Cigarettes and Coffee

Three girls with three distinct hairstyle archetypes sit at a sidewalk table outside a cafe. Each girl has a to-go cup of coffee and a cigarette. The cups are turned with the cafe logo in the same direction. A fourth girl sits in a chair ten feet away, and ten feet from her, a photographer shoots picture after picture of the four of them with a camera that’s the size of a lunchbox. The girl in the foreground sits in profile to the camera and looks distracted at the other side of the street. The girls at the table are background. They make listening faces and laugh at imaginary jokes. They re-point their cigarettes after every second shutter click, never aiming them in the same direction twice. After ten minutes of pictures and repositioning, the girl in the foreground gets up and takes a cigarette from the pack of Parliaments on the table. She takes takes a few deep drags and then puts it out. She returns to her chair and the shooting resumes. The girls in the background take occasional puffs on their cigarettes to keep them lit.

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  1. So what do you figure – a cigarette ad? A punk modern clothes ad? A life-in-the-city series for The Stranger. A book cover for a “how to see Seattle on a dime-a-day” guidebook? Or, better yet, street theater – there was no film in the camera.

  2. You dad was in several college plays (musicals, believe it or not) and as part of the crowd scenes–background–was told to say “peas and carrots, peas and carrots, peas and carrots…”

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