Flight of the Fantail
I asked for it in the local bookshop. It was in the children’s section at the rear of the shop. The assistant found it for me. When I paid for it, the teller asked; do you want it gift wrapped? Clearly thinking I was buying it as a gift for my teenage child. When I said no and paid for it, he said enjoy. I didn’t say anything. I could have done a long ramble and said well, it’s written by a novelist in Taranaki who I follow on Twitter. And I am interested in writing so I want to see how you write a novel. But I didn’t. I was just happy to have bought it. So, I took the book home and looked at it carefully, read the back cover, looked at the copyright page, the dedication. The book was over 350 pages. I thought, wow, this is serious stuff. This is pro level. The whole book, it’s weight, it’s feel, it’s look shouted quality. I could tell there was love in the book. I read the first chapter. The writing was clear like the wa…
defence lawyers sleep at night? I must admit
when I saw the photos I was totally creeped out. It took me a while to get over
them. I had a flashback of defending a
person charged with having sex with a woman who had an IQ of around 70. I
agonized about the case and taking it to trial. But it was resolved on the
court steps with a guilty plea and no prison sentence. A week of hot showers
finally washed the case off me. I don’t think I did many more cases after that
involving sexual crimes. Not because I wouldn’t or couldn’t. But perhaps word
got around that I didn’t like women being raped and those defendants didn’t
gravitate towards me. I felt more at home defending people charged with
stealing vast amounts of money, sometimes off old people in Rest Homes. Was
there something about the fact that no blood was spilled which enabled me to
shut off the devastation inflicted on these victims? Did I have a fatal flaw?
Should I get psychotherapy? Should I change to family law, where I…
Downtown central Auckland, New Zealand
I hadn’t been out for a while. There were four of us. Bill was the president of a motorcycle gang. His friend Rangi was a big Maori guy. They had been in prison together. Kelly was Bill’s girlfriend, over the last week. She was very young and thin, with a face like an avatar. We were an unusual group. I was a bankrupt lawyer.
We loaded up on pure Peruvian coke and Long Island Iced Teas and headed downtown. Rangi was so drunk he was sick in the back of the car. With a compassion born of doing a lag together, Bill cleaned him up and we found him a new shirt.
Downtown was pumping. We headed for a small club in an old art deco building next to the waterfront. The security at the door let us in and we paid money to a bored looking girl at a desk who ushered us down the stairs. The club was packed and the carpet was wet with booze. As we stood in the queue at the bar, I noticed a tall blonde girl a few people over. I was pretty high. Thi…