Vignettes Regarding the Artwork of Brendon Kotes
With a sudden lack of care, Brendon gathered his things, using baywater to give his palette a cursory scrub before throwing his canvas face-up on the pier and lugging his easel and paints toward the car. Orion followed at a slower pace, holding both canvases outward from his body, and though he never said a word but “Here,” Brendon felt that telescoping gaze boring into him.
Only when they were in the air conditioning, blowers drowning out the cicadas and the distant rumble of a motorboat, did Brendon turn on Orion.
“You think I’m some murderer. Since you walked into my studio you’ve thought it. Throwing words like victim and threat, profiling me in a way even the police don’t. Seeing nothing but what you want to see.”
“I’m taking you back to your car and then I don’t want you to bother me—or my clients—again. Take Erikson’s paid-for painting and do what you please with it. Sell it, junk it, burn it. I don’t care. Just take your assumptions away from me.”
Then Brendon angrily threw the car into gear and, gravel churning, jerked them out of the lot. They rode in silence, Brendon steaming silently and Orion—probably calculating whether he could bring a lawsuit to bear. The air conditioning turned their sweat cold, Brendon’s shirt clinging in the worst places like ice packs and still it did nothing to cool his temper, his fury building with each new additional thought that piled up.
He wants me to admit it. Wants me to confess.
My God, is he wearing a wire? How would I know?
Wait, it doesn’t matter whether he is or not because it’s all impossible anyway.
Isn’t it? Continue reading