Vignettes Regarding the Artwork of Brendon Kotes
Summer between seventh and eighth grade went by achingly slowly. Thirteen years old. Too young to go driving about. Too old to be playing kickball with the neighborhood kids. Just old enough to want and want, but not know exactly what to do about it. Not really.
Robbie brought Tori Kel down to the wharf where they played footsie off the piers. He brought her to the park where they swung at dusk and played a touchy-feely game of tag with the other kids right outside the forest. He did not bring her to the car graveyard. Not ever.
Two weeks before eighth grade started in earnest, soccer practice already going in full swing (as attested by Casey’s every-present shin guards and cleats), a group of middle-schoolers took to lingering under the second pavilion, the older one closer to the basketball court where boys taunted Brendon for not playing.
Tori Kel came with Robbie and sat down next to Brendon with a book of her own. Hers was a school book. Summer read they were sure to be tested on first week back, though next to none of the others had likely even glanced at the pages. Brendon certainly hadn’t.
They sat in silence for a time, pages of The Chocolate War fluttering while his pencil scratched over a rough sketch sheet. The rhythmic pound of the basketball echoed up toward the tennis courts and sneakers shed rubber off crumbling black-top. Continue reading