Transcript of 5th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. Joseph Mazurka, Monday, August 12, 1996 at 4 pm.

Mr. Mazurka: Hey, how's it going?
Dr. Balis: Fairly well, how about you, Joe?
Mr. Mazurka: Oh I'm great. Really great.
Dr. Balis: Do you really mean that?
Mr. Mazurka: Hey, I told you. Just look at me. I'm a new man.
Dr. Balis: Would you like to sit down, or lie on the couch?
Mr. Mazurka: Fuck no! I got to move, got to keep going. Sit still and you freeze up. Lose it or use it. Got to fly or fry; I want to keep flying, you know?
Dr. Balis: Well, whatever makes you feel more comfortable.
Mr. Mazurka: Yeah, I'm comfortable, I'm great. You got to breathe, get that good spirit going, then you get strong. Can't you tell I'm a whole different guy? I mean, I was messed up, you know. I was letting my body just deteriorate; an athlete's body. It was a soft white wormy thing, with aches and pains like an old man. It was weak...fucking pathetic.
Dr. Balis: You do look somewhat different.
Mr. Mazurka: Fucking-A I'm different. You bet. You know I can bench-press 200 pounds? And that's in less than a month. You ever see that old movie...what's it called? Here Comes Mr. Jordan or something. Anyway, it's about this boxer who dies, right, but he's reborn into the body of this rich guy. I don't remember what happened to him, but anyway he sort of looks at himself and says "I can get this body into shape." Makes the rich guy into a prizefighter. Remember that one? It's sort of how I feel about this guy Mazurka. Had a fine body but he let it go to shit.
Dr. Balis: So you've been working out a lot?
Mr. Mazurka: Fuck yeah, you don't get pecs like this...hey come on, check'em out...from shuffling papers, you know? Look at this bicep. See that shadow there? Didn't used to be there a month ago. Want to arm- wrestle?
Dr. Balis: Uh, no thanks. Say Joe, do you think you could stop pacing around so much and stay in one place? I think it would really be easier for us to talk that way...
Mr. Mazurka: I can talk while I'm walking, or standing, or sitting, or any goddamn thing I want. I'm not afraid of you. You can kiss my ass.
Dr. Balis: Look, Mr. Mazurka, calm down, stop pacing, and show me some respect.
Mr. Mazurka: Okay, sorry. I guess my mouth's been running away with me a little lately. No offense.
Dr. Balis: So lately, have you often been feeling unusually agitated?
Mr. Mazurka: How do you mean?
Dr. Balis: Violent surges of emotion, mood swings, anything like that?
Mr. Mazurka: I don't know. Seems to me I've been enjoying things more. Is that what you mean?
Dr. Balis: What sort of things?
Mr. Mazurka: Just little things. Like watching TV.
Dr. Balis: Anything particular?
Mr. Mazurka: It's just so beautiful, you know, like what they can do. Like when this guy got shot, right? They go to slow motion, and you know he's going to get it; then he slowly turns and you see the bullets ripping through him, tearing out those big flames of blood through his back. Or when they cut off a guy's head, and you can see the stretched out ends of the arteries, and you can actually count the pulses as they squirt. With slow motion, the blood can just sort of hang there in space, making these great shapes in the air.
Dr. Balis: Is that mostly what you watch?
Mr. Mazurka: I watch all kinds of stuff. You can rent shit now you wouldn't believe. But not snuff films. That's all fake anyway.
Dr. Balis: How does it make you feel to watch violent movies?
Mr. Mazurka: Violent? What's the matter, you don't like action? You like those movies where everybody sits around drinking tea and talking and talking. I mean, if you like that shit, that's okay I guess, but I like it when something happens once in a while. Even the nature shows are better. I saw a lion rip up a gazelle just like that. It was gorgeous.
Dr. Balis: Right. So you have generally been feeling better about things?
Mr. Mazurka: Except for things that piss me off. Maybe it's part of feeling stronger, but I'm through taking shit from people, you know? I took it and took it, but I've had it up to here and I'm through. I mean, if you're in good enough shape that you could take the average guy and rip his throat out with one hand, then you look at things a little different, right?
Dr. Balis: Have you been getting into more conflicts with other people?
Mr. Mazurka: No, I think I've been getting more respect. Just looking people straight in the eye instead of looking away. Most people back down if I give'em the shiteye stare. Hardly anybody wants to start something with me. And if they did I'd finish it.
Dr. Balis: Or they you. Look, I think we should probably discontinue that medication I prescribed. There are such things as paradoxical effects--side effects that are very unusual and opposite from those we usually expect the drug to have.
Mr. Mazurka: But why? That stuff really turned my head around, it sort of balanced out the other...
Dr. Balis: What other?
Mr. Mazurka: Nothing. I mean it balanced out my other side, you know, my personality.
Dr. Balis: Have you been taking any other drugs or medications besides the one I prescribed? This could be really dangerous, Joe. I mean it. It's common for drugs that are perfectly harmless, or nearly, when taken alone to have really terrible side effects when combined.
Mr. Mazurka: Uh no, they said this stuff was safe.
Dr. Balis: What stuff?
Mr. Mazurka: Well, you know, I'd been letting myself slide so long. I needed something to sort of jump-start my muscles growing again. And I've been feeling great, honest. But that stuff you gave me really helps. I don't know, it makes me feel happier. I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't feel happy.
Dr. Balis: So you're taking some kind of anabolic steroids?
Mr. Mazurka: They call it "a shot in the arm" down at the gym. I don't really know what's in it, but it works good.
Dr. Balis: Did you know those chemicals can seriously compromise your system? They have been known to cause liver failure in otherwise healthy men and that's not even getting into the psychological effects. And in combination with Prozac, that's asking for trouble.
Mr. Mazurka: Okay, Doc, I'll stop taking the shots, even though it's done me nothing but good so far. Just don't cut off the other, okay? But I'm not going back to what I was before, got it? There's no way I'm going to be the miserable weakling that everybody dumps their shit on. Not me, no way.
Dr. Balis: I wouldn't say that was the impression you gave. But nobody is telling you to be weak. It's a strong man that takes charge of his life, and that's what I've been urging you to do. If you promise not to take any other drugs we can continue the Prozac, but you have to treat all drugs with respect, or they will do more harm than good; believe me, I've seen what can happen and it's not pretty. So we'll see you again in a week? That's August 19th at 4 pm.
Mr. Mazurka: I guess. Yeah. Okay, I'll see you then.
Dr. Balis: And I have your promise on the drugs?
Mr. Mazurka: Yeah right. See you.
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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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