My family history as I know it starts with the kick of a grenade. It’s wartime, great-

grandfather a new soldier out on patrol. They’re fighting the Japanese. You see, there’s not

much of a preface to the story. Great-grandfather was simply walking when a grenade fell

out of the sky and landed at his feet. I’m told he was not a remarkable soldier, no honors or

distinctions. Not even definitively suited to the job. But there he was, face-to- face with a

shell. I don’t know what I would have done. Maybe run. But I don’t think I would have

kicked it. He did it though, he kicked a grenade and survived. Mom tells it like that’s the

end. Like what happens after doesn’t really matter. But sometimes I think, and this gets to

me: Where did the grenade fall? Did it detonate?