True Colours: the Story behind No Sympathy …

When people ask me, did you have any inkling in all that time you knew him, I say, not really, then I think of the incident in the restaurant,the one that slipped beneath my notice in what was meant to be a piece of devilish fluff in ‘No Sympathy ….’

It began in the third line: Hey! Is that a glass of water you threw over me? That’s when autobiography took over and followed us out onto the sidewalk where I was shoved to the ground when my back was turned and my mate who had turned rogue did a runner.

So did I know? Did I suspect? I sure did: in those moments he unleashed diminutive, haiku-sized bursts of anger, I could feel the embers of a conflagration 18 years before that the forensic squad, armed with new evidence and methods of detection, were sifting through and building a case.

His mate, Dale , who let him stay on his property at Second Valley in a caravan while he got his life together, fell victim to Adrian’s wrath.

All that time Adrian proclaimed his innocence, He was the only suspect. He lived at my place for a while, He rode a bike, did the gardening, spoke to the kids, Everyone loved him. A top bloke, they said. Then the night ….

Once my friend was charged with the cold case and sentenced, he finally admitted to us: Just think, he said, 15 years for five seconds of madness.

That little haiku of a revelation warned me that of all the affairs we have to manage in life, our temper comes first.

28 thoughts on “True Colours: the Story behind No Sympathy …

  1. I like how the temper is an affair. A questionable choice one passion that might just be too irresistible to not indulge, but the “haiku results” longer in sentence than syllables. Elegant prose, John. I like seeing your voice stretch in that way.

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  2. From temper by haiku to jail by sentence. A very sobering tale. I knew a guy who went to jail. Oh yeah. I wrote a poem about him. It’s in this blog somewhere. But I never visited him. I think I was way too shocked. The incident really undermined my faith in instinct for trustworthiness.

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