Vignettes Regarding the Artwork of Brendon Kotes
The Bayscape sat between a coffee shop and an herbal remedy shop, which meant it smelled about a dozen ways delicious. Peppermint accosted Brendon on two sides as he stared into the wide gallery windows, the edges frosted and the OPEN sign nothing but a wind chime made of letters that tingled and clanked against one another. Inside, no one moved, but canvas and pottery perched on wall space and squat white tables.
He pressed a hand against the window that first afternoon, fingers chilling through his gloves. A want had stirred deep in his gut that day Donna Pierceman had stood in front of the art tables in her flowing, flowery dress. A want that twisted his imagination into dreams that many from his neighborhood harbored in the recesses of their minds. Not of football though or of full-ride scholarships or California beaches or talent discoveries outside Manhattan.
The grip of shyness held him near that window for long minutes. Two streets over, the mechanical church bell sang and then donged four times to announce the hour, like Grandma Angel’s old grandfather clock times ten on the decibel scale.
Like magic, the bell woke Brendon from his ruminating and had him acting before his mind could catch up and second-guess for him.
Inside, the gallery smelled of plaster and cinnamon, a trestle table set up toward the back with what looked like hot apple cider simmering in a slow cooker. Free-standing walls of the non-load-bearing type crooked themselves in four different places in the center of the room. Each one decorated with framed and unframed pictures of acrylic and oil, graphite and chalk. Three-dimensional pieces burst free from their limiting frames with clam shell and straw, copper wire and broken ceramic.
When Brendon breathed in, he imagined he could taste something in the air. Emotion. The inexplicable sort, communication from one artist to another.