Dear Diary: Everything is Complicated, Everyone is in Transit

Dear Diary: Everything is Complicated, Everyone is in Transit

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, Liz shares an excerpt of a novel she is writing.

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, Liz shares an excerpt of a novel she is writing.

Text: LIZ NISTICO

Tuesday was one of those perfect end-of-August days. It was early but the leaves were already showing signs of fall and the air was obliging. It felt like New England, or being back in school, or the taste of peach cobbler. Typical all American bullshit that means nothing but holds weight.

Hunter never wanted to work in a store. He was good at everything so he found it hard to do anything. For years after college he bummed around: traveling, in offices, waiting tables, acting as a mountain guide. By now he felt like a failure if he didn't live in one place. Doesn’t everyone want a home? He moved to North Carolina after his mother finally got married to a guy named Dick who wore slacks two inches too short and matching pastel socks. When Hunter was thirteen Dick asked what type of music he listened to. Hunter didn't like talking to people he suspected were pedophiles and while Dick smoothed out the creases of his khaki pants Hunter told him he didn’t care. “Pop,” he said.

“Pop!” Dick snorted and the beige carpet of his three-story condo absorbed all sound. “Oh, I love pop, too.” He rustled and leaned back in his white plush leather couch and sighed loudly as he pressed a remote and initiated booming classical music that seemed to come from all the corners. Hunter jumped and Dick laughed quietly staring into his eyes.

“Surround sound!” he yelled above the overture. “This was pop music in 1853! Isn’t that amazing?! Just think, we could be..” Dick was sliding across the floor to get closer to Hunter who sat on the cigarette carpet. Dick’s voice barely made it over crashing symbols and as the horns started and Dick crawled with his goofy smile, thirteen-year-old Hunter imagined hanging himself from the ceiling fan as the surround sound washed over his body. It built character.

But Dick never left and his mom fell under his spell and now they’re married and his mom is entertaining her husband who has since been diagnosed with schizophrenia. However the whole family has decided they don't believe in definitions.

Nobody really wants to move to North Carolina. Hunter met a girl and she was an artist and she showed him that happiness lay in solitude. They lived in her family’s house on an island so far it took 45 minutes one way to get to the super market. Her name was Lessa and her body wasn't perfect but it looked amazing when they fucked in front of the mirror. And when she put on makeup and pulled her hair back and wore red she made all the other girls jealous. She could present herself in a way everyone wanted to be her. To have her giraffe neck and her tight waist. It feels good, when even the other girls want to taste your girlfriend. It’s something you can tell your dad about, that’s something to be proud of.

When they met, Lessa told Hunter she had never met anyone like him. She wasn't lying but she wasn't certain what she meant. She loved falling in love. It was a conquest, a challenge. When Hunter told her he loved her they were at his apartment. The walls were barely decorated, except for a few posters of Thom Yorke, and his bed was uncomfortable and he looked into her eyes and whispered to her and she quickly said back, “I love you, too.” He went to work and she stayed at his place and watched the hot water run down her body and she stared at his giant bottle of Pantene Pro-V Conditioner and wondered if he put it in his hair or if he used the industrial sized-bottle to masturbate in his windowless bathroom. She cried because she didn't know what love is, and she promised herself he would never know her completely. Lessa wanted to play the game. Not because she liked it, not because she cared for other people, because she thought it was what she was supposed to do. She was too nervous to be alone with her thoughts anyway.

Everything is complicated. Everyone is living out their fantasy of power dynamics. Even the happy ones are always in transit.

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