It had been a long day. Mostly quiet, yes, because few had left the safezones, but still a busy one: all the little pains the camp experienced, they brought to her, especially because the more intense injuries were absent. Hestia sometimes felt that interacting with people was far more exhausting than having to heal deep gashes or broken bones. Those looking for small talk and gossip at the Healers’ quarters often sent Hestia an odd look when they thought she wasn’t looking, which she would pretend not to see. It was better for all of them that way.
As a result, Hestia felt she needed something to help her sleep that night. After packing up and making sure that the wards were firmly in place, Hestia bid Emmeline goodbye and began to walk to the most unvisited pub she knew that was still in existence: the Dragon Tail. Run by a surly old man and his equally taciturn son, it was a good place for Hestia whenever she wanted to nurse a drink rather than talk to anyone, which was becoming increasingly often. Da would have scolded her, told her that even his mam never drank half as much as she did, but Da wasn’t here now.
She would probably need more than one drink tonight.
When she got to the Dragon Tail, she sat down at the bar, where only one other person was seated. They looked vaguely familiar, but Hestia wasn’t here to look for friends, unless they were they type that came in bottles and helped you sleep. She raised her hand up in greeting, and the bartender gave her a nod.
“The usual?” he asked her. The Dragon Tail had the best Irish coffee in the vicinity, which was another reason why she appreciated it. Still, the day called for something a little stronger.
“No,” Hestia said, “p'raps something with a wee bit more kick, yeah?” He nodded again before making her drink. Hestia leaned on the table,closing her eyes and running her hair through her fingers and tightening her grip. The pressure seemed to alleviate some of the tiredness she was feeling. She kept her eyes shut until she heard the soft thunk of the glass in front of her. Hestia held the glass with one hand, breathing in the strong scent of alcohol, a little sweet and spicy mixed in. Hestia didn’t know what it was, but she trusted the owner and took a little sip.
As she breathed out, a little smoke mixing with her breath, Hestia sighed contentedly. The only thing that could ruin this nightcap was a familiar face, but Hestia wasn’t counting on it.
If his unpleasant wounding has in some way enlightened the rest of you as to the grim finish beneath the glossy veneer of celebrity life and inspired you to change your ways, then his injuries carry with them an inherent nobility, and a supreme glory. We should all be so fortunate.
Ringo Starr, on the death of John Lennon, December 1980