Thursday, March 2, 2017

BryonySeries Throwback Thursday: Tommy Connolly, Addiction, and Vampires

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tommy Connolly, Addiction, and Vampires

Author's note: Thank you, Tommy Connolly, for approving the following blog post, anf for giving others a glimpse at the reality of those drowning in addicition.

If you’d like to understand a vampire’s insatiable thirst for blood and the lengths he goes to get it, read Tommy Connolly’s blog at

No, Connolly is not a vampire. He’s a Chicago-area stand-up comedian turned actor with two, non-speaking, on camera roles in the upcoming Fox police drama, “The Chicago Code,” and the upcoming movie, “Contagion.” Connolly has also done a commercial for Firestone.

However, Connolly’s career is not the main topic of his blog. There, Connolly speaks bluntly and freely about his decades-long life as a functional alcoholic, the exultation in recovery, and his new-found freedom in Jesus Christ.

After re-reading a Herald News story I had written about him, I realized the patterns, excuses and compulsions Connolly fought perfectly described the attitudes and behaviors of some of the vampires featured in Bryony, as well as their co-dependent significant others.

John Simons, a nineteenth century pianist and composer, loathes his vampire state and proposes a trade to Bryony’s main character, Melissa Marchellis, a 1970s fourteen year old girl who has become obsessed with John’s young bride, Bryony, after she writes a report on her.

Wishing to test an ancient remedy for vampirism, John proposes a trade: regular, minute amounts of Melissa’s blood, immunotherapy-style, for a hoped-for return to human life in exchange for a trip back to the Victorian era to live as Bryony. For Melissa, despite her mistrust of John and his vampire state, the terms are irresistible. She accepts.

As she moves through a surreal, other-worldly existence, Melissa meets other vampires who don’t necessarily share John’s abhorrence for bloodsucking. This further encourages her to defend his actions and support his desire to rejoin humanity. One vampire, once he gets his fill of blood for the night, simply returns to his normal activities. Another sees being a vampire as an advantage and uses his vampirism to manipulate those around him.

Both Connolly and John Simons wanted out of their crummy existence. The difference is that Connolly eventually did it the right way. John, too, wants deliverance, but unfortunately, only on his terms.

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