Normal History Vol. 278: 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 30-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

[continued from last week]

He says, “You could have just emailed back to say that I was too good looking or something.” This is supposed to be funny. I come around out of the twist and make a gesture as if to say, “Right, I could have done that.” But he isn’t handsome. He’s pudgy with white hair and he’s quite old and I’m not attracted to him—plus, I’ve seen him in his saggy swim-trunks and he’s covered in thick black hair. Arms, shoulders, back, etc. Regardless, I’m not attracted to him, and he’s selfish and rude.

I was thinking, “It isn’t my job to make sure you feel OK about being rejected.” When women do this, it is typically to avoid further problems—threats, intimidation—guys blaming them for what they feel.

I said something about it not being much fun on my side of things—writing an email saying I don’t want to go out with him.

I said, “Not answering you is how I chose to handle it.”

At this time, I started to get up, which I wasn’t planning on doing because I was in the middle of my 200 crunches and he was interrupting me. I wasn’t comfortable having a man standing over me, complaining about my behavior while I was sitting on the floor.

He said it was fine (again), but clearly it wasn’t fine and he’d come over to let me know this. I remained calm and said something like, “Oh well, these things happen when we’re all part of the same community.” Meaning: We are not alone here. I’m not isolated. I know people. People know who I am. There are avenues of resolution and accountability available to me.

He frowned and gave me his “I’m baffled by that comment” look. Again, I decided not to respond to him. Clearly, this guy was used to getting women to react.

[to be continued]

“Tolerate Me” from Mecca Normal (Smarten Up!, 1986; re-released by K, 1995) (download):