Last time with Helene Troy:

Overhead flourescent bulb light bouncing off the white granite bar top showed Helene Troy’s smile in her glass of whiskey. Thoughts of her band’s disastrous performance minutes earlier faded. Sitting in The White Room lounge, she couldn’t grasp that the woman drinking and talking with her was the same person she grew up admiring. Unaware of her younger companion’s smitteness, or perhaps coyly ignoring it, Ramona Gallery talked music.

“You know what song I love. I mean I not only wish I’ve written it but I wish I lived it?”

Helene looked into Ramona’s unapologetically crow’s foot accentuated hazel eyes and responded.

“Please say The Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Maps. I read somewhere you loved Karen O. I kind of know her. I used to open for her ex boyfriend’s band.”

Ramona smiled broadly and ran her hand through her graying red hair.

“Absolutely! I think Karen is just gorgeous and smart and sings like she’s going to die tomorrow. That song is fucking amazing isn’t it? I wish I had a song that good.”

Helene marveled at her answer. She wanted to tell Ramona how much her music meant to her. She wanted to tell Ramona how she played her songs when she cried, broke up with guys, went out with friends, and got inspired to make her own. So Helene blurted.

“Burned is better than Maps. So is Loving An Idiot. Your best song is the title track from your first solo album, Snow and Ashes. It’s art. Every line is gut wrenching beautiful poetry. I played it so much I…..”

Helene couldn’t look Ramona. She thought she had acted like a stalker fan. She was expecting her to walk out of the bar and change her phone number. Helene began fidgeting with her long brown hair.

“Thank you Leney. Rolling Stone called it art school melodrama disguised as a pop anthem. I hated playing it for a long time.”

Helene raised her brows and her nostrils falred. She became indignant.

“Are you kidding me Ramona? The line “I spread the memory of our affair over the snow like ashes from an urn of regret” is something so great Joni Mitchell probably sat in a bar with Jewel in 1995 and said “you know what song I wished I’d written? That Snow and Ashes by Ramona Gallery. She’s fucking amazing!”

Helene’s voice was rising above the jazz music being played over a loudspeaker. Patrons looked at her oddly. Ramona laughed.

“Honey, I know Joni Mitchell. She wouldn’t be caught dead with Jewel. Joni also said Rolling Stone was full of shit.”

They laughed, clicked their glasses together and swigged their drinks. Ramona looked at Helene earnestly.

“You have talent Leney. Your writing is raw and heartfelt. Your guitar playing is outstanding. I’ve told several people that I met one of the best girl guitarists I’ve ever seen. You just need to figure out what you want and go get it. We have another songwriting session in two days. I hope you can make it. I’ll make sure you get paid.”

Helene felt like she was in Heaven. She reached over the bar and waved down a young male bartender and ordered a round.

Indie Ink prompt: snow and ashes

****blogger’s note****

This is my response to this week’s Indie Ink Challenge  Chaos Mandy challenged me with “Snow and Ashes”. I challenged Kurt with “write from point of view of the other woman in an affair”.

This is also a new story episode of The Ballad of Helene Troy. The story so far can be found here:

Today’s song is The Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Maps. Like Helene and Ramona I love Karen O. too. It’s weird to see this song on rock band.