Rafter Fiction is short stories based on songs by Rafter. I am starting the series with the songs from album, “Terrestrial Extras”. This is the final story, “Crude Awakenings.” I want to thank Rafter Roberts for his permission, support, and undying encouragement in writing these stories. He has been releasing an album a month all year, and all of them are incredible. Check them all out here
Once upon a time, I told a true story. This story involved a girl that I fell in love with despite my better judgement, and how everything moved from the beginning to the end. In the beginning there was timeless form, formless time. Nothing really existed between the two of us except that we could see each other from our separate orbits. We were both married, trying to be the perfect companion to our spouses, but sometimes those trees just dry up, stop producing fruit, and we look for nourishment somewhere else. I never suspected that this would have happened, but there were things about me that I was trying to get away from, mostly running from the way my wife thought every time I delved deep into writing a story, I became a different person, someone that did not want to be with her anymore. These were the years when I learned to lie, learned to keep secrets, and learned to keep all of the pens and paper out of sight. Even still, if I was going to summarize my marriage, paint a picture and put it in a frame, I would say she would be a good wife to someone, but that someone was no longer me.
So I started seeing the other girl whom stole my heart, whom gave me confidence to write, to be myself to do anything that feels good, and to become a better person. I did not know what everyone saw when they saw her, but I saw beauty, beauty, a wonderful person trying to do her best with the things that she was given, just like I was trying to be my best. I honestly thought at the time that years later, as I write this, we would still be together, that what we had was never gonna die, and I was going to be where I was now, sitting up late to get this written with her by my side. Of course this is not the case. Love makes you happy when it’s not making you sad, and with the way we came together, both of us leaving our spouses and the ramifications of all the, the struggle and reality set in. Our flames were high, but we had many people trying to put them out. She realized once we were not together for a week that she felt so much relief in not being with me anymore, and the stigma we received due to our affair was just not worth it. We went our separate ways, and I spent the next seven months trying to figure out how to live. I got into some odd situations, and I learned a great deal about myself and being independent, and these lessons were valuable but not as valuable as she was to me.
When we split up, I honestly thought we were going to end up back together. I thought the stress she was feeling would subside and that she knock on my apartment door and say, “It’s only you I want,” and explain that she was just going through a rough patch and needed to work things out in her head. I did not get into another relationship for months after she got married to some guy she was dating right after me, and eventually I knew there was no fucking around and I needed to get all my life figured out again.
This happened many years ago. I have three more kids. She has another as well. Our trajectories let us spend some of our life together, but then we moved passed being the people that we were. Even still. There are certain bonds we still have, certain codes we could still use, songs and stories and albums and movies and books that make us think of each other. I could text her at any moment, and we could talk about the way things were, and how our lives are still a little iffy even though there is nothing we can do about it. Sometimes the conversation gets too deep, and we get into the weeds of our emotions, into our doubts and desires. Honestly I am afraid that talking to her too much will stir up all of the animal feelings she always brought out in me, and I know that I would not be able to leave them alone if I entertain them. These feelings will never go away so they have to lie dormant and be ignored as much as possible. This the the true nature of the way life presents itself most of the time.