When I was a 19-year-old boy gathering material for stories I hoped to later write, I got bumped from a flight out of London, instead of flying home to San Francisco.
In the middle of the night the airline bused us to Brighton and put us in rooms of a new hotel, so new that no one had yet to sleep in its beds, or bathed in its tubs. When I drew my bath, the water ran rust-colored, then cleared itself of the plumbers’ debris.
At sunrise, I walked out of the lobby to greet the sea and meet the beach, looking for sand. No sand. Only the little stones. What kind of beach? I heard that. I still wonder. Someone just now posted a picture of that beach on Facebook. Millions of stones, all of them rounded, many of them rust-colored. Today, I wonder about them anew.