Vignettes Regarding the Artwork of Brendon Kotes
Junior year boasted one of those moments that would forever be commemorated in a 5k walk/run title, but it started innocently enough with a local news reporter who fancied himself a hot shot journalist. The man—Tony Kepuchar—did a spotlight piece on cop favoritism. Election year and all that, with the sheriff being incumbent and his friends and family like an ant network spread about the county. Kepuchar did his research, no one could fault him for that, and yet, one little line and the word “allegation” was enough to set off a chain of events that would forever haunt Brendon’s neighborhood.
“Taylor Lee Barry, grandson to County Sheriff Joseph Barry, is one such example, having been implicated in illegal street races, but never charged, with an allegation against him of heroin dealing that has, interestingly, not been investigated.”
Casey’s father threw that paper across the living room, smacking a row of DVDs to the ground in a haphazard cascade of porn and 90s flicks. Then he went on a rampage, the alcohol singing in his veins. He found Casey in the garage, fiddling with replacing the Mustang’s water pump, and proceeded to beat him with the first thing that came to hand—the rubber serpentine belt Casey had removed and not yet returned.
“No good druggie! I knew that man was bad news!”
Though the hits remained weak, they came fast and no amount of confused questions, and then later, insistences that Casey had never participated, would assuage his father’s self-righteous fury.
Casey showed up on Brendon’s doorstep on foot, bruises starting to show across his neck and shoulders, but he paid them no heed, instead ranting and raging as loud and crass as his father had the hour earlier before finally calling his mother and—partially in demand and partially begging—asked to move in with her and Becks.
“It’s not like we’re doing anything together. The Mustang’s been done and in my name, not his and I can drive the extra fifteen minutes to school in the morning, no biggie.”
Brendon listened with a palm against Casey’s back and cheek to Casey’s shoulder, gently though, afraid of hurting him further.
“I don’t care if it’s a closet, Mom. Could be a fucking couch for all I care.” Then a muttered, “Sorry.” Probably on account of the cussing. Continue reading