Vignettes Regarding the Artwork of Brendon Kotes
The summer before high school sped past at a sprint, his mom and Aunt Laurel still gushing about the painting Brendon had at The Bayscape to anyone who would listen. He started ducking his head whenever he heard his name fall off their lips and picked up the habit of throwing something up to cover his face whenever the camera turned his way: a hand, a hood, his sketchbook.
“He’s my quiet one,” his mom would tell people. “The only one of the bunch. Buy him a stack of sketchbooks at Christmas and you won’t see him till Easter and only then to ask for another stack.”
Fair’s fair, he reasoned, though he’d still duck his head and scribble cross-hatches faster.
Donna Pierceman rang him up mid-summer. July 17th. Hot and humid, skin smelling like his mom’s lotion because the unscented had run out. He’d been curled on the cushioned bench on the porch, drinking sugar with ice tea in it and playing on Robbie’s tablet when his mom came out with the phone.
“Ms. Pierceman’s called for you.”
“Who’s that?” asked Robbie as Brendon sat up and reached for the phone.
He made a hushing noise and cleared his throat, scarcely noticing his mom still lingering in the doorway, holding open the screen in the way she’d have yelled at him for.
“Ms. Pierceman, this is Brendon.” Continue reading