Nathan is a cyclist and happens upon a woman, Sofia, climbing over a chain link fence that separates a private golf course from the city street. Sofia reveals that she is following a stream, a tributary, and mapping it. Nathan joins her for several days and then they part ways forever.
Sofia has given Nathan a new way of looking at his environment and she has also shown him how to slow down, gaze, relax. Nathan had also gone on cycling treks where he and his fellow riders found interesting sites and monuments, but now he's gaze has been refreshed.
"Secret Stream" was first published in Zyzzyva and then selected to be in the 2016 edition of The Best American Short Stories.
Tobar's website: http://www.hectortobar.com
"The city tried to tame the water, but it still followed some prehistoric course through the subdivided and built-up land."
"When he looked down at his watch again, he realized he had been standing there, looking at the ocean, for an hour."