Please excuse this little story. I felt the need to write another one for Randi
Danny was often asked why angels drank- was it because, as Ben Franklin said God gave us beer because he loved us, or was there some other reason? Danny would always say that he didn't know, but he did. One cannot tend bar for as long as he had with out the ability to glean some information from his patrons.
Angels drank because of the pain. They didn't ever come out and say it, but Danny knew. Yea, they were higher beings. Yea, they knew that in the end it would all be alright, but coming here, coming to earth, required a bit of a change. Pure holy matter became partial material and so they felt pain. Not the pain of existence, they were too holy and too immortal for that, rather the pain of others, of those they helped and comforted. Compassion came at a cost. And even though they knew the pain would pass both for the afflicted and themselves, there were limits. The weight of the world was heavy, but nowhere near as heavy as the pain of one lost individual.
Angels drank to easy the pain of the world that they had taken on themselves.
It was always a long night when the angels showed up. Danny knew they had had a bad night when they came in. They tended not to go to the same place over and over again. They didn't want to be gawked at or challenged. They just wanted to come in and drink and "be forgotten even if they couldn't forget." Danny didn't know what that meant. An angel had said it to him when he asked them why they kept coming back. Danny's place let them be forgotten. He suspected that meant something to them, but to him it just sounded odd.
A lot of stuff with the angels was odd and that was just the way it was. He didn't ask and they didn't say. He just let them be and that was why they kept coming back.
It was almost day light on New Year's Day and the angels were still hanging in. They had come in just after midnight and took up at the far end of the bar. They didn't have to order, Danny knew what to bring. He kept bringing it when ever the mood turn dour or the singing became too melancholy. Another round brought cheers and laughs and jokes.
Danny wanted to go home but as much as as the world needed the angels they needed him. He was the one man who let them be and asked for nothing, so they kept coming back, not night after night but now and again, and almost every New Year. They came when the world seemed like shit and their rounds were too much. Too much or just when they needed a friendly face.
It was always toughest on New Years. The world ached to start over- to start fresh- the mass of humanity would throw off their pain and suffering and hope for a better tomorrow. For one night they would let go of the pain and pray that tomorrow was going to be better. It might be, it might not but for that one night the angels would go out and take away the pain, as much as they could. They would help humanity feel at least a little better. They knew they couldn't get to everyone but to anyone they could they would give a fighting chance for a better time to come.
It was a terrible thing to do to one's self but it was what they were born to do. So when the rounds were done they would drink and heal and sing and forget.
Danny didn't envy them, but he loved and cherished them and their friendship. Yea they tipped big, but that wasn't why he stayed open, he stayed because they were his friends and if the roles were reversed he knew they would do the same, not because they were born to but because it was what friends did.
Sometime after the world was awake the angels began to file out.
"Danny, my friend" said one of the host as he headed to the door."Any man who spends New Year's with the angels is truly blessed"
"Is that true?" Asked the barkeep
The angel shrugged "Maybe, possibly. Who knows?"
Danny smiled at the angel, who smiled back.
"What I do know is that any man with at least one good friend is blessed. I would say you have a few."
"And you have at least one."
The angel smiled broader. He then nodded and walked out.
Danny locked the door behind him and then headed home to bed looking forward to what the New Year would bring.