Emily's favorite tune

Emily’s favorite tune

Emily's favorite tune

emily’s favorite tune on the diner’s jukebox was “i am calling you” from the cult movie “bagdad cafe.”

“A desert road from vegas to nowhere

some place better than where you’ve been

A coffee machine that needs some fixing

In a little cafe just around the bend

I am calling you

Can’t you hear me

I am calling you”


she was worn; the desert wind and hard living having taken their toll on her skin. the summer wind is like a blowtorch; dry, searing heat that leaves browned hands and elbows desicated, thirsting for moisture.

emily was more than thin. it looked as if drugs had played a sad, starring role in the movie of her life leaving her gaunt and malnourished. her jeans were worn and the t-shirt under the voluminous bagdad cafe shirt she had on was soiled at the neck.

she is one of the many lost ones who find their way to the desert.

bagdad cafe owner andree mitchell had given her a job waiting tables and cleaning up around the place. i think andree is always giving people a helping hand out there on route 66, perhaps a life-sustaining job even if only for a short while.

i don’t know how long emily stuck around working at the cafe. the next time i visited she was gone.

emily was following the song only she could hear. 

i am learning how few good images i really take. i used to say “i only need one” from a shooting trip. now i say “gosh i hope one of these is a keeper.” the number of keepers gets smaller the older i get.

“You know how few of the pictures you take turn out to be any good.”

–Diane Arbus

Scroll to Top