April 12, 2021 – Audrey told me they fought a lot when he stayed with her. She didn’t want him doing drugs in her house, and often noticed cash missing. “I was so furious with him when you were there over the weekends and I could tell he was high,” she told me, her voice cracking a little.

She said that she was never sure if he actually liked her or if he just didn’t want to have to take a bus to work every day. She was not holding back. She was telling me all the little angry private thoughts that she had then, that she’d held onto. She was telling me what she really thought of my father, like I’d been trying to get everyone I’d interviewed to do. But now I felt defensive of him, suspicious that she was exaggerating, romanticizing the idea of having known a junkie once in her own artist heyday. Audrey described what she called his ‘lair,’ a little hovel tucked away in the corner of the Academy Studios warehouse where he would collect scraps of leftover materials and periodically hide to work on his own projects.

“He treated it like his personal art supply store,” Audrey said. “He stole so much stuff!”

He used to smuggle out supplies for us to play with: little Ziploc bags full of incredibly lifelike fake eyes, plaster molds of lizard scales, scraps of fake fur. It was one of the things that made him magical: pockets always full of treasure.



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