Both my grandfathers fought in the World Wars. My dad's dad fought in WWI, mum's dad in WWII. The first came home with shrapnel in his gut, the second came home sick in the head. Not Section 8 crazy, just the typical wife-beating, alcoholic, control freak type of crazy.
The first one, Soldier Bill, died in 1974. I have few memories of Soldier Bill, a gentle old soul by and large. He had his moments though, and lived a disturbed life of booze and his army rifle by the bed way before my days. Seven years before Soldier Bill cashed out, Ivo died on an operating table in Hamilton. All I know of Bad Ivo are a few horrific second-hand glimpses of domestic violence. He died three years before I appeared, and that's fine by me.
A large sum of Mum and Dad can be explained by the war experiences that their fathers witnessed. And so on echoing down the line to the present, still twanging some psychic string through me. If I had to put words to the vibe, it would be:
This is what war does. This is what war does.