Push, Nevada
Storybook Hero

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One Night in Prufrock and the World's Your Oyster

Cut to a bank of monitors showing surveillance footage of the previous evening, Jim noticing at once that he has been erased from the tapes. Not His Lawyer assures him, "I believe you, Jim," adding un-reaassuringly, "The jury won't." Jim stares and stares, saying forlornly, "Those tapes exist somewhere. We've got to find them." Cut to a hand dropping videotape after videotape down a fiery shaft, a dark cackle and a thunderclap doubtlessly not far from the dramatic conventions being used and overused herein.

You pay to see The Rules of Attraction, you put money in the pockets of its cast and send a disturbing message about the presumed supply-and-demand curve of movies starring Shannyn Sossamon. Think about it.

Another unmolested walk through the streets of Push finds Jim watching a proud father driving up to his suburban home, honking his horn, watching as his wife and his two children (a boy and a girl) and his dog come bounding out of the house. The son bids his father a "Hi, dad," and the father responds with a hug and a "Hey, sport." Jim smiles at the domestic bliss of it all (remember, folks, Jim has daddy issues), though his smile turns to a furrowed familiarity when exactly the same sequence repeats itself five times over with different-colored cars and different-shaped dogs. We know. Weird town. Wait. We know. Jim starts back down the street, but in a moment he's beckoned back by the Fraggle Rock trash heap (oh, wait, it's just The Trucker's Wife) calling behind him, "Agent Prufrock." He turns to greet her, and she hands him his handkerchief and offers, "I thought you might want that back." He earnestly responds, "Keep it. I'll be okay," and I'm impressed that neither of them defaults to what they might be assumed to say here. For Jim, that's "Or so I learned from my father," and for The Trucker's Wife, that's "Thanks all the same and all, but really it's yours and it's covered in your snot." Handkerchiefs, people. Ew. The Trucker's Wife tells Jim, "I know you're not a criminal," blows him a kiss, and runs off. Aw. If it smells so sweet, how can it be trash? She's better than that. She's "white compost."

Grace Packing Fire. His Girl Thursday gets out of a rather imposing SUV and enters into pretty much exactly what you'd expect a bail bondman's storefront to look like. Again, I'm resorting to Jackie Brown, since it's the only one I've ever seen and I hope with all of my heart and soul that I'm never actually inside of one to find out for myself whether they're being depicted accurately. Grace has braved the trip from Carson City to Reno alone (32.62 miles), and she's feeling more than a little tough. She walks up to the desk at the far end of the one room, greeting a shaggy man with snakeskin boots on his desk. He has a nameplate reading "Phineas Cobb." Grace launches right in: "I was wondering. Can one make bail arrangements, y'know, preemptively?" He doesn't follow, so she goes for it: "I feel I can confide in you. I was suspended from my government job yesterday. And I'm feeling very upset and supremely on edge. And I'd like to plan for the eventualities that are becoming more and more certain with each passing moment." As she delivers this speech, she makes the presence of her firearm pretty clear, because five-day waiting periods are for suckers in loser states where you can't shoot and ho and gamble and smoke in restaurants. What's the name of that one state where you can't do any of that stuff? Oh, yes, that's right: all of them except for Nevada. Grace leans in tight: "I need to know who bailed out my boss."

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Push, Nevada

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