A James Rudolph Novel
Ray is a Hollywood Taxi Driver who falls in love with one of his fares, a porno actress named Cindy. He follows her into the dark side of Hollywood where he rescues her, and then loses her again to her addictions. But he will go back for Cindy no matter what the cost - because Ray is in love and he will always go back for Cindy. Because for Ray, that's what love is.
“I think I got the right flash, the right dance, to lead this chick away from the edge, away from the flames.”
It is the early seventies.
She was an Ava Gardner look alike, perched on the end stool, charcoal pin-striped business suit, white silk blouse unbuttoned over torn lingerie beneath, black patent spikes, cherry-red lips parted, lipstick on her teeth, a bruise on her cheek, her eyes green - no, amber. And then she looked up, right up into him, and that was all she wrote. Ray was in love.
“Cindy was born a witch. Women like her, they're born witches. Cindy though, has been beat down so far she doesn't even know her own gender. She thinks she's a witch, and so she just goes around bewitching.”
Ed was a fallen god. A shrink with one-too-many suicides on his watch. Started drinking in the morning. Nobody likes drunken shrink, so Ed has washed up here in this backwater Hollywood bar. A safe harbor, really. A safe house for Ed - and for Ray.
“You're a vampire, Ray, who sleeps in daylight and hunts at night. You sit there, on your cab stand - not alive, but not dead - waiting for the hated dispatcher to send you to your next fare. And only then do you come alive - anticipating the delicious heat from the back seat.”
Mabel was a looker from the Valley come to Hollywood in the fifties to be a star. Started with still work - pin-up stuff with classy street rods and custom motorcycles. Then she kinda fell into soft-core spreads and made enough for a down payment on a run-down diner she turned into the Gold Cup, the hottest 2AM coffee shop in Hollywood . Soon all the night people - tricks, hookers, drunks, freaks and cabbies - were her steadies.
“I hit it off with Mabel from the beginning. Even had a little thing with her for awhile. But we're both restless creatures and moved on as lovers, but stayed friends. The kind of friends that help each other move - bodies.”