Jerald had a difficult time finding friends at the age of thirty-four.

He wasn’t the sort of person to go out to bars and didn’t participate in most group sports.

He further did not particularly enjoy the kind of music that would get one out of the house and into a music venue and so he never met anyone that way.

Sadly, the last time he was able to make any real friends was when he was in college and regularly would have discussions with his classmates both in class and out of it.

He thought back to one friend with whom he would regularly go to diners and order bagels with cream cheese.

This was when smoking was permitted in diners in New Jersey and they used to sit in the smoking section — for some reason the conversations were more interesting in that section of the diner.

One evening as Jerald stared out the window thinking back to his nights in New Jersey when he suddenly had an idea on how he could make new friends, even at the age of thirty-four.

He ran over to the public library where he found his way over to the magazine reading room and sat down with copies of The Paris Review.

It was only a few minutes before someone came over and sat next to him and asked if he wouldn’t mind passing him the the recent fall issue when he was finished reading it which led to Jerald telling the man about his favorite new story which was featured in the issue.

It was, you could say, the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


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