*featured in the Cabaret Fringe theatre production of RAW: For we are young and free
I’m a man of all wars; I’ve seen it all. I’m not dead, or alive, nor does my spirit wander the earth. My friends carry bayonets in the trenches. My friends throw bombs out of planes. My friends drive the tanks. My friends have an AK-47 in their clenching fists. My friends live in holy spaces. My friends are sitting next to you. I consider myself to someone of significance to the community of survived veterans. I’m a representation, a personified figure of Australia at war.
The interesting thing to know about me is that without war, I don’t exist. In a way, it fuels me. It provides me with a purpose. Create world peace and my existence, whatever that may be, will fade away. I don’t fear that happening anytime soon. There will always be some form of conflict, no matter how little, between nations for generations to come.
As eventful as my time in the wars has been, I can no longer speak with full certainty. Every time a word is spoken from my mouth, I automatically question the credibility of it; even if what I say is one hundred per cent cemented in reality. That’s how we were taught. All opinions that didn’t abide by the sergeants were irrelevant and regarded as nothing more than complete garbage. Even if you were to say something reasonable like ‘a dog has four legs,’ and the sergeant thought otherwise, we were all to believe him. If he claimed ‘dogs have three, or even two legs,’ then that’s how many legs a dog would have. War is everlasting. It’s part of who we are. It’s part of our history, it’s part of our present, it is part of our fu…world peace?