Fiction: Everything is Embarrassing (Really, Really Embarrassing)

Jasmine Zhu recalls the notorious love story that is DIIV’s Zachary Cole Smith and Sky Ferreira.


Romeo and Juliet, Bonnie and Clyde, Chuck and Blair. These are some of the most notorious couples through history. But none compare to the love story that is Sky Ferreira and DIIV lead singer, Zachary Cole Smith. This is their story. And I am sorry. —Jasmine Zhu

Leaning against the graffiti’ed wall, his gaunt figure in repose, he expelled a long sigh. He was keenly aware of the oppressive beat thrumming in his ears, the sweaty bodies writhing in dance, cigarette smoke clouding the air.

Days blended into each other, and every night was the same. Drugs, rock ‘n roll… not so much sex, through. Girls constantly threw themselves at him, but none were as pretty as he was. He felt hollow and listless—he longed to be loved, but no one seemed to understand him. He liked to think of himself as Kurt Cobain incarnate, but with more elfin features.

Mid-way through an experimental punk set, his eyes caught hers across the room. Maybe it was her peroxide blonde hair, so reminiscent of his own, or perhaps it was the disaffected look in her eyes, which mirrored his. In any case, they were drawn to each other, like Narcissus gazing into the pool.

“Got a light?“ she asked huskily, her eyes heavily lidded.

He proffered one, she inhaled, and it was love at first light.

They spent their days rolling joints and scrolling through Tumblr. Everything was perfect. Sure, they got into occasional fights, arguing over who was prettier, or whose soul was more tormented, but all in all they were blissfully happy. They traded clothes, complained about the paparazzi, and ate pizza.

They had some minor run-ins with the law (heroine, cocaine, no big deal), which only further served to cement their reputation as an It Couple.

They seemed unbreakable. And for a while, they were.

But soon fame was starting to take a toll on them. Things weren’t looking as good. There was an ugly, competitive edge to their relationship that hadn’t existed before. He found himself tallying up her Instagram likes, resentful that she had more fans than he did. And she started borrowing his dresses without his permission.

They would get into loud screaming matches that culminated in objects breaking. They left passive aggressive posts on each other’s personal Facebook pages. They took provocative selfies that left the other feeling angry and hurt.

“I don’t want to end up like Kurt and Courtney,” he said.

“The similarities are almost uncanny,” she agreed, flipping through Nylon magazine.

Together, they deactivated their Twitter accounts. They packed their bags—her: two dresses, 7 flannels; him: 3 dresses, 7 flannels—and said goodbye to their friends.

“We need to get away from it all,” she said, and he agreed.

They kissed passionately, and were only a little upset that there were no photographers around to capture the moment.

They rode off into the glorious sunset and never looked back.

(In 2015 they would reemerge as one terrifying entity, SkyDive. But for now, everyone was safe.)

Artwork by Laurent Hrybyk.

  • David Welles

    i saw them, like, eating at vanessa’s dumplings in willyburg. totally malcontent elfin qts.