Honey and Trombones
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Transcript of Honey and Trombones
Honey and Trombonesbased on true things
This is the story of Louisa and Indiana. It is a story of how they meet, and how they meet again,
and how they speak, and how they stop meeting. Its not all here, and
its not all for you to know, but this is some of it.
D i r e c t i o n s
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Clicking this will open a new tab containing a mix of music.
D i r e c t i o n s
Follow the TITLES and follow the SOUNDS and youll follow the story.
Most importantly: Take your time. Listen to the songs, watch the poems, read slowly. You dont have to rush. The story is stationary, its
the people who keep moving on.
From the Desk of Louisa Rosen The further I get from the last time you laughed, the less I remember things as they actually were. These days, thinking of you means being left alone in a silent, dark room, with a flickering light . My memory glands keep shoving flashes of you into my sense and I stich them together like the ugliest beautiful quilt youve ever seen. At what point is the point of knowing someone? I knew you so well. Now I dont even remember the things I used to know. Most of them are my own inventions (though, honestly, perhaps I always invented you. What if what I thought I knew were just imaginations of what I wanted?) I used to think of you in melodies and syncopations, but now its silence. Its a silent movie, with silent scenes, and all the colors are off. Where does the love go? When things end, I mean. Youve gained all this useless knowledge about the way a person moves when they sleep, and the notecards they carry about to keep track of their thoughts, and how they prefer spiced anything over everything else. Its useless now.
This story begins with a young woman. Wild eyed and kind of heart. Full of well intentioned, though often terribly executed, plans. Gravity defying wisps and knots of hair. Lips that taste of Wintermint. Her name is Indy, Indiana. This is her story as much as anyone elses.
The youths were out that night with reckless abandon! True wild things exploring their nature in a habitat natural to neither animal nor man: the house party. The house was ancient. Peeling paints and persistent stains decorated the walls. The only windows had been broken long ago and covered over with scraps of wood. The patchwork skill that
kept the building standing was so haphazardly precise that Dr. Frankenstein himself would weep from pride. The house, Indiana knew, was surely a health hazard, but that did not matter. It was full of potential. It was pregnant, and tonight, it would deliver.
Indiana watched Louisa creep tentatively into the house. She
watched her read the labels of every available bottle stacked atop the
kitchen counter, and after moments of back and forth, watched her pour a cup of cranberry juice. She watched her settle against a wall.
There was something in the way Louisa held her cup in her hand, and her arm against her middle, and ran her fingers through her hair, and wiped
the invisible specks of dirt from her eyebrows, that suggested she felt out
of place. A common thing lost in a shuffle of hormonal extravagance. She
looked, thought Indy, afraid of her words, sure that the structure of her sentences would instantly betray her normality. The house was full. The floor was crowded. Indiana settled herself
next to her target. Youre late! said Indiana, into Louisas ear. Startled to life, Louisa bent down to retrieve her spilled cup of
cranberry juice. Oh, she said, eyes wide, Oh. I hadnt realized there was a time at which I was meant to arrive. Im sorry, I should have asked. Did I miss
Indiana nodded, Yes. Everything.
Im sorry, I Kidding! Youre not late. The party never ends, so how could you
be late?. We were waiting for you. What was your drink? Its all good. You
can get another upstairs. Were upstairs. So glad you could make it. Did you
find it okay? I figured everyone knows this house by now. You know it, yes?
Have you been here before? Its wonderful. Its fucking wonderful.
Indy pulled Louisa through her sentences, away from the noise, and up the stairs.
521 elm (the house, obvi)
in person. to me. right now.
From the Desk of Louisa Rosen Spring recital earlier tonight. Played the nonsense about the flowers and the bees and Madame was pleased. Uneventful evening followed. Saw a girl with one feather and one stud for earrings. Maybe shed lost the other feather. Maybe its a conscious fashion decision. Either way. She reminded me of something sweet that I couldnt quite remember. The elevator let us off in the parking garage and she left with friends.
Indy took Louisas hand and led her upstairs. And upstairs there was a small square of a room crowded with an ancient couch, an array of mismatched camping chairs, and a Fisher Price plastic table that stood below the knees of the equally mismatched group of youths. Chums, announced Indiana, this is Lou. Louisa, Indy turned to her companion, the chums. Louisaeyes still as wide as when she first dropped her juice
attempted a smile, but ended up looking mostly confused, and rather much frightened. The chums murmured their approval. CHUMS, they seemed
to say, all at once. Indiana dropped Louisas hand. Theyre a bit motley, the chums, confided Indy, in her ear,
but motleys what I trust. I can roll with motley. Louisa nodded.
They were nineteen years old and had been seeing each other for twenty-seven days.
They split their time between Louisas favorite practice room and the cluster of benches behind the library. No work got done in either place. They were born, it seemed, to distract one another. Some of Indys friends were becoming Lous
acquaintances. Indiana did not remember what it was like to be bored. Louisa was
The motley crew made their way downstairs into the swelling madness. In this place, they were home. Passersby called out to Indy as she went forth, hands in the air, exchanging hugs for sloppy forehead kisses. Christmas colored lights reached round the room, from hooks in the ceiling and nailed into the walls. They shook and they shined and they shimmied as the crowd swelled whole. Indiana followed Priya and Boon across the floor. Louisa
followed Indiana, watching as she shouted fighting words over the
music to Archie. Lou followed the way Archie tried pulling Indy back by the fabric of her dress over and over, and she followed the way
Indy kept getting free. She followed this without meaning to. The motley crew splintered as they navigated through the surge.
They spun. They laughed. They engaged in excessive emotion. They
drank. They danced. Louisa found herself alone, again, against a wall.
They were nineteen years old and had been dating for sixteen weeks. They split their time between skipping school to take advantage of matinee movie prices (Louisas choice), and sitting across from each other in the towns only cafe, sometimes working, sometimes staring out the window, sometimes honing the skill of being alone together. By then, most of their friends were mutual. There were no secrets. At times, Indiana found herself so bored, so annoyed, so furious, so completely sure that nothing could be worse than THIS, that she believed shed rather die, die just to escape without guilt.
Other times, she allowed herself to be swept away in the riptide of Louisas idiosyncratic nature. Other times, it wasnt so bad. Other times, Louisa could be quite funny, when she wasnt so wrapped up in her own head. Other times, her head was a nice place to get lost in. Other times, Indy had to keep her mouth shut to keep from overflowing with sweet nothings. They had been dating for sixteen weeks and it would either last forever or end the next day. That is how these things go.
From the Desk of Louisa Rosen
From the Desk of Louisa RosenIt was a push of a suggestion of the possibilty of the thought that you would do something. It was a look, or a whisper, or a double take.
I didnt want to know. I didnt want to know, so I never knew,
and that was worse. I couldnt ask, and if I couldnt ask, then what was the point?
Yes, Indiana and Louisa, Lou and Indy. For half a yearequivalent to eonsthey revolved only around each other. At every house party one could find them beneath the lights, jumping higher than possible and crash landing back down to the sounds of music that sang to their unified, collective, oneness. There was magic in that match, but oh, oh oh oh
Things dont end all at once. They fade out. Real life is composed of ellipses and semicolons. Its a mess of circular decisions and repetitive rendering errors as the brain rushes to meet up with the mouth. Indiana doesnt consider the end much these days. Whats done is done; put the past behind you; the present is a present, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. These are clichs she lives by. After Louisa, Indiana lived faster than before. Rushing to keep her feet ahead of her mouth ahead of her brain, just going and going and going.
From the Desk of Louisa Rosen I slept all day on and off rolled up into a ball on the futon in the TV room. Every bit of sleep was accompanied by a dream, each terrifying and beautiful in their own right. You were in some of them. I imagined you calling me from a payphone and its raining outside. I dont pick up the first two times and with each attempt you lean your head on the glass of the door. You tell me that youve been thinking about the meaning of life, and how people dont change no matter how hard they say they try, and how youve been writing in cafes with cigarette smoke settling hazily at your shoulders and cold caffeine in your coffee cup, and you told me the argument that you got into with a poet, and in the end you kept telling me, People, they never change, they never change. So I invite you over. You dont think its a good idea, but I insist. Im very good at insisting, sometimes even better than you. That hasnt changed. And when you get there, your shoulders are hunched inside of a pea coat with too many agendas hidden away in its pockets, and youre soaking wet. You dont believe in umbrellas, but I let you in anyways. And at this point Ill have a fireplace that Ill make you sit in front of. And there, we sit in silence, unable to collect thoughts together to form sentences that make sense.
So we sit. But theres a fire, so were warm. And we avoid each others eyes for a while. For a long, long while. And eventually, I look at you. You look like you did the night we went to my parents house for dinner, as if youre drawing every bit of you inward, like a star before it explodes. I dont remember why I am angry, but I know that I dont care anymore, I just want you to unfold your habits from your heart so I can see them as they are, not as you expect me to see them. It is in this moment when I realize that I feel like I am staring at you through a television screen. Youre not a real thing to admire at all, just a copy. An image thats been digitized and interlaced so finely that you cant deny the advances of technology. So I have to remember that you are real, and that the moment is real, and that the feels that you feel, yes, that they are real, even if you pull yourself inside of you. So, I kiss you. No response, but at least your cheek felt like flesh and blood. I kiss you again. No response, though I can see a rosy glow. But then you turn and you kiss me, and it is like seeing the end of the world in reverse, which no one tells you is achingly beautiful. From nothing to everything, all at once, unapologetically and without a thought to it. Well, now you know. Now you know.
Do you dance? said Indiana, grabbing Louisas hand. You dont look like you dance. I can. I can dance. I mean, not that youre asking me to, just that I know what dancing is. I mean, yes, I dance, but not with, ah, with, not anything special or anything.. But by the time shed gotten it out, Indy was pulling her forward, assuming that she would follow. And she did, follow. And they danced. And kept dancing. And against the odds, thought Indiana, they kept dancing. Indiana and Louisa, as they danced, were unaware of what was actually taking place. This act, this dance, was a gleaming flood of fate. This was the
universe shoving doubt and indecision from their bones and slapping
them across the face with is inevitable and what they must do.
This does not happen often, and you must take the chance when it does. All of humanity lives inside the moments of choosing.
You must do SOMETHING.
From the Desk of Louisa RosenInterrupting the middle of the sentence,
Louisa leaned over, and before Indy could think, placed her lips atop Indys and pressed, ever so slightly, mixing strawberry balm with