Okay so now I’m two days behind and if I don’t move my ass I’m going to be screwed by the endless deluge of forthcoming Dracula Dailies.

Yesterday I was derailed from anything I intended to do by my foster cat having sad diarrhea. Thanks to the support of the rescue, I was given a ton of stuff to manage it, so from yesterday on I have to give Scruffy pills that he absolutely hates twice a day. Luckily he’s a real mom guy and can’t bear to stay away from cuddles for long. Not sure who wouldn’t wanna adopt this cat, even when he rips me to shreds when I try to shove pills down his throat.

Anyway, as a part of getting all this stuff for him, I drove my mom’s massive SUV through rush hour traffic to the vet in the suburbs, and then back to the rescue lady’s place in a more different suburb, along a few stints of scary highway. When I got there I got to pick up some friendly cats and a spicy kitten, so my stress was almost immediately healed, but the whole adventure took about three hours.

Did I tell you I’m learning to drive? This was my first time on a lot of these roads. The good news is, nobody died. The bad news is, I fell behind on Dracula Daily and I now have to give Scruffy pills he hates twice a day.

ALSO, I was going to visit Prince Edward Island for the first time this weekend, but instead I’ll be home feeding Scruffy pills he hates twice a day. Here’s hoping he bounces back quickly, which I suspect he will. He’s a senior cat but he’s full of piss and vinegar, and he probably had sad poops because he likes to chase and eat house flies, and last year he got worms so he probably got worms. Again.

Better safe than sorry!

I’m really bummed that I had to put off this entry because I’m losing my shit now that apparently Jonathan has returned! Our prodigal son!

September 26

Jonathan resumes his diary, which he thought he was done with. He writes that Mina told him about Van Helsing.

She showed me in the doctor’s letter that all I wrote down was true. It seems to have made a new man of me. It was the doubt as to the reality of the whole thing that knocked me over. I felt impotent, and in the dark, and distrustful. But, now that I know, I am not afraid, even of the Count.


Smiling woman looks happy but like she might cry.

I do imagine that gaslighting yourself with doubts might totally fuck up how you process a traumatic thing that happened to you. To be told that the things that seemed too bizarre to be real were, in fact, facts. It must be an extremely powerful moment.

I also want to note the use of the word “impotent” here. Of course he means “helpless,” but we’re not just here to read Dracula, of course. We’re here to be horny about it.

Jonathan, awake to reality, wonders how Dracula could have possibly become younger. He calls Van Helsing to join them and talk. When Van Helsing shows up, he is confused. He looks Jonathan over and repeats that Mina said he was ill, and that he’d had a shock. Jonathan tells him it’s true, but he was cured that morning by Van Helsing’s letter.

“By your letter to Mina last night. I was in doubt, and then everything took a hue of unreality, and I did not know what to trust, even the evidence of my own senses. Not knowing what to trust, I did not know what to do; and so had only to keep on working in what had hitherto been the groove of my life. The groove ceased to avail me, and I mistrusted myself. Doctor, you don’t know what it is to doubt everything, even yourself. No, you don’t; you couldn’t with eyebrows like yours.”

I guess the Jonathan whump era is over, which is the real downside here. But it’s really a testament to Stoker’s narrative that I am genuinely elated to hear Jonathan’s voice again, so to speak. He was gone so long and even when he came back, he wasn’t really talking to us until now.

Van Helsing tells Jonathan how great Mina is and then asks him, like he asked Mina yesterday, to be best friends forever.

We shook hands, and he was so earnest and so kind that it made me quite choky.

Keanu Reeves withholding subtle emotions.

Everyone’s emotional about Jonathan, including Jonathan.

Van Helsing asks Jonathan to tell him what was going on before Jonathan went to Transylvania. Jonathan agrees to send him off with “papers,” which I assume here means his own notes, but I have no idea.

As he sends Van Helsing off he also sends him with the “morning papers” which makes me wonder if the previous “papers” are newspapers, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Jonathan swears he’ll do anything he can to help Van Helsing in regards to Dracula. Van Helsing asks if he might summon them both to London, and Jonathan agrees.

On his way out, Van Helsing is shook by something he sees in The Westminster Gazette (our paper from earlier this week about the biffle lady or whatever it was). Van Helsing exclaims and frets that it happened “so soon,” and then the train blows it’s whistle and takes him away.


Now that Jonathan is on the scene and all himself, we move back to Dr. Lobotomy.

Dr. Lobotomy complains that his journal so recently quit has resumed again. Apparently Renfield is back on his spider shit and “as sane as he ever was,” which I guess means that the bedroom roleplay has become predictable and stable anew.

He also has a few letters saying that Arthur is doing all right which seems a little quick to me to be honest but grief is different for everybody.

Quincey Morris is with him, and that is much of a help, for he himself is a bubbling well of good spirits.

We stan Quincey in this house.

Dr. Lobotomy was getting back to work, his heterosexual-passing woes abating when it all blows up in his face. Van Helsing shows up after his foray in Exeter and shows Dr. Lobotomy The Westminster Gazette.

four days of rest and freedom from burning, harrowing anxiety does help to restore one’s spirits

And that’s why you should always take your vacation days.

Dr. Lobotomy recognizes that the children’s neck puncture wounds might be like what Lucy suffered. Van Helsing tries to press him into figuring out what that indicates, but Dr. Lobotomy doesn’t get it. Van Helsing tells him that his scientific mind makes him prejudiced.

Do you not think that there are things which you cannot understand, and yet which are; that some people see things that others cannot? But there are things old and new which must not be contemplate by men’s eyes, because they know—or think they know—some things which other men have told them. Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain. But yet we see around us every day the growth of new beliefs, which think themselves new; and which are yet but the old, which pretend to be young—like the fine ladies at the opera.

It’s hard to resist copy-pasting this whole chunk, because it’s really good. I’m an agnostic through and through, so I love to think about folklore and superstition and such without giving a shit if it’s “true” or not. Unfortunately that means I sometimes scare myself thinking about ghosts. Anyway, it makes me happy that Van Helsing sees value in my playing loosey-goosey with facts.

Van Helsing grills Dr. Lobotomy, asking him if he believes in mind reading, astral bodies, materialisation, or “corporeal transference,” the last of which I really have no idea what it is. (Transference is apparently when you project feelings onto someone when they remind you of someone else. But since this is a list of paranormal stuff, what does it have to do with anything?)

Dr. Lobotomy stops Van Helsing when he asks if Dr. Lobotomy believes in hypnosis. Of course he does, after all the work done on it by Charcot!

Then tell me—for I am student of the brain—how you accept the hypnotism and reject the thought reading. Let me tell you, my friend, that there are things done to-day in electrical science which would have been deemed unholy by the very men who discovered electricity—who would themselves not so long before have been burned as wizards. There are always mysteries in life.

Van Helsing really steals the show in this novel, huh?

Van Helsing interrogates Dr. Lobotomy about life’s mysteries. Why do some people die? Why do bats suck the blood from cows and people until they die? Dr. Lobotomy gets the hint, kind of, and asks if Lucy was killed by a bat, but Van Helsing just goes on until Dr. Lobotomy interrupts him again. Seward is confused and asks Van Helsing to coach it as a thesis instead of a mystery. Van Helsing confesses that his thesis is that he wants Dr. Lobotomy to believe in the unbelievable. Dr Lobotomy finally grasps that Van Helsing wants him not to get caught up on preconceptions. Van Helsing asks if the same thing that bit the children in Westminster killed Lucy. Dr. Lobotomy says “I guess,” and Van Helsing tells him he’s wrong. The marks on those children were made by Lucy herself.


There’s a chapter break here so we can all go pee and get a snack.


Dr. Lobotomy is furious by this claim. Understandably, I guess. Van Helsing has been vague about it all because he was trying to protect Seward in his own way. He invites Dr. Lobotomy to help him prove it. Dr. Lobotomy is shocked. “A man doesn’t like to prove such a truth”, except in the case of jealousy.

Dr. Lobotomy in his journal quotes Lord Byron again, this time “Don Juan,” so I went down a rabbit hole trying to unpack this, though there’s not a lot to it. Here’s the line quoted here:

“And prove the very truth he most abhorred.”

It appears that “Don Juan” intends to subvert the tale of the titular Spanish folk hero as not a womanizer, but a man easily seduced by women. This line comes from the first canto, where Donna Julia (23) falls for and sleeps with Don Juan (16). The catch here is that Donna Julia is already married to Don Alfonso. Suspecting her infidelity, he breaks into her bedroom. Here is the stanza as from Project Gutenberg:

I can’t tell how, or why, or what suspicion   Could enter into Don Alfonso’s head;

But for a cavalier of his condition

It surely was exceedingly ill-bred,

Without a word of previous admonition,

To hold a levee round his lady’s bed,

And summon lackeys, arm’d with fire and sword,

To prove himself the thing he most abhorr’d.

So he sets a trap to prove to himself that the worst-case scenario is true.

Is Dr. Lobotomy a Byronic hero?

..let’s come back to that thought later.

Omg this fucking entry is so long today. I’ll go lighter from here if I can. I want to go to bed.

One of the kids who was attacked is in a nearby hospital being served by a doctor they both know, Vincent. He shows them the punctures on the child’s throat and they do indeed look like Lucy’s wounds. Vincent suspects the culprit is a bat, maybe even a foreign one that slipped out of the zoo, like a wolf did the other day. (I love this callback, great job Bram.)

For a week after, the children were playing nothing but Red Riding Hood on the Heath and in every alley in the place until this ‘bloofer lady’ scare came along, since when it has been quite a gala-time with them.

I want to know all about “Red Riding Hood”, but google just gives me some board game crap. Future me: try to figure this out. Gala-time, I’m too tired to google that.

They leave the hospital and get something to eat and then jump the fence to the church yard like a pair of criminals. Van Helsing has the key and takes them to the Westenra tomb, but not before they get disoriented in the dark a bit.

The tomb in the day-time, and when wreathed with fresh flowers, had looked grim and gruesome enough; but now, some days afterwards, when the flowers hung lank and dead, their whites turning to rust and their greens to browns; when the spider and the beetle had resumed their accustomed dominance; when time-discoloured stone, and dust-encrusted mortar, and rusty, dank iron, and tarnished brass, and clouded silver-plating gave back the feeble glimmer of a candle, the effect was more miserable and sordid than could have been imagined. It conveyed irresistibly the idea that life—animal life—was not the only thing which could pass away.

This is just pretty.

Van Helsing went about his work systematically. Holding his candle so that he could read the coffin plates, and so holding it that the sperm dropped in white patches which congealed as they touched the metal, he made assurance of Lucy’s coffin.

Meme image of a lady wearing an inscrutable expression. She smiles, but it might be a grimace. The text over her face increases in size, reading "the what?"

Dr. Lobotomy is spooked by the potential horrors and shies away a bit while Van Helsing massacres the coffin to look inside. Of course, it is empty. Dr. Lobotomy is shook but he tells Van Helsing all he has learned about Lucy is that her body isn’t in the coffin. They leave the tomb and lock the door, then park in different spots to watch over the tomb for hours.

Doctors aren’t what they used to be.

There’s a white streak of something and Van Helsing goes after it.

Then I too moved; but I had to go round headstones and railed-off tombs, and I stumbled over graves.

Simon Pegg in Hot Fuzz nimbly jumps a fence. Nick Frost, inspired, tries to do the same and runs into it, knocking it over.

I imagine Van Helsing is leaping these graves like an elegant deer while Dr. Lobotomy is tripping over his shoelaces.

When they unite, Van Helsing has a sleeping child in his arms. Dr. Lobotomy hasn’t been convinced of anything. The kid has no bite marks either, so while Dr. Lobotomy is smug, Van Helsing is relieved the child isn’t injured. Because he’s a good dude.

They leave the kid in the trail of a cop to be found because they don’t want to explain why they were running around at night in a graveyard as two grown adults.

Dr. Lobotomy laments that Van Helsing has another mission for them tomorrow and he should probably sleep. And so should I.

I really want to be caught up and do the entry from today too but it’s late and I just found a pill on the couch that Scruffy should have eaten. Was this from today? Yesterday??

Please Bram Stoker let September 28’s entry be relatively modest for my sake thank you.

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