Transcript of 6th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. Joseph Mazurka, Monday, August 26, 1996 at 4 pm.

Mr. Mazurka: Hi Doc. Sorry I missed the session last week.
Dr. Balis: It sounds like you couldn't help it.
Mr. Mazurka: Oh, you heard what happened?
Dr. Balis: Yes, I got a call from the police.
Mr. Mazurka: Oh crap. Does anybody else know?
Dr. Balis: I really couldn't say. What did you tell your boss?
Mr. Mazurka: Carol called me in sick. I guess I was, sort of.
Dr. Balis: That was nice of her, under the circumstances.
Mr. Mazurka: Why should she want me to lose my job? Even if she doesn't want to see me any more, the bitch still wants my money.
Dr. Balis: It's hardly surprising that she should want some distance at this point. Do you want to get back together?
Mr. Mazurka: I don't know. I'm not crazy about living in a hotel room, that's for sure. And it's expensive, too. We were barely making it as it was. I don't know how this is going to work.
Dr. Balis: I was more interested in the emotional than the financial aspects of the situation. Are you sorry about what you did? Do you want her to forgive you?
Mr. Mazurka: Sorry? Sure I'm sorry. We've had fights before, but I never lost control like that. I don't know what got into me. It was like, uh, temporary insanity. I couldn't help myself.
Dr. Balis: Did you stop taking the steroids, like you promised?
Mr. Mazurka: Yeah, I stopped. I guess rotting in jail for a few days gave me some time to think things over.
Dr. Balis: But you didn't stop when you said you would. If you had, this whole thing might not have happened. And you're not going to start up again, right?
Mr. Mazurka: I told you, I stopped. What the fuck do you want, a pledge signed in blood?
Dr. Balis: It's no secret, the personality changes that those drugs cause. I'm sure Carol is going to want some assurance from you that you have quit them for good; that's if she's even interested in a reconciliation.
Mr. Mazurka: Do you think she is? Have you talked to her? I'm not even allowed near the bitch.
Dr. Balis: Sorry, I haven't heard from her. You had better give her a little time. But if you have a message for her, I will see what I can do.
Mr. Mazurka: You know those counseling sessions you were talking about, the couples thing? Maybe we could do that.
Dr. Balis: I'm not sure the restraining order would permit it, but if Carol would agree then it probably wouldn't be a violation. I could check, I suppose. But in the meantime you could get your own house in order.
Mr. Mazurka: Yeah, my house is in great order as long as I'm not around. Then everything goes to shit. Look, tell her I'm real sorry. I didn't mean to hit her that hard. I'd just been feeling so pent-up, like something had to blow. I'm sorry it had to be her that got it. She should have known not to fuck with me, the way I was. If I wanted a lesson in manners, I'd go to a fucking charm school. Who needs that kind of shit at home?
Dr. Balis: It sounds like you're still blaming her...
Mr. Mazurka: No, no. Everything's my fault, it's always my fault. When in doubt, blame Mazurka, you can't go too far wrong.
Dr. Balis: Come on, Joe; that's not very productive. And it's too easy, isn't it. Look, just tell me what you want to do, and I'll try to help you do it. Do you want to get back together with your wife and kids or not? If you do, the first thing is to take responsibility for what you did, and take some steps to make sure it doesn't happen again. If not, then you just have to figure out how to live with yourself. Either way, you're going to need some help and that's what I'm here for. What's it to be?
Mr. Mazurka: I want my wife and family back, if they'll have me. It's awfully fucking lonely in that hotel room, if you're used to having a family. There's really nothing else to do but hang out down in the bar, drinking with a bunch of other guys, then go upstairs and watch TV, or drink some more and puke your guts out. Whores are fun if you've got a lot of money to blow, but I could afford a quick hand-job maybe once a week. It's fucking depressing just to think about it. Carol took a lot of shit from me, I'll give her that. And I even miss the kids, worthless as they are.
Dr. Balis: I would like to see you get your life back on track. How do you think I could help you to do that?
Mr. Mazurka: You could loan me a few bucks until payday! Just kidding. At least I've still got my credit cards. Otherwise I'd really be up shit creek. Yeah, talk to her, tell her I really love her, even though I'm a bastard. You know, the old soft soap. She's fallen for it before, the dumb cluck. But you're pretty smooth, you'll know what to say.
Dr. Balis: I'm not going to tell her something I don't believe to be the truth. There's a difference between loving someone and missing the comforts of home, and I don't think you quite grasp the distinction.
Mr. Mazurka: Yeah, maybe I'll get so I miss her bitching. Then you'll know I've really lost it. I don't know, maybe behind every successful man there's a nagging bitch. At least I miss her coffee, that's a start. Do you think you could at least get me a visit with my kids? Not at the house. I'd take them to the zoo or something, see if they could tell who's meaner--their dad or that white alligator. I don't know what she's been filling their little heads with when they ask about their Dad, but I have a feeling it's a bunch of crap. I never thought I'd miss all that noise--it's amazing how much noise two kids can make, you'd think there was ten of them. Now that I can finally hear myself think, I don't like it as much as I thought I would. Maybe I should think happier thoughts.
Dr. Balis: I'll see what I can do about the visit, but I'm not promising anything. It's just been a short time, and there's still a lot of calming down to do on both sides.
Mr. Mazurka: I'm calm. Don't I seem calm? What do you want, a fucking saint? Throw me in jail, tell me I can't go near my own fucking home and kids, give me a room in a seedy goddamn flophouse for forty bucks a night. I'll just eat it up, turn the other cheek and come begging for more. Come up smiling my big shit-eating grin.
Dr. Balis: Look, nothing happened to you that wasn't your own fault. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, maybe you could think about what you did wrong, and how you could avoid doing it in the future. I don't have any more time right now, but let's work out some more constructive strategies for next week, okay? And I'll try and call Carol, to see how she's feeling about things. With any luck, she won't press charges, but there's no guarantee.
Mr. Mazurka: She'd better not start fucking with me! She can run, but she can't hide. I've had about all I can take already. It wouldn't take much.
Dr. Balis: I really think you should come back earlier than next Monday. Can you make it on Thursday?
Mr. Mazurka: Gee, I'd love to oblige you, Doc. But there's no way I'm going to come here more often than once a week. I mean I'd love to spend more time with you and all, but there's just no way. Forget it.
Dr. Balis: Look, our next regular session is scheduled for Monday, September 2nd, but that's Labor Day. But I want to see you in here on Tuesday, September 3, okay? Is 10 am okay?
Mr. Mazurka: Yeah, I can make it then. Try to work something out with Carol in the meantime, and give me a call. I'm at the Shangri-La Hotel in the Tenderloin. I don't know the number off the top of my head. But figure it out.
Dr. Balis: Okay, Joe. And try to work on your attitude, okay?
Mr. Mazurka: Attitude? What attitude?
Dr. Balis: I just don't want you to get into any more trouble. Feel free to give me a call if you feel like you're losing control again, okay?
Mr. Mazurka: Sure, Doc.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye.
Mr. Mazurka: Yeah, see you.
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