Saturday, March 04, 2006

Drive the speed limit and you miss it!

Late this summer, I noticed a curious structure being built on the side of the Hwy 90 heading south from Van Horn. Odd. Too small for a house or store. Too large for a bus shelter, and too far from anything to house kids waiting for the schoolbus. Yet, there it was, being patiently built by a small crew of men, just a few miles north of Valentine, population 247. A boxy-looking thing, way out in the middle of the desert.

In early October, I took that road home to Van Horn. The first clue was the portable lighted sign by the only gas station in Valentine. "Welcome Prada Marfa," it said. Huh.

Then I sped by, way too fast to get anything but a hint of what it was. Stop the car, back up. What?!? A Prada store?

There, perfectly and beautifully positioned in the desert, is a sealed time capsule, a non-functional full-sized reproduction of an urban boutique Prada store stocked with the fall 2005 line of shoes and purses. It makes me happy just to look at it. It will decay in time, and the ruin will become part of the landscape.

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