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Byrd's Reflection (standard:drama, 2814 words)
Author: GiovanniAdded: Apr 13 2001Views/Reads: 2557/1603Story 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 


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