Friday, October 7, 2011

Where the Sand Ends and the Rest of the World Begins

I live on an island now... a tropical island, not some garbage island up in Alaska where I'd have to deal with hockey pucks shattering my windows and Sarah Palin poking around my yard for oil.

After my lease and campus job expired at the end of August, I stayed with my parents for a few weeks.

I love them, I really do, and I love visiting home, I really do.

But I have a tendency to drink too much on the weekends and sleep with media personalities. There's no sidewalks or cabs in my hometown, and Toledo's 'Blizzard' Bill Spencer just wasn't going to cut it. Besides, he's like an hour-and-a-half drive away and is probably married anyway.

So I packed up the car and headed south. I have family scattered across the country, which is convenient when you want to travel but don't have any money. You see my grandmother, always planning ahead, was smart enough to spawn five daughters, then annoy them enough to make them want to move as far away as possible.

I spent a week with family friends in Nashville, a few days with an aunt and uncle in Atlanta, and ended up in Marco Island, Florida, where another aunt lives.

Marco Island is south of Naples and Ft. Myers. It's a small island inhabited by tourists, retirees, and the Cubans who clean up after them. The shore is lined with hotels and the suburbs are bursting with mini-mansions. A lot of the residents actually come from Ohio, so it's common to see Ohio State University apparel while strolling down the beach.

It's like I didn't even move.

My aunt, who has been a server at a restaurant on the island for an amount of time that makes her sound experienced but not old, knows a lot of people around here, and introduced me to a woman who would able to provide me with part-time work.

I don't want to reveal too much about her business, but it involves music copyrights and providing soundtracks for television and movies. She's been doing it for over forty years. Her clients have included NBC, Comedy Central, and Miramax, among dozens of other names that I recognized immediately.

A few years ago she moved her entire business from New York City to her Marco Island home. Filing cabinets fill the garage. Audio equipment and shelves of albums line the walls of her home.

My first day I walked in to find her dancing to heavy rap as she compiled an album for some clients. She went on to tell me that Ice-T loved this song when he heard it, and something about what a nice young man he was.

I've been helping with archiving and organizing and updating the business. And sometimes I have to bring in the garbage can from the curb, because hey, it's heavy.

I'm not sure how long I'll be here, or what the next step will be after that, because I've never been good at life-planning. It's why I collected two minors, two part-time jobs, and five internships during my time in college.

But for now I'll enjoy this island purgatory, this humid place where the young come to unwind and the old come to die.

If you need me I'll be where the sand ends and the rest of the world begins.