it was right around this time last year that juliet and i worked on our first collaboration for touch touch. it was a video called “parking meter.”

we pay monthly for overnight parking about a block away from our place. our neighborhood is pretty crowded, so it’s nice to always have a space at night. the space is ours until 9am and then we must pay for hourly / day parking by the meter. we rarely leave the house before 12 noon and some days we don’t leave at all. so i get out of bed and walk to the lot to buy us more time.

sometimes i just don’t want to get out of bed, so i don’t.
ticket us ($35)! i say this in a mark e. smith half asleep voice.
i’m independently wealthy in bed. besides, sometimes we get lucky and for whatever reason we don’t get a ticket. it’s totally random.

there is a great newsstand about three blocks away. it’s run by this fella that seems to be a very happy person. he has made a nice little world for himself and his customers. he’s got a couple of cafe tables and a chess board. he sells cool sodas, juices and water. he’s got a television and a decent boombox connected to speakers hung on either side of his l-shaped stand. he plays wonderful music on the stereo at just the right volume for the experience of being there. and magically, it doesn’t interfere with the outdoor speakers at the ubiquitous starbucks, right across the street from him!

it can start your day just right visiting this stand and this man. he is always glad to see you with a friendly word or two. small talk, the kind i like. human being to human being. if you’re not in the mood for chit chat, he’s totally aware. by the time you leave though, even if you haven’t said much, you feel a little better, i swear. i still don’t know his name and he doesn’t know mine.

this morning i felt fine. when i stopped by the stand i was greeted by a bubbly, percussive, percolating sound with a lush and a lovely blue line above it. i said to him, “so what sort of wonderfulness are you playing for us this morning?” he says, “oh man you hit that on the head--miles davis!” i was slightly embarrassed because i usually know miles davis’ trumpet as soon as i hear it and said "oh, yeah, that’s nice.”

i looked up and across the street a couple was dancing outside of the starbucks by their umbrellas. they almost seemed like they were dancing to miles but of course it was something entirely different and marketed by the starbucks label. as i was walking back to our place i thought to myself, you gotta be a special kind of person or a complete dork to start dancing at a starbucks around 9 in the morning.

oh and go here to watch the first touch touch video, “parking meter”
by j s e and r s e.