But the memory had slammed into his mind's eye with the force of a punch. Of Sol sitting there with his eternal scotch and fedora, the last guest while Barkus flopped into an armchair and muzzily tried to decide if he'd make a start on the tidy-up or leave it until later in the morning. Sol began a monologue on social forces acting on the individual psyche or something like that, he had missed the beginning. Then he made an analogy to volcanoes, took out a lighter and, erupted into flames.
"So you'll be reading the Truth and Reconciliation Report as soon as it comes out, eh?"
"Yes, yes I will. Not to place blame, or anything like that,' George went on. "But to read what was found and find out how the story is being told."
"But you know a lot of it already," Barkus hazarded.
"I should do, I'm a Survivor myself. But everyone has their own stories and experiences to share."
"What do you want to see come out of this?"
"Acknowledgement,' George said at last. "Of why things are the way they are and that anything else is an excuse."
"Is that what you want?"
"For myself, but I cant speak for everybody. But I think that when the non-Indigenous population realise that those dark stories that slipped under the door of social consciousness weren't just real but are only the tip of the iceberg. And not only that, but those awful things were done in their name and under their noses, I think they'll be horrified."
"You want them, us, to be horrified?"
"I want the scales to come off your eyes. I want your ears to unplug. I want you to come to the table as fellow human beings, without the assumptions that have stopped you from being true neighbours. You don't have to come with sorry on your lips, though if you are moved to say it sincerely it will be accepted. All you need is an open heart. That's all I ask."
Barkus thought about it, there didn't seem to be anything more to say, and George didn't seem soured by the conversation. They sat in a companionable silence for a few minutes, watching the town go by.