I walk alone on the pebble beach. For a moment I can’t quite remember where I am. I’ve been traveling by rail across Europe. I think I’m in Scotland now, somewhere farther north. I sit down, my jeans not quite protecting me from the hard pebbles and the cold. I take my notebook out and on every page I write down the names of the cities I’ve stopped at: Milan, Naples, Nice, Montpellier, Barcelona, Paris, London, Edinburgh, Inverness. I’m heading to the Isle of Skye next, I believe. It’d be nice to escape to an island and not worry about the rest of the world. It’d be nice to escape.
I tear out every page with a city name scrawled on it and place each under a pebble. The cities a route, a journey, an attempt at escape. The wind comes (of course, it must, I knew this, didn’t I?) and carries each page away. The pebbles scatter. It starts to rain, a gentle hiss. The distance mists over. I know I best be moving soon but for now I can sit here. There’ll be time enough to chase those cities carried by the wind. The chase will be my escape; it’ll have to do.