A map of the passage to Africa from the United States forged itself into the fissures of my brain. My skull burned with the lengths of the voyage that I was about to take upon myself. I flew the dashed line to Morocco to envision a new simple life of fruit gathering and hookah smoking in velvet-gilded dens. Emerald green sashes; abrasive sand grains beneath uncovered, calloused feet; turbans of silk and linens; crooked wooden posts to mark a point of entry; satchels filled with fruits, grains and mystical charms to protect the traveling souls of the night; small withered children flitting to and fro for enough dirhams to pick up tabs at the local markets; exotic smells of saffron and myrrh, frankincense and sandalwood, mint leaves and sticks of cloves scattered through the air; my tired hands laid over my lap as I find relief in a jeweled pillow of raw silk and velvet. Is my journey over with, or has it just begun? I am alone here in a foreign land, a land in which I do not speak the native tongue and no one gives me a second look because to them, I am invisible, my white skin a transparency resembling bone and sinews of muscles. I haunt village after village. I am in search of something beyond this dream, something for which I look in the waking life, a purpose to all of this love, hatred, pessimism, time, occupancy of space, human contact, and bliss I have experienced. I have been oblivious to the knowledge of the past and the history of my existence. I look for something in which I can believe, but I return to my homeland with empty hands, my satchel only brimming with sundries and unnecessary provisions for the next traveler who drags his feet through the sand of the desert.

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