July 7, 2020:

There's a girl I love in school. She has the same name as my mother. But she's not reason enough to want to be there. Neither is pinball. On the whole it's better to stay home.

Today it's striking to find Derrida writing passages like this: "I went so far as to make up illnesses to get off school. I kept asking them to take my temperature." Where striking implies something like being hit in the head with a brick. I read it and think, So I wasn't the only one...

For me that strategem was straightforward because there was nobody available to check my story. Call my mother at work. "I don't feel good..." That was that. As often as three days per week, week after week, from fourth through eleventh grades, where by twelfth grade I stopped bothering with phone calls and simply failed to show up.

I wonder now how I passed the exams? There must have been tests to make up. Were two days a week in class truly enough?

No matter. The school day carries on without me, so that without it my real life can begin. I'm at home: reading every book, listening to every record, watching daytime reruns of The Dick Van Dyke Show with Mary Tyler Moore and Rose Marie and Morey Amsterdam. I'm on my bike: exploring the city. I'm careful to be home before my mother returns from work. No-one ever knows, until many many years later, not long before her death, when I finally tell her the truth.