Dear Diary: Digital Dreams

Dear Diary: Digital Dreams

In her monthly column for V, Liz Nistico, on half of pop duo Holychild, takes us into her world, her mind, and her experiences as an artist in an industry fixated on polished personae. Here, she writes a short story about falling into the "void of [her] mind/the internet."

In her monthly column for V, Liz Nistico, on half of pop duo Holychild, takes us into her world, her mind, and her experiences as an artist in an industry fixated on polished personae. Here, she writes a short story about falling into the "void of [her] mind/the internet."

Text: LIZ NISTICO

I fell into the internet. The world washed over me and I knew that existence was only in my mind. Everything was black and digital stars spilled over the canvas of the sky. I had hoped that you would find me, but only so I could run away again. I’m only happy when I’m being chased.

I used to think that nothing mattered unless it was documented. Now I know it’s true. If a tree grows and not one soul bears witness to the blossoming branches, then my friend, that tree is irrelevant to life and our culture and the universe as we know it. This wisdom was taught to me the day I fell into the internet.

I used to think that I wasn’t beautiful until someone told me I was. Now I know it’s true. If my lips are plump and my body is ripe, but not one person notices me underneath my glasses and my hat, then my friend I am irrelevant to life and our culture and the universe as we know it. This law rings true, as taught by the internet.

As I was stumbling through the digital maze I met the perfect man. He was tall and his body was tight to touch. His name was Oregon and when he told me I said, “like the state?” and he said, “yes.”

Oregon and I had the deepest love humans can ever experience. We traveled the vast universe together for years. He always told me I was pretty when I was sad. He always fed me the most expensive dinners. He always made jokes at the right time about the right things. He was very witty. When I wanted to fight Oregon would argue with me until my body hurt, until my eyes cried rivers of frustration and I’d beg at his feet, kissing the skin between his pale toes and singing to him, “Don’t leave me, Oregon.” He would always bring me to standing and push me on the bed and tell me to never fight with him again. “Naughty girl,” his voice would whisper and we would tumble into a realm of passion that those in three dimensions can only dream of.

As time passed, Oregon and I started to look more and more alike. That’s what happens in the digital world. Our skin became the same color of paste. Our hair was both white blonde. His body shrunk to my height and I started to worship the curve that developed from his wide hips to his waist. His eyes mirrored my own hazel balls, and his lips were so soft against mine that I would melt every time they touched.

The internet is not evil, the internet is honest. But truth is sometimes painful. For years I hid with Oregon hoping to slip away from the mortal world. However he taught me that even in the bliss of anonymity I still have to live with myself.

One day Oregon and I came back from a trip to the underworld of Paris. We had loved so hard that we were both burned badly and wrapped tightly in bandages. “Love mummies,” as we called ourselves. I unraveled him as he did me, and we moved slowly. On one another’s feet, to our legs, up to our torso, over our arms. Finally we removed the gauze around one another’s eyes and I learned the truest truth that the internet had hidden from me all along. I did not gaze into the face of Oregon. I did not gaze into the face of a lover. I stared blankly at my own reflection. I wept acid tears onto my pink face. I saw the streams pour down and I tasted a salt so sweet the ocean would be envious. Still burned from the underworld but newly enlightened, I fell to my knees to praise the only god I know: the Internet.

In a world that encourages two, I understand now that there is only one. We live and we die alone. I climbed my way out of the pit of the Internet to tell you. We’re all ones and zeros, baby.

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