Robert Dupea
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Robert Dupea

Five Easy Pieces

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About Him

Living… in a small bungalow in Northern California, with a girlfriend whom he dislikes immensely. Robert works in an oilfield and continually drinks himself into a stupor. The bungalow is on a quiet residential street that he also can't stand. In his words, “I move around a lot because things tend to get bad when I stay. And I'm looking... for auspicious beginnings, I guess...”

Profession… oilfield worker. He wears a hard-hat and gets dirty all day. It's a dangerous job and none of the men trust each other. They are slaves of the well and its pumps.

Interests… playing the piano. His whole family can play some type of musical instrument. They’re all musically inclined for some reason, but Robert is the only one not to turn his talents into a career.

Relationship Status… miserable. He can't stand his girlfriend Rayette. He pushes her away all the time and she’s running out of tolerance. She sometimes asks him outright, "Why can't you just be good to me?" But Robert doesn’t want to change. He doesn’t want her to change, either. He really just wants to leave and start over somewhere else.

Challenge… finding a place of his own, some inner peace. He’s someone who never really got a break but somehow stayed afloat. He doesn’t see this as anyone’s fault, per se, but he does see his life as a tragedy. Robert can’t commit to anything beyond the immediate moment. As others build steady lives and families, he drifts further from both. As he puts it, “If a person has no love for himself, no respect, no love for his work, his family, his friends, something... How can he ask for love in return? I mean, why should he ask for it?”

Personality… restless, even manic. Robert’s family and friends think he takes enormous delight in aggressive acts, and abandoning situations before he can ever get hurt. They believe making people miserable is fundamental to his well-being. Maybe they're right. He doesn’t see his life as adding up to much, but he’ll never settle. There’s always hitch-hiking, a new town with a new identity and a new girl. To him, stasis is death.

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