IN the aftermath of the January attacks in Paris, I spent two days transfixed watching the news. In the aftermath of the Nov. 13 attacks, I hardly turned on the television; I just called the people I knew (no small number) who lived in the neighborhoods that were hit. You get used to terrorist attacks.
In 1986, there was a series of bombings in various public places in Paris. I think Hezbollah was behind those attacks. They occurred a few days, or maybe a week, apart; I’ve forgotten exactly. But I remember very well the atmosphere in the subway that first week. The silence inside the cars was absolute, and people exchanged glances loaded with suspicion.
That was the first week. And then, soon enough, conversations resumed, the mood returned to normal. The prospect of another imminent explosion was still there in everyone’s mind, but it had retreated into the background. You get used to terrorist attacks.