Transcript of 7th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. Joseph Mazurka, Tuesday, September 3, 1996 at 10 am.

Mr. Mazurka: Hi Doc.
Dr. Balis: Hi Joe. How's it going?
Mr. Mazurka: Not great. Did you talk to Carol about when I can come home?
Dr. Balis: Yes, I did speak with her briefly. I think you're going to have to give it some more time.
Mr. Mazurka: More time? How much fucking time does she need? I tried to call her myself, but there was something the matter with the phone.
Dr. Balis: I think she might have changed the number. She didn't seem very anxious for contact with you right now.
Mr. Mazurka: The bitch! She's trying to punish me, right? She should know better than that. So what did she have to say? What does she want from me anyway?
Dr. Balis: I think she really wants some space right now. You should keep away from her until she's feeling differently and you don't want to violate the Temporary Restraining Order, or you'll get in even more trouble.
Mr. Mazurka: That's not all I'm going to violate. Look, I've had about all I can take. How long am I supposed to go on like this? They're taking half my paycheck and the other half just barely pays for parking, shitty cafeteria food and rent on that fleatrap room. What kind of life is this?
Dr. Balis: Why don't you tell me?
Mr. Mazurka: What's to tell? Wake up looking at the beautiful view of a brick wall, go to work and act all bright and bushy-tailed so I can fool these jerks into buying our crappy, overpriced software--you gotta tell 'em it's going to just melt their troubles away, when really it's going to set them back months while they try to figure out how the fuck it works--but that's not my department, thank god. Wining 'em and dining 'em, that's the best part; at least I get to expense it if I've hooked a live one. But I don't know how much longer I can keep it up. Sometimes I'm really on the verge of telling them what I really think of their sorry asses. You got no idea what it takes out of a guy; selling is the hardest job in the world. And then to come back to that wonder why the fuck you keep on doing it. I don't need a therapist, I need Dr. Kevorkian. But when I go, I'm taking some of those assholes with me!
Dr. Balis: Are you really having suicidal thoughts?
Mr. Mazurka: I wouldn't give 'em the satisfaction. A lot of those pricks can hardly wait, I can tell. No, don't worry, I'm just blowing off steam. Actually, I was really looking forward to this session. There's nobody I can talk to any more. I guess I don't really have any friends. Nobody I can lay this shit on, anyway. You're just lucky I guess.
Dr. Balis: It's part of my job. But what do you think would make your life better? What would you like to change about yourself? Maybe we could focus on that.
Mr. Mazurka: I'm fine, it's the rest of the fucking world that needs changing. But I'm too old to think I can do anything. I'm what I am, and the world's what it is. I guess I've just gotta make the best of it. Yeah, so what do I do but make a mess of things. I was doing okay and then I blew it. I didn't appreciate it at the time, but it seems pretty good compared to now. Well maybe if I end up in jail even this will seem like the good life. It's all relative, I guess.
Dr. Balis: You could try and make the best of things, whatever the circumstances are. A lot of people have less than you do and still manage to be happy. What do you think their secret is?
Mr. Mazurka: They're stupid, that's what. Maybe you could chop out a piece of my brain. You shrinks still do that, right? I heard electro-shock is coming back too. Well, I'm not quite ready for it. Not quite yet, anyway.
Dr. Balis: Don't worry, I'm not a believer in that sort of thing, at least not except under some very particular circumstances. Gross interventions like that have been almost entirely superseded by modern drug therapies in any case. You've been continuing with the Prozac I prescribed?
Mr. Mazurka: Nah, I didn't like the way it made me feel. I'm on a natural high, or maybe a natural low, whatever. But it's pure me, for what that's worth.
Dr. Balis: And those shoulder pains you came in with originally, have they subsided?
Mr. Mazurka: I get twinges now and then, but I think all that working out I was doing helped with that. Or maybe it was the shots. But the pains haven't come back since I quit.
Dr. Balis: So you did quit the steroids, that's good to hear.
Mr. Mazurka: Yeah, tell Carol I'm my old loveable self again.
Dr. Balis: Yeah. But I'm not really in touch with her. She didn't give me her new phone number either. I assume she'll get in touch when she's ready to.
Mr. Mazurka: She'd better get ready damn quick. I can't live like this much longer.
Dr. Balis: If you make yourself loveable, then you might be able to find somebody to love you again. It might be Carol, but then again it might not. All you can do is work on yourself and see if it makes a difference.
Mr. Mazurka: Just see if you can get her here, okay? I'll take care of the rest. It's easy for her to talk behind my back. I'd like to see what she says to my face. She's not so tough; I know her. She'll do what I tell her, she always has. She can't hide from me forever, and the longer she takes the worse it's going to be.
Dr. Balis: For her? I don't think this is the right approach at all. Try to concentrate on your loving thoughts, not the vengeful ones. I know you feel hurt, but so does she, and threats aren't going to bring her back.
Mr. Mazurka: Yeah, whatever works. She can only push me so far, you know?
Dr. Balis: It seems like you were doing the pushing. She is still reacting to what you did to her. If she wants to forgive you and take you back, that's her prerogative. But she doesn't have to and you need to accept that.
Mr. Mazurka: I'll accept what I feel like accepting, okay? Don't you start with me! I do what the fuck I want, and nobody tells me what to do.
Dr. Balis: Oh, come off it, Joe! Nobody's telling you what to do. I'm trying to help you face some basic facts so you don't have to get hostile with me. To be honest, it didn't seem to me that Carol had much if any interest in reconciling with you and, if you want to change her mind, your tactics are going to have to change radically. Don't shoot the messenger; I'm on your side, remember? I'll do what I can for you, but give me something to work with, okay?
Mr. Mazurka: Yeah, okay. Sorry. I guess I'm really pretty frazzed. You don't know what it's like, getting chucked out of your own home and having to live like a rat. Tactics, yeah, I can dig it. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar and all that. Of course, you catch even more with shit...
Dr. Balis: Carol's not a fly. She's a human being who has already taken a lot from you. I didn't get the feeling she wanted to take much more.
Mr. Mazurka: Yeah, but what about me? How much more am I supposed to take? Has anybody ever thought about that? A man can only be pushed so far before he snaps, and I'm getting real close, I'm telling you. Really fucking close. Honest, I'm scared of what might happen if I'm pushed too far.
Dr. Balis: People break up with their wives all the time, Joe. It's tough, but it's not the end of the world. Sometimes it's really for the best. I don't know why you need to feel that other people are pushing you into anything. Take on some responsibility yourself for a change. Why don't you try to make something good happen for yourself?
Mr. Mazurka: Like what? I'm going downhill with no brakes. What the hell kind of good is going to happen to me?
Dr. Balis: What about the bodybuilding, that had its positive side. Are you keeping up with that?
Mr. Mazurka: I've had other things on my mind. I've sort of let it slide, I guess.
Dr. Balis: Don't you have any other interests or hobbies--anything to keep you busy besides work?
Mr. Mazurka: Not really, I pretty much just sit around in my room, watch television, and reload.
Dr. Balis: Reload?
Mr. Mazurka: Yeah, you can save a few bucks, it's not hard to do. Heck, down at the range you can go through a box of cartridges in an hour, easy. That can add up.
Dr. Balis: Now this sounds like an interest you've been developing. Do you practice shooting a lot?
Mr. Mazurka: Well, whenever I can. Most of my guns are still at the house, but I've still got my car guns. You're allowed to carry them in a locked box, if they're not loaded and the ammo's in another locked box or something. Fucking useless, but don't get me started.
Dr. Balis: Actually, we're about out of time, but I wanted to talk to you about the Prozac. I really think we were seeing some improvement there until you started on the steroids. You even said that you liked the way they made you feel. Can't you start taking them again? I really think they would help.
Mr. Mazurka: I'll think about it, okay Doc?
Dr. Balis: Well, I guess I can't ask for more than that. So I'll see you next week on Monday, right? That will be the 9th of September at 4 pm.
Mr. Mazurka: Yeah, why not? See you then, Doc.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye Joe. Try not to get into any trouble.
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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