Madame Privileged is a pen name Sharon Hood uses for certain web stories. The self-proclaimed Damsel of Delinquency was only too pleased to contribute to homeless week. Addict-turned-author, Sharon ‘In da’ Hood knows all there is to know about poverty traps, vicious circles, institutionalization and the like. She turned her life around thanks to a personal mentoring scheme. Sharon is 27 and lives in Warrington.
Do not misinterpret my honesty for arrogance, but I do come across very suavely when first impressions are concerned, because I am always impeccably presented and speak very softly, slowly, clearly, and distinctly, exuding the inherited confidence of one who has been raised with privilege. I am flexible in my approach to different kinds of people also, as I can inflect my voice with other accents and dialects quite readily, much thanks to theatre school.
I look a lot younger than my age, with almost zero stress levels. Without worry, one is free to form unencumbered appreciations of the world. When the figures and accounts of one’s investments rise daily without having to work, one has license to daydream, without the detritus of the rat race.
Today, I have paid for a holiday, bought new soft furnishings for the reception room, and picked up a month’s worth of groceries. For years I thought I could not imagine what it would be like to not be in a position to do that. Money is life-blood. Although I do comprehend that what I have laid out in a couple of hours would keep a poor family of four going for six months. You may not believe what I am about to say, but I actually feel like it is I who has the raw deal.
I have always felt disconnected, see. Too aloof to matter in any meaningful way. Envious of the camaraderie I sense in those who have little. Jealous of youths who get up to mischief in parks. I longed to drink straight from the bottle behind bus shelters, watching punch-ups and vandalism as windows shattered and sirens whirred in the slum night. I sought to walk the streets after dark. I wanted to eat chocolate for breakfast, go shoplifting, run away, and experiment with drugs. I feel I have led a sheltered existence, never having used public transport, the local swimming pool, or town barbershop. Until next week…
(Author Interruption) 7 days later, the wannabe pauper checked herself into a hostel with false identification, where an ole’ drunk with dog poo on one of his white socks sang her a song on his banjo, and where a young lesbian sat on her knee while explaining the do’s and don’ts of the dinner menu. This hostel, this arcade of jewels, was the place where she first tasted the phenomenon that was super-strength lager, skunk cannabis, and budget sardines on toast with red ketchup. It was the place where she first hiked to Tesco in the middle of the night, and hurried out with her pockets full for a bet.
Her whole demeanor changed. She suffered the rigors of unemployment with the brightest, widest smile on her face during purposeless, adventurous days. Her new associates were a varied bunch, as likely to read up on economics in the library as they were to opt out of their probation session and have a blow out on the water fountain in the main square. The staff at the hostel were almost as richly diverse too, and a genuine credit to the cause.
All in all, an excellent excursion, with definitely no rush to return back home!
© Sharon Hood MMX