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Vignettes Regarding the Artwork of Brendon Kotes
Girls at the races during humid autumn nights wore skimpy shorts and loose, flowy tops. They wore hair down, letting it fly and whip when the cars zipped past. Some of them would disappear into backs of cars and come out clothes askew.
Brendon had never noticed before what all those girls did. Not even Casey’s sister remained on his mind after she’d inevitably vanish with friends or soon-to-be-friends who had something powdery or smoky to offer. But he couldn’t help but notice when that seemed to be all Robbie saw, eyes wide in a combination of fright and aspirations.
Couldn’t help noticing because Casey noticed and ragged on Robbie mercilessly. Brendon had multiple sketches of Robbie’s face from that night and a few after, and every one caught the brightness in Robbie’s eyes, the rampant confused desire burning out from within. And Casey looking on, a similar desire unhidden, yet somehow gone missed, right there to be read by anyone who knew the language.
Lewd jokes rippled through their tiny friend group.
“Cows giving their udders away for free. Wetting dicks with slack pussies and handing over a mouthful of herpes while they’re at it.”
As fear tactics went, it worked. Robbie never touched those girls. Not even the cute seventeen-year old who wanted to show him her car. (“It’s a lame-ass Civic, Robs. Nothing worth seeing, outside or in.”)
Becks called him a cock-blocker.
“I’m a damn saint and you fucking know it.”
Then she palmed condoms into Robbie’s and Brendon’s hands. “Don’t listen to him. He’s just mad cause they all still only see a scrawny white boy with too much mouth who couldn’t get it up for Krissy Schuto.”
“Bitch threw up on me.”
Becks just rolled her eyes and wandered off toward the start, her shadow like a cat flexing and jumping as she walked between headlights in the darkened field.
Casey grabbed the condoms right out of their hands, claiming they were probably sabotaged and “Becks is like that.” Though Robbie gazed after his longingly, he didn’t argue. Brendon learned much later that those condoms went to use after all.
Taylor L. won that race. All his big talk not just talk.
Casey’s dad wasn’t happy. Oh, not happy at all. Too much money he didn’t have lost to a bet he shouldn’t have taken.