"You wanna draw a pretty picture for us?"

"Yeah, draw us a picture!"

"Come on, artsy boy, draw us a picture!"

"Don't be shy, little Trevvy!"

"What? No? You ain't gonna draw us a picture? Look, he's shaking his head!"

"You ain't drawing us a pretty picture, artsy boy?"

"You know what we should do? We should draw one for him! …With the blood from his pretty little artsy head all over the ground!"

"Yeah! You like that better, huh? No? Well, you'll see what you get for saying no to us, you artsy little queer…"

Trevor opened his eyes and they were sore from squeezing them shut so tightly. He looked down at his left hand, still slightly swollen and bruised. One finger did not look the way it was supposed to, as if it was from someone older than him fitted onto his hand backwards. He held up his drawing hand next to his battered left, but not too close; as if the damage done to the other was contagious and he feared it would spread to his good hand. The damage would not have been so severe if he had defended himself with both hands, but he was willing to suffer for the sake of his drawing hand, the one that made him just like Daddy. He blinked hard to try and shut out his headache and the voices of the older boys from earlier that day. He didn't understand why they didn't understand…

Bobby knelt down beside his son and looked over the drawing clutched in the little boy's good hand. Two bulky boys who appeared to be in the upper brackets of elementary school were in crumpled heaps on the ground, their bodies hardly distinguishable as two separate bodies, unless you counted the amount of splintered limbs twisted on themselves.

Trevor's father pointed at the boys in the drawing and said, "They will never understand. They will never understand. They," Trevor flinched as Daddy's arm brushed against a fresh bruise on his own while he turned the page in the sketchbook to Trevor's imitations of Skeletal Sammy and various other Birdland characters, "They are the only ones who understand, Trevor. They are the only ones who will ever understand us."

And in a cracking of tired joints and the familiar herbal scent from a fresh drag, Bobby McGee was gone and the studio door closed behind him.