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As well as for the other reasons, I wrote of my life to extend a hand—to myself and to others.  I wrote, in a sense, in a search for reflection, for sameness:  to have the friend-from-infancy, the exact-reflector, I never had—and out of recognition of all the friends I did have.  Relatedly, I wrote in order to read what I wanted to read: about all the ups and downs, the whirling-around carnival twists of life.  Because I wanted to say something about the festival nature of life—life as many sorts of rides.  And this, too, is important and true:  I wrote as an offering to strangers—so that others didn’t have to feel so alone, as I did as a child seemingly-always in new places, standing awkward and anxious among the odors of strange fish, incomprehensible jabberings, and indecipherable smiles.

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