Daily Archives: December 1, 2020

Going back

Donald Judd’s milled aluminum boxes

There are certain moments that you want to revisit simply because they were so fucking tender.

Take me back to late fall of 2004. Marfa, Texas. With my sister Bink and our father Ollie. Marfa had been on my radar for some time, as a destination for art. Ollie remembered going there to see the Marfa Lights–extraterrestrial (or not) phenomena that you could view from a rest stop south of town.

We were staying at the Hotel Paisano; which still had some faded glamour from days gone by, when it hosted the cast of Giant.

Dad, Bink and I had a suite on the second floor, replete with balcony overlooking the fountain and terrace below. After our first round of margaritas, Bink ordered a second, from the balcony.

The next day we viewed Donald Judd’s aluminum boxes. Our tour guide, a young German woman, shared that she had snuck into the barracks to spend the night. We listened to the steel roof, still cool from night in the desert but popping as it warmed in the morning sun.

Later we would spend the night at another classic hotel, The Gage, in Marathon. We had goat for dinner and ended up sharing the one remaining room. Dad was snoring and Bink looked at me at one point and plaintively asked ‘Are you going to smother him with the pillow, or should I?

It was the best trip ever. Within a year I’d be recovering from both surgery and chemotherapy and Dad would be dead–pancreatic cancer.

But Bink and I share those memories. Tender yet.