How to Get Lost After Midnight

“It’s never as good as you think it’s going to be,” Lara said. It was after midnight in Santa Fe. Drunk on red wine, she and I stood near a firepit at the hotel, a few steps from a woman named Nadia. My wife and I had been broken up during that time, years ago. I wanted to kiss Nadia. Earlier we’d talked about Vietnamese food; she’d touched my ear, her shoulder smelled of lilacs. After Nadia left, I wandered among adobe guesthouses. I looked in windows. Fall was coming; cold air snapped at my neck. Where was she?

Albert Martinez has published fiction and nonfiction in Best New American Voices 2006, Nerve Magazine, Gulf Coast, Lost MagazineForklift, Ohio, and Freight Stories. He is the recipient of scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Vermont Studio Center, and New Mexico State University. His collection of linked stories, South of Market, is available as an e-book on He enjoys cocktails and donuts.

Photo credit: Kate Farnady

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