kate dupuis

At my most despondent and at times, suicidal, I have a habit of self-portraiture. It’s one of the rare instances when my mind goes silent and my internal processing works on a non-verbal level.

In the depths of my struggle, I will observe my features dispassionately. I look at my bone structure, the tilt of my head, the angle of my eyebrows, the way the tears meld with the oil from my makeup. I stare into my eyes, recording the icy blue tone of iris contrasted with the bloodshot pinks of blood vessels swollen from recent use. Despite the fact that I am looking at my reflection, the eye contact is intense and uncomfortably intimate, seemingly non-consensual. It’s so intense that it carries a vague feeling of self harm and destruction, but it’s completely devoid of anger or self-pity. Devoid of everything. Still feeling, but not thinking. No narrative, no guilt, no regret, no hope, no ambition, no thinking about what I should be doing or will be doing or what I just did.

Just seeing, drawing, painting.

So I’ve been traveling the US, hitchhiking and making folk punk music for about 4 months now. It’s been really great and it’s kept my suicidal thoughts relatively firmly at bay. I’m supporting myself busking and spend a solid 6 hours most days playing music. I’ve seen almost all the major US hubs for homos and have experienced a lot, and have definitely acquired the travel bug.

I have a medical doctorate that I don’t use, because being part of the US medical system makes me profoundly unhappy. But I still have a strong desire to help combat human suffering. I feel as if it could be one of the only ways to escape the meaningless treadmill of our job based capitalist lifestyle.

For now, I think the next step will be to take my musical Hobo act to Europe. But after that, I am hoping to find a way to get involved with international humanitarian aid. Like everyone else, I’m still fighting to make sense of a world paved in concrete made from suffering and greed with humanity and compassion left poking through the cracks.