Watching: Old West Wing on Bravo. Yay, old West Wing! I watched the entire marathon on Sunday and then I watched the pilot again on Monday, and I noticed that at one point Donna makes a comment about how Josh shouldn't have worn a certain tie on television because it bleeds, and that is so obviously a shout out to her guest spot on Sports Night where she played an assistant wardrobe supervisor.

Listening: Carmina Burana. I've decided I want to learn it. All of it, the whole thing. I don't think that's actually going to happen, but wouldn't it make me a more interesting person? "Hello, my name is Elizabeth, I can sing the whole of Carmina Burana!" Whatever. I'll start with O Fortuna, because it's creepy and cool, and the Ecce Gratum, because it is beautiful and cool. Assuming I actually have a wedding one day, I want it to be my recessional.

Reading: Babylon Revisited, and Other Stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I have rediscovered Fitzgerald, for about the fourth time in my life. There will be more to come about him. He's taking my breath away these days.

Drinking: I threw caution to the wind and combined my two favorite beverages: Sugar-Free Grape Kool-Aid and Vanilla Stoli. It's delicious, it tastes like Dimetapp. (It probably is Dimetapp.)

Before I tell you the following story, let me just say this. Other than a childhood obsession with Charlotte's Web, I have no measure of affection toward spiders. I don't freak out about them, unless they are big enough to eat my cat, but I'm not particularly fond of them, either.

When I left Melissa's house two weeks ago, I was loading my car when I noticed that a spider had spun himself a web between my driver's side mirror and the door. I stopped to appreciate the artistry, then started to tear it down, just pulling the anchoring strands away from the door. The spider, who had been chilling out in the center, raced up and disappeared behind the mirror, and I got in my car and drove home, not giving him another thought.

Until the next morning, when I discovered another web between the mirror and the door. This time the spider was hanging out on the edge of the mirror. I was sort of surprised that he had survived the trip down.

I was sick for a couple of days and didn't go anywhere. The next time I got in the car, I didn't see the spider, but the remains of a web hanging off the mirror.

He had adopted me, I guess.

Over the next week, we had a routine, me and the spider. If he was hanging out anywhere on the web when I started tearing it down, he would race back to the mirror. One day I went out and most of the web was already gone, but there was one strand between the mirror and the door, with a bug stuck in it. I pulled the one end off the door, then watched as the spider, who was on the mirror, pulled the strand up until he had the bug in his clutches.

He saved his meal. You have to respect that.

Last night, it was 11:00ish, and I got a sudden urge for ice cream, so I decided to go brave the society fringe who hangs out at my local 7-11 in order to acquire a pint of Phish Food. But when I got to the car, there he was, sitting calmly in the middle of this gorgeous web, bigger than I had ever seen it before, and so intricate. I'm not kidding you, he looked proud of it.

And I stood there in the parking lot and had a conversation with myself about it. It's a goddamned spider, for crying out loud. I wanted ice cream. I could tear it down and send him scampering back to the mirror, let him go hungry for one night. It's just one stupid spider.

Sigh. I went back inside for my camera and tried to take a few pictures of the web. And I didn't get any ice cream.

So. This morning, I noticed that the web had a few holes in it, and I was glad that he had at least gotten something out of the web that I had spared. I tore it halfway down as usual, he went behind the mirror as usual, and off we went.

Except that this morning, I stopped at 7-11 for some coffee. And this confused him, because he came back out on the one strand that was still connected, to do what I don't know. But I didn't notice him until I was speeding down 395 at 55 miles an hour, and saw him outside my window, flapping back and forth in the middle of this strand, holding on for dear life.

I didn't know what to do. I really, really wanted to pull over and let him get back into the mirror. I really did. I begged him to hang on just a little bit longer, because I was getting to the part where there was always traffic, and if I could just slow down or stop long enough, he could get his ass back to the mirror and all would be well.

Alas. The strand broke off the mirror, and he was gone.

Honestly, I felt sad for like twenty minutes. I am clearly in need of help.

Luckily for me, that's where I was headed. To an initial assessment at a mental health treatment center in DC, the free clinic of head cases. Yes, it's time for Elizabeth to get her head shrunk again.

I had always intended to go back into therapy, once I actually got a job and health insurance and that sort of thing. I liked going in Kansas City. I think everyone should go, I really do. There is nothing like paying someone to listen to you talk endlessly about yourself.

But it's been a year, and quite the up-and-down year, and I decided I didn't want to wait anymore. The summer is coming to an end, and while I don't anticipate the stress of a sniper-filled fall again, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't apprehensive about the winter. That's when the last depression cloud wandered in and settled on my head until well into March. I'd like to be prepared this time.

The place I'm going to works on a sliding scale, so the fee is proportionate to your income, but they are actual doctors, not just freshman Psych 101 students. I had an hour this morning, and will go again Tuesday morning before setting up a regular schedule.

I feel good about it. I feel good about doing something that will hopefully relieve the centrifuge that's taken up residence in my head lately. Maybe it really will just be me running my mouth off for 50 minutes once a week, but at least it's an outlet.

Says the girl with the journal.

As it turns out, the clinic is quite literally around the corner from where I went to high school, so I drove over to take a look at it.

And while I was sitting there, in the circle drive in front of the school, I had a sudden flash, and my first day there came back to me as though it were yesterday and not (holy shit) fifteen years ago. My parents drove me that day, pulled around that same circle, and sent me off not only to my first day in a new school, but the first day of my senior year. The emotional memory was stronger than any I've ever had.

I don't have anything more to say about it right now. Except that the building isn't really this ugly, I swear. res amarissima

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