The most important things now are the sea and my music. The sea here goes off forever with no mountains or skyscrapers behind it. It makes the world look flat, or flat enough, dropping into eternity or oblivion, it doesn’t really matter which. Anything is better than the nervous breakdown on the tenth floor of the Willis Tower. No more skyscrapers and office work and panic attacks looking over my shoulder. Ten thousand dollars in life savings has brought me here to Nerja, Spain, a place I remember from studying abroad twenty years ago. I’m here to try my hand at busking. I always preferred music to accounting, who wouldn’t? I’ll find my niche in the center plaza in front of the church and play flamenco music with lyrics from Lorca (I bought the guitar in Granada) for the Spaniards and “Yesterday” and “I Just Saw A Face” for the English community. There’s a restaurant on this beach where a man with a white beard and pot belly serves paella from a cauldron. He knows I’ll be out of money in a few months and he says sometimes he accidentally hands out plates of paella for free, he is in a constant motion of scoop and serve and doesn’t always know who paid and who didn’t and it was something I should look into when the money ran out. He was one of the five boys who discovered the Nerja caves in 1959. But the sea is what’s important. My music will bathe in the sea when it is dirty and dirty itself in salt and seaweed during the rare times it is clean. The music wants to become the sea. It walks toward the farthest horizon and runs home to the sand and my feet at the same time. I picture this scene from the 2000 movie X-Men, where the bigoted senator undergoes some forced mutation his body can’t handle and he just melts into water. That is the ultimate goal for my music. One day, this guitar will melt in my hands and there will be a puddle of the deepest release at my ankles near the leather case filled with coins.
Chris Pellizzari is a gay poet from Darien, Illinois.