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Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer
Book 3: oh noes

This is my journal I wrote during the time I was homeless. It is broken up by week for easier reading. Feel free to read it on the web or download the complete .pdf version and print it for reading offline.

Week 115

Day 799 - 9/8 - Two beautiful research assistants

Today was a busy day. I got up, had a bit of time to look for cars, then I was off to my appointment for one of my studies. I was met by an attractive and beeeautiful research assistant. We went over the testing questions and she talked about the MRI. I asked some flirty questions, found out she was single, so after some more flirty questions gave her my card. I did say though that I'd bet she had at least a dozen peeps interested in her. She blushed and said that she didn't say she didn't, hehe. She did say she wanted to focus on school right now though. I do hope she doesn't ignore love. It would be so sad if everyone moved on and she had to start over later. I'm sure she'll be fine though. She's young and beautiful and seems like she'll have a challenging but rewarding career. I don't think she'll ever have my troubles, and I'm glad of it. I didn't get to say bye to her though. She was scanning someone else when I left. I may have to take her a rose next time I go back. There was much giggling and smiling on both our parts. She's a lot younger than me though, so I don't expect anything to come of it.

The MRI machine surprised me. It has a sort of heartbeat to it. It has this 'wumm wumm wumm' to it while ready. In a strange sort of way it makes music when running. It's got a 'klanka, klanka, klanka, whurrrr, klanka, whurrrr, chicka, chicka' rhythm to it. When I spaced out my mind matrixed symbols, drums, and other musical instruments.

After, I went to a different building to answer a bunch of questions and do some memory challenge stuff. Some things were game like, so I pwned those pretty good. These were administered by a second beautiful and attractive research assistant. I tried to flirt with her too, but she seemed much less receptive to my flirting. Not put off or avoidant, just that she didn't get that I was flirting or that she has someone and wouldn't be interested.

After that it was pretty much it for my day. By the time I got back to my area it was already 5:30. I had a few hours on campus then that was it. Now I'm hiding somewhere that's safe enough to do this writing, though I'll need to be pretty quick to go into full stealth mode.

My life is still sad. A bit more hopeful at seeing not just one, but two beautiful attractive girls that made my heart leap and joyful. Feeling that chemistry is rare, and after so many years being single it's good to know I can still feel... excitement, joy, that nervous happiness of 'is she going to get near enough to touch me on accident? what if she touches me on purpose?' All those feelings that say this would be a good person for me to date.

But, my life is a sad life, and I am older. It is very doubtful either will be interested and all that remains is my sad life around me. I am always hopeful it will change, anything can happen, and it seems Fate has brought me very strong reminders that I can still feel. But, will my dream of being a counselor at a school ever come true? Of being a teacher? Or will I be one among many who never get to do what they wanted or hoped in life? I certainly don't lead a charmed life, as I'm sure those research assistants will, but am I doomed forever? My romantic side is as hopeful as ever, but my logical side can't help but continue to think maybe this sad life is all I will ever have.

Day 800 - 9/9 - On the drugs

My time at school for today is nearly up. It's 6 and I only have a few more hours I could be here. I am starving, so I'll likely leave in a little bit, earlier than my maximum time I could stay. No new car or job news to report.

Today is the first day of my drugs for the study. I'm super burpy. Thankfully that seems to be the only side effect so far. I'm reasonably sleepy too, but I think that's general life. I do feel a bit more my old homeless self than super maximum depressed homeless self, but I'm fairly certain that has to do with the fact that I was social yesterday what with meeting the new people and seeing not one but two beautiful research assistants. (Though upon reflection they could get in big trouble if they started dating me and whatnot. Not only because I'm in the study, but because it's a study about depression and dating is a happy thing. )

Not sure what to really say for today. Nothing new has really happened. I did think a bit about what the researcher assistant I gave my card to said about love. She said it was 'within the self'. It struck me as odd coming from someone in Psychiatry, but then I don't know if that was her field, nor if it was her one and only view on things. Some would say love is nothing more than a chemical reaction that influences action or reaction. If that is true I would agree it is in the self, but I'd also say that change is caused by external stimuli, either directly or indirectly, so 'love' is really an exchange of stimulus and response. I suppose that part of how I've managed to be single for so long and not go crazy. I know what makes me feel loved, and what I'm looking for, and so I can wait. But, I can also feel loved through memory or fantasy. (Though fantasy of any kind is rare for me these days as I'm often very limited in my ability to act to fulfill them, making me feel like having fantasy is fairly pointless.) Anyways... just some rambling thoughts on love and why I may have survived without for so long. I would agree with her that I don't need others to feel love, but it certainly would be nice to have.

Day 801 - 9/10 - On the drugs, day 2

It's lunch time. I decided to do all I can nom pizza. It's pretty expensive, but I figure I get salad and pizza. I've been super hungry lately. I don't know if it's the drug they have me on for the study or if it's my cold. I do seem to be feeling more of everything; more hungry, more tired, more happy sure, but also more easily frustrated, more sad. It seems the main way the drug works is by amplifying everything. But I don't know if a victory by keeping me distracted / unable to focus on sad things helps. I mean, sure, it's what I'm trying to accomplish with my gaming in some ways, but there is some kind of permanent experience gain emotionally and a social connection if I'm online. With the drugs just amplifying everything I don't know if that helps. And too, it could be a placebo and nothing has changed but me, or it may not be reacting as it should yet. I don't know for sure. The only thing to be said with certainty is my tummy is grumpy and burping a lot, almost all the time, food or no.

No change in jobs or cars, not a huge surprise.

I still have about 4 hours of my day left before work, so there is still time for change or something interesting, though I doubt anything will.

Day 802 - 9/11 - Returning sadness

It's about lunch time. I'm feeling mostly normal today, but with a returning sadness. The drugs seem to be affecting me less, which is good because the effects so far were pretty high level.

I'm sitting in a parking lot at the ex-house hub wondering what to do next. Should I eat here? Should I go to the food store and sit at a table in the corner and watch Big Bang Theory? Should I reactivate my WoW account after lunch and play? While I do have some options due to not being so close to the line on money things seem extra sad with no car. While I likely would be pondering the same questions with a car, being here on the ground, stuff on hand, it seems much more sad than if I had a car and I didn't have to carry this stuff with me.

The drugs so far seem to have created a sort of brain reset back to the early days of my homelessness. I seem to be thinking clearer, faster, and have an overall higher sense that things will be ok. While hope seems bolstered I can't help but think that nothing has changed externally. My situation is still what it was. Nothing is different save for my perception. I'm still trying in the same ways to recover, and recovery attempts are still met with the same challenges.

I'm so tired. If I had a car I could nap. I'm tempted to go to the closed college campus and go to the locker rooms to see if it's quiet enough to nap. I suppose though it doesn't much matter. I'll get up, have lunch, move around, and likely feel ok again without a nap.

Like a lack of sleep, there are so many things I crave and need that I just can't have these days and I'll just have to be without.

Day 803 - 9/12 - Eternity of helplessness

It's just past 11. I'm at a bus stop waiting to go to campus. I'm going to see if I can maybe nap and then have lunch. I'm having a weird day though, could be the drugs. I don't feel like being, going, or eating, anything I normally do. I have some grapes and crackers that I'll kind of force myself to eat, but no micro or fast food sounds good. I have a migraine headache. Even with a car I don't think I'd want to go to the library or mall. I wouldn't mind a movie though, and I may wind up doing that even though I have a couple of larger bags with me.

I don't know. It seems a very sad day today. I guess it's just that lately what with the seeming brain reset I've though more and more about those people I know, and even strangers, and their lives; what they are doing once they leave my area, their home life, their hobbies, sometimes even their troubles. I guess it's just made me miss having a regular life more. As always though there isn't anything I can do to get it back. I'm already trying. It's out of my control. I do have my fragments of my life, and that helps. It is enough. But on days like this when I feel like an observed intruder and outsider wherever I go, this kind of day is extra tough.

Time passes

It's around 2. Campus is sort of open. It's in an odd state. The locker rooms were closed, but soccer peeps were out on the field. There were both church groups and I can hear people (repeatedly) clapping across the way in the historic building. The downstairs area and the cafeteria side room are open. I ran down to find the bathroom open as well. It's not supposed to be though, so if I do stay I'll just be outside. I've been here about 1.5 hours and seen only one maintenance person, no other official campus people. It's probably fine to stay until dinner time, but I've nothing really to do. I have my games, but I think because of a massive headache I think I don't feel like playing on a small screen. Since it's Sunday all of the boards are dead; fun, car, job, or otherwise.

My days and nights with no car (when I'm not working) continue to feel like eternities of helplessness.

Day 804 - 9/13 - Sadness returns

Not much to say today. It's later evening. My work shift is almost over. The study drugs weren't too bad today. No migraine level headache like the past few days. I still have an easily increased heart rate, all emotions and feelings both good and bad seem intensified. The sadness is returning though. While there are many many thoughts brought forward I don't normally think, there is still my constant background sadness being brought forward as well.

It was a pretty regular day on campus. I surfed online. I checked for cars, checked for jobs, checked fun boards. Nothing seems to have changed today though. My life still seems stuck and sad. All I can do is keep trying and hope tomorrow is a better day.

Day 805 - 9/14 - Goodbye wiggly tooth

It's around 2:45, nearing time to catch a bus to work. Nothing different in the online world today. Still no cars close enough to look at. Still no jobs to apply to. Still no random messages from new potential friends or sweeties. The only thing of significance today is that I lost my wiggly tooth. I went to eat a sandwich and with the first bite it just popped right out. I suppose it's a good thing in that it was far too corrupt to save; better to have it gone. What surprised me is that the surrounding teeth and gum seem fine. I guess the corruption didn't spread, and it covered the gum long enough for the lost roots to already be covered and healed over. Unless it didn't have roots. If I remember correctly the dentists were always amazed I'd kept a baby tooth, which don't have roots I don't think. It's possible that was the one I lost. It was fairly big though, about the size of the tip of my pinky turned sideways. It is on the side of my mouth though, so it's not like I've got a big hole when I'm talking to people. I do still have super scary teeth though from the other damage that's happened.

That's probably all for today. I'm still hoping for a car soon, but it seems less and less likely this week. Next week school starts, and it would be nice to have a car for that too. Not that it makes a big difference for school. It's just I move around more when there are students here, so carrying extra stuff is more of a pain. Of course it would be nice to have overall to carry stuff, take me places, sleep in; it is getting colder and winter-like already. Of course too being able to do laundry easily again would be very nice, not to mention easy access to shower stuff.

Anyways, just rambling I guess. Well, I suppose for the first loss that really matters during this terrible adventure it could have been much worse. Cars and stuff can always be replaced, even teeth to some degree. I suppose I am still thankful for all the things I do have and that do remain in my life.

Week 116

Day 806 - 9/15 - Impulsive day

It's dinner time. My day is basically over. I didn't really do anything of true interest today. I checked for jobs, cars, and cycled through my fun boards. I did reply to one car ad, but that was it. I suppose I did help a few people with PC stuff, but it wasn't anything major.

Impulse control has been poor lately. What with the drugs my mind is no longer a series of controllable rivers I can damn up and alter the flow of at will. It's more like a single great flood. Passing thoughts that wouldn't make it to the surface of my mind all come forward - from positive thoughts, to semi-obsessive thoughts, to mean/insulting thoughts, to sad thoughts. Mostly I can hold them back and not act on them, but some repeat or fixate until I do something with them. Today that meant a lot of little searches online for nothing of value. I suppose no harm done, but it's very distracting.

Just a normal day other than that. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Day 807 - 9/16 - Date for a car

It's nearing 3; haven't done much today but go around and around on my boards. I did watch a few shows though, so that was fun. I've got this nervous energy that just isn't going away though. It's likely a side effect of the study drugs. It makes me fixate on things. I can't relax easily or move on from things to other things.

It's looking like no car for this weekend either, possibly not anytime soon. I'm getting reports that people are getting dozens and dozens, sometimes over a hundred replies/calls in less than a day. I don't know if I can compete with that what with my limited travel. At least more nights than not I can sneak in to sanctuary and hide in safety. But the longer I do that the greater my chance of discovery. With no car though there is only so much time I can be out in the cold exposed to the elements. At some point it becomes too much of a health risk, as if my health isn't bad enough from staying in my car. Well, the buses are... adequate, even though I'm prevented from going certain places or doing certain things like sleeping in on campus or going to the movies or dinner with no bags and stuff.

Still... I must continue on with my restricted life and try and stay as happy and mentally stable as I can with what I do have. As tough as it can be at times all I can do is try and move forward with hope in my heart that things really will get better some day.

Time passes

Woot! I has a date to get a car. I'm meeting someone Saturday and expect things to be fine. He sent lots of pictures and says it's fine mechanically, so I see no reason not to get it. So, if all goes according to plan, I'll meet him around 10, grab my stuff from the ex-garage, then finally do muchly overdue laundry and be able to store more than one day's food again.

It will be so good to be mobile again. I hate hiding in places that are risky. Just now there was a close call so I had to sneak away to a local park. Hopefully all is fine and there won't be any heightened security checks, but still I worry. I worry in a car too, but at least with a car I've got access to several hiding places. Not just for me but for me and my car, so it is much easier to be out, both at times I can blend in with crowds and times noone else is around.

Hopefully things will go ok with the car. I'm also spending more than I'd really hoped to. But on the good side it's a kind I always wanted and it does have a hard top. A removable one that can even be set in a sun roof kind of way even.

Well, not much else to say. Maybe at least this part of my life will go back to being at least close to normal, if not genuinely normal. There is still much left for recovery, but being mobile again will be a good first step.

Day 808 - 9/17 - Last day on foot

Not sure what to say for today. Today was theoretically my last day on foot. It seems so strange thinking of all the normal things I can and need to do once I'm back in a car. I need to wash cloths. I need to buy food. I need to buy a new pair of pants. I need to get a parking sticker. I could go to a movie or dinner if I wanted without taking my bags in. It seems so exciting to be mobile and, in a way, free again.

Yet still, I feel so far from a normal life, so far from getting truly re-established. While a big step forward in my sad life this is really a step back to where I was before. A step that should have never been necessary. A step that is taking a significant chunk of cash that will only get me a small bit closer to a normal life.

I know being mobile again is indirect power and control. I'll gain back several hours a day I was losing to the bus, not to mention lost time having to repeatedly go to the store to buy one day's food at a time. But I can't help but still feel helpless and out of control. While I didn't have to look for cars today I couldn't play so many games I'd have liked to play. I couldn't get Big Bang Theory season 3 or Iron Man 2 and watch them because both are things I'll collect on Blu-ray, which I don't currently have access too. While I will make a big step towards recovery tomorrow I still feel trapped. I still feel as if I may never make recovery steps fast enough to truly recover due to being on my own and not having the opportunities I need to fully recover.

Day 809 - 9/18 - Car theory disproven

As I sort of expected, getting the car today didn't happen. Apparently this guy didn't think to check that he actually had the pink slip to sell the car ahead of time. I don't understand how you can post a car for sale, agree to sell it to someone, set a date to meet two days later, and not verify that you have the required paperwork ahead of time. So now my plans for today, and well everything forward, is shot. Now I have to meet him Thursday so we can go to the DMV to do the paperwork there. I can't do it sooner because I don't have the money to transfer the title over, which would be immediately due when we do the paperwork at the office.

Looking over my budget I got extra sad. Because this is so much more expensive than I was hoping to spend, a gaming laptop is an impossibility until early next year at the soonest. Well, if the car is in perfect condition and is as good a shape as the pictures show it would be worth it long-term. Not being able to really game and watch all my shows is really getting to me though. I do have my mobile gaming, so that is something, but I still miss PC and console gaming. While I could go to the game center that' a very expensive proposition at $2-3.5 an hour. Even at 10 hours a week in the space of about 4 months I would have paid for a console or nearly a third of a full desktop or laptop, over the space of a year it would be nearly the cost of one of the gaming laptops I've been looking at for a fraction of the played time I could play with a laptop.

I'm not sure what to do with my day now, let alone my weekend. It's not even noon yet and campus looks like it's got a special event in the area I hang out in, so I don't want to wait around much longer. Also, it's a bright gray out today, blocking my ability to even see my netbook even if I wanted to stay. I guess in a bit I can maybe go get some new pants. Tomorrow I will have no choice but to do laundry on foot. And I don't know what I'll do with my coming days. What was a great many options of places to go and doing a few things I needed or wanted to do is again limited, or forced to be on hold.

I guess things will work out. I guess things aren't all bad. But why does it seem everything I do has to have these lame complications? I don't expect life for me to be easy, it never has been before, but I at least hope and wish it could be normal.

Day 810 - 9/19 - Sad day of laundry

Today is a sad day. Laundry was very overdue so I'm doing that now. Hopefully I'll be less stinky now.

With no car my life seems much more sad than it otherwise would have been. I suppose what I could have done is really unchanged by having a car or not, but needing to walk everywhere, needing to carry everything with me, it's making things extra tough. It's much easier to feel not homeless when I can at least keep things in the car.

Maybe too I'm still sad about missing gaming and everything a regular life with a sweetie and friends has to offer. Without being able to game I can't see my online friends or make new ones. Without a place to stay dating a sweetie or making new RL friends seems much more difficult.

I guess nothing is really different with or without a car, but it seems so very much worse. Obviously things are, what with having no shelter unless I sneak in somewhere, and I've nowhere to put the stuff I carry every day, so things are much worse with no car. But in terms of a life, in terms of life re-establishment, I feel so much sadder, yet things don't seem all that different in what I can or can't do.

Time passes

My poor feets hurt so much today. Each step hurts. I've walked only a little more than normal so I'm not sure why they are hurting today. It's probably just the repeated walking all the time.

I'm so very sad about the car. I don't know if we will be able to straighten this out. Apparently it's going to take an extra fee and extra paperwork with the DMV, which I'm going to refuse to pay for. On top of that the document has to be signed by us both and notarized, again more costs, and I think that has to be before the transfer. Unless this guy says he will take a few hours off to do this I don't see how it can be done in one day. And there is no way I'm paying for a car before I drive it around for a test drive.

I don't understand why my life has to be a complicated mess. Why couldn't this have gone quickly and smoothly? Why are there no other good cars that people have replied to me after sending out probably several dozens of replies in the past few months?

I can feel my lower and mid back clinching up from the stress. It would have been so much better had he mentioned this ahead of time.

As always all I can do is wait and hope everything works out ok in the end.

Day 811 - 9/20 - A new session

School is back on. It's early morning and I has a juice. Some students look new, many are chatting in groups like it's just another day in a series of days that have already been in session. Me, I feel as if I've been here forever now. It still doesn't seem like it's been more than 6 months, let alone a year, even moreso the nearly 2.25 years it has been. Of course I want my life to move on and change, but I can't imagine not being around college peeps. I've been in classes now for more than 10 years. I don't know what I'll do if I can't work on a campus of some kind. Of course I'd be forced to move on, as I likely will be, and so far these past few years seem to have gotten me no closer to my goal of teaching or counseling.

I don't know what to do with my day or my life anymore. I don't have class until Wednesday. I don't have to leave for work until 4, roughly 7 hours from now. I can look for jobs. I can check for cars in case this guy completely falls through. But outside of passing the CBEST I have no idea how to get closer to my goal. Now that I've done that I seem as stuck as ever. Even with a degree most jobs I've seen posted want years of experience, which I don't have.

Although things are beginning again for some I still feel stuck, lost, and wonder if things will ever really change.

Time passes

Lunch time; though I'm sort of forcing myself to eat. I'm not really hungry. I'm more sad and sleepy than anything else. I suppose it's because basically everything in my life is sad for me right now. While most people have one or two sad things in their life it seems everything in mine is sad. My life is not at all what it once was. I suppose I am still far from having the worst life. Due to what I do have, due to where I live, there are still many things I have that others don't. On days like today I look around and everyone around me is young, full of excitement and hope, many surrounded by friends, their whole lives ahead of them. Once upon a time I had friends around me, a sweetie, hope about my future. How did I fall so far behind? Why can't I recover despite my efforts? Did I ever have that life? Will I ever again? Am I somehow so fundamentally different at my core that I can never have a normal life ever again?

Day 812 - 9/21 - Sads bother me less / Complete car fail

It's lunch time and I'm actually hungry. My sads seem to be bothering me less today. Don't get me wrong, things remain unchanged. I guess I'm just more accepting that I can't change things today. It seems almost a daily basis now that I'm reading about new games, new movies or shows releasing that I could collect, and new hardware coming out that I'm missing out on. In some cases they are the second game or season in a series that I'll be missing out on, and I'm nearing a third full hardware generation that I'm behind on.

No jobs to apply for lately. And things seem to be slowing down a bit again. I also haven't heard from the car guy yet if he is moving forward or not on things he should have done before trying to sell his car. I seriously can't believe it wasn't ready to sell. Did he expect people to just hand him money without the proper and legal paperwork done?

It seems just another day today and although my life seems to have little more than tragedy I suppose there is just as much potential for a happy turnaround at any moment.

Time passes

Odd twists and turns from fate since lunch.

While waiting for the bus to take me towards work a guy asked me about my shirt. He was half smiling and seemed to recognize it. It was my Death Knight shirt and he nodded and we talked gaming stuff for a few minutes. It seems he too is in a bad spot right now and has his gaming on hold (and obviously was also out a car). It seemed odd to get a nod from Fate that maybe I can find people who are friendly towards me in passing. Who knows, if I see him again in the future maybe we will chat more and who knows what could develop.

For the reverse, it seems my poor car luck is continuing. After now nearly the sixth day after first contact the car guy is saying he won't have time to do the smog until Thursday. He tempted me by lowering the price a few hundred, but as much as I'd love the car I told him I just can't risk it not passing and being stuck with a car that needs repairs unless he were willing to sign some kind of contract that guaranteed my money back if it didn't pass. I highly doubt he'd go for it, and it really wouldn't hold up in court unless it were at the very least notarized. I guess tomorrow I'll have to go back to my full searching. I had a feeling this may fall through and have been half-heartedly searching, really just skimming to see if anything else I may love came up, but nothing has. Tomorrow I guess I'll have to go back to replying to ads that would be cars that would be... acceptable. It's sad because this is one of the exact kinds of cars that I would have loved, and even more so it was one of the few which has a solid hard-top, more rare than not with the kinds of cars I like.

Well, as always my life remains what it is. And that life seems to remain basically out of my control or ability to change.

Comments and stuff Copyright E. Stryker 2008-2010
Pictures for Epic Fail are taken by me. :)

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