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Byrd's Reflection (standard:drama, 2814 words)
Author: GiovanniAdded: Apr 13 2001Views/Reads: 2587/1620Story 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.
 



Click here to read the first 75 lines of the story

unknowingly kicked it across the floor while making her monumental 
greeting. Garrett focused on Roslyn whose curly brown hair was slightly 
unsettled by the wind, winnowing through the open balcony doors, 
tossing her silk scarf about as she strode toward her visitor. Her 
cordial welcome, as with any guest, focused on herself and not the 
person whom she greeted. Garrett gave her his undivided attention 
unaware that his golden timepiece was no longer in his possession. He 
followed her toward Jocelyn, her sister "We were getting worried about 
you," Roslyn said. 

"I had trouble finding the cufflinks." 

"You lost them?" 

"No, they're on. I couldn't find them right away." She reached for his
jacket sleeve and looked under it. 

"We're sitting over there. Did I mention Renworth the fashion designer
is here." 

"Fantastic." 

"Gar don't say that," looking around briefly, continuing in a hushed
voice, "It's not becoming. Always answer with less enthusiasm. I don't 
want to go over this right now. Say little, smile lots." 

He didn't offer her the present and she didn't reach for it. He looked
over his shoulder trying to spot Renworth, the designer, but knew the 
man by name only. Ominous feelings brewed in Garrett, that today he 
might not just lose his connection with Roslyn, but that he would be 
reunited with his brother. This horror grew in Garrett: Anybody in my 
shoes would be worrywart. My future is at stake. What's this? Garrett 
gasped. A gorgeous floppy haired young man in a four button Glen Plaid 
Suit, jacket unbuttoned sat gossiping with Jocelyn as she popped 
seedless grapes in his mouth. Garrett knew that he had seen him once 
before, when however he couldn't remember. The young man's flawless 
olive complexion diminished Garrett's image. Was he their new protégé? 
He was barely nineteen. But he was blessed with sinewy eyes that 
captivated the most fastidious gossipers. The reserved Byrds were 
slovenly coquettish and acting out of their calm and collected 
character, no doubt because of the young man's charming voice and his 
gorgeous dark curly hair. Garrett loathed being near him. He had the 
deadly combination charm and good looks. The less I know, the fewer 
worries, Garrett coaxed himself. Then Garrett heard the young man utter 
that familiar phrase that Garrett had first used when he was on 
Roslyn's yacht. "Portside out starboard home." It was irrevocable now. 
The young man nurtured with longwinded phrases meant that the Byrds 
were prepping him for more get-togethers, as they once had done for 
Garrett. Accustom to his new lifestyle his gluttony for words, food, 
wine, riches and attention was insatiable. Garrett hummed trying to 
block out the young man's voice. Roslyn shushed him, waving at a bunch 
of African Violets on the table nearest her. Her servant immediately 
removed them. Garrett too was being replaced, but unlike the violets as 
the servant searched for an appropriate vase, Garrett knew who was 
taking his place. Roslyn played with the young man's hair the way she 
once did with Garrett. Roslyn made love to him with her eyes. Garrett 
hadn't even kissed her during the past two weeks, working on her 
present in solitude. He cursed the young man's sharper features: pert 
nose, high cheekbones, thin lips and fragrance, which Roslyn once 
bought Garrett. Innocence was a cruel name for cologne; she gave it 
salaciously. 

The young man stood to refresh her glass. The mirror was cumbersome
underneath Garrett's arm and the sisters' chirping made him uneasy. 
When the young man returned, Roslyn sipped from her glass. Inhaling the 
fragrance and then tasting the Beaujolais Blanc, she tilted her head 
back, pausing, allowing the grape consistency to twirl across her 
tongue. Letting the wine settle she pressed her lips together, then 
decisively remarked, "Most exquisite," in a high nasal tone. Jocelyn 
chorused her elder's pronunciation. 

"It must be nearing expiration since the grapes are sour," Roslyn
attested. 

"You're dreadful," Jocelyn responded. They laughed, but Roslyn laughed
with contempt; Jocelyn hated to be mocked because of her ignorance of 
viticulture, but let the insult go. Her older appearance made her 
passive, though she was five years younger than Roslyn. When Jocelyn 
wanted to get her frustration out, she vented her anger elsewhere. 
Attracted by bulbous nose on the other side of the room, she nudged the 
young man already fluent in Byrd flippancy. 

"How awful it must be for that woman- it's not as if make up can hide
that beak." 

"We're quite fortunate not having ski slopes for noses," Roslyn added.
The guests nesting on the couch laughed. Jocelyn sipping her wine 
quickly continued the game, attacking another guest. "And look at 
Helena. That dress. It's choking her hips." "And those red shoes. 
There's no need to draw any unnecessary attention," Roslyn said 
gobbling a crab puff. 

Garrett found it amusing that such rotund women could criticize so many
people, since the women they criticized were unequivocally more 
attractive than they. Did they ever truly notice themselves in a 
mirror? Both sisters were unpleasantly plump, but Jocelyn's gut 
protruded more than Roslyn's, layer upon layer of fat nearly pushing 
out of her dress. They're repulsive. Why have I been wasting my time 
with them? Garrett eyed the beautiful dark blonde who earlier stared at 
him. She pushed her bangs to the side letting Garrett examine her soft 
thin brows. She turned after making eye contact. Her face was small and 
she wore her make-up in moderation. Realizing that there was no need to 
be Roslyn's center of attention, he tuned out of the Byrd's dishy 
conversation to devise a scheme to meet the beautiful blonde woman. How 
do I approach her? Things were so much easier before. Garrett was no 
longer a neophyte approached by older, more domineering big bellied 
women. Things change. I know which sized glasses should be used for 
Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and the like I should have better than her. 
Though Garrett was more astute he still was insecure. He heard a 
squawking sound and flinched. Could Simon be here? I completely forgot 
about him. Maybe he followed me down that alleyway. Squawk. Squa-a-wk. 
It grew louder. Momentarily dodging his fears he slowly turned toward 
the noise. It was only Roslyn's parrot. He envied its green wings of 
liberty, but he was uncertain of his ability to fly on his own. He 
seldom mingled at parties, preferring to waddle closely by the Byrds. 

It occurred to Garrett that Roslyn once introduced him to the dark
blonde, christening him the world's best mirror maker. His cocktail 
chatter impressed her. She had an antique collection. Garrett knew a 
lot about antique frames and wanted to impress her with his knowledge. 

Finally one of Roslyn's servants took Garrett's present. Relieved he got
up along side the young man's stepping on his shoe racing to pick up 
Roslyn's empty glass. Garrett grabbed it first. Gallantly triumphing on 
his way to the bar, he had no intention of refilling the glass. He 
looked for the blonde, but she seemed to have disappeared. The wine 
made him tipsy but at the same time conscious of his pensiveness. He 
extended his palm to the bird. The lanky Doctor Gangly, a recent client 
of Garrett's noticed him seeking the bird's attention. This time 
Garrett didn't discuss politics, since he was none the wiser regarding 
current events. Saying little smiling lots didn't help this time 
however, Garrett detected the same look of disappointment when the 
Doctor realized Garrett was unaware of the recent turmoil in South East 
Asia. Garrett dropped his hand to his side. The doctor, surrounded by 
lawyers and judges, spoke loudly. The frumpy man nearest the doctor, 
facing away from Garrett, had his head carpeted with an Einsteinesque 
toupee that shook when he chortled. Garrett marked him as a lawyer by 
his black monk strap shoes, remembering Roslyn's lesson that legal 
eagles seldom wore loafers. According to Roslyn, lawyers by and large 
preferred low cut shoes, but not loafers, especially liking monk 
straps, which the man facing Garret on Gangly's other side wore in 
cedar brown. Their jargon further identified them. Fiduciary was used a 
couple of times. The frumpy man mentioned something about red herrings 
and pickled herrings and other jokes ala corporate law. Garrett wanted 
very much to be a part of the bad humor and away from his worries. The 
doctor stood high above his camp wrists ambulating inside his wide 
sleeves, as was his neck from his hoola-hoop colar. Except for the 
Jhane Bharnes/ Sal Ferragamo attire, one could take the huddlers as a 
bawdy bunch of fireman surrounding a fire pole. Their loud banter 
brought attention. Though Garrett observing these men, worried about 
what they thought of him, he was more comfortable studying them, their 
clothes, their bone structure and their bodies proportion than the 
young man's. His art method too measured only those mirror makers that 
were easily less attractive than his art. At some point Doctor Gangly 
eyed Garrett again. The heavy-set lawyer mumbled something to the 
doctor. 

"Renworth you're a clown," the doctor responded. Garrett was shocked.
That fat bald wig wearing man, poor imitation of Einstein was the 
designer that he wanted so desperately to meet. He had the same bad 
taste in his mouth that he had when he had first been intimate with 
Roslyn. Garrett fidgeted with change; something was missing. He 
searched for the watch inside his pocket. He almost uttered something 
coherent, but when his mouth opened a squawk came out. This time the 
squawk sounded different than the parrot's. An obscure voice came out 
resembling more of a shriek; the sound was scratchy, almost human. Icy 
stares unsettled him. Watching the men eyeing someone to his right, 
Garret realized the shrill noise was not coming from the parrot. The 
bird perched itself on his shoulder. Raucous laughter ensued. He shooed 
him off. Why do animals take to me he lamented? Turning, Garrett saw a 
man flailing his arms, grunting as he pointed at Garrett's bandless 
watch now lying on the marble floor. It was Simon. Garrett couldn't 
bare to look; stopped over his brother's shaky hands fumbled with the 
watch. Horrified Garrett's eyes fixed on his mirror, reflecting the 
tumult, on the wall for all to see. Garrett saw himself most clearly. 
He felt naked. 

He needed to cling to something, but the Byrd's nest was now occupied.
Fly or fall. The reflection of the parrot flying low, wings openly 
spread, captivated him. Laughter resonated around him. The parrot 
landed on Simon's shoulder. It was uncanny. Simon's squawks coalesced 
with the bird's. He then noticed his brother. The game was won; Simon 
found his brother. Garrett's eyes grew two sizes larger. Simon, arms 
flailing, pushed through Gangly's circle and waved to his brother. The 
front door was too far away; too many people were focused on Garret and 
his brother. But they didn't have to know the truth. 

"Gallid, its me. Hey Gallid," Simon called out. The blonde, that Garrett
was looking for earlier, passed by. She glared disapprovingly. Garrett 
needed to hold his ground. He so desperately wanted to be a part of 
this world. 

"Gallid it's me Th-Thimon," his brother lisped. 

"Do you know this man Garrett?" Dr. Gangly queried. 

"I-I-I've never seen him in my-" 

"Gallid it's me. He's my bw-wother." Simon giggled, touching his
brother. 

Garrett slapped Simon's hand off his arm. "He's obviously crazy."
Garrett looked for support; Dr. Gangly shook his head, the frumpy 
lawyer mumbled in his ear and the beautiful blonde walked away. Simon, 
previously wearing a dopey grin, was puzzled. 

Impulsively Garrett moved closer to Dr. Gangly, but the doctor ignored
him. Determined Garrett paced back and forth shadowing the circle of 
men who ignored him and then there was crackle. Garrett had 
accidentally smashed the gold watch. "You bwoke it Gallid, you bwoke 
it." Simon wailed. Frantic Garrett spoke to anyone who would listen, 
"I've never seen him before. Really I haven't. Don't you believe me." 


   


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