Normal History Vol. 374: The Art Of David Lester

Every Saturday, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 32-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

After I cleaned out my locker at Home Depot and shoved everything in my packsack, I got two bags of soil and a few plants, and strapped them to the trolley-thingy. It was very heavy, but it seemed like the whole thing would hold together for the 30-minute walk uphill to my place. It was a fairly warm day—definitely in the high 60s—and, because I didn’t have room in my packsack for the ski jacket that had been in my locker since I was hired in February, I had to wear it. I’m sure this added a touch of the absurd to the image of a 57-year-old lady towing bags of soil across the quarter-mile long viaduct in shorts with windswept hair poking out from under her cap. I must admit I’d wondered if a fellow I met at a photo opening days before would take the hint and pick me up after work, but no. He’d messaged me on Facebook telling me to let him know if I wanted to go for a coffee, which, for some men is as close as it gets to actually asking a woman out. I know. I know. It’s tough. I told him I was working. He asked where and I told him: the garden center at Home Depot. Easy enough to find. I told him it was my last day, and I posted my plan to lug soil home after work, but no. He didn’t magically arrive. That would have been too much, and these things just don’t happen. Not to me. Not any more. I am one who lugs my soil home alone. Grumble grumble.

I made it through the busy intersection without the whole thing coming apart in some sort of cartoon implosion sequence with honking car horns and swearing motorists. I cut over to a quiet side street thinking that someone might, in a better world, stop their car and offer me a ride. I was about halfway up the hill when I heard a voice calling my name from inside a parked car. I ducked down to see who was in the driver’s seat. It was painter Joyce Woods! I told her I’d just quit my job—like, just minutes ago—to paint! The incredible thing is that Joyce bought the very first one in my $100 Paintings series!

It was very sweet of her to offer me a ride, but since I was already halfway there—and feeling much better about everything—I figured I’d continue on my own. Happily alone.

“Revolution#Pine” from the album The Family Swan (Kill Rock Stars, 2002) (download):