Justifying Hookie

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“Now turn in your books to page 219 where we will now take a look at Modern…”

My mind is failing. Or is this merely a lie I have bought into? Am I blind to it? No. I am sure of it. After all I only got two hours of sleep last night. But what of it? Does this suppose that my mind is weak? That my mind may be undone by something so elementary as lack of sleep? Ah, but what if it fails not of exhaustion but of some disease? That surely would do it. Who knows what cancerous or ailing Thing resides in my body to cause such lethargy.

“… of the integral? We know how to solve this problem when we look…”

Chills run up and down. I think it is the air vent above me, but one cannot be too sure. It is perhaps a fever. That would be nice. After all, this would create the desired necessity: a reason. I do hope it is fever. But then again I will have to work hard tonight… Numbers and words and bridges and paint and cells and graphs all run through my mind. Raskolnikov often found sleep with fever. Ah, blissful sleep! Can one induce fever? It is too late for that. And besides, the thermometer does not lie.

“… take a look at the Mean Value Theorem. Who can tell me what the beginning of this proof…”

Perhaps I should put something in my mouth to give false heat. But I cannot control that. Regardless, mothers can never be tricked. It is an impossibility. They know all. They see all. Fortunately for me, Jacksonville has my mother. Grandmothers…

“Michael!”

“Uh, yes ma’am?”

“The anti-derivative of a constant is…?”

“Zero.”

“Correct. Perhaps you should pay attention in class, hmmm? The anti-derivative of…”

Where was I? Ah, yes grandmothers. Now they think a cough is plenty reason to stay bed-ridden for days on end. And thus lies my salvation. What sort of man am I to lie to my grandmother? How could I even entertain tricking her? It is not trickery. My head is pounding; the chills never cease- obvious symptoms of a fever. I must let her know. That should do it… But what is keeping her? Is she coming? Where is my hope, my remedy, my salvation? It is true that grandmother’s often take their time. However, the exception to that lies in ailing grandchildren. They always hurry in that instance. She tried to call me. What about the message? Did she not receive it? Where are you?

“… continuous on the closed interval from a to b, then the function…”

Functions and equations and arithmetic surround me, but I shall pay no heed. Time is running out… “…to the office for check out please?” Who did they call? What was that name? It must be my name they called. Yes, now I am sure of it. No one else is rising. Slowly, leaving words of departure with my peers, I take the long trek to the office wherein my salvation lies. Upon arrival I think, Grandfather? Where is grandmother? What does it matter? But perhaps he sees healthiness. Quick, a cough! I know he sees beyond my cough, but I know he does not care. Should I feel guilty? No. Of course not. After all, I really am sick.





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