Vignettes Regarding the Artwork of Brendon Kotes
The day Brendon was born, a thunderstorm rolling in during a late June afternoon, the oil from a diesel had spread across the parking lot, a snake wound tight at one end and slippery, whipcord at the other. A dark rainbow patterned the asphalt and stuck to the bottom of his mother’s sneakers. She tripped on the way in, in between contractions, and though she didn’t fall, her stomach heaved and the diaper bag filled with newborn outfits spilled off his father’s shoulder and into the slick as he jerked to catch her.
Inside, in the corner of a labor and delivery room, that same diaper bag sat in an out-of-the-way corner, rainbow oil seeping up through cotton threads to bless a never-before-worn onesie with color goodness and a painter’s spirit. It had dried by the time his father changed Brendon into it over in the maternity ward, the dark smear almost unnoticeable against the navy fabric, and besides, the rest of the clothes had long since been smeared with worse things of a biological nature.
His mother later claimed it was a fairy, or faerie were Brendon in trouble, that had flown by and kissed Brendon’s fat baby thighs and spindly fingers to grant him such an artistic nature. He had a stork’s kiss, a puckered splatter of darker skin, that ran just under his hipbone and curled in the shape of a sickle, or a moon, or a fingernail, or the curving keel of a ship’s bow cutting up from the water, or the gentle sloping of a river, or the trajectory of a hummingbird’s wing, or…
Brendon’s mother could and did make up a hundred different ideas of what that patch of skin might represent and he took them into his heart, one after the other, where they blossomed from his fingertips on bath tile walls and later from the end of cheap, splitting bristles bought from a dollar store.
She’d say it was a fairy who kissed him and brought his talent, but he knew better.