Saturday 20 January 2018

Ezra called the shots but David picked up the bills

Sam Smyth

David Norris was bursting with anticipation, as excited as a five-year-old waiting to see Santa in a city centre store.

"Ezra is coming, do you want to meet him?" he said, thrusting his three-piece blue pinstripe suit on to the seat beside mine at the bar.

After speaking lyrically about his on-off relationship with his Israeli partner for years, I was curious.

When he left to fetch him, I tried to imagine Ezra: was he like Niles Crane, the witty and waif-like younger brother in the TV sitcom 'Frasier'?

David returned in minutes -- but it was Ezra who made an entrance.

He was stocky, with muscles that bulged though a sleeveless T-shirt and figure-hugging jeans tucked into knee-length leather boots.

The first impression was that he was the roadie for a heavy metal band.

The senator beamed with pride on introducing Ezra to friends and colleagues in the bar and they seemed to have a curious relationship: Ezra called the shots but David picked up the bills.

It also gives a background to the senator's state of mind when he wrote seeking mercy for Ezra when he was accused of raping a 15-year-old boy.

For such a genuinely kind and decent, if naive, man, the letters are a fascinating chronicle of a besotted man surrendering his reason and judgment.

But for the first time yesterday, Mr Norris acknowledged his former partner's behaviour was "disgraceful".

And he regretted giving the impression that he did not have sufficient compassion for the "victim of Ezra's crime".

Irish Independent

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