AMY SEDARIS: Hey, one more flight up. Sorry—the building is going to be without an elevator for five months so we have to take the stairs. It’s good exercise. I was dreading it, but now I’ve embraced it. My underpants are tighter on me now. It only sucks when you have to carry something up like a bag of birdseed or charcoal or kitty litter—fortunately I never have to carry any of those things. And I’m glad you aren’t handicapped or we would be doing this interview downstairs on the sidewalk, and it’s raining. I’m assuming you are Amy and that you are here to interview me for SLUG magazine?
AMY SEDARIS: Yes, I am. But it’s BULLETT magazine, not SLUG.
Right, SLUG. You have amazing skin—what do you use?
Same thing you use: La Roche-Posay products.
Alright, you don’t have to get testy.
Should I take my shoes off?
Not unless you want to leave them here—they look like the same size I wear.
Would you like some hot iced tea?
I say “hot iced tea” because my refrigerator broke, so I don’t have any ice anymore. I’m trying to get it fixed but Labor Day weekend is coming up, and apparently workers take the week before and after off. I hate dealing with these appliance companies and the workers they send out. They just drive you crazy, really crazy—and they know it, and there is nothing you can do about it, because they know you need them. They are rescue-avoidance addicts. It’s unfair. It’s unjust. It’s evil. I feel like a character in an Upton Sinclair book, like when the worker gets his paycheck and the only place he can cash his check is across the street at the bar and he can’t cash it unless he buys a drink and then he gets drunk and the bartender denies ever getting the check in the first place. I had to get a prescription for Valium when it came to dealing with this situation. Valium! I just couldn’t handle the runaround. See, these are things my husband always dealt with. Now that I’m a widow.
Oh, you were married?
No—but that’s what I would say if it were true.
I like your kitchen. What’s that spaceship- looking thing?
It’s a volcano. You flip it on here and when you see this light light up—that means it’s ready. You put some of this stuff I keep here in this and put about this much in and then twist this part on, mount it—like so—then take a bag, which is actually a turkey roasting bag, remove this nipple-type thing and pop it on here. When the bag is full and tight, pull it off remove this and then add the nipple to the end and it’s ready. It’s supposed to be better for you. When it’s not on I cover it with this quilted kitty cat cozy. I’ll give you one before you leave. I normally sell these at craft fairs but for you the first one’s free.
I’m not leaving and I already have one.
So why did you ask me what it was?
We obviously got off on the wrong foot. Let’s start over. My name is Amy and we both have great skin.
Sorry, it’s not me—it’s you. We are in a retrograde.
Do you want a piece of salami? I bought some to use for the photo shoot.
Thanks. Nice apartment. I like your hallway. Is that a painted penis on that wall platter?
Yes, it’s from Royal Tichelaar Makkum, the Netherlands’ oldest company. They make beautiful pottery. The town of Makkum is really cute. It’s a fishing village.
Look, a rabbit!
Yes, this is Dusty. She’s 9. I just had a meeting with Animal Planet about doing a whole special on rabbits. I really want this to happen. They make terrific pets. I’m going to kill myself when she dies.
How long do rabbits live? Or rather, how long do you have to live? And when I say “you” I mean “we.”
They can live to be teenagers but it’s kind of rare. She is going to be the world’s oldest rabbit; this is what I tell her. She really is an exceptional rabbit. Very smart.
And what is this room? Do you have children?
No, but this is the baby’s room. I decorated it to look like I owned a baby and then decorated over it to look like a craft room, just to give it a creepy feeling. See the baby sneakers on the floor? This here is a small painting of a baby that died after two days. It’s beautiful but I can’t show it to a lot of people—you can tell that the painter really loved this baby. It’s very personal. This is a photograph of a baby that was shot in its crib. See the blood splatter on the wall? This is from The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death. This woman was a criminal investigator in the ’40s and she built dollhouse crime scenes based on real cases in order to train detectives to assess visual evidence. Do you have children?
Gosh, no. I haven’t had any sexual physical contact in nine years and I love it.
Same here! We have so much in common. I’m really starting to like you, Amy Sedaris.
Yeah, but for me it’s a choice.
Perhaps it’s fear of intimacy.
Perhaps it’s being drawn to damaged people.
Both sound good/Both sound good.
I have a question.
No. Why are you in a prairie costume?
It’s everything I love. My friend Adam Selman is coming over later to take my measurements since they change daily. The Jane Pittman slave dress he made me needs some new buttons so I have nothing else to wear right now. At the moment, we’re really into anything that snaps at the crotch. It’s just easier.
You have a lot of books.
I do. I reread books all the time because I never remember reading them the first time. I just finished reading Tiger, Tiger by Margaux Fragoso. It’s a very dark book. I don’t think it’s a good idea to talk about it right now, especially after talking about the baby’s room. Right now, for some reason, I can’t seem to read anything. I’m into watching movies— anything with an accent. I love accents. I just finished watching about nine Daniel Craig movies. I really liked Flashbacks of a Fool. I liked the scenes with the teenagers.
Will you go see Dream House?
Yes, do you want to go with me?
Sure. I see you have a lot of miniatures.
Don’t touch that! I kind of collect them. I also like salesmen samples—everything’s cuter, smaller. Can you believe you can buy miniature shower caps and crutches! Which reminds me, would you mind taking all the “yeahs” and “ums” and “rights” out of the text when you transcribe our conversation? I hate it when those are left in.
Huh? Yeah, um, right. I’m sorry—the doorbell threw me off but I was listening. So our time is up? We haven’t gotten past the kitchen. There is a lot more to discuss.
Too bad. That’s Adam and Todd the photographer. You can either stay and watch through the keyhole or leave and come back later—I’ll be the only one here.