I forgot to mention another guy who worked at the carwash. Phil was a jailbird having served time for robbery and assault. He looked like he was straight from central casting 'third thug on the right' He was also epilleptic and given his various disadvantages the carwash was just about the only place he could find work. His job was to vacuum the cars before washing and he made a tidy sum each day from change he would find on the floors of the cars.
Now although Phil looked like a bulldog licking piss off a nettle, he had a beautiful girlfriend called Dana. He had met her a few months before when he was rolling home drunk one night and spotted her head sticking out from a Wendy House in someone's garden. That was where she slept. Phil gallantly offered her a bed for the night and they'd been together since. Phil worshipped her.
She was an 'interesting' girl, well educated but did coke like a Dyson. When she found I was a writer she wanted me to write her story.
Apparently a couple of years earlier a very wealthy Aunt had died and left her millions of dollars and a big house on the outskirts of LA. Some of her other relatives were miffed to say the least and hatched a plan to get their hands on the money. They paid people to terrorize her in the house at night, knocking on windows, shooting her pet dog and eventually raping her. They also bought off the local sherriff. She, not unsurprisingly, had a breakdown, was quickly declared legally unfit by her relatives and was sent to a mental institution. It was then made clear to her that if she ever tried to get the money back she would be killed. That's why Phil found her sleeping in a Wendy House. She was on the lam from her relatives in case they decided to bump her off anyway.
It didn't take me long to figure that A] she was a total whack job and B] She was only using Phil until something better came along.
So it's a rainy day in LA. No work at the car wash so Mikael, the Russian and I are sitting on the veranda of the house we shared tossing back a few cans of Miller [ 6 for $2.99, we were poor]
Phil appeared and we shot the breeze for a while until Phil declared that he couldn't drink that piss. We all lived day to day and no work meant no pay. We didn't have a buck between us.
Phil shot off and came back 10 minutes later with a case of Bud. He had persuaded the local convenience store to let him have it until pay day. He was that kind of a guy.
A couple of days later the cops came to the car wash and arrested him. The last I saw of him was in the back of a disappearing squad car, clutching a teddy bear he had just bought for Dana. Apparently he had been supposed to appear in court some time back on some minor assault charge. Having a self destructive streak he decided he wouldn't bother. He figured that no one knew where he was and the cops were hardly likely to bother looking for him even though a warrant had been issued.
But someone knew where he was. Dana. She had called the cops. I guess something better had come along.
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