January 5

Tangier is a lax place. Too much dope and too many servants. Food is fresh, booze is cheap, and rents are low. In other words, paradise!


January 6

I believe in man alone, astride the horizon. Go on, take the next step —get lost in the desert!


January 7

Today so blue. A sea and sky to defy Matisse. A few white buildings and a lone tree seem to speak of impending solitude as I prepare to leave for the Sahara.


January 8

People go into the desert for a number of reasons. To be terrified, to be purified, to experience what the French call the “baptism of solitude.” I go to be alone and lonely: to force myself to experience that. Also to see muscles contract under skin and over bones. And to throw off the burden of living comfortably among friends and doing the same thing every day.

January 12 First night out —Casablanca, Hotel George V, Avenue de la Grande Armee. 10 dirhams [about $2.00]. Clean. The feeling of melancholy induced by traveling by train at night revi…