Wassup everybody? How y’all doin?
Tip of the week: WP-Popup. Yes, popups are gross. But, oh boy do they work to get people on your mailing list.
The Problematic Virtue, Chapters 10 & 11:
Brian and Alex approached Wiles. “I heard you were looking for me,” Brian said. “I wasn’t expecting so much excitement this evening.”
“That tubby bitch? Been a long time coming. Who is this?” Wiles said, nodding towards Alex.
Alex’s heart skipped a beat. “This is my friend Alex,” Brian said. “He’s new in town.” Not exactly true, but close enough to keep it simple.
Wiles and Alex shook hands, and something about this Wiles character made Alex both nervous and excited. Wiles’ grip was firm. Alex’s hand was sweaty. Wiles barely acknowledged Alex’s presence before returning his attention to Brian.
“We need to go talk some business.” Wiles tilted his head towards a back room, and then glanced at Alex before asking Brian, “is your boy here cool?”
“He’s cool. Don’t worry about him.”
“Alright, then,” Wiles said. “I’ll see you around, Alex.” Then, to Brian: “I gotta run outside. Wait up for me.” Brian disappeared into the darkness of an unlit hallway as Wiles turned and went out the front door. Alex did not get a chance to say goodbye, or nice-to-meet-you, or anything like that.
With Brian gone, Alex and Heather returned to the backyard and then to the keg line, which had ballooned to ten deep. “You were asking me something before,” she said.
“Yeah, that guy Derek Wiles, the one I just met.”
“Oh, that guy,” she said, waving her hand. “That guy… he is just a guy, you know? Runs around with Brian and Miguel and stuff. Always out of town on trips. Mysterious, in that don’t-ask, don’t-tell kind of way. He lives on the south side of town and he’s twenty-five, or maybe older.”
“Wow, twenty-five? Is he in grad school?”
“No, not Wiles. He’s a townie.”
“You guys hang out with townies?”
Heather giggled. “I guess.”
“Oh, okay, that’s cool. But what was that about him being a dick-face? What’s his deal?”
“Maybe that was harsh. I mean, Wiles is a fun guy to party with, and he usually can get the best stuff, but he is not someone you want for your best friend, if you know what I’m saying. All that shit he’s into; he can be kinda sketchy sometimes.”
“I got that from what I just saw inside. I thought we were going to see switchblades and nun-chucks and shit come out. But if he’s all gangster, I don’t see why Brian hangs out with him.”
Heather wiped a smudge of cigarette ash from Alex’s face in such a clumsy manner that either she was being a tease, or she meant to poke him in the eye. “You sure ask a lot of questions,” she said.
Alex chose to believe Heather’s intentions were flirtatious, and decided to play along. “You didn’t answer mine.”
“Brian sells weed for him sometimes.”
Alex realized they were standing in line for the keg, around several people, and Heather had just talked about selling drugs without even attempting to lower her voice. Alex had not ever smoked marijuana, or taken uppers, downers, or anything besides alcohol. One time he experienced a contact high at Phish show while already drunk, and spent the rest of the night gripping a toilet bowl rim as the world spun around him. His High School girlfriend (whom he had told Brian dumped him because Alex had kissed her best friend) actually broke up with him because he would not try cocaine with her. Alex’s basketball coach gave the team random drug tests and so when she pressed he refused, and afterwards their relationship spiraled.
Heather had mentioned that Brian was a drug dealer as an insignificant piece of news; a side stream comment. Brian had told him a few stories about getting high, but the fact that he sold it came as new information. To Alex, doing drugs and selling drugs were two different concerns. Nothing about Brian informed to this aspect of his personality, and he was the RA of the dorm, even. Alex decided that his new friend might not exactly be the vanilla guy that Alex initially perceived.
“I mean,” she continued, “Brian’s not, like, a drug dealer or anything. He just sells dimes and nickels; you know, small stuff. But, he could totally get you a bigger bag, if you needed one. Did you need some pot?”
Would I like some pot? Maybe I do, actually. This would be the time. What am I waiting for?
“I guess if you need a real big bag, we should talk to Wiles. He’s the one who Brian gets it from, so there’s that. If you can’t grab him tonight, he has coffee at Buchanan’s on The Hill pretty much every morning, so you could always find him there.”
Before he could say anything, the windows of the house reflected a flash of blue and red lights along with the cursory chirp of a police siren. Within just a few seconds, a tidal wave of people poured out of the back of the house.
Heather grabbed Alex’s hand, tugging him. “Let’s go, freshman. Over the fence!”
After meeting Connelly’s buddy Alex, Derek Wiles pulled his sagging jeans over his hips and walked out the front door of the party. The living room had once again become thick with people after he had sent Tyson running like a bleating sheep. Tyson could rot in hell for all he cared. Maybe the little bitch would speak to Wiles in a more respectful tone, the next time they saw each other.
Wiles loved to see a house full of people, and the people deserved good show. Just like that insolent brat Miguel to step in and be the hero. Miguel would get his own turn to answer for the chaos he’d caused by his actions at the bridge. Soon enough.
Wiles went around the house to the street, where he had left his Jeep earlier in the evening. He stepped over broken beer bottles and a sea of empty plastic cups in the yard to get there. But a funny thing happened when he saw his prized possession: a couple of college kids, leaning up against his door, making out.
Wiles gritted his teeth. “Hey, what the hell do you think you’re doing?”
Neither of them made any movement to stop their kissing session. The boy slipped his hand around the girl’s body, and into the back of her jeans. She pulled him closer.
“Hey, you two little motherfuckers better get off my car, right fucking now.”
The guy, surely no more than nineteen years old, unlocked his face from the girl and grinned at Wiles. “This is your car? Sorry, bro. We didn’t know this was your ride.”
Wiles came closer, and got a good look at the girl. Her face was flushed, her chest heaving. Sex mode. Her shirt was unbuttoned far enough that he saw the lace of her blue bra poking out. This guy must have been ready to stick it in her, right there up against his vehicle. They’d get their disgusting juices all over his car, which he had just washed that morning. This was unacceptable. “I don’t give a shit what you didn’t know. That’s my car, and I want you to get your horny little asses off it.”
The guy and the girl looked at each other, the hint of a smile on both of their faces. So help me God, if that little cunt rolls her eyes, I’m going to smack her in the face.
Wiles reached into the pocket with his Swiss Army knife. Not that he would cut up some people right out here where anyone could see, but he would definitely whip it out and scare some sense into the little shits. “I am seriously not fucking around with you.”
The gravity in his last statement seemed to get through to them. They respectfully backed away from the car, keeping their heads low and eyes on each other. Wiles admitted to himself that maybe he was too eager to punch someone after the let-down of not being able to smash Tyson’s face, but he also didn’t need an aggravated assault charge tonight. Not with the weight he was carrying.
The boy and the girl said nothing as they left. Wiles waited until they had moved far enough way, then checked the backseat of his car. The lockbox was undisturbed. If that had not been the case, he probably would have disregarded the caution and cut some sense into those thieving motherfuckers. He opened the box, took out the backpack, then slung it over his shoulder and went back in to meet Connelly.