Billy Hutchinson is talking about murder. He was just 18 years old when he drove the car used in the double killing of half-brothers Michael Loughran and Edward Morgan.
It drew up beside them as they walked down the Falls Road to work at 7.30am. The teenage UVF gunman in the passenger seat opened fire. Michael was the same age as Hutchinson, Edward was nine years older.
A court later heard it was a random sectarian shooting by assassins who had toured Belfast looking for Catholics. Does the former paramilitary turned peacemaker think much about the lads whose life he helped end in October 1974?
"I don't," he says candidly. "When you're involved in conflict you have to dehumanise the enemy. It makes things easier if you have a coping mechanism in order to survive. Otherwise, you cause yourself problems."
Hutchinson's book, My Life In Loyalism, is published today. It's not the fake, folksy narrative for which Gerry Adams has been slated, but it does gloss over the brutality of the loyalist campaign.
It's peppered with phrases giving respectability to the UVF - "an army in defensive mode" employing "urban warfare tactics".
While the UDA has "individuals who enjoyed killing" and "engaged in romper room style murders", Hutchinson's associates "wanted to take co-ordinated action" against the IRA.
Except they didn't. From start to finish, it was grubbily sectarian. From 18-year-old Catholic barman Peter Ward - the second Troubles victim in 1966 - to the 1994 massacre of six men in Loughinisland, the dead were overwhelmingly civilian.
"I don't accept that," says Hutchinson. "When you look at the bald statistics that appears to be correct. But there were a lot of people (killed) who were involved in intelligence work or raising funds for the IRA, and those roles aren't in the public domain. In West Tyrone in the 1980s, the UVF destroyed Sinn Fein and the IRA.
"In the 1970s, there was a collective fear in my community. You could feel it. We saw republicans and nationalists as the enemy. The IRA didn't wear uniforms. They were a real threat."
Were those two young Catholic brothers a 'real threat'?
"I don't want to get into this. We could argue about this all day long," Hutchinson says.
That morning they had set off from home to work on a building site with their father. There was only one seat in the taxi that stopped so the boys let their daddy take it, and they walked on.
Hutchinson says the UVF identified them as "active republicans", although "whether that intelligence was 100% is another issue".
I tell Hutchinson of the words of his victims' cousin rejecting the idea they were killed because they were republicans: "No, Billy. It was murdering Catholics. For being Catholics.
"You killed them because they were there. You'd have shot their father, a Protestant, as well if he had been with them."
Hutchinson is surprised: "This is the first time I've heard their father was a Protestant." Yet he remains unperturbed: "It doesn't make any difference to me. Lots of Catholics have been killed by the IRA."
Anyway, there was "a school of thought in the UVF" that targeting Catholics "would put pressure on the Catholic community to drive out the IRA", he says.
Billy Hutchinson was brought up in conditions strikingly similar to most republicans. "I was born in 1955 in a wee two-up two down redbrick house in the Shankill with an outside toilet and a leaky roof," he says.
"A tin bath hung on a nail in our back yard. I didn't have a cot. I was a 'drawer baby' - the bottom drawer in the dressing table to be precise."
His father, 'Big Hutchie', was a bookies clerk and a prolific and skilled gambler who was "well got" in Catholic areas of Belfast. "I remember playing as a child in Dunville Park on the Falls Road and going to the movies at Clonard Cinema," Hutchinson recalls.
"My father visited the homes of many Catholic friends. I found the holy water fonts in the hallways and statutes of the Virgin Mary quite frightening if I'm honest," he jokes.
Big Hutchie was a socialist who warned his son that the Rev Ian Paisley would "fight to the last drop of everyone else's blood". His wife was staunchly unionist - her father had signed the 1912 Ulster Covenant.
"When I was 12 my father started to make plans for me to train as a jockey in the South, but my mother blocked it," Hutchinson says. "She didn't want me going near a priest-ridden state."
Hutchinson regrets that when Catholics took to the streets in the late 1960s, his community resisted "the zeitgeist" of the civil rights' movement.
"We should have been out there demanding better for ourselves," he says. "We were portrayed as the Protestant ascendancy but we lived in poverty. We were merely the people who made factory owners rich and kept them in furs and diamonds.
"As my da used to say: 'We may have got a slum quicker than a Catholic, but it was still a slum.'"
Despite his father's warnings, his long-haired teenage son - in Wrangler jacket, jeans and DMs - drifted into the Shankill Young Tartans.
They threw stones and sang loyalist songs at the nationalist Unity Flats after Linfield matches. They were "vicious fighters, not unlike English football hooligans", Hutchinson says.
Aged 15, he progressed into the UVF's junior wing. Many there were still schoolboys. "Some went on operations with boiler suits over their school uniforms," he recalls.
The UVF didn't know Hutchinson's age. He looked more grown up than his years. He was extraordinarily intense. "I didn't drink alcohol because it lowers inhibitions and makes you careless.
"I wanted my volunteers to be disciplined and ready for action. But young men are young men. When I'd walk into a room in a pub, I'd see all these glasses of coke being shuffled in front of what they were really drinking."
The risk of prosecution means that Hutchinson opening up about the entirety of his UVF life was never on the cards. But his youthful involvement ended four days after the double killing.
Police had spotted him in the murder car, and his handprint was on its steering wheel. "I told them lie after lie when I was arrested. I said, 'I don't know what you're on about. I only help out loyalist prisoners.'"
Hutchinson served 16 years in Long Kesh. In many ways, it was the making of him. He enjoyed the "study, political debate, sport and kinship".
Prison broadened his horizons. He escaped the "echo chamber" and talked to republican prisoners. He recalls one quipping: "Hutchie are you sure you weren't brought up on the Falls? You sound very socialist."
He recollects the 1981 hunger-strike: "I asked myself if I could go that far as a human being and make the ultimate sacrifice for my principles. I'd like to think I could have. I recognise the hunger-strikers' courage. No loyalist prisoners I knew celebrated their deaths."
After his release from prison, he became friends with Pat McGeown who had spent 42 days on hunger-strike, and legendary IRA man Tommy Gorman who had escaped from the Maidstone.
The loyalist played a key role in the peace process, becoming one of the Progressive Unionist Party's best known faces. While party colleague David Ervine was a media darling with broad appeal, Hutchinson remained very much the UVF's politician. He was abrasive and most definitely not clubbable.
During the 2001 loyalist protests outside Holy Cross school in Ardoyne, he says Gerry Adams sent a message suggesting that the matter could be resolved if he embraced Sinn Fein MLA, and H-Block escapee, Gerry Kelly in front of the cameras. "No way was I going to be part of some choreographed stunt," Hutchinson says. "I replied that I wouldn't be hugging Gerry Kelly anytime soon and I'd little doubt that he felt the same way about hugging me."
The PUP man was elected to the Assembly for one term where he clashed with then Education Minister Martin McGuinness:
"I asked him to commission a pilot educational project and I believed he refused because it was me asking.
"I barged into his Stormont office. He got angry and asked his minders to remove me. I held onto the chair I was sitting on so they carried me and the chair into the corridor."
They pair also exchanged words during a peace conference in Finland. "I saw McGuinness returning to the hotel and remarked. 'Alright Martin. Where's the other chuckle brother? I thought you went everywhere together these days'," Hutchinson recalls.
McGuinness vigorously defended Paisley as the "most misunderstood man in Irish history".
Hutchinson let rip.
"I told him that I didn't know what it was like for Catholics seeing him cosied up to Paisley but, from my viewpoint the DUP leader had brought misery to my community. Many young lads had ended up in Long Kesh because of his sectarian rhetoric."
Anecdotes like this make Hutchinson's autobiography well worth buying. His raw authenticity, and stubborn insistence on making his voice heard whatever the circumstances, merit respect.
And that is why it's so disappointing that he stays silent on key matters in the book.
He is damning of former UDA Shankill commander Johnny Adair - "an egomaniac who didn't have two brain cells to rub together (with) a cartoonish appearance". He chides him for involvement in the drugs trade.
But no forthright opinions are expressed on figures in the mainstream UVF. Lenny Murphy and Basher Bates both feature in the book but their role in the Shankill Butchers goes unmentioned.
Hutchinson says: "I didn't include it because I knew nothing about it. I was in prison at the time. I didn't know either of them as Shankill Butchers. I wrote of them as I knew them. The Shankill Butchers just wasn't something that came into my head."
His book is published by a Dublin publisher, and Hutchinson says it's sparked immense interest in the Republic. But not one reference is made to the UVF's Dublin and Monaghan bombings which happened before Hutchinson was in jail.
Neither is there mention of UVF informer Gary Haggarty who operated post peace-process in the PUP man's Mount Vernon home patch. He says the book is his personal story and had he included everything in loyalism, he'd have "ended up writing War and Peace".
He denies that loyalist paramilitaries were extensively penetrated by the security services. He could "count on one hand" the number he knew were agents.
Hutchinson states that he's sorry in general terms that people died in the conflict, but refuses to say that he personally regrets the brothers' double murder.
Two working-class young men heading off to do a day's labouring. They had the misfortune to meet someone with whom they likely shared so much in common, but who had murder in his heart back then because of their religion.
My Life in Loyalism, Billy Hutchinson with Gareth Mulvenna, Merrion Press. £17.99