By the mid ‘Eighties Arthur had devolved into a true desperado, hustling everybody he met for a break, virtually homeless in the squats and often starving. Nobody would give him a job, he couldn’t sell a painting or raise a budget for the grand movie in which he could make himself a star. He was too proud to scrabble for scraps off the floor at Paddy’s vegetable market, too paranoid to shoplift and too straight to be a drug dealer.
They regaled Arthur with questions, “Why’d ya do it? It’s a shocking crime, stealing from a charity, Blind Children no less! What are ya, some kind of social freak? Getting around in ya undies, disgusting! What’s ya problem, are ya a mental case?” To which Arthur sullenly replied, “Why was I born at all?” They kept up the badgering, trying to solve the riddle of his pathetic existence. He was sick, “SICK, that’s it! Ya got AIDS! Aaagghhh, AIDS!” This was the era when AIDS had broken upon a fearful public and, to deadheads, gays were suspect and blameworthy.
He rushed out into the clear, crisp morning air of freedom and off across the city of Sydney to retrieve his clothes from where he’d hidden them, for it was still early morning and there were few about to witness his antics. He then ran all the way back to his squat in Pyrmont, to tremble and rue his luck under the blankets of his rickety, lovely pauper’s bed. He thought of Dostoyevsky's "Crime and Punishment", things were bad but not that bad. Then he fell asleep, hungry and safe.