The Sun, The Moon and The Stars


Last time with Helene Troy:

On the train, Helene looked in her backpack and found a notepad and a broken pencil with just enough lead to write a few sentences. A melody wandered through her head. She clumsily sounded it out, “num nuh do dah oh, wah bah dum dah.” It wasn’t working. She and Sadie could strum out the melody on acoustic guitars at Mickey’s Bar & Grill later, Helene thought.  She scribbled lyrics.

It’s my dream not yours, you can’t hate something that cures, the disease that wakes me at midnight, burning up from white hot light, that leaves me with scars. I’m not asking for much. I just want the sun, the moon, and stars.”

Helene put the jagged pencil to her forehead. She watched strands of brown hair fall over her hand. She moved the pencil behind her left ear and grinned coyly. The train stopped and she got off a few blocks from Mickey’s. Helene sat on a dusty silver bench next to a trash can. She wrote again.

“failure means doing nothing at all. It’s ridiculous to say music is my call. But I live to play, I can’t deny. Maybe I shouldn’t do something that makes me cry. I’m sick of the struggle. I’m sick of the bars. I’m not asking for much. I just want the sun, the moon, and the stars.”

Helene dialed Mickey’s.

“Hey, I’m going to work through my first break. I’m coming in a few minutes late. I have to do something really major. Bye.”

Helene walked up to the street and down 37th about two blocks. She excitedly opened the door to Ajax Tattoo & Piercing.

“I want the sun, the moon and the stars in black and white on my left wrist. I want to see it when I play guitar.”

*****blogger’s note****

This is a new story episode of The Ballad of Helene Troy. The rest of the story, so far, can be found here: This episode is my response to my friends at

Red Writing Hood – Tattoos

This week we asked you to write a piece – fiction or creative non-fiction – in which a tattoo figures prominently. We wanted you to explore the many facets of tattoos: why someone would get them, what the meaning was, what the tattoo says about them. Word limit was 300.

Today’s song is mood music for what Helene was going through. I’m not an Augustana fan. They’re ok. I liked Stars and Boulevards when it came out about five or six years ago. It sort of fits here. Plus, I haven’t herad it in a while. Weird how you think of songs, sometimes? Here’s Augustana’s Stars and Boulevards.