“Z” is for Zones
I try to keep up with friends in between working and classes. However, I’ve noticed, as we have grown older, that we have been moving farther and farther apart, a few of these friends even leaving the country indefinitely.
“Oh, Fullerton?” A friend from Los Angeles would say. “That’s far.”
“Alright, I’ll come to you then.” And even when I used to live in LA County, the invisibly faint zone lines determined how often I would see someone.
Dating was another story. There have been times in the past that I would type an address in my Google Maps app and change my mind about a potential partner candidate. The zones determined area codes, friends, and lovers.
Then there were the jobs. While thinking about pay, benefits, and whether I would enjoy the position I was trying to apply for, I would imagine the morning commute in my mind. I enjoyed driving, but any commute over forty-five minutes seemed detrimental to my spirit and well-being.
And even inside the zones, specifically downtown, I would find myself walking with a friend from the area, and moving from one world to the next. In a matter of minutes from walking from a sushi dinner (I ordered the veggie rolls, FYI) in Little Tokyo to her place a few blocks away, we would easily stumble into a poorer neighborhood unseen from the tourists inside their vehicles. A few blocks further for breakfast and we would stumble into the popular bars, nice hotels and more shops.
Mountains, waterways, and more invisible lines defined communities all over the place. They were highlighted, and made more visible by the different ways in which we all dressed, interacted and spoke. However, I have come to the conclusion that these invisible lines are just that, invisible. And as long as I have access to my passport, a map, and a suitcase, I’ll cross the invisible lines, connect with other people, and explore the land beyond the segmented zones.