McCullers, Tennessee Williams, Salinger of Nine Stories, Purdy of Colors of Darkness --James Leo Herlihy knows them all. He's an accomplished mimic--and not only of other writers. His deft recording of New York bohemia, the South's garden districts, and various Midwestern strata is always supple and funny. Who can forget the memorable line of the hip lassie in Midnight Cowboy: ""You can talk your orgasm right out the window""? This collection of eight tales and a one-act monologue is as appealingly bluesy, affectionately neo-Gothic as anything Herlihy has given us, though it's a good deal more facile, and the cornpone melodrama does run high. The usual protagonist here invents some sort of myth to fill up the everyday emptiness, from the blonde hysteric of the excellent title-story who takes wild moonlit drives across the Key West bridge searching for her bean ideal (he appears in the unexpected guise of a speeding policeman), to forlorn Consilada who can't make people believe there's a real midget presiding over her husband's Midget Bar. Faint wisps of allegory, hallucinatory finales, and the general theme of innocence corrupted by age, indifference, or just brute reality are tuned up or down with Herlihy's skilled sense of dialogue, compassion, and efficient prose.