Last time with Helene Troy:

Helene stared into the cracked mirror above a dirty sink in the rock club bathroom. She held her calloused hands under a weak trickle of cold water. A dramatic toss of long brown hair preceded her rant to her friend, Jackson.

“Sadie’s great. She plays four instruments and has an amazing ear for chord changes. She’s okay with lyrics. But the girl can’t make a decision. I’m like her mom. She leans on me for everything.”

Helene turned off the water and shook her hands dry while looking into Jackson’s scruffy face.

“Mara’s become worthless. She hasn’t written for this band in six months. She smokes pot with Darcy or whoever she’s banging, then has the balls to question me for being late or working outside the band? I want to play with a good drummer but not one that’s a hypocrite and a backstabber.”

Jackson chuckled. Helene stood close to him.

“I just don’t relate to anything we do. It’s loud, riot-grrl shit that no one cares about, anymore. We’re good, but we’re never going to be great because Sadie has no guts and Mara has no heart. Also, I hate our manager. He’s the damn devil. And not the cool kind in Slayer songs.”

Jackson unfolded his muscular arms and responded.

“Helene, you just described my band and a million others. In five minutes, I’m going to play songs I hate. Your ex, my lead singer, makes me violently angry on a daily basis because he’s a self-absorbed baby. But it’s the game, and we have to play it we want to do it for a living. Otherwise, we play bars on the weekends and get a real fucking job.”

Helene walked into Jackson’s black-shirted chest. A knock bounced off the wooden door. Jackson embraced Helene and whispered through her wet brown mane.

“You have to believe in your talent and let that give you a clean conscience. Your booze is outside this door. Drink it as good as you played tonight.”

****blogger’s note****

This is another new episode of The Ballad of Helene Troy. You can find the rest of the story, so far, here: This 33 word piece is prompted by Trifecta Writing Challenge’s “Clean” –    clean (adjective)
1: free from dirt or pollution
2: unadulterated, pure
3 a : free from moral corruption or sinister connections of any kind <a candidate with a clean record>

Today’s song comes from a New York band that Slipper Socks Medium or The Golden Apples would’ve run across in 2008, The Bravery. The lyrics fit, and I like mood it sets. Here’s “Believe” -

25 responses to “Believe

  1. It’s great to see Leney with people she isn’t defending herself from in one way or another. Just caught up on this one and the “abandon all hope” one. She’s got so many complications and obstacles in her life, it’s a treat to hear her men’s room confessions to a pal and a peer.

    • i was hoping you’d see the relationships dynamics so you’d understand she didn’t want to sign the contract and why she has weird confidants. thanks Cam

  2. Great to see her opening up and just telling it exactly how she is feeling. She needs people around her that will give her the support she’s going to need in the coming weeks.

    Nice episode

  3. you never fail to deliver, Lance. I’m not up to date on any music (past the 70′s – sigh) so, although I get a previous commenter’s allusion to Hole, it is only because of my daughters and their friends. :)

    but . . . that said . . . the dialogue is REAL and I feel it. so, thanks!

    • thanks for the compliments…ummmm Slippers Socks Medium is more L7 or Sleater Kinney or The Donnas than Hole. Your daughter will know those bands.

  4. Thanks for linking up this week. This resonates with me right now–I have a friend trying to make it in the music business. She writes her own stuff, but ends up covering Jimmy Buffet while old people sip their umbrella drinks and talk over her. Heartbreaking. I don’t know if it takes guts or alcohol or what to really get out there and do it, but I suspect more than half of it is just sheer luck.

    I think there’s a construction problem in your last sentence. Or I’m just not reading it correctly. Should it be as good AS? Or are you channeling a dialect?

    Anyway, nice work this week. Keep ‘em coming.

  5. It’s interesting to hear her perspective on her bandmates vocalized – it makes some of her complaints a bit more coherent and relatable than the raw emotion of trying to pick a fight with one of the bandmates. That kind of passion is impressive, but hard to relate to. Then again, I work in a cubicle… much as I’d love to smash a manual over one guy’s head, I keep it to myself. Glad she’s trying to do more than ‘be a hot girl on stage, holding a guitar and hope to make it big’. Talent might be harder to sell, but I think it’s more worthwhile.

  6. Boy, who doesn’t want a band where there isn’t drama? Drama does appear to be a sickness of the industry. I think Helene knows this, and already knows that what Jackson has told her is true… but a girl can dream. ;-)

  7. WOW! I have not background in music at all, but have learned a lot about being in a band from Helene. So many people think it looks “glamorous” and “it must be so exciting to go from place to place on the road”. I like how she holds nothing back really in what she says here. Great part to the overall story!

  8. I enjoy when Helene is vulnerable, when we see the soft inside of her. Thanks for making her human and thank you for giving voice to that with Jackson, who allows her to just be herself.

    This was a favorite piece of mine within this story because I could see inside her.

    great use of words and images too…”Your booze is outside this door. Drink it as good as you played tonight.” <– really liked this!

  9. Pingback: Ball of Confusion « My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

  10. I’m still playing catch up so I;ve read the pieces further than this, so I’ll just agree with the others and state that I love the camaraderie she has with Jackson.

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