Drey Bautista

“well, this place is by no means anywhere near five stars
but my son and his pimpled, gross friends can mention its greasy pizza in one of their school memoirs”
not the first casual insult and definitely not the last
“don’t think i don’t know you’re standing there for a tip. do you even have any college courses you passed?
it isn’t shocking anymore it’s from those whose elementary picking stage they should’ve already surpassed
but beggars can’t be choosers right? except, they’re not beggars
trying to earn a living doesn’t make you a beggar
sometimes, it’s not even about reeling in some cash
not understanding their way of life is not a reason to bash

dean’s pizza
four on shift with a small rift
tommy with his books, miles the unidentified crook, jeremy with his dirty looks, esther who does not cook
tommy, staying out of everyone but miles’s reach, comfortably alone
miles, earning and pleasing as much as he can, eyeing jeremy’s phone
jeremy, living on ‘six glorious figures a year’, washing dishes for a reason not yet known
esther, the self-established leader, always giving more encouragement than she’s shown
brother and brother, and brother and sister, and an only child
miles and tommy, and miles and esther, and jeremy serving self-exile

come & go gas
two together every hour clinging to willpower
kenneth reassuring all the folks, elliot bringing out the fear he evokes
kenneth, the owner but definitely not in charge, trying to calm things down
elliot, the pissy prick unsatisfied with everything, never without his frown
brother and brother? no, beaten and ashamed
elliot and kenneth, neither one what they each claimed

and now those to come
the new employees of dean’s pizza and come & go gas
aiden and ian, just like the rest, living in rooms made of annealed glass

and last but not least
the other two girls, except they’re not the “other two girls”
no sir, not ryan and nora, they’re not your delicate precious pearls
esther and her girls, a waitress and two bakers
with lives not searching for any takers


Drey Bautista is an RTVF major interested in the fields of screenwriting and video editing. He’s from Albany Park, Chicago. His cat Desmond provides him with the moral and emotional support he needs to finish his works.