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The Dreamers This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Terrible lighting. The lighting couldn’t be worse. Halogen bulbs buzzing with life, buzzing with the sick satisfaction of knowing that they whitewash everything their beams touch. Making the colors look like they’re covered with a sheet. Illuminated oily faces and greasy hair. Pale, pale, pale. People like an oil spill ripples in a puddle. Not sure what the original cause was, and knowing that they aren’t, will never be, as important as it was. They’re merely an offspring of it. The effect. The aftermath. Someone’s poor planning.

Cut cut, chop chop, stuff, dice, deep fry, sweat. The intoxicating smell of raw red meat thawing on the counter. Corn. Tortilla. Avocados. Onions. Sweat. All held hostage behind the dark plastic-wood door marked Employees Only. Where dreams are born and killed.

For some us it was the end. The white flag. The admittance that this is the end of the race, that there is no trophy. It’s our get up, take a bus, six-to-ten-until-you-die kind of job. This is our big Finally.

For the rest of us, it’s a stepping stone. It’s our pay-the-bills-until-something-better-comes-up job. We’re the actors, the singers, the artists, the waiting line for the right exposure. The fools. The dreamers. The ones who stand still a second longer when taking out the trash to look at the night sky. Not realizing how few stars we can’t actually see. The smog, you know. It suffocates.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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