In case you didn’t know, the best way to make friends in Brooklyn is to take a book to a bar.

When I first got here, I knew only my three gays – two in Manhattan, one in Brooklyn. But all three have busy lives, and can’t entertain me every night. So, instead of sitting at home alone, reading and drinking, I chose to sit at my neighborhood bar, reading and drinking.

Over the course of a few weeks, four men and two women sat down next to me, started talking to me, and eventually asked for my number. The women invited me to hang out with them, although I haven’t yet. I went out with two of the men. One was a fun date, but more in a friendly way. The other I’ve been seeing for the past two weeks or so, and he is absolutely lovely (although not helpful in providing material for this blog).

Here’s the best part, though. The book I was reading? Anna Karenina.

For those of you who have never read it, it’s about an extremely beautiful woman who is so charming and seductive that she attracts another woman’s suitor, leaves her husband for him, and ruins her life and the lives of several others. The book is tragic and beautiful and brilliant, but the point is that Anna Karenina is, by all accounts, a woman of great charm and beauty that easily steals men’s (and women’s) hearts. Men fall in love with her. Women fall in love with her. She is painfully dynamic and tragic at the same time.

None of the people who sat next to me and struck up a conversation had ever read the book. But I wonder if Anna imbued me with a little bit of herself, and that’s what brought so many people to me. If so, thanks, Anna. You’re a real pal.

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