The man, Alfredo, is from Colorado, visiting his sister. “Nothing much to do but sleep, sit in the springs.” He gazes out at Turtleback Mountain from where he is submerged next to Linney in one of the mineral baths. “But you already know that, being from here.”
It’s been a long time since Linney has been “from here,” but she knows what Alfredo means. It is why she is “from here” no more. As she drove into New Mexico last night from El Paso International Airport, the landscape was black, a cloth of velvet pushpinned by stars, keeping its secrets. Such suspense for nothing, she always liked to think; when she woke up this morning at her father’s hostel/mineral springs on the Rio Grande and jogged out along Interstate 25, not a car passed her for twenty-five minutes. In the quiet November morning tumbleweeds pinwheeled across the road; cacti dotted the earth around her, holding their arms in surrender.
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