The next year was one of disintegration for the relationship as Rex felt less and less inhibited about expressing his anger and frustration with Renee. There were loud fights and at times he could not restrain himself from hurling a dish against a wall or through a window. He was seen riding away from the house with friends, seated in the back seat of a convertible with the top down, his arm around a woman who had modeled for him. He didn’t come home until the next day.
Aside from Renee’s problems restraining herself from inappropriate comments about Jews (on at least one occasion one of Rex’s colleagues) and other minority groups, and her obsessions with reincarnation she held herself up as a paragon of virtue to not be crossed.
This posture was beyond Rex’s ability or willingness to adapt and in the late summer of 1957 he packed up his paintings and as many of his belongings as he could fit, into a borrowed car and drove to New York.
Two months later Renee took the children on a trip to Egypt, ostensibly on an assignment to research agrarian reform projects in the Nile Delta. Her secret fascination with Egypt was tied up with her obsessions about reincarnation and the fact that the people associated with Edgar Cayce had theories about there being secret passages from beneath the Sphinx to under the Great Pyramid of Cheops.
The three of them spent from October to March imostly in Cairo, the stay extended by Renee changing her money on the black market to make it go farther. In New York Rex was living in the second floor sho of what had been a furrier on East 25th street. There was no running water and the bathroom was down the hall.
When Renee and the children returned they stayed in a hotel for almost two weeks while Renee sold pictues she'd taken to Simon and Schuster and recovered from an ear infection she picked up on the voyage home on The Queen Mary. Peter spent part of the time staying with Rex and sleeping on a cot in the one room studio.