Archive for the The Familia: Leon LaPointe Category
I met Leon LaPointe in art class on the first day of grade 7. He was wearing a brown linty sweater and glasses with lenses that tinted darker when he was in the sunlight but never seemed to lighten back up again. He looked like a 12 year old jazz musician. Leon was talking to himself and drawing a billion tiny aliens maiming a billion tiny aliens on a piece of photocopy paper with a black fine tip Sharpie. He introduced me to punk music and I introduced him to 90’s super models, we started smoking at the smoke pit at lunch and hanging out at the mall. We hung out and even lived together a few times with a bunch of deadbeats, until one day Leon moved to Taiwan to teach English.
Last Christmas, Jon and I had the rare opportunity to have 6 pints with him and his lovely wife Vanessa at an Irish Pub in Chilliwack. Not much had changed, the glasses are long smashed but he still smokes, and still draws billions of tiny aliens, and still talks to himself…but just a little.
He drew these for NOBASURA.
After 10+ years of teaching English in Taipei, Leon and his wife finally moved to Orchid Island off of the coast of Taiwan, back to the fishing village where Vanessa grew up. They bought a van and sell fresh sandwiches and Belgian beers to tourists who don’t know what a sandwich is. He scoots to the airport to buy bread a few times a week. They beach bum, surf and fish. Leon draws posters for Taiwanese bands and music festivals and drinks with the elders and neighboring tribes.
“I love my life out here, never have grown tired of it… I am tired of the city… Its like living in 40 Vancouver is piled up on each other in Taipei. Me and my English blokey mate, wanna buy a car in Canada one day and drive it to the arctic circle and then burn it on an Indian reserve… he is like me in a lot of ways , fascinated by Injuns and their alcoholic fucked up ways… we love them… his wife is from a tribe of Taiwanese Headhunters called the Atayal tribe, they tattooed their faces and lopped off skulls back in the 19th century…gotta go eat a fish I caught…write more later.”
I am happy my buddy found his lot in life. One day we’ll visit them, eat sandwiches and drink Belgian beer, fish, surf and make rad posters.