Paul Smith lives in Skokie, Illinois. He is a civil engineer who has worked in the construction racket for many years. He has traveled all over the place and met lots of people. Some have enriched his life. Others made him wish he or they were all dead. He likes writing poetry and fiction. He also likes Newcastle Brown Ale. If you see him, buy him one. His poetry and fiction have been published in Convergence, Missouri Review, Literary Orphans and other lit mags.
Decade There will be a decade when you have no friends it starts out innocently with you and them posing for pictures of each other wearing one of those goofy Groucho Marx eyeglass/mustache doodads all of you thinking your silliness is the height of decadence it goes downhill from here you try selling them timeshares in the Cayman Islands and when that doesn’t work you hit them up for jobs soon you both realize you’re not friends just people who’ve become acquainted through the mutual acquaintance of desperation so now you are pretty much on your own and do not go through a transformation an epiphany or a metamorphosis you just get out of this decade the way you entered it blind like Tiresias or Blind Lemon Jefferson or Homer suddenly new people gravitate to you mistaking you for Homer Simpson and it dawns on you your life is a three panel comic strip you don’t remember the first panel the second featured you being a jerk and now you are at the denouement stage when it comes to an end and all your friends laugh at you