In Face of Terror…

By n in Paris

Café Bonne Biere was one of the sites of the November 16 terrorist attacks in Paris. Five guests were killed here.

When fears of terrorism creep into daily life, it changes a person. Once that feeling of security is lost, the improbable suddenly seems possible — and that’s how terrorism works. It depends on people losing sight of those odds.

On November 16, 2015, my son and I became anonymous symbols of how life goes on despite everything. It was a Monday, three days after the terrorist attacks on Paris, with 130 dead at street cafés and the Bataclan concert hall. In front of our school in central Paris, not far from the scene of the attacks, a camera team had come in from Norway or Australia — I can no longer remember which.

They filmed parents arriving with their children, and we happened to be among them. At the time, I imagined how we would be portrayed on the evening news of whatever country as archetypal Parisians — a people in crisis. I pictured the reporters talking about a “tense calm,” or even “everyday lives of fear.” I often wonder myself what an accurate description of our condition would have been at that time…


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