Normal History Vol. 43: The Art Of David Lester

LesterNormalHistoryVol43Every 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 26-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

Song slivers arrive in shipping and receiving, between photo-cutter roar and dry-mounting rumble. With my mind, I add the sounds together and turn the nearly inaudible music from Eileen’s radio into Marvin Gaye—regardless of what’s playing, I hear “Sexual Healing.” Sexual, sexual healing.

Paul, a young guy from the digital department, comes to look out the window. Wincing at the brightness, he fingers the paper-white orchid. I turn away. He asks me, “What’s your favourite movie?”

Harold And Maude,” I say. “It’s about a suicidal young guy who falls in love with an eccentric old woman.”

“OK. What’s your second favourite movie?”

Picnic At Hanging Rock,” I say. “It’s about Australian school girls who get lost in the outback.”

Paul lays his head on the postage scale.

“Ten pounds, 10 ounces,” I say.

On our morning coffee break, Zoila is eating three pieces of thickly sliced white bread stacked together.

“Wow,” I say to Zoila. “It’s a bread sandwich.”

Maria talks about her new roommate. “He’s white. He’s single. He’s 50, but he’s circumcised.” She looks at me. I’m the only Caucasian in the room. “Do you prefer cut or uncut?”

In my mind, I see the penises of recent dalliances, dicks and cocks of old relationships—cut, uncut. Cut, uncut. Maria and the other Filipinas are waiting for my answer, for my preference.

Maria says, “Uncut is ugly.”

Eileen says, “How do you know?”

Maria says, “I’ve seen a photo.”

The dark side of Maria. We are nibbling on Mike Dean’s banana bread. Mike is the Jethro Bodine handyman of the photo lab. He’s been phoning his mother across three time zones to get her recipes. He brings baked goods to work, on the bus, triple plastic-wrapped. Pies, cookies, biscuits—he wants a reaction. He wants a reaction from the dark side of Maria.