By Sean Smith
The white noise of a dinner crowd envelopes meand then wanes as I move past the polishedwood and brass to the back of the small pub.On weekends Yesterdays is host to aninteresting meld of working-class locals and pavement-pounding professionals on a countrysojourn to Warwick, New York.She’s alone in the wooden booth. Her smile isenormous and a little kid-like when her bottomlip curls in—a fruitless effort to containenthusiasm.“Sean!” She sings. “You’re here. Aww, hellodear. You look so nice, hair nice.”“Hi. ““Sit. Sit. Tell me about the girl on the phone.”I study her for a moment and grin.“I think you know all about Jody.”She gives me a mischievous and somewhatrueful look.“Tell me anyway,” she smiles.I explain how my wife and I met in passing andthen how we became inseparable shortly after another fateful run-in.“Never felt anything like it. When everythingelse was going wrong, there was suddenly her.”I then carefully broach the subject of mynuptials.“After trying to figure out who we could andcould not afford to invite, we eloped. Instead of pissing off just a few people, we decided to pissoff everyone equally.”“Get atta here, with the bein’ fresh.” She laughsand slaps my hand while thumbing through the pictures. “It looks beautiful, Sean.”“Really it was because her family couldn’t bethere. You couldn’t be there. My friends havenewborns and couldn’t get there without morenotice. If we would have waited…”“I know,” she hushes, this time grasping myhand.I finally notice the glass of chardonnay—chilledwith a single ice cube—sitting in front of her, a pint of ice water in front of me.“I like that you took a break. Why don’t youstay on it? That was scary that thing with thecar.”I linger in a fugue before shaking it off andnodding affirmatively. “I’m sorry.”“It was hard times,” she whispers. “I said someHail Marys.”“Nana, I think you actually hailed Mary. Thingstook quite a turn.”“Kid, you have no idea.”The vinyl-upholstered recliner pops forward andI’m damn near catapulted to my feet.“Christ. Piece of…”The room is quiet except for the obvious ascentin the pulse of the heart rate monitor. Jody boltsforward in bed.