Vignettes Regarding the Artwork of Brendon Kotes
The races grew dull that summer, at least in Brendon’s eyes. Same roaring engines. Same pisswater beers. Same booming music. He spent the time drawing cars, peeking in at engines Casey could identify by sound alone.
They would linger far into the warm nights, creeping through tall grass, scratching at mosquito bites for days and days after. Casey got to sit in Taylor L.’s car—black leather seat sticking to the underside of his knees—and press that pedal like he owned it, blowing smoke and cooking oil like butter in a pan, but sweeter. Least that’s how Casey described it, all tingling from the tips of his fingers to the bottom of his soles.
Taylor L. would nudge and chuckle and sit a little too close, always with that swagger that made him seem like a God with a capital. Magnanimous and easy with his blessings, though Brendon always got the impression that Taylor L. would have been just as happy to forget Brendon existed, especially when he spoke in a foreign language—spouting torque and horsepower while Brendon’s pencil focused on the glint of light off the studded belt one of the other boys wore.
“Dad’s gone, for the whole week. Heading out west—Tennessee to see family and a doctor out there for a second opinion.” Casey threw up a hand and waved in the general direction of west, which also happened to be upstreet, road coursing off, gravel offshoots spitting out like branches from a trunk.
“So you’re staying with your mom?”
“Nah. Becks is still mad at me. Says I wasn’t empathetic enough to her situation.” Continue reading