Nonfiction | September 23, 2014

My father was in the living room reading the New YorkHerald Tribune when my mother’s water broke. “Bernie!” she cried out from the kitchen. “My water broke! Do something!”

He might have been reading Red Smith’s sports column in the Tribune, as he always did, or news of the underwater A-bomb test at Bikini Atoll. But the story of my birth that my parents told years later left out that detail. I’ll never know if the bomb was a topic of conversation between them, or a thing they associated with me in particular, the way they would not have associated it with my older sisters because we, the bomb and I, had come into the world at the same time and would from that time on, as long as I lived, always be contemporaries.

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