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Dazed Short Story Competition: Lisa Goldapple

Read finalist Lisa Goldapple's interview and Short Story entry from our Feed Your Head competition

Inspired by Bjork’s Possibly Maybe, ‘The Ticking Dick’ is writer Lisa Goldapple’s submission to our short story competition. Lisa’s story is based on a brief relationship with ‘Axtor’, an Argentinean artist, fitted with a pacemaker who fantasises about impregnating his love interest with Siamese twins. With a drop intro that made us rewind and read it again, we’d be lying if we said it didn’t make us blush. It’s a worthy runner-up, and we spoke to Lisa to find out more about this South American-set story.

Dazed Digital: Where did the idea for 'The Ticking Dick' come from?
Lisa Goldapple:
Someone once told me you should always start a story with a dick. Actually, I’ve never tried to write fiction. I am Manzanita. I wrote and became her as much as Leandro transformed into Axtor the superhero. I’m fascinated by how we create personas that are less inhibited online and blur the boundaries between our real and fictional personalities. We’re solitary superheroes with really crappy superpowers. 

DD: How long have you been writing? Have you always had ambitions to become a writer/author?
Lisa Goldapple: 
I used to think of writing as a way to blag things. Now, as I struggle with disciplining myself to write The Fucking Book. I’ve been writing music shows for MTV on-and-off for over a decade. (Don’t hold it against me). I still write about Buenos Aires for various travel publications like Time Out and The Real Argentina. However, some stories simply aren’t appropriate. I also review for Mr and Mrs Smith. This means free honeymoons, but still no man. 

DD: What authors do you admire? Is there one author or text that has moved you or had a profound affect on the way you write?
Lisa Goldapple:
 I’m a big fan of Motley Crue’s 'The Dirt’ for being hilariously unapologetic, ‘Catch 22’ for concept, Daren King’s ‘Boxy An Star’ for his use of language and the idea of sieveheads, and Louis de Bernières’ sexy Latin American trilogy.

DD: Have you thought about writing a screenplay or another short story based on your submission?
Lisa Goldapple:
In Buenos Aires, an enthusiastic American wanted to publish three years of my travel-based rambling e-mails I’d collated, as a graphic novel. My working title was ‘The World’s my Oyster, but I’m Seafood Intolerant’. He described it as “Bridget Jones on crack”. There was talk of a chapter called ‘Goldapple: The Fruits of My Labia.’ and he had my character animated in Miami. They gave me bigger tits.

Lisa Goldapple - The Ticking Dick:

“I can’t get the apple off the head. It’s sore. The Sharpie hurt it. The tip is most sensitive, you know?”

Then don’t fucking draw on your dick, you dick. And yes, I do know. It has been in my mouth. It won’t again - not just because you’ve decided to write ‘CUM IN MANZANITA’ down it in permanent marker (even though you managed such an impressive letter count), nor because you threatened me with Megadeth lyrics and made a ‘Slut Machine’ effigy in my honour. I got off on that.

Axtor, the 6ft6 Argentine artist, has died 3 times. He’s got Marfan syndrome, a disorder he calls his Spiderman disease. This means he’s unusually tall, gargantuan for an Argentine. He’s got webbed and elongated fingers and toes - and dick (no webs on that). The ‘bubble’ fitted in his heart keeps his deformed aorta ticking over. Yes, he actually ticks. When he sleeps or we kiss in an open-mouthed South American way I can hear the machinations of his heart. It’s a turn on to hear it pump faster. I want to fuck him to death with superhero sex, and spend far too much time googling ‘involuntary manslaughter’. For the last few days it has seemed like he, the ticking dick, might actually kill me.

‘Manzanita’ means ‘Little Apple’, as I’m known here in Buenos Aires - hence the ‘CUM IN MANZANITA’. Axtor’s real name is Leandro and he’s a fan of proclaiming that he loves me whilst crying. Last time I cried was when a couple got on in Blind Date. I stroke his hand over the table, trying to be completely non-sexual (not too hard) or patronising (much more difficult), and wondering how long I’ll have to do this before he’ll hand my apartment keys over. I’m not putting up with any more days like yesterday: 47 calls and 3 threatening voicemail messages.

“I’m like a bomb that’s ticking. I got voices in my head. I got a doll with needles in, wishing you were dead.”

I didn’t know these were lyrics. I hadn’t noted the rhyming couplet as he was sobbing so hard.

“I’ll get you back somehow. That’s what I’m gonna do. I’ll get you back somehow, your nightmare coming true.” Another Megadeth line.

“I want you to have a hole in your heart as big as mine.” His own eloquent words. He meant it.

I first spotted Axtor when he was doing live painting and Q&A at an Urban Art show. His hair was almost as massive as his madness. I google-hunted him down. As my banter brings all the boys to the yard, within 2 mails he had asked me out. I shouldn’t have gone, not least because he has never tried alcohol or drugs.

Within days the compliments were flowing, “I normally go for beautiful models, but look at you, all ugly in your furry slippers and bad cloths and think I must be getting less superficial.” He said “cloths”. That almost annoyed me more than the insult.

Within one week he told me of his fantasy to impregnate me with his Siamese twins.

Within two weeks he’d made effigies of me. Effigies, plural. As part of an ‘Installation Off’ with another famous local artist, Axtor publicly made the ‘Slut Machine’ - a Skalextric of blood-splattered plastic cows running through a hollowed out TV set - with ‘Media’, ‘Whore’ and ‘Slut Machine’ painted across it in dripping blood. His blood. Next came the ‘EMP-TV Dummy’ – an armless mannequin attacked with paints, words and more blood. Yes, I work for MTV.

Within 3 weeks the dark voicemail messages started, plus he’d texted ‘that’ violently flaccid dick pic, photoshopped to shit. He’d even bothered to paint the vein navy and the tip had been darkened. You could just about make out the penned apple on the head. At the bottom he’d typed, “A big dig for a bad person.” I think he meant “dick”. I posted it on my Facebook wall. My mother commented underneath, “Won’t they disable you if you post pornographic images on your wall?” For pornographic images ‘they’ disabled me. I hate that she was right. It’s not the norm.

Right now, it’s obvious he’s been sedated. I can smell the stench of cottonmouth, coffee and madness. Each time his mouth opens it makes a sad, dry, click. After 2 more hours sat in this Palermo coffee shop with him clutching at me, Axtor hands back my keys, plus a customised cap he’d made me, complete with a bloodstain in the shape of an apple.

We were together for a total of 3 weeks.

The ‘EMP-TV Dummy’ is still exhibited in Buenos Aires’ Cultural Centre in Recoleta. Whilst in its café yesterday, I sent a quiche over to a man sat at another table. He had his long grey hair in a bun and was wearing black harem pants. Apparently he’s an artist. I think they like quiches. I think I have gallery goggles.

Interview by David Woode