|Byrd's Reflection (standard:drama, 2814 words)|
|Author: Giovanni||Added: Apr 13 2001||Views/Reads: 2557/1603||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Garrett, the frustrated mirror maker, is on the verge of becoming accepted as a society artist when his autistic brother, who he hasn't seen in years, finds him. Garrett escapes his brother for the moment but the memory haunts him at a The Byrd's party.|
Simon lolled behind a thick elm watching Garrett, his brother, lug a package up the spiral staircase to the Byrd house. Barely containing his excitement his lazy eye fluttered while he continued playing hide and seek. Simon pressed closely to the tree scratching his cheek against the bark. It stung but he didn't budge. Unaware that his brother was a mere fifty feet from him, Garrett peered down the spiral staircase in front of the Byrd house. He sighed with relief, believing that he had lost his autistic brother, having detoured through an obscure alleyway. Garrett felt the same sense of satisfaction that he had when he left Simon at an institution three years ago, when their parents died. He didn't want to be responsible for him then and he certainly didn't want to be responsible for him now, not when his future as a society artist was at stake. Garrett shook his head thinking of Simon's dopey grin and his crossed eyes. Nothing Garrett did as a child impressed his parents. He vividly remembered the day that Simon made a retarded finger painting and both his runny nosed father and his whimpering mother fawned over their autistic son. Yucky mucous green and yellow paint splotches covered a small piece of oak tag and Garret sat no more than five feet from his brother, Garrett's fingers blackened from a chunk of charcoal, his first charcoal drawing. He crumbled up his drawing and flung the paper ball at his brother when his mother left the room dabbing her eyes with a tissue saying my son is going to be an artist. How did he know I was here? Garrett's hand trembled. If Simon finds me at the party today, the Byrds will spurn me. I'll perish as unknown artist. Fingering the gold plated watch Simon gave him years ago Garrett watched the second hand reach twelve. He silently pleaded to Simon, wherever he might be, to stay away today. Never a good older brother to Simon, it was a good thing he was autistic Garrett thought. No feelings no pain. Garrett, the passionate artist, stood by the Byrd's entranceway discomfited by the oak framed mirror clutched under his arm that he slaved over for weeks. Not ashamed of walking past his brother without saying a word- now was not the time to care about Simon. After all my future as a society artist is at stake Garrett reasoned. I'll pay homage to sensitivity, to Simon, if all goes well today. Polishing Roslyn's present for nearly three straight days callused his hands and emotionally drained him. He questioned having made her present. Would she value a handmade mirror when she esteemed gifts by their price tags? Putting the package down, Garrett unveiled it briefly till he caught his image in it. He was shrinking; his pants fit loosely despite his tailor taking in the waist. He pulled out a piece of tape from his pocket and skimmed his lapel with the sticky side. Roslyn told him that tape was an essential item for the well-dressed man; it was needed at all times. As he covered the mirror, possibly his greatest work yet, he felt a pit in his throat. Garrett wouldn't get the recognition he deserved. He saw himself handing Roslyn the mirror and her expression of ingratitude toward her juvenile lover. Simon's innocent face mixed with Roslyn's pout fused in his thoughts. There was an awful pinch in his neck. Not only was he a traitor to his brother, but his flimsy mirror would hardly satisfy Roslyn's penchant for fancy store bought items, particularly the white gold beaded charm bracelet, which she admired on Sunday afternoons as the two passed by Shulman's Jewelry. Last Sunday she fitted it on her bulky wrist, the white gold beads shimmering: it was the perfect present for her and Garrett almost bought it until he considered the charm's intrinsic insignificance. He needed to give her something special: a piece of his craft, a piece of himself. As Garrett entered the party, a dark blonde woman admired his newly tailored suit, helping Garrett ease his mind. He smiled smugly watching the shadow of his better profile, cast on the wall by the flickering candles. His burnt crepe jacket blended nicely with his shirt's cream colored collar and his buttons sparkled from the candles; underneath his jacket he wore the silver cufflinks that Roslyn recently chose for him despite his disdain for silver and cufflinks. Appearance in so many layers was pointless to him. Most people never saw nor cared about the material depth underneath clothing. Garrett's callused fingers could barely feel the inscription on the back of his watch. He thought he dropped it deep in his pocket as Roslyn Byrd, the hostess, walked toward him. The watch however fell to the marble floor and Roslyn Click here to read the rest of this story (213 more lines)
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