Confirmation of non-craziness through a crazy person.

🚨 Assume there are spoilers everywhere. 🚨

“A Bloody Habit” by Eleanor Bourg Nicholson features a main character who is very much into categorization, compartmentalization, and classification. He is also into ideas (ideals!) about rationality, reason, logic, gentlemanly virtues, English virtues, politeness–and thereby is about the most irrational, unreasonable, illogical, ungentlemanly, and impolite man in this book. (I’m not sure about the un-English aspect. I don’t know much about English virtues.)

His name is John Kemp. He is a lawyer.

It’s fun to read about characters like him. They would be annoying in any other format (say, in movies), but in the novel format, it’s excellent fun to get into their heads and enjoy the self-inflicted self-pity they go through. The book is funny. I think I chuckled every three minutes or so.

At some point in the book, John Kemp begins finally accepting that something of an unanticipated change is happening in his life. And when he accepts that, interestingly, the person he goes to, in search of directions, is a priest.

A vampire slayer, to be exact.

The epitome of things that don’t make sense to John Kemp.

John Kemp doesn’t seem to know why he came to the priest, but the priest knows exactly why.

You have come to me because you are desperate. Because you can think of no one else on whom to call. You think that anyone else would think you mad. I, Mr. Kemp, do not believe that you are mad. I will not say that I can provide you with all of the answers you seek, nor would you believe many answers with which I could provide you. But I do promise you this: I do not believe that you are mad.

“A Bloody Habit” by Eleanor Bourg Nicholson

It’s amusing that when John Kemp begins to recognize the insanity of his so-called sane patterns, the person he visits to get answers from is the one whom he has been categorizing/classifying/compartmentalizing as a crazy silly weirdo.

At the same time, it makes total sense.

More and more, the barriers that John Kemp had deemed invincible begin to collapse. The police cooperate with priests. So-called respectable members of society collude with murderous vampires. And our poor main character, John Kemp, must admit that the sanest thing to do is to admit the insane elements of his life. The un-craziest thing to do is to fraternize with the crazies.

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