Transcript of 4th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. Joseph Mazurka, Monday, August 5, 1996 at 4 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Joe. How are you doing?
Mr. Mazurka: A lot better, Doc. I think that stuff you gave me really works.
Dr. Balis: You've been taking the medication regularly?
Mr. Mazurka: Yeah, the last couple of weeks.
Dr. Balis: What changes have you noticed?
Mr. Mazurka: Oh, lots of things. My body feels better, and I haven't been feeling so pissed-off at everyone. I guess I sounded like a real bastard at first, huh?.
Dr. Balis: You don't have to worry about appearances here, Joe. Feel free to blow off all the steam you want.
Mr. Mazurka: Okay, but right now I'm feeling fine. Amazing what a few little pills will do. Oh, and I even have some doodles for you. You said you were anxious to see some.
Dr. Balis: Thanks, Joe. I'll take a look at them tonight. When did you draw them?
Mr. Mazurka: Oh, hell. I don't know. A couple of weeks ago. I found them on my desk and thought you were the perfect guy to have them.
Dr. Balis: I would like to have a look at them. And I'm glad you're feeling better, but I don't want you to confuse the medication with a cure. It is just something to make things go a little easier while you work on yourself.
Mr. Mazurka: You mean I got to keep coming back? You did a great job, Doc, but I've got other fish to fry. I mean, what's the problem? I'm a busy man. I'm carrying the load for the whole sales department, even if I don't get a lot of the credit. Right now, I should be knocking on doors instead of farting around in here. No offense, but I've got a shitload of software that's getting obsolete while we're sitting here shooting the shit--you've got to move this stuff while it's fresh, or it starts to stink, you know?
Dr. Balis: I appreciate that, but don't you think you'd be a more effective salesman if you got your own house in order?
Mr. Mazurka: My house is doing fine, but if I don't pay the rent I get chucked out in the fucking street. The salary they pay me here's a joke--if I don't get commissions, I'm screwed. You know how much they get for kids' sneakers these days? Whatever I bring in, it's gone the next day. I don't know, the harder I work, the more I fall behind.
Dr. Balis: I think you will find it is well worth your while to complete your therapy. It will take some time, but at the end of the day you will be better off, I promise you.
Mr. Mazurka: So what are we supposed to do now? I told you, I'm feeling fine. I've even started working out again, getting back in shape. You get flabby sitting around all the time. How about you, Doc, you ever go to the gym? Maybe we could spar a few rounds.
Dr. Balis: I'm sure you're out of my league. But I was thinking we could try some sessions with your wife. She is covered under your plan, so it wouldn't cost you anything, and I think it could be very helpful.
Mr. Mazurka: Oh, I don't know. A friend of mine went to couples counseling, and he ended up getting divorced. I can't afford that. We're barely making it as it is.
Dr. Balis: Well I don't think it always happens that way. Sometimes it is possible to work things out. You might find yourselves communicating much more effectively.
Mr. Mazurka: I can communicate with her just fine. I bet she'd like that--someone to help her bitch at me. You could take turns, like a tag-team. Sure sounds like fun, but no thanks.
Dr. Balis: I'm sorry you feel that way. I've found that it helps to get the channels of communication going both ways. You don't need to feel threatened. Sometimes just learning to listen to another person can cool things off. If the other person is listening, then you don't need to shout, right?
Mr. Mazurka: Yeah, maybe. I'll think about it, okay? But we've been doing better, we've even been getting it on more. If you could get her to at least pretend she enjoyed it, maybe it would be worth it.
Dr. Balis: Is that what you want?
Mr. Mazurka: It would beat "Are you done yet?" She should take some whore lessons. They know how to treat a man.
Dr. Balis: Are you still using prostitutes?
Mr. Mazurka: Hey, it's part of my job. You think those buyers want to spend the night looking at my face? Okay, some of them are fags, but most of them want to get fixed up. They don't give a shit what computer they get; they want to get their rocks off, same as everybody. The secret of my success: understanding human nature.
Dr. Balis: Oh. Have you been getting along with your co-workers?
Mr. Mazurka: I've got to say, most of them couldn't sell cold beer in the fucking Sahara. But yeah, I'm doing okay with them. I go out and sell, they sit around with their thumbs up their butts looking for me to step out of line so they can rat me out. They'd love to get rid of me. Then there wouldn't be anybody around to show them up.
Dr. Balis: Have they been complaining about you to their superiors?
Mr. Mazurka: Nothing I can't handle. I think the company knows I'm pulling my weight and then some. My boss isn't going to rock the boat, not when his bonus is tied to my performance. This guy's a lot smarter than that cunt they brought in a couple years back--what a bitch. But she got the message.
Dr. Balis: What message?
Mr. Mazurka: Don't fuck with Mazurka, that's the message. This sexual harrassment bullshit makes me sick. A guy can't even tell a goddamn joke around this place without some prissy bitch running to personnel. But I'm still here and she's long gone.
Dr. Balis: Who was this?
Mr. Mazurka: Uh, Stephanie whatsis. This is ancient history, way before you got here. They brought her in to give us some "diversity", I guess. Comes out of some lezzy-feminist college, and she was supposed to tell me how to do my job. A real ball-breaker--you know the type. She must have been been crazy to try it on with me. I don't let myself get pussy-whipped like some of the wimps around here.
Dr. Balis: So what did you do?
Mr. Mazurka: Do? Oh nothing, really. Just kept being myself. Say, what does this have to do with my therapy? Like I said, she's out of here. I'm getting along fine. Anything else you want to know?
Dr. Balis: This is for your benefit, not mine. Is there anything you want to talk about?
Mr. Mazurka: I'm doing great, I got no problems I can't deal with myself.
Dr. Balis: To be frank, Joe, it doesn't look that way to me. Even with the medication, it seems like you are having a hard time keeping your aggression under control.
Mr. Mazurka: You want me to lose my edge? What kind of salesman would I be without it? It's probably different for doctors, but out in the real world you got to fight for every crummy nickel, or someone's going to take it away. You ever read a want-ad for a sales job? Aggressive. That's what they say they want, every time. If you ain't got it, they'll throw you to the wolves. I'm about as mellow now as I can afford to be. Any more and I'd probably get the boot.
Dr. Balis: I don't think you need to worry about that. A little bit more empathy and concern for others would most likely be helpful in your career. Maybe some role-playing exercises...
Mr. Mazurka: Aw, come on Doc, I don't have time to play games. Just give me a clean bill of health and I'm done with this. The whole reason I've been coming at all is because my boss said I had to, and now he's cool. I did it, I got better, what more do you want?
Dr. Balis: Like I said Joe, you've made some progress, but you've got a long way to go. This is all totally voluntary. I can't make you continue if you don't want...
Mr. Mazurka: Yeah, you can't. Well I've had enough. It's been swell and everything. I'd like to have time to wallow around in every miserable minute of my childhood, and figure out all my dreams and everything, but enough's enough. I've got to earn a living or I really got problems.
Dr. Balis: Look, all I can do is make recommendations. I can't force you to do anything. If you want me to write a note for your boss, I can do that, but I can't tell him you are perfectly fine. I would strongly suggest that you continue therapy, at least for a while.
Mr. Mazurka: Is that what you're going to tell him? Thanks a lot. But I might have known that's what you'd say. You got your job to protect, same as the rest.
Dr. Balis: That really doesn't enter into it. But it is my professional opinion that you continue to need a lot of help, and I'm not going to lie about it. You can come or not, it's up to you. Now the time's about up. If you come back, we can talk some more.
Mr. Mazurka: Don't count on it, I'm a busy man. But thanks for everything, whatever it was. See ya one of these days.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Joe.
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