I Lost My Innocence in a Hospital Room, and No-One Handed It in

by Hannah Hodgson

A Golden Shovel

The difficulty of suddenly gaining an illness is it’s like people can turn your personhood on and off depending on their own biases. Friends turn into prisms – twisting in the the light, unveiling horrendous selves. I can’t attend my cousin’s 10th birthday and have lost a shadow of myself like a ghost from the sadness. The Brexit Party are march -ing in London, saying the private sector should overtake the NHS. I want to re-occupy 2014, the year before part of me died. When my skin bulged like unstirred custard and my friend Therese and I had weird sexual chemistry. Before I lived in this raw patch of earth, Lexie would scream Coffey! so at school we huddled around our mugs like individual fires. The first time I voted was during the Brexit referendum. When I told my mother I felt sick the next morning, she smoked against the garden wall and said that’s adulthood kid as if we were in a coming-of-age movie. I kept making room for hope, but lost my innocence in a hospital room and no-one handed it in. There’s a video on YouTube in which a lawyer details all of the strangely illegal things we’ve all done. One of them was an ancient law making the consumption of mince pies illegal on Christmas Day – for you lot at least I say, the pre-digested feed entering straight into my bowel. Ha ha h-a, we all say, ha ha ha, like we’re living in a sitcom. Mum says that our internet provider denies the fact we have speeds of 12kbs per second. Instead of watching Netflix, we watch the treadmill of buffer circling and circling our patience. My brother thinks speeds should be regulated and I physically bite my tongue to avoid commenting on this government’s love of pain. Social media is a strange thing. I’ve unwound myself like a bandage over wounded posts, so people know I care.Writing instead of speaking makes me buffer in real life, struggling to pick words without autocorrect. I miss being hugged so have bought a weighted blanket. In f-act I’ve also Blu-Tacked plastic stars above my bed to imitate outdoors. They’re supposed to glow in the dark, but instead offer a slight hue to the night like heather on a far-off banking. It has me thinking about the time in London when I noticed you can’t see stars. I had any manner of things to get done, yet couldn’t stop wondering if birds could sleep at night or were incompatible with what is needed to be a city dweller. I bumped into my boss at the train station with -out realising, until I got an email. 70 years ago my grandfather was in an Irish Children’s home and told me the circumstances days ago. He’s pro-Brexit but says I can be European through his ancestry if a red passport is so important. The Daily Mail would say it’s un-convention -al for millennials to love a person more than a disagreement. To surrender their overcritical seeds of Liberalism in a conversation just to connect on the basis of being human. We agree that the only thing government can’t touch is love, and this should be included in our rights.