Vignettes Regarding the Artwork of Brendon Kotes
Brendon spent that night curled up on his couch rather than his bed. Coffee-table books lay strewn about the room, half of them opened to inspirational photography. An astro-photographer’s nebula series hid just out of sight under the entertainment center, though its pictures did not need to be seen in order for Brendon to visualize them.
He’d always been good at crafting from memory. His eyes, like cameras, seeing from perspectives not his own.
Mr. Livesey hadn’t been the same at all: his eyes filing info away, yet ignoring angles and light and perspective. Filled with an intelligence that practically shone. His face held carefully, his expression always under control. His body relaxed, none of the tautness in his torso that plagued Brendon whenever he felt uncomfortable around others.
Brendon found himself scrambling for a sketchbook, his blanket falling away, tangling in his legs as he stretched for a set of soft pencils. But the Bs were too poor to show those gorgeous angles. Too soft, providing gentleness where there’d been a dearth, granting empathy where there’d been calculation.
He ripped out the page and started fresh, grasping harder graphite, Orion Livesey’s features growing, shaping under his palm. Those discerning eyes. That carefully held smile. Those shadows along his cheeks that spoke of more than the need to shave.
The perfect cut of his suit, draped attractively across relaxed shoulders. The glide of pants, tightened marginally over the left side. The creases on the legs well-ironed, dragging the eye forcibly down to expensive black dress shoes that looked far more comfortable than dress shoes had any right to be.
He smudged and shaded those eyes, continually coming back to them, noting one more line that could be added, blurred, sharpened, erased, until his breath caught and he exhaled over the work like a man coming out of the ocean desperate for fresh air.
Orion Livesey stared at Brendon from the coffee table, the sketchbook propped up against a stack of photography and anatomy books. There he remained, caught in position on Brendon’s studio stool, one foot on the floor, the other perched on the stool’s lower rail, his posture slightly bent forward and his manner expectant, though what he might be expecting, Brendon didn’t know.
He fell asleep again under Orion Livesey’s watchful gaze, dreaming of those eyes, a voice whispering in his ears, but the words lost to nonsense as all words are in dreams.