Plans have changed. Negotiations have been made. Hill country has been eschewed, and Marfa is now, officially, our favorite place ever. We’re staying an extra night here. Also, maybe we’re never leaving. After the morning we had, who would have thought today would have turned out so great? Not us, I tell you.
At the cold, dawn-dark Days Inn in Van Horn, TX—after a breakfast of egg-like disks on stale mini-bagels and NO WAFFLES because some mean lady took the last one and, adding insult to injury, said “too bad because these are so good— we almost got busted for not reporting our pet to the front desk. (Yes, we lied. But Special is so good! He would never cause any damage!) Anyway, by then we were certainly enthused to speed our way merrily along Highway 90 toward better, artsier days. “Speed” being the pivotal word there, as somewhere down the road we got pulled over for going 84 in a 75 mph zone. (Really? I mean, that’s not that fast.) Thankfully, I have a system for getting out of speeding tickets, especially in Texas. I banter. You think this wouldn’t work, but it does. The guy (aviators, five o’clock shadow first thing in the morning, pure Texas Highway Patrol) looked at my New York license and my Cali plates and asked “where exactly ARE you from, anyway?” From the way he said it, neither answer was better—obnoxious Yank or ditzy LA rich girl—so I just told the truth, which is that I'm from both places.
I then went on to make a fool of myself. “But I went to school at UT, so I’d never root for the Trojans, I’m all ‘hook ‘em, Horns!’ you know!” “I hate UT,” he deadpanned. Josh couldn’t help it. He snorted. Quietly, but still. Anyway, the point is, he may hate the Longhorns (and I may have been lying, since I care about football a lot less than, say, getting a waffle at the free breakfast bar at a bad motel), we still got off with a warning only. Which was fabulous. We drove away (at a reasonable speed), blasting Wu-Tang (the cop would have loved that, I bet) and giggling.
Shortly after, we reached Prada Marfa, an art installation just on the border of Valentine, TX. For those of you who don’t know it, Prada Marfa is an art installation, a free-standing building on the side of the highway, lit from the inside and surrounded only by desert, where several Prada bags and (all right foot) shoes are starkly displayed. It’s pretty incredible. The rumor is it’s partially funded by Prada and that they select the merchandise for display themselves, but I haven’t found confirmation of that.
Either way, it’s funny, since the whole affair is a fairly stark commentary on the ridiculousness of consumerism and “luxury” when juxtaposed with nature (the beauty of it, but also the desolation) and the everyday lives of ordinary Americans.