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Vignettes Regarding the Artwork of Brendon Kotes

XXV: Yesteryears

The first time Brendon woke choking on an orgasm, he lay shivering in bed, limbs a twitching, Casey’s laughter ringing in his ears, Casey’s scent lingering in his nostrils. He’d sweat through his pants and his sheets clung to his skin despite the autumn gentleness. Outside, the moon had risen, bright and almost whole, as if it had delivered Brendon the sweetest of dreams on a ray of pale light.

He did not move, too confused. The mind, he discovered later, did not work as well in the midnight hours, but right then, he found in himself a growing terror that he could not put name to. This welling feeling—both physical and emotional—that stirred in his belly and took claim to his mind.

In a spattering of nights after, months and years, Brendon would wake at odd hours, Casey’s name a moan on his lips. He found himself comfortable with the idea of holding his friend, of kissing him, of sharing intimacy that one couldn’t do with superheroes who did not exist.

The sketches came sometime after that first dream and lasted long before the last. Casey’s face, yes, over and over, in scowls and smiles, excitement and daydreams. Then came Casey’s chest, him wearing a swimsuit in the pool, standing in waist-high water, because that felt chaste and innocent. Then came the sketches that went deeper, curved lines and imagination working to fill in gaps concerning moving parts Brendon had never been privy to see.

He drew Casey stretching. Drew him driving, running, sleeping and even eating. Drew him clothed and naked. Drew him in pieces, close-up studies of his callused fingers and wiry arms.

He hid every drawing under his mattress and would pull them out sometimes at night when the moonlight glowed strong enough. Then he would reach below the covers, body warm as he imagined and imagined.


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