portion of the artwork for Brandon Wells' fiction
The Disillusionment of Ten A.M.
Brandon Wells

Two older women—outside on the octagonal gazebo—were having a meaningless conversation about the meaninglessness of most conversations.

“Excuse me, young ladies,” said The Boy, approaching from the gravel pathway. “How are you young ladies doing tonight?”

Despite the fact that both women were possibly fortyish, potentially fiftyish, overweight and maybe fatally diabetic, The Boy was nonetheless convinced—down to his warmed and beating cockles—that they were real soul-mate material.

“We’re trying to have a conversation here,” hissed one of the older women. “Thank you.”

“Sorry,” said The Boy, moving towards the gazebo. He walked up the five short steps without stumbling or tripping—much. He needed a haircut and his bangs were pulled across his face so that only one eye was showing. According to Lana Lindquist, it was easy to tell when The Boy was about to black out because one of his wings would be pulled back straight, while the other dangled off to the side, not unlike the town drunk who walks around with half his shirt tucked in.

“It’s so nice outside tonight … I really like gazebos … Especially gazebos with two beautiful young ladies in them.”

Both had large glasses of red wine in their hands. Both were smoking. The one on the right was wearing a voluminous purple dress that was broken up in the middle by a gigantic black belt. The one on the left had big, black hoop earrings and a dress that was the color of thin gravy. After she threw a bunch of wine down her throat, she asked:

“Where did you come from?”

“My mother’s womb,” he quipped.

Both women broke out in short, hoarse chunks of laughter.

“Would any of you young ladies like to take a walk?”

“No, we don’t want to walk,” said the one on the left. “Can you walk?”

“Can you walk?” he repeated.

The one on the left again. “Where did you get those things? Are they real?”

“Japan,” he said, automatically. “Want to play some beer pong?”

“We want you to go away, actually, so we can finish talking with each other, about grownup stuff. That OK with you, buster?”

“And stop calling us young ladies, please. It’s annoying.”

“Sorry, I’m sorry,” said The Boy. He remembered something and looked in his wallet—there was one condom left. It was time to make his big move. “It’s just that … I really like you. I think you both are very special.”

They were doing that laughing thing again.


“Kathleen, do you know this kid?”

“Kid, what’s your name?”

“I bet my son has something to do with this. He probably put him up to it. J.C. The little shit.”

The Boy began retreating. The two female figures on the gazebo were becoming darker and more distant now, but he could still clearly see their outlines against the skyline, and he could hear them laughing. Despair began to grow in his heart and he decided to switch his marketing strategy. He needed to narrow the target market. And he needed to be really smooth about it.

“Has anyone ever told you that you are beautiful?” he yelled back. “I meant that to the one on the right! Not the left! Not the left!”

“Go away!” they yelled together.

“Ladies, ladies.”

“Stop calling us young ladies. I’ve got dildos older than you!”

The laughter got louder.

The Boy stopped. “Wait, you have dildos that are almost … eighteen years old? Because that’s how old I am!” he shouted back at them, defensively. “Those sound like incredibly old dildos. I think someone should buy you some new dildos! Maybe … if you play your cards right, I’ll take you dildo shopping! My treat! But you have to drive, though, OK, because I don’t have my license yet!”

“Go away! Go away! Go away!” they yelled again. “Get out of here, you little shit!”

“OK, fine,” said The Boy, accepting temporary defeat, stumbling away. “I’ll see you young ladies later then.”

* * *

The night—an orchestra warming up in the pit.

It got completely dark and someone turned on the torches and then the multicolored bulbs that snaked their way around all of the outside structures. The Boy stopped. He could hear old-school rap music coming from the house and on the porch steps a bunch of thin, bored-looking kids with scene hair were standing around, getting seen by other non-scene kids. The tallest one reminded The Boy of a used matchstick. The rap song stopped and another rap song started and The Boy began doing some dance steps he sometimes practiced in his bedroom.

Aight, aight!
They call me Da Brown Recluse.
Aight, now. Don’t get bit, yawl!
I’m going in:

I’m such a recluse:
Even my electrons are in a shell!
Roll up on my crib,
I’ll give you a story to tell.
Please excuse —THIS …
Gangsta-ass etiquette.
This how we does
Up in gangsta-ass Connecticut.
Naw, mang,
Not Connecticut.
Uncle Wiggily done moved
And I think he might be fucked up.
All that brown drank
Got him really tore up.
Glass half empty
And Glass be opening up.
Like an assassin,
Holdin’ it—
Killin’ all the phony MCs!
And the crowds seem to agree
That my flow’s pretty unique.
Like, I can already foresee
Your flow ready to leave
Like orange peels in the sea …
Do you believe?
I can see?
So I’ll bring the banana.
And you bring the fish.
And it’s a perfect day
For bitches to get served like a dish.
And I’m drowning
In this
Oceanic abyss.
So I’ll take one more sip
Before the stream turns to piss.

“Bro! Beast mode! That’s so beast mode! You’re ripping that shit up.”

The Boy stopped his dancing. Standing in front of him was some random dude wearing a backwards ball cap, jeans, and a black tee-shirt that had DEPRESSED CHICKS MAKE ME HORNY written across the front.

“Bro, no homo,” said the random bro, smiling with his mouth and his eyes. “You got some moves, broseff!”

The song changed—and everyone started screaming. Then some random scenechick started yelling, OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! I’M SO CONFUSED, WHAT’S HAPPENING! The Boy suddenly felt the heat from the drinks. He started looking around. He needed a bathroom.

“C-walking, right?” asked the random bro. “Where you spell out the letters? Sea-Are-Eye-Pee?”

“I was just messing around.”

“Naw, bro, dopetastic wings, too. ”

“Thanks. ”

“That shit was legit, for real. You got to show me how you do that, one day, those moves, I mean,” said the random bro, looking around the party now as well. Everyone seemed to be standing around in pairs, or groups of three, not really dancing, but bobbing their heads with the bass line. “Yo, who are you with?”

“Chill’n,” said The Boy.

“Word. Who you rolling with tonight?”

“I don’t know,” said The Boy. “I’m drunk.”

“Where do you go to school?”


"Bro, you go to Horace Wells Academy?” asked the random bro, growing animated at the sound of the prestigious Southern prep school. “YOU GO TO THE BIG H!”

“I guess,” said The Boy. “I just … started.”

“That's where I go! Damn, bro. That’s straight. I’m surprised I haven’t seen you around.”

“I just started,” The Boy repeated.

“Who’s your home room?”

“Dr. Theodore Collins III. I’ve got him for physics too.”

“C-Nasty! That kid is mad ancient.”

“Cool,” said The Boy.

“It’s crazy, yo, you trying to go to Maggie Price’s keg party tonight? I’m about to roll myself. It’s going to be crawling with dimepieces from State. Dimepieces everywhere. Dude, the freshman class this year is out of control. Dude, they are so shady.”

He thought he saw Lana Lindquist coming out of a bedroom, but it was just some random chick wearing a set of fake grills. “I’m looking for someone … actually.”

“Peace, bro,” said the random dude. “This place is weak sauce, bro.”

The Boy waited in a line to the bathroom behind some random redhead chick with a Styrofoam cup filled to the lid with Red Bull and orange-flavored vodka. She kept calling him by the wrong name and touching his shoulder. The lights were too bright and he decided he should move on.

Upstairs he could smell the sweet smell of marijuana. He found a plastic red cup and drank the rest of its contents. He walked into a room he thought was a bathroom and instead found a bunch of sweaty hipsters standing around a mirror and a short straw. They yelled at him when he didn’t shut the door. There were plastic red cups and crushed domestic beer cans and Red Bull cans everywhere. The house was deceptively large. He kept finding more rooms. At the end of the hallway an elevator yawned and The Boy fell into a bright phalanx of preppy chicks wearing sundresses and talking in Midwestern accents. He could not tell where they were trying to go. He could not remember whose house they’d gone to, or how many houses they had been to already, but it was definitely the house of a big wig. You could really tell it. Big wigs have the big houses and small wigs have the small houses. The bigger the house the bigger the wig. Downstairs three Indian chicks (keyboard, not tomahawk) were dancing without much rhythm to bad ’80s music now. People kept asking The Boy if he was doing OK and then The Boy would say that he was doing OK and then The Boy would do something that was not OK.

“Hey, have you seen Lana?”


“Lana Lindquist!” said The Boy.

“Allen’s in that room.”

The Boy opened the door to a large, dark rec room where a bunch of people were sitting around on couches, smoking pot and shrooming, and watching the projection screen. The Boy had seen the movie before. It had a really weird title and it was about a soldier in the Vietnam War who is about to be executed on this bridge, but at the last second he escapes. But then you find out at the end of the movie that he didn’t really leave the bridge all along, but that was what made the movie so good. The Boy liked movies with twist endings. Twist endings were very important. You lost your innocence and everything good about you when you could figure how something turns out before it turns out.

He found Lana on the front porch swing.

“Where’d you come from?” Lana asked.

“My mother’s womb,” The Boy quipped. “What’s up.”

“Michelle’s script came in. Want some?”

The Boy held his hand out and waited for two Percoset pills to be dropped into it. “I love you.”

“She just broke up with Taylor.”

“Come on, I want to show you something.”

“I’m so drunk.”

“Me, too.”

It was too cold for the swimming pool so they stripped down to their underwear and slid into the fiberglass depths of the Jacuzzi. They were the only ones. Lana Lindquist was wearing a sensible tiger-print thong and tiger-print bra from Calypso’s Closet. She said she’d just finished her sixth red cup of beer. The Boy sat next to Lana and felt the massaging jets against his legs. He told Lana Lindquist that she had pretty Disney eyes. Lana Lindquist laughed at him and told him to shut up. Lana Lindquist was always laughing at you and telling you to shut up whenever you told her things like she had pretty Disney eyes and all you wanted to do was just live in her heart and die in her arms. Some girls are like that. He could tell she was enjoying herself, though. Some random guy with beard sat down and complimented the Jacuzzi’s ergonomic seating, stared at Lana Lindquist for about ten minutes and then tried to start a dazzling conversation by asking The Boy if he thought the Jacuzzi had a solid A.B.S. pan bottom.

“Whose place is this anyway?” asked The Boy.

“This kid,” said Lana. “I sort of know him. J.C.”


“I think he goes to your school.”


“Plays soccer there.”


“Sometimes I’ve seen him running around with his shirt off.”


“Nothing, never mind. He was the doofus walking around with a ridiculous shirt on tonight. Something about how horny chicks make him depressed. Douchebag.”

“Not me.”

“I know not you,” said Lana Lindquist. “Where you going?”

“I’ll be right back.”

When The Boy walked past one of the rooms he saw they were playing beer pong. Since he was exceptionally good at beer pong—especially when rolling deep on some 512s—he didn’t mind other people finding out how good he was. The beer pong table had a naked, Bridget Bardot-like chick as the logo on the middle of it. He won the first three games with a partner, but someone poured cheap tequila into the cups and the Oxy was starting to wear off and The Boy started losing some of that mad energy and he started forgetting the elbow rule and soon he chose to cut the middleman out—dropping the white ball directly into his own team’s cups. His partner started yelling at him, so he ditched the game. He decided to sober up by drinking some Red Bull. But there was no Red Bull left and he decided to sober up by drinking some white wine. People kept handing him their beers and ordering him to chug. Everything tasted delicious and had happy momentum. Dudes were congratulating themselves on their ability to piss on potted house plants. He was a little confused about what was going on now. He began to wonder why he’d left the Jacuzzi in the first place. He wondered why anyone ever leaves a Jacuzzi. On the couch there was a dude smacking a blonde chick in the face with a condom full of air. The blonde chick kept laughing and telling the dude to stop it. A tall horse-like brunette was laughing when she grabbed his arm and said something like, Sometimes when I’m watching a movie; I forget which movie I’m watching. Isn’t that funny? The Boy said he was unsure whether or not this was truly funny.

The party was becoming smaller. People with fakes were already leaving for the bars. They were ducking and folding themselves into BMWs and Land Cruisers and lift kit jeeps with the doors off. It was still early. The grass was still wet and when any of the cars parked on the yard started to wheel off they left behind them massive tracks of red mud. Someone used a magic marker to write a CLI in front of the word TAURUS on one of the cars. The Boy got that one. That was a good one. People with magic markers were always making the world a better place to live in.

The Jacuzzi room was fuller now and the water was cold. Two random chicks were discussing a berry-tea hand soap. Lana was not in the Jacuzzi anymore. She had been cruelly replaced by a group of shirtless random dudes who were loudly trying to coax any female passersby into joining them.

“Umm, has anyone seen Lana?” The Boy asked.

The dudes in the Jacuzzi all had beards and told him that they’d seen a girl who looked like Lana and a bunch of guys climb into one of those cars headed to the bars.

Someone asked him if he needed a ride to the bars.

He lied and said yes.

The car windows were rolled down.

The car ride was brief and intense like a really good song that you rarely hear on the radio station.

The bouncers were really polite and waived his cover.

He danced with all the flyest ladies.

Lana was there.

She said she loved him.

He drank some Red Bulls.

He rallied.

He drank some more red cups.

Lana said she loved him.

She was drunk, but she said she loved him.

He woke up the next morning outside by the gazebo and his entire left leg was covered with somebody’s Pee.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 36 | Spring 2012