom, and the big bitch takes her side, so we have a three-way fight going. Well hey, I'm not going to lose a fight to that fat pig and her little rooting section, I'm not that far gone. So then who should show up but the boy with his baseball bat, no less. Well, I showed him not to threaten his old man with a fucking bat. But I mean, what are things coming to these days? A man can't even control his own wife and kids.
Dr. Balis: Are you afraid of things getting out of control?
Mr. Mazurka: I'm not afraid of nothing. No, I don't give a shit any more. She can have 'em both, they can all go to hell for all I care.
Dr. Balis: What about losing control of yourself?
Mr. Mazurka: It might feel good just to let go. I tell you, I'm getting close. You can only push a guy so far before he snaps.
Dr. Balis: Are you under a lot of pressure at work?
Mr. Mazurka: No, just as long as I can keep beating my quota every year, everything's just dandy. They say "jump," all I can say is "how high?" but then they keep raising the bar. I don't how I'm supposed to do it, but maybe I'm not supposed to make it. Maybe they're just trying to get rid of me. I know some of those bastards hate my guts. Well, it's mutual. But I just keep doing my job, and feeling deader and deader. Well they better watch out, that's all. If a guy's dead already, if he's got nothing to lose, he can get very dangerous. And there's a few of them he might take with him when he goes.
Dr. Balis: Do you ever fantasize about killing people?
Mr. Mazurka: Who me? No I'm just talking through my hat. You don't discuss this stuff with Personnel, do you?
Dr. Balis: I told you, this is all strictly confidential. For the therapeutic relationship to work, you have to be able to discuss the most forbidden things openly. In order to become a medical doctor I took the Hippocratic oath promising to keep my patient's secrets. The burden on a psychiatrist is even higher than on a regular doctor.
Mr. Mazurka: Yeah, the hypocrite's oath, I've heard of it. Well, make sure you keep it, I've sort of gotten to like you.
Dr. Balis: I think our time is about up. You know, I think in addition to these sessions I'm going to prescribe for you a little medication. I'm going to give you a prescription to fill, and I'd like you to tell me how it works, okay?
Mr. Mazurka: Prozac, huh? Will it get me high?
Dr. Balis: No, but it'll help you from going too low. Sometimes it is effective to take the edge off. Have you been keeping a journal like I asked you to?
Mr. Mazurka: No, writing's not really my thing. I can't spell for shit. I always used to get bogged down staring at the blank page.
Dr. Balis: Maybe you could just talk into a tape recorder, would that be easier?
Mr. Mazurka: I suppose I could give it a try. See ya next week.
Dr. Balis: Actually, I have an opening on Thursday at 2 pm. Since I've prescribed some medication, I'd like to see you a little early.
Mr. Mazurka: It's all the same to me. I'll see you on Thursday at 2. Bye 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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