My Life in a Column; I Am Afraid of the Dark ... Well, Not Afraid of the Dark but What Happens to Me When I Am in It

Article excerpt

It's 3.30am, it feels like I can't breathe, but I can feel someone next to me in bed. I roll over, Laura, my studio manager, is next to me. She has the tartan bed covers pulled up almost over her face. She whispers: 'I am so scared, man.' I look across the room and, there in the darkness, sitting in the chair, is Nosfe-fucking- ratu. 'Don't be afraid,' I say to Laura. As I look again, he is gone. Laura has kind of slumped and keeled over. As I try to wake her, there is a pain in my right kidney. Nosferatu is there, his hand is rammed into the side of my body. Ripping my soul to pieces. I clamber to put the light on, TV control in hand. I push the entertainment button, Star Trek Voyager Captain " Kathryn Janeway, Seven- of-Nine and Chakotay, all of my good TV friends who I believe have a sound sense of morality. And at that, I swear to God I will never go to sleep in the dark again. It is a problem I have had all my life, I am afraid of the dark. To be accurate, not afraid of the dark but what happens to me when I am in the dark. PURE FEAR.

I wake up in a dream-like state of reality, the nightmare I am having takes place in the room that I am in. An ex-boyfriend once said sleeping with Tracey is like laying next to the girl from The Exorcist.

(A few weeks ago, the famous hypnotist Derren Brown kindly offered to put me out of my misery of being afraid of the dark. I gracefully declined because I thought it might be embarrassing. But I did go to a hypnotist once or twice. Originally, I was going to go to stop smoking, but I'd already done that " by looking in the mirror. Instead, I went to this hypnotist to stop being in love with someone who was not in love with me. I told that person what I'd done. He said in a thick French accent: 'Oh my love, I have been many times to stop smoking, you may not be in love for one or two months, but then you can't resist.' Ah great humour, happy days ...)

When Laura came around the next day, I told her about the nightmare. She asked me what the Nosferatu had looked like. I tried to explain. 'You know, malevolent, white hair, deep, sunken, red eyes, bony fingers ...' Then I realised I was describing Klaus Kinski's portrayal of Nosferatu. Then Laura asked 'What does he do?'

Apart from ripping out my kidneys, I didn't actually know. So I suggested we look him up on the net. It was then that a shiver ran down my spine, and Laura said: 'Are you crazy? …