The viewer of this entertainment uses a browser connected toa web site. On screen, we see two lighted office windows. Doctor Balis is mostly in shadow, obscured behind shutters,although his arm is occasionally visible. When Sylvia Bowsis in the room, she is performed as a digital “puppet”character animated by Protozoa. The background and thedigital puppet are part of an initial download. The audioportion is streamed--downloaded as it plays--together withthe information necessary to direct the movements of thedigital character.
The title music is the song “Twisted.”
My analyst told me that I was right outof my head. Said that I’d needtreatment, but I’m not that easily led. He said.
I'm Doctor Charles Balis and I'm apsychiatrist.
.be out of my mind and he thought I wasnuts. No more ifs or ands or buts, ohno.
When I finished at Columbia and decidedto set up solo practice in San Francisco,I was a bit nervous. So I sold themajority of my time to an HMO--CalaCare. There's health care and then there'sCalaCare.that's their slogan. Anyway,CalaCare made me the treatingpsychiatrist for Silicon Impressions Inc--S.I.I.--a large computer software andhardware company based here in SanFrancisco. When I began, I thoughtS.I.I. would be just like any othercompany. I had no idea just how muchthey needed my services. I'm the CompanyTherapist. These are my files.
My analyst told me that I was right outof my head.
The way he described it, he said I’d bebetter dead than live. I didn’t listento his jive. I knew all along he was allwrong and I knew that he thought I wascrazy but I’m not, oh no.
DR. BALIS is a psychiatrist practicing primarily withpatients from a large computer company, Silicon ImpressionsInc. of San Francisco. He is narrating from his notes.
Sylvia Bows is a thirty-eight year oldvice president of Silicon ImpressionsInc. She’s smart, tough, andcontrolling. For the last two years,she’s been trying to get pregnant by herhusband Tom, without success. She soughtmy help last week after she found out thereason why--Tom had a secret vasectomytwo years ago. When I first saw her,Sylvia was suffering from anxietyattacks, dizziness, and insomnia,together with an elevated pulse and rapidrespiration. She also had severe stomachaches. Her emotional state was unstable. She admitted that she wasn’t thinkingrationally and described her sense ofrage as “murderous”. I prescribedZoloft, 50 milligrams b.i.d.
SYLVIA BOWS is an attractive thirty-eight year old woman,strong and self-possessed, with perhaps a trace of a Frenchaccent. She is elegantly dressed in a fancy blouse that isunbuttoned too far for modesty. She is not wearing a bra. She’s also wearing an unbuttoned red suit jacket. She sitson a chair directly in front of Dr. Balis’ desk.
Sylvia. Please sit down. So, how were thelast couple of days on Zoloft?
I’m sleeping a lot better. I’m alsofeeling more together at work.
Good. Sounds like Zoloft is working foryou.
Somewhat. I feel this strange separationbetween my emotions and.I’m not surehow to put this. I feel like I’mobserving myself from the side. I’m notsure I like that. But I do like getting alittle control over my life. I went tosee a lawyer.
Let’s not talk about that right now.
Okay, we can come back to it. We werediscussing your thoughts about why Tomhad a secret vasectomy. You mentionedthat even though you’d been working fortwo years to get pregnant, Tom is nowtaking the position that he had thevasectomy for your benefit.
Tom’s been talking with my mother. Telling her how he is just trying toprotect me from myself. That I’m reallytoo old to have children now and hedoesn’t want me to go through what hissister did. She got pregnant at thirty-eight and about five months into it foundout that it was a Down’s syndrome kid.
She had an abortion and a nervousbreakdown. She lost her job. And now sheand Kent might split up. So you can seehow my mother could easily transfer Tom’ssister’s situation onto me. He’s so goodat convincing everyone that he’s right. Ithink that’s his major talent.
I tried. We spoke about a week ago. Butyou saw me last week. I was too angry toconvince anyone of anything, especiallymy mother. Maybe in my new Zoloft state,I’ll be better at it. I’m certainlysurprising Tom.
Oh, in different ways. I don’t break downduring our conversations. In fact, when Italk with him now, I’m the ice queen. Iget so cold he actually starts to getemotional. I think I’m getting himworried. He probably thought that he’d beable to talk his way out of this and rideit through. He was figuring he’d comeout on top.
Winning has always been very important toTom. Being the best at everything. Hegraduated at the top of his class fromColumbia. Then he went on and got his MBAwith honors. We met in New York. He wasin the last year of his MBA, and I wasfinishing up my double degree injournalism and psychology at NYU. We wereboth driven perfectionists. We bothwanted to be the best. I guess it wasthen we decided not to have children--they would have interfered with thelifestyle we envisioned for ourselves. Now it all seems so selfish.
You think Tom sees your current crisis asa couple as something that he needs towin--like there’s a winner and a loser?
You’re beginning to understand him. That’s definitely what he thinks. Hispoor wife had temporary delusions aboutparenthood and children. He was there toprevent a terrible mistake. And now hisjob is to get me over this unfortunateemotional episode and back to normalagain. And all of this with a minimum ofinterruptions to his busy work schedule. I don’t think so.
Nothing, Doctor. I’m just talking.
You mentioned that you’re getting Tom tobe emotional.
Yeah, that surprised me. It’s like hehas to be emotional because I’m not--anemotional counterweight or something. Last night, when I came home from work,he was there. But this time, I was civilto him. I said hello, asked if he’d haddinner yet. I was able to maintain mycool and distance myself enough from myemotions and feelings not to show them toTom. He didn’t know how to take it. ThenI took a long bath. I left the door open. I wanted Tom to see me naked. I’m notsure why I did it. And even though Ididn’t actually catch him, it felt reallygood to know that he was looking at me. Iknow he was. Then I just wore this lightcotton nightgown to bed. Nothing else. Iknew it would turn Tom on to see me init. I wanted him to want me a lot.
He noticed. But he didn’t touch me. Needless to say, we stopped having sexwhen I found out about his indiscretionswith the urologist. This morning, I gotdressed in front of him. I gave him thewhole show. He kept pretending thateverything was as usual. But he waslooking. I could see him from the cornerof my eyes in the mirror. I took off mynightgown by letting it drop at my feetand I got into the shower. When I cameout, I methodically dried myself with atowel, bending down and stretching tocarefully absorb every drop. Then Iwalked into our bedroom and put cream onmy arms, legs, and thighs. I put on avery sexy pair of underwear. With all theweight I’ve lost, it looks really greaton me now. I don’t know if you can tell,Doctor, but I am not wearing a bra. Tomknows. I know he was shocked that I’d goto work like this. But he didn’t dare saya word. I wished him a good day and left.
Why do you think you put on a show forTom?
I wanted him to want me. To want me andnot be able to have me. I want him tothink of me all day today. I want him togo crazy and lose his concentration. Iwant to feel on top for awhile.
Yes, Doctor. More than you might think.
I thought you had meetings all day today. We even had problems scheduling time forthis appointment.
I canceled my meetings this morning.
At Starbucks, down the street. I wentthere before work for a cappuccino.
Are you reluctant to talk about this,Sylvia?
I guess I am. A little. Richard and Ishared a table. I saw him sitting aloneand invited myself to join him. He saidthat he was surprised but delighted.
He works for S.I.I., too. We’ve seen eachother around the building, and Iapparently have a reputation for being abit standoffish. All business. So when Iasked his permission to join him, hewas.
You said you didn’t go to work today.
Richard and I spent the rest of themorning together. Richard also noticedthat I wasn’t wearing a bra. Do you thinkI have nice breasts?
I really couldn’t say. I haven’t beenlooking at your chest.
I don’t believe you, Doctor. From whereyou’re sitting you should be able to seea part of my left nipple. Before I cameinto your office, I made sure you could. And I’ve seen you look.
Ms. Bows, are you sure you’re feeling allright?
In some ways, Doctor, I’ve never feltbetter. Would you like to know whathappened next?
Richard and I got our drinks to go andwent back to his place. Should I go on?
Richard has a beautiful body. He remindsme of Tom about ten years ago. He made mefeel beautiful, and sexy, and verydesired. Do you think it was wrong of me?
It’s not my job to judge your actions,Sylvia.
But I am concerned over what seems to bea major change in your behavior since youstarted taking this medication. Maybe weshould adjust your dosage.
Doctor, it’s not the Zoloft. I just feelthat I need to take back some controlnow. And if having sex with strangers ispart of it, then I think that’s okay. I’ve never let myself have this kind offreedom before, and I think it’s time toexperiment a little.
Sylvia, I’m just worried about you. Iwant to make sure that you are fullyaware of all the consequences of youractions. I don’t want you to decide laterthat you made a mistake.
Don’t worry, Doctor. I won’t blame you.
That’s not what I’m saying. I just wantyou to be sure you’re doing this becauseyou really want to and not because yourpersonality has been altered by somedrug.
As I said, don’t worry Doctor. I knowwhat I’m doing. And I think you’re doinga wonderful job with me so far.
I hope you’re right. Let’s set up ournext session. I’d like to see you nextTuesday. How does four in the afternoonwork for you?
I’ll be there, Doctor. I am learning tomake time for myself. And thank you somuch for worrying about me. But I’mreally okay, honest. Goodbye, Doctor.
Goodbye, Sylvia. And don’t hesitate tocall me if you feel the need.
TCT--Protozoa Pilot, CONFORMING--10.
They say as a child I appeared a littlebit wild with all my crazy ideas, but Iknew what was happening. I knew I was agenius.
Dr. Balis is again narrating from his notes.
The woman surprised me. She laid a trapfor me by opening a button on her blouseso that her nipple was exposed, and thenshe caught me looking at it. I fellright into her trap--denying I had seenanything. She knew I was lying. Apparently, the Zoloft has made Sylviamore distant from her own emotions,allowing her to act as a dispassionateobserver even while she’s feeling theemotion. She thinks she has morecontrol, but it turns out she skippedwork this morning and instead had asexual encounter with someone from S.I.I. whom she barely knew. This was afterSylvia had taunted her husband byflaunting her now inaccessible nudity. Sylvia and Tom both see theirrelationship as a power struggle. AndSylvia has discovered that she can usesex as a weapon against Tom, who seemsunused to losing any conflict. Sylviawants Tom to think about her all day,knowing that he can’t have her--they’vestopped having sexual relations sinceSylvia found out about Tom’s vasectomy. I suggested that Zoloft might beresponsible for her behavioral changes,especially involving sex, but Sylviadenies it. Since Zoloft is a serotoninreuptake inhibitor, Sylvia should bewatched carefully for mania or hypomaniatogether with other undesirable changesin her behavior, especially sexualbehavior.
My analyst told me that I was right outof my head. The way he described it, hesaid I’d be better dead than live. Ididn’t listen to his jive.
TCT--Protozoa Pilot, CONFORMING--11.
I knew all along he was all wrong and Iknew that he thought I was crazy but I’mnot, oh no. My analyst told me that Iwas right out of my head, but I said,“Dear Doctor, I think that it’s youinstead.”
Sylvia Bows was performed by Caitlin McClure
Charles Balis was performed by Bill Krauss
Twisted was written by Wardell Gray and Annie Ross, performedby Annie Ross, and published by Fantasy, Inc. For thepurposes of this pilot, the song is used without permission.
The audio track was written, produced, and directed by Olgaand Christopher Werby.
The Company Therapist concept, content, and logo is copyright1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, Pipsqueak Productions. Visit TheCompany Therapist web site at http://www.TheTherapist.com
All Rights Reserved. Copyright 1999, Pipsqueak Productions
401 Mass. 812 (1988) 520 N.E.2d 134 COMMONWEALTH JOHN K. MULICA, JR. Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Essex. Present: WILKINS, LIACOS, NOLAN, & LYNCH, JJ Thomas G. Shapiro for the defendant. Robert J. Bender, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth. The defendant was convicted of embezzlement from the Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank (bank), of p
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