Raftman Dilemna – (super short story)

You gotta see it from a big picture perspective Raftman, said Vinnie.

man in black suit blazer sitting on chair Raftman
Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

Big perspective big perspective, that’s all I ever hear about, you know. Bobby you need to take a step back, Bobby look at it five years from now. Well I don’t got five years, the rate I’m going I don’t got five minutes.

You’re overreacting Bobby you just need to get settled in.

Settled in, Jesus listen to yourself, Bobby Raftman said and sank down into his office chair. In seven years it had not been replaced. Reupholstered. Same item just older and more broken down. When am I going to get the chance to settle? It’s like they left everything thinking, sure fuck it it’s only Bobby. I get back and everything is down the shitter, they hand me back the keys, shrug and say, well it’s your business.

And that’s whee we come in, Vinnie said. We get back to it, it’ll be like old times. You need to be getting back into the swing of it you know? That’s all it is. You been cooped up all this time and now the chicken has come home to roost.

I’m no chicken.

No, it’s, as in, this is your time, your time to shine. You just don’t even know it. You’re this big beautiful star man.

I’m a star? You know most of them are dead, they’re that far away by the time the light gets here and all it’s took late. The star is kaput. You know that right?

Vinnie stared at Bobby before a slow smile formed on his face.

Look, I was never smart like you, Ok, so I’ll take your word for it but I’m not saying you are a star, what I am saying is that we need that old Raftman magic back again.

Raftman shook his head and laughed.

You’re broke.

What, hey, I’m not, how, Vinnie trailed off. He swung his legs.

Stop swinging your legs like that, you’re like my son and he’s seve, fourteen, Christ. Where’s it go?

It stayed in place, it was you what went away.

You know when I was there, when I had soap in my eye and people were trying to kick my legs open I swore and I prayed I’d make it count. I’d say, dear God please let me get out of here and I’ll change it up. I swear, I’ll do right by them. Well Jesus Christ don’t no one ever make it simple for me.

If it was simple everyone would be doing it. At least you gotta family.

We can trade. My God, my son, he hates me. And who can blame him because I fucking hate him. When he used to come see me I would get so excited but now, Jesus.

Maybe you could involve him, Vinnie said.

No, no. Out of the question. No, Bobby said.

OK OK, Vinnie said holding up a hand.

Some better men, some, you know better fathers would say they don’t want to pass their sins on. I get that, I really do. But for me the whole thing is I don’t want him involved. He would drive me nuts.

Raftman looked to the ceiling. Vinnie shifted in his seat.

Well it was just a suggestion but if you do want to get back on the saddle you could start looking at people.

Looking at people, looking at people, it’s better than looking at a concrete wall but not by much. Have you seen some of the people who are out there?

What about Sam?

Sam, that bum you brought round the other day? Thought he was your friend.

He is my friend but I thought maybe he’d be a good fit.

Good fit for what. I’ve got nothing going on. I’ve got to get the books in order for this shit heap. Bobby thumped the wall, it shook some dust loose. Bobby sneezed.

Vinnie blessed him.

No don’t worry about it, I’ll sort myself out.

You gotta have something going on.

Do I, where is it written I do?

Vinnie held a hand up. Raftman continued

When I was younger? I would have but, you know, I’m tired. I’m done I just don’t have the energy anymore. Everything hurts a bit more. You think when you’re young that you’ll never get tired but you do. You wake up one morning and it’s seven years later and you feel the cold creeping into your bones and taking root. All you want is some comfort. Not this. Planning and looking out for things and research. I’m getting old, I am old. I can’t do another seven. She wouldn’t wait for me this time. I don’t even think she waited for me this time. But then she’d be gone and she’d take half of everything and I don’t even have that much stuff.

Well theres a couple of ways you can look at it and none of them are good, Vinnie started but Raftman interrupted.

I mean, what are you specting me to do. I’ve been out of the game along time now. Thing is this, I love my wife, I mean, you know. Thing is, she don’t got much in the way of business acumen if you know wha I mean.

Vinnie looked at him, blank.

What am saying is that fat fuck has opened up round the corner and, Sally, she’s been doing her best but she don’t hire the right people you know? She’s good a firing, that’s were I go soft but she’s good at it. Problem is she can’t get the right people in the first place. There’s that kid. She fucked him, I’m sure of it, looks her type. I can’t blame her. What she supposed to do. I know some guys think they own their wife. Not me, I know she’s doing her best, mainly to keep her own head over water but who am I to judge

Does that mean anything?

What are you tryna say?

I think you know what I’m tryna say.

C’mere Raftman said and reached out to grab him.

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