BEGINNING OF NEW NOVEL (DRAFT) BY ROMAN PAYNE
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Ô, Muse of Morocco, sing me your soliloquy, so that I may tell a tale of your land. For ne’er a story so hallucinatory did I know before I stepped upon your sand.
I had wandered the earth for the latter half of my life. Sometimes I lived like a king, money and pleasure in abundance; other times, I was without coin or bread: a pauper and poet living in a garret, although I was always inspired. There were nights when I held a sweet woman in my arms, limbs woven together like two ancient trees entwined for centuries; other nights, I slept alone—perhaps on a bed, maybe on a floor. I had bad dreams often: another wanderer on his path to nowhere. But whenever I became discouraged, I would tell myself that I am living for literature, and there is nothing in this life holier.
The Fates decided I would be an adventurer in this life: a wanderer. Not a traveler but a wanderer. “The word “travel” comes from the Old French word “travail” (or “travailler“), which means “to work, to labor; a suffering or painful effort, an arduous journey, a tormenting experience.” (“Travel,” thus, is “a painful and laborious journey”). Whereas “to wander” comes from the West Germanic word “wandran,” which simply means “to roam about.” There is no labor or torment in “wandering.” There is only “roaming.” Wandering is the activity of the child, the passion of the genius; it is the discovery of the self, the discovery of the outside world, and the learning of how the self is both “at one with” and “separate from” the outside world. These discoveries are as fundamental to the soul as “learning to survive” is fundamental to the body. These discoveries are essential to realizing what it means to be human. To wander is to be alive.
And so this the story of how, after leaving wandered everywhere, through the West, the Orient, and the islands in the deep Pacific; and after leaving Paris—my belovèd home that raised me from a child of 21 to a man of 36; and then how after living some years in Greece, Spain and and the Canary Islands, I came, at the handsome age of 39, to quit my life in Christendom and settle in the Muslim city of Marrakech in the North African country of Morocco—that exotic land where no human being can bide time without being forever marked by the experience.
Morocco is a “polytropolous” country, (meaning, it is a country where water falls towards the sky and reality is flipped on its head). All of what one knows of life, growing up and reaching maturity in the Occident—in Europe or America—is meaningless in this hot, sandy black hole of space and time. One feels here living in the 45th dimension.
END OF FIRST ARABASQUE, SECOND ARABESQUE COMING SOON
 FORTY YEARS: Payne began this book at age thirty-nine, in December, one month shy of his 40th birthday. He began travelling at age 19.