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Vignettes Regarding the Artwork of Brendon Kotes

LXXXVII: Yesteryears

Senior year, Brendon’s schedule at school landed him in American History and Government with a Mrs. Tallir. A Mrs. Naomi Tallir who hadn’t divorced her husband, but had separated and ended up taking over his classes now that she had to go back to work. Or so said school gossip.

She was a white lady with a roundish face who liked hats and scarves, but maudlin ones in shades of gray and chevron. Her class was mostly memorization of dates and laws, with essays on cause and effect that ignored most of the rest of the world and at least half of the cultural history of the United States. In other words, basic, repetitive and easy.

Her one quirk, that students never reported—some out of empathy and some out of self-preservation since the other teacher on the subject had awful tests—was a tendency to talk about her husband in roundabout ways.

She’d warn the girls in class about handsy males and wrote a hotline in the bottom corner of the whiteboard that stayed there all year getting more and more smudges until the 8 looked like a 3 and the 7 like a 1.

She’d talk about specific character traits and passions and link them as representing immoral tendencies. Such as an obsession with weaponry and torture implements indicating sadism. Or constant nonfiction reading on wars indicating a gross neglect for human life.

They all knew who she meant.

Some boys thought it humorous to pretend obsession with the Revolutionary War, or the Civil War, or any of the World Wars and the plethora of countless others that proliferated human history.

Brendon thought that behavior to be heartless and tended to bend over the edges of his notebook just a little further to focus harder on whatever he might have been sketching. Which, admittedly, ended up being swords and battleaxes and polearms, all with fantastical bents of flames and ice and vine. He just always flipped the page whenever Mrs. Tallir came near so she wouldn’t think him a sadist too, as she thought of her husband.


Next Chapter Coming November 10th