Normal History Vol. 327: 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 31-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

[continued from last week]

An excerpt from Holding Up the Falling Snake Sky, a novel (literary fiction) by Jean Smith

In what she told Griffin was “a stroke of unmedicated genius that Einstein himself would be proud of,” Odele had stretched garden netting wall-to-wall across the ceiling and cleverly slid all her mother’s snake paintings under it, facing down. Griffin wasn’t sure that having paintings on the ceiling was such great an idea until Odele admonished him for never having heard of the Sisdean Chapel.

“It’s dead classy, Griffin. Which is maybe why you don’t know about it!” she’d said caustically, hands on hips. Griffin had shrugged and wandered off recalling the only piece of advice his father had given him on marriage. Pick your battles, son. Pick your friggin’ battles.

His vision nearly always blurry with tears, Martin’s brain created a watery writhing as his eyes darted fearfully from snake-to-snake. Crying on his back with his arms flailing, he exhausted himself holding up the falling snake sky with his pudgy splayed fingers.

Fearful in his baby-mind that they’d close his drawer to stop his crying, he was terrified that there would be snakes there too. The idea of being inside the dresser, knowing the snakes were above him and not being able to see them, left him in a frantic state, a muddy-purple conundrum of needing to see the snakes he never wanted to see.

“Narrow” from Jarred Up (K, 1993) (download):