Rabbit Hole

When the pope passed away and the whole new pope election—I thought their hats were neat

Location Windsor Terrace
Rent $1,100 [market]
Square feet 450 [floor of brownstone]
Occupant Natalie Kocsis [art director, Cutting Edge]

Come in.

Where have I found myself? So many cupboards, and a lime-green dresser with pink and yellow flowers to pull the drawers. It's new.

Catwalk hair spray.I rarely use it. It's a root booster.

A graphic of a piece of meat.I'm a vegetarian but I like red.

What a beautiful garden you have.My garden is plastic.

[The daisy just whispered something.] And an aqua-blue rotary dial telephone.It doesn't ring but it works. My mom got it in Athens, Pennsylvania. She knows I like—I don't know what.

A framed needlepoint on the bedroom wall: "Do not fuck with me." It was a bridesmaid's present. My dad always walks in and says, Oh. Would you like something to drink?

Yes. As long as it isn't poison.These are my niece and nephew kitties. My sister-in-law made them.

You have china cats and cotton cats. Do you have a real one?No, just stuffed.

What's in the pink jewelry box with the little girl on top? I found it at the Salvation Army. I'm sure it's the exact same one I had growing up. The velvet Elvis painting was a graduation gift for my master's degree. The Dalí print is for undergraduate. He illustrated Alice's Adventures in Wonderland—that is my favorite book. There's my hat stack.

Mamie Eisenhower hats, the small hat with a veil, all black. I only wore it once, to a Valentine's party. I found my artistic style just about a year ago. I'm really drawn to the dark.

Were you in a heavy-metal band when you were 12?Yes.

You like to sing karaoke?Yes, with my friends. I like to sing "Rock You Like a Hurricane." [ We look at her drawings.] I have a middle ground, dark but with a little humor. Here are drawings I'm working on. I recently started working big. The more messy and the less I try to make it good, the better it gets. This is what I'm working on— Good vs. Evil. I'm working on a pope.

Are you very Catholic? No. When the pope passed away and there was that whole new-pope election—I thought their hats were neat.

You have PEZ dispensers in the kitchen, lined up like an army. I collect postcards and magnets. I guess if I were still in school, I'd probably hang my grades on the refrigerator.

I went to a restaurant near here. The waitress was so enamored of this man who came in to see her. He was . . . well, you could tell from their conversation that he hadn't called her since before Christmas. Her voice was tight and cold and she wanted to kill him and then he asked her something about turkey, trying to clear the air. She said she would never eat turkey. He ordered a goat cheese salad. A child was screaming at its mother. Another woman with very short gray hair and long silver fingernails was leaning over a glass of red wine. Then another woman came in and ordered the beet salad but without the hazelnuts or maybe it was the beets. By the time I left, the waitress was leaning closer to the man and they were talking about dawn simulators. Do you go to restaurants around here? Yes, there are so many. I'm a microwave gourmet. That Annie's with the bunny on it—it's kind of like Chef Boyardee but it's organic.

How late it's getting. The cats are ordering me about.

 
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