Letters from Marfa: Part One

A little over three years ago, Rania and I went to Marfa over a long weekend to celebrate her birthday. 

On the way back from Marfa was when Rania first told me it was her dream to quit science and move into fashion. Now, she is just a few weeks away from leaving the field she’s been in for nearly 20 years to focus on the next chapter of her life. With it comes a move to more affordable housing (pursuing your passion comes at a cost, of course), meaning I have been sifting through old items as I pack and reminiscing on how far I’ve come in these last 3 years, myself.

While in Marfa, we met a guy named Carl who was getting his master’s through UNT and spending the year teaching middle school English in the small West Texas town. We became pen pals for a few short months, and I vaguely remember where I was at in my life when I was writing him: unhappy with my job, unsure of what I wanted to do with my life, and still sour over past events that were completely out of my control. I don’t exactly remember what I wrote to him, but I’ve enjoyed re-reading the letters he’s sent to me (if only because of his Salinger-esque prose):

______

Dear Amira,

Your letter was well-received by me, by “all of me” as you put it. I don’t have any postcards but I will talk to the printer here and see if he can print you some-up.

He uses the original limestone printing method, which involves a rock quality found only in a small German terrain. Although as I learned this, another old man standing nearby declared that geologists had found a similar quality of limestones in Big Bend. The printer was, and I don’t use this word often, flabbergasted.

Could this be? I could read it on his face – had his extremely rare craft of the Old World followed him right to his doorstep, and thus reduced his fancy, expensive art to the local gimmick of some redneck townie? Just slapping things together with what he had right at hand, working roadside and barefoot and half-crazy from being outside all day?

Fuck that man. Either he is a hick in denial or he is importing redundant stones. I haven’t seen him around this week.

Yours,
Carl

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