Monday 8th December 1997.
[Bink, about ten years ago, cont…]
‘In the middle of the night, I woke up. The cemetery was all misty and completely silent. I could see the gravestones all around me. I knew I should be scared but I wasn’t. I just looked around at all the tombstones looming out of the misty dark, thought: “Oh right, graveyard, dead people, ghosts,” and then went straight back to sleep. I didn’t feel anything at all.
‘When you have a very strong emotion, it overwhelms your capacity to feel anything else. This is why very perturbed people are able to self-harm, though under normal circumstances it’s almost impossible to hurt yourself even slightly. (Try sticking a pin into your skin.) When I was in the graveyard, I was unable to feel any fear because of that overwhelming sadness.
‘But something very interesting happened after I came home. That first night as I lay in my warm bed again, I remembered the night-time graveyard and became absolutely terrified. It was as if my emotions suddenly caught up and made me feel what I should have felt that night but couldn’t. It wasn’t an abstract sense of fear: after the sadness had subsided, I felt genuine and present fear of the dark graveyard.
‘Early on Monday morning, I was woken up by a gardener pruning the trees or something nearby. I lay still in my sleeping bag behind the bush. I think he probably saw me, but he pretended not to. After he had gone, I packed up my stuff and left the cemetery. There were lots of commuters walking on the path through the cemetery on their way to work, and they stared at me coming out from the bushes and walking across the grass. I hoped they would just think I was on my way to school and for some reason had gone behind the trees to look at something. Then I went to Hammersmith Broadway, which is a big shopping centre and Underground Station near my school. On the way I passed my school.
‘There were several police cars outside it. I thought there must have been a problem at the school; but I crossed to the other side of the road anyway.
‘When I got to the Broadway, I went upstairs to the bus shelter and just sat there for several hours. Eventually an old lady came up to me and asked me if I was OK. I said, “Yes, I’m just waiting for my friend.”
‘I thought I looked normal.
‘She gave me £5 to get myself a meal...’