Hello again. I have survived August deadline hell and let me tell you I am so tired. I was hoping to recover over the weekend but people who love me keep making plans because they want to spend time with me, and I can’t say no because I love them too. Feeling a little burnt out and I hope I can shake it soon.

This morning in my backyard, chickadees are everywhere and don’t seem to care if I’m here or not. I love chickadees. Yesterday too I encountered a particularly mouthy bluejay and set out a few peanuts for it. I watched it from my door as it tried to calculate where to cache one so it could come back for the rest. I’ve also seen some song sparrows back here with me but I haven’t coaxed the crows in yet. Next time I’ll tell you about the pigeon family.

I’ve got another treat at the end of this post for hardcore Dracula fans.

August 18

Lucy slept soundly all night and today the roses are coming back into her cheeks. She’s feeling zesty and makes a joke about how Mina found her asleep on their bench. Mina asks her if she had a dream that night, and

Before she answered, that sweet, puckered look came into her forehead, which Arthur—I call him Arthur from her habit—says he loves; and, indeed, I don’t wonder that he does.

Oh Lucy and her cute rosy cheeks and puckered forehead. (???)

It turns out she dreamed about going to their spot, feeling some fear, hearing howling dogs, fish leaping in the bridge below her. She recalls “something long and dark with red eyes” and a sweet and bitter feeling. She felt she was drowning into green water, with the sound of singing in her ears. She describes an out-of-body experience and finding Mina shaking her awake.

This creeps Mina out but she leaves the topic behind. When they get back her cheeks are even rosier.


August 19

Mina gets her letter from Jonathan in hospital and is thrilled. Apparently she’s leaving for Budapest to see to him and bring him home. Hawkins apparently suggests that they get married out there.

I guess it’s good that Jonathan have a babysitter but things are about to go poorly for Lucy. Have you checked her neck wounds, Mina?


AND NOW for a journal by Dr. Seward.

Apparently Renfield has been weird and Dr. Lobotomy hears from an attendant that he’s been sniffing about like a dog. The attendant says that Renfield is usually kind enough but today won’t talk to him because “the Master is at hand.” The attendant suspects some kind of religious mania afoot.

Dr. Lobotomy visits Renfield too and discovers that Renfield also turns his nose up at the doctor, just like he did to the attendant. Dr Lobotomy agrees with the religious mania diagnosis, and says that soon Renfield will get carried away and believe he himself is god. Renfield is turning up his bratty energy for the roleplay tonight, and I love it for him.

Dr. Lobotomy goes on about the glory of God for a bit. It’s annoying.

Renfield slowly gets more and more pumped until suddenly he goes quiet. Dr. Lobotomy tries to get him talking about his spiders, and Renfield says he doesn’t give a shit.

“The bride-maidens rejoice the eyes that wait the coming of the bride; but when the bride draweth nigh, then the maidens shine not to the eyes that are filled.”

Obviously this implies our girls who wanted a bite of Jonathan. Did Dracula bring them with to London? Is Jonathan the bride?

I like this sense of lackeys coming together before the boss battle.

Dr. Lobotomy thinks of Lucy and gets depressed (maybe Renfield has a bit of a cuck fetish?) and considers doping himself with chloral.

If I don’t sleep at once, chloral, the modern Morpheus—C2HCl3O H2O! I must be careful not to let it grow into a habit.

What a nerdy thing to say.

Later, a guard comes to tell Dr. Lobotomy that Renfield has escaped, and the good doctor is relieved that he didn’t drug himself.

The attendant tells Dr. Lobotomy that Renfield appeared to be sleeping a few minutes before, but when he checked a noise of the window being wrenched open, he arrived in time to see Renfield’s feet disappear through the window.

Dr. Lobotomy follows him out through the window, which is only a few feet off the ground. The attendant tells him which way Renfield went, and Dr. Lobotomy goes after. He spots a white figure scaling the wall that separates the asylum from the abandoned houses in the neighbourhood. Dr. Lobotomy orders the guard to get a squad together to go searching Carfax, and scales the wall himself in time to see Renfield dodge around a house. Dr. Lobotomy finds Renfield pressed against an old chapel door and strains to listen, eventually approaching.

Chasing an errant swarm of bees is nothing to following a naked lunatic, when the fit of escaping is upon him!

This is the first mention that Renfield is naked, hahaha. I love this bee metaphor.

Dr. Lobotomy approaches and hears Renfield offering his loyalty to whoever is behind the door. Dr. Lobotomy is again fiercely disgusted by Renfield’s corrupted faith, which would be interesting if I didn’t wonder if Stoker had to put this stuff in to make sure his books weren’t ripped off the shelves in Victorian scandal times.

The guards arrive and they snatch Renfield from the doorway and drag him back to the asylum in a straitjacket.

Jack Sheppard himself couldn’t get free from the strait-waistcoat that keeps him restrained, and he’s chained to the wall in the padded room.

Wow, get a load of this guy!

Dr. Lobotomy, satisfied with Renfield behind bars, turns in for the night.


August 20

This is interesting:

For the first week after his attack he was perpetually violent. Then one night, just as the moon rose, he grew quiet, and kept murmuring to himself: “Now I can wait; now I can wait.”

“For the first week”?? This literally happened yesterday. I checked my hard copy of the book, and this is correct. In his August 19th diary, Seward says the events happened “to-night,” but perhaps Stoker forgot the dates and assumed more time has passed?

In the August 17th entry, there’s the lawyer letter where they are sending Dracula’s boxes to his house in Carfax, to arrive on August 18. So Dracula is no longer in Whitby and perhaps Lucy is safe for now, and this is why her sleep is improving. So if Renfield reacted to Dracula’s arrival in the city on the 18-19th, there’s no way he had weeks to be crazy before August 20th.

The attendants are creeped out by Renfield as he settles in, muttering “Now I can wait.” When Dr. Lobotomy talks to him, Renfield sounds appalled at the suggestion that the attendants are scared that he might hurt Dr. Lobotomy. Dr. Lobotomy finds this soothing.

Am I to take it that I have anything in common with him, so that we are, as it were, to stand together; or has he to gain from me some good so stupendous that my well-being is needful to him?

As Dr. Lobotomy tries to talk to him, nothing engages Renfield in conversation. He doesn’t even care about getting a cat anymore!

Three nights has the same thing happened—violent all day then quiet from moonrise to sunrise.

What three nights??? What time vortex are you living in, Seward?!

We shall to-night play sane wits against mad ones. He escaped before without our help; to-night he shall escape with it. We shall give him a chance, and have the men ready to follow in case they are required….

Oh god. What could go wrong? Good news, I was so tired all week and didn’t update so now we get to jump right in and find out what happened.


August 21

Never mind, I’m a liar. Today’s entry is just a receipt saying the boxes were delivered. (On the 21st? Or the 18th?)


I’m so tired that I took my phone back to bed to write this post (it’s 11am). It’s dark and gloomy outside and now I can hear thunder. I want to go check on blackberry bushes and apple trees for ripe fruit.

Also I’ve been meaning to share this with you guys. My beloved friend and supportive reader Ressa sent me this:

Chat featuring a photo of a cover of Dracula where the vampire has thin lips and gross teeth. The sender says "Saw this in a thrift store / That upper lip"

I’ve seen some ugly book covers in my day but this one is very special.

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