I'm Holly and I might be in trapped inside of an old music box. Help!
Do not hesitate to contact me--I'm still kickin'.
AUTHOR'S NOTE FROM THE FUTURE, LIKELY FOR NO ONE BUT THEMSELVES:
For anyone who comes across Lips Burn Caustic, or has already read it and given me the massive, massive privilege of space, time, and attention,
it must be acknowledged that a deeply traumatized, deeply stupid teenager was writing that story. I say this as no excuse, no justification. I went unchecked, and I was harmful. I apologize, and will not delete what I know is there; I am not interested in covering my tracks, or proving that I am better enough now to decontaminate what exists.
I used the main character as an outlet for my raging hatred: racism, ableism, sexism, classism, fatphobia, homophobia, misogyny, and certainly more beyond that, including needless comparisons to fascist Germany, a heedless use of the r-word.
I hated myself, and the world I was in. I was and still am entirely privileged; I had to insist that I was "good". Rosco was my compartment for all that was clearly a violence against myself and others.
That harmful, hateful, unchecked, secretive teenager still lives in me, and I must tend to them. I forgive them, and no one else has to, or should.
Despite all this, I am grateful for this space that held such a cringe, a grimace, a scream and sob of an outlet.
I still tend to the characters of this story in my heart; turns out that they are a little bit terrible, like mid-aughts Floridian teenagers were, but they are far less terrible when they aren't little megaphones for my bullshit.
I came out as formally bisexual in 2020.
Nowadays I say I'm a dyke. I act on it without shame or compulsion to the heteropatriarchy.
In 2021 I started writing an experimental piece adapted from Lips Burn Caustic.
In 2023, I'm editing a version of the original to print, just for myself. Rereading it, especially those wicked rambling self-deprecating author's notes, compelled to leave this last trace.
I don't know why, after posting the last chapter, I said things were "up to interpretation".
Rosco and Vito are in love. Romantic, gay, gay, gay love.
I have a million different futures for them in my pocket, but there is one certainty: for a summer, at least, they have each other. It is not tragic, or toxic, or pornographic. They let it happen, in full, and nobody stops them.
I was a harmful, hateful teenager writing a massive, silly novel that I almost wish I could erase, but I don't know where'd I be without it, without this space. Thank you, Rosco, for helping me figure out how absolutely gay I am. Thank you for being a slop bucket for the real nightmare I was set up to become. Thank you, internet freaks who love queer-baiting, though I don't know if I really should thank you. But I hope that you are better now in this harrowing, insistently beautiful future. I hope you are absolutely who you intend to be, and that it is not at the needless expense of anyone else.