I also wrote my book, like all writers, to unload—with a hope, ultimately, to live more fully in the present: I wrote to rid myself of encumbrance. To get those bulging, over-stuffed cartons of experience out of my head. To muck out the stables. Memoir-writing is the great unloading, the great garbage dump. Or perhaps a better image is the used clothing shop. The memoir, like the therapist’s office, is the repository of the out-worn self. The hope is to write oneself clean.