When I decided to drive south on my journey first, Luis suggested I stop in Marfa and stay with his family and see the town. My great friend Manuel has had the best things to say about it, and I have been pretty curious, so I agreed. Leaving Fort Worth, I was a little nervous about staying with a family I haven't met, especially from the disclaimer I was given by Luis about a half hour before arriving. He just told me to be myself, which; lets' face it, when not diluted at all, can be frightening to people who don't already know me.
I vowed I would never want to go to Texas, but since I was already once slightly impressed with Fort Worth, I only had greater hopes for the place that Luis is proud to call home. The landscape of western Texas is underestimated. I was expecting to see flat land for as far as the eye could see, but I was grossly mistaken. There are mesas and hills and buttes that jut up from the harsh desert land. I drove through Alpine and past Paisano Peak as the sun was beginning to set, still with no view of a city beyond.
When I got there, I instantly felt like I would be fine fitting in. I went to Maiya's restaurant with the middle of the three Madrid brothers, Ruben, and met other local friends. The young community of Marfa reminds me of a similar young bond of people in Walpole, NH, another oddity in small town variety.
but don't expect to find Raspberry Danger Water in Marfa...
On Saturday I borrowed a bike and rode around town. If you find yourself in Marfa, I believe that riding a bike is the only form of transportation, car not necessary. The town is too small to need to drive.
The Chinati Foundation sits on 340 acres of land that was once the Fort D.A. Russell. It was purchased by Donald Judd, an arttist/architect known for his work with the minimalism genre, and turned into an Artist in Residence institution and opened to the public in 1986.
At night I got the ten cent tour of some of the latest residential minimalist architecture and a visit to the Mystery Marfa Lights viewing center. The Mystery Marfa Lights are an unexplained phenomena not similar to others such as the Northern Lights.
According to Wikipedia reports often describe brightly glowing basketball size spheres floating above the ground, or sometimes high in the air. Colors are usually described as white, yellow, orange or red, but green and blue are sometimes reported. The balls are said to hover at about shoulder height, or to move laterally at low speeds, or sometimes to shoot around rapidly in any direction. They often appear in pairs or groups, according to reports, to divide into pairs or merge together, to disappear and reappear, and sometimes to move in seemingly regular patterns. Their sizes are typically said to resemble soccer balls or basketballs.
Christy, Luis' mother, insisted I go out for drinks with one of the local gentlemen who works with her at the Marfa National Bank. Although I was knackered I agreed. We went to Adobe Moon for some local live music. I had already decided that an extra day in Marfa was necessary. That I had only made a feeble effort during the day's activities.
That night as I lay down I wondered if I was going to wake up next to Luis's senile grandmother who had asked me several times in Spanish if she would be sleeping with me that night. I thought it would be ironic if it was something that ran in the family.
For those of you who don't know how I "met" Luis, you are in for a comical story. I was in Boston for the weekend of my mutual birthday with Geoff and other friends before I actually moved there. A few friends of Amy, Kristine, Geoff and mine were in town visiting and we spent an afternoon exploring Salem, MA and having a few spiked beverages. Amy's roommate Beth was out of town on a camping trip, and I was neglected to be informed that someone may be staying in her room. After returning to Somerville, and a run in with a fantastic beard, we made it back to Banks St. Amy's bed was a little crowded with 3 people and I stumbled upstairs to sleep in Beth's empty room.
I woke in the morning to Oscar the cat kneading my tummy and I went downstairs to see what the day had in store for us. What I found in the living room was Geoff sleeping in a sitting position drooling on the armrest and a random person I didn't recollect fast asleep on the couch. I knew I hadn't been intoxicated enough to blank an entire person, so I figured maybe someone had wandered into the house in the night.
When he didn't rouse, I inquired Amy as to his identity. After a long night of partaking, Amy has trouble making cohesive answers, especially at 8 in the morning. So the rest of us headed out to show Flan, Llyndsey and Nick the rest of Boston and celebrate birthdays. When I returned to Banks St. I was told this Luis character was slightly homeless (a feeling I was about to be very familiar with) had been staying at the house. He had come home late in the night, went up to Beth's room to fall asleep, and thought that maybe I was in fact Beth sleeping dead center in the bed. When he tried to wake me so I would move over, I didn't budge. After an hour of sleeping on about 6" of bed snuggled up next to me, he decided to go downstairs and sleep on the couch.
When I returned to Banks St. on Monday evening, we recapped what had happened and filled in the blanks. I was completely unaware of him, as he wasn't at the house to meet at the time. We joked about how funny it would have been if he had carried out sleeping on the 6" of bedspace and I had woken up next to a complete stranger, and likewise.
So when, the next weekend, I found myself back in Boston, unemployed and homeless, I acutally met the person I had unknowingly engaged in the act of snuggling with. We talked about how we were both seeking shelter in Boston, and thus is the beginning of our adventure of being roommates.
So. Anyway. Marfa kind of rocks. I'm hoping that with my brew-ha-ha know how and John's intellectual property rights I can start up the Marfa Light Brewing Company. YEAH!