October 19, 2020:

I don't think I'd ever lied before.

One day I could absolutely not handle facing the mean kids and the horrible teacher. That was the end, I was done. So I called my mom at work to say I was sick. I vividly remember the moment I realized I could do that. Lie, I mean. I'm pretty sure I never had, before. I don't remember ever lying until then.

It was a liberation. I could just lie and be free. Of the horrors of that school, to instead do something positive with my day.

And it was a revelation. Lying was so easy! And it made so many bad things go away.

So I lied, more and more frequently, until I was in school often only two days per week.

Evasion like this is probably the most widespread strategy for resistance by the powerless. Children, the marginalized, the oppressed. Like a draftee chucking his blunderbuss into the swamp, hiding in forests by day, beelining for home by night, I was a deserter. Isolated, certainly. Home alone with books and TV, or eventually on my bike alone all over town. But free, at least for that day. Free from the oppression and the cruelty of that situation I should never have been forced to endure.

This was my situation, from fourth through eleventh grades, where by twelfth grade I'd stopped lying and become confrontational. By then evasion was no longer necessary. There was nothing they could do but expel me, and I'd have welcomed that outcome enthusiastically.