Bebe Rexha stands by the shoulder of the highway, holding out her thumb. A Dodge Ram pick-up stops for her. She loads two garbage bags full of clothes in the back and jumps inside. She gives her thumb to say “thank you.” In the bed of the vehicle, she lies against the frame and closes her eyes, letting the breeze hit her.
She gets dropped off on the highway and a man in a yellow truck picks her up. She talks to him while he drives. He leaves her at the Grandview Motel. She peeks in through the window and sees no one. She walks back onto the highway again.
At a diner, she takes an order and walks to the counter. She checks on her customer and spots Tyler and Brian in the corner booth, drinking soda and eating fries. She serves food to her customers and checks her watch. At about 8:40, she rests her hand on her cheek and looks at the clock. She falls asleep.
At the Wild West A Go-Go, Tyler and Brian perform on Open Mic Night. While waiting at the bar, she turns her head to listen to them. Brian points to her and asks her to come on stage. She takes the microphone and begins to sing with them.
During her break, she sings outside in the parking lot.
Thousands of fans cheer inside the stadium. Rexha, Brian and Tyler finish their encore. She gives her thumb as a “thank you.”
The bell dings, waking her up. She mouths “fuck” and walks to the counter.
Bebe Rexha wants out of the diner. The double shifts leave her exhausted. Without any vacation time, all she does is work. She can’t remember the last time she picked up a notebook and wrote some lyrics.
Local favorites Tyler and Brian eat at the diner sometime. They usually perform at the Wild West A Go-Go as special guests. They have a record deal but for them, the Wild West A Go-Go is home. It got them their start. Every couple of months, they hold meetings for people who want to sing or write. She hasn’t been able to attend one. Getting someone to switch her shift is unlikely and she would get fired for calling in.
She’s waited on them a couple of times and they always tell her “this place needs you more than you need it.” She nods and takes their dishes to the kitchen, their words reverberating in her mind as her boss tells her she’s too slow.
Director: Sophie Muller Year: 2017
Pam Avoledo’s love of pop culture began in 1999 with the message boards dedicated to shows on the CW (then WB). She graduated from Oakland University in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism.
When she is not debating whether Dawson should’ve ended up with Joey, she looks at cute dog memes on social media.