“IT’S ONLY A BOMB.” In the 1970’s, our apartment was in an area that had not gentrified—as it has now. There were buildings that had been commercial but now seemed to be scuffling for tenants. Rarely, we heard a muffled explosion late on a Saturday night or after midnight on Sunday, and the Daily News or the Post would have an explanation in the next day or so that a bomb had been set off in the office of one of two rival Cuban exile groups in our neighborhood. So it happened that we were awakened from a sound sleep one night, and each of us said, at almost the same time, “It’s only a bomb.”

We went back to sleep, and it was only the next morning that we realized how strange the conversation was.

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