Push, Nevada
Storybook Hero

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One Night in Prufrock and the World's Your Oyster

We join Grace standing behind the counter of a store that initially looks like she took a sick day at the IRS to play hooky at her local Modell's store. And we won't know why she's gotta go to Mo's for a while, now, but the man behind the counter refers to her by name straightaway to secure in our minds that whatever this store is, she spends quite a bit of time there. Her SPRINT PHONE rings, and the caller ID announces that it's "Mr. Prufrock." She has so much respect for him. When my caller ID from work comes up on my cell phone, it just reads, "Bitch." (No, I don't mean this job.) Grace excuses herself from "Jason" (she knows his name, too! She must spend a lot of time there!) and takes the call. Grace explains to Jim that she's been suspended from work, and he launches right in to a plea for her help: "I need you to go to Reno for me and find a bondsman named Phineas Cobb. He knows who posted my bail." Grace explains that doing anything official would turn her "suspension into a termination." Without bothering to wonder whether her dogged determination and loyalty aren't perhaps getting her into some sort of vocational pattern by which her next job will be licking labels on the Hormel Canned Meat Products assembly line, Jim sulks, "So you won't do it?" Grace sighs deeply. "No, Mr. Prufrock." "No" no or "no" yes? "I'll do it." Ah. He tells her he can only trust her at this point, and thanks her quickly. Grace turns back to the counter and we discover on her line, "The heck with it, I'll take them both," that she was looking at a sturdy collection of handguns. And now guns! Grace rules. She's so damn redeemable I could sing "Wise Up" about it.

Jim wanders alone through Push, because he's not being watched at all, I'm sure. He enters a building the front door of which is marked "Push County Coroner." But with no colon in the title, how am I supposed to know where he is, exactly? He walks down one white hallway after another, following the echo of a raspy woman's voice until he finds his way into a room with said woman talking chattily to a long row of covered corpses. She's holding a martini and a cigarette in a long holder and maintaining a sort of overall Sylvia Sidney quality to her. Jim asks to see Oswald Wilkes, and the woman apologizes that he "isn't taking visitors right now." Jim surmises that the office must be closed, then, but she says she's open twenty-four hours a day because that's the approximate amount of time in the average day that crazy people spend being craaaaaaaaazy. No, she's not closed, she tells us, but Oswald Wilkes still "doesn't want to talk to you right now, Mr. Prufrock. He figures you're the one that got him into this mess."

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Push, Nevada

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