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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 137

Day 953 - 2/9 - A day paused

Today has been pretty restful. I forced myself to sleep longer than I wanted this morning, both because I'm still pretty sick and also because I couldn't sleep until after 4 AM. Something was really bugging me and I don't know what it was.

Nothing new today. It seems like my life has been paused. The boards are pretty quiet. I'm taking a break from school stuff. I watched some shows. And nothing new has happened.

I shuffled a few items in my budget around and it's possible I could order the laptop in as little as a couple of days. It will depend just how close it is. We'll see as the last bits of money get to my account. It's super exciting to think that I'll be able to game again. Even more so now that I can afford a system where I won't have anything to worry about for, well, a couple of years at least. It is not, of course, ideal, but it will be a shiny bright spot of happiness in an otherwise sad and limited life lately.

Can't think of much else to say. I feel like I'm between an odd space of here and there. I think more so because of my cold than anything else, but the change to being able to game again is also a big part of it. So many limitations and frustrations will disappear. At this time next week my life may seem a lot less sad and free of a lot of frustrations.

Day 954 - 2/10 - Ordered

I found a few items to shuffle in my budget and was able to order the laptop this morning. And, I got it overnight shipped for only $4. So, as of about 9:30 tomorrow morning I'll be camping the laptop spawn from the ex-house garage. It's not that I'm so anxious I want it immediately as it is that it's a signature required shipment. So if I miss its arrival, if the friend/ex-roomie doesn't sign for it, it could mean I'd have to wait until Monday. Hopefully it will come early, or I can call and get them to give me a time window. I'd hate to have to camp there all day long. Not only would it be boring, but I couldn't eat or drink much for fear of needing to leave to go to the bathroom.

I feel ok I guess emotionally. I'm still a bit sick, so that's depressing my system. Even though the money has come and gone through my account the reality of being a gamer once again in less than 24 hours seems odd. Though still not ideal compared to my being at a desktop at home, I've been living such a limited and sacrificed life for so long that the thought of being able to sort of keep up with gaming again still seems so foreign.

Tonight's class has most of the roses, so there is that in less than an hour. I expect nothing will come of it, but you never know.

Day 955 - 2/11 - Adjustment needed

Today has been a whirlwind of emotion. I couldn't sleep last night, so that didn't help. But this morning I waited a few hours, then my laptop arrived. It seems lighter than I thought. The weight isn't that bad, certainly not as bad as I expected. But the system seems enormous. Of course I've not spent a lot of time in front of a big screen that was mine in years. But the system is likely twice as long, and twice as wide, as my netbook. I'm going to have to carry it until I find an appropriate bag for it. But I felt ecstatic at seeing it, and yet at the same time sick an a fair bit sad. Doing some research it's not that much bigger than the 15" screen size average, being only 1-2" bigger. I think it's the move from a 10" screen that's really surprising me. Others in the library and at work didn't give it a second glance, so it likely isn't that big.

But I feel very odd now having it. I feel free, like I should shout for joy, yet at the same time as I write this I'm on the verge of tears. I think that the only reason for this is because I feel like a very dear lifelong friend has left the country and I know I will never see or hear from them again. I think, in a big way, that finaly having a gaming system again, finally having it be a reality and not fall through for some reason (at least not so far), that I've finally had to truly say goodbye to the me that was, the me that could live in a home as I was, and now have been forced to truly accept that this is it. This is me. That if I want to game I have to accept that this life alone, this life of failing health, this life hiding and shivering in the dark of the night, this life with no real life friends, that this is it for me. That this is now as good as it gets. While I may no longer feel like I will miss out on all the games, while I can now enjoy my movies and shows that I collect at least visually (since sound is still limited), I can't help but feel that getting the laptop has both freed me and become a death sentence. I feel as if I will either lose it (and it becomes a non-reality again) or I lose myself, and I will not last as long as the system, that someone will find it hidden among my homeless bags as the investigators go through my possessions.

Like a friend who is leaving the country never to be seen or heard from again, I can only hope and wish for the best for myself. Yet at the same time all I can think of is that this is not who I am, not who I was, and I wonder what will become of me.

I've never enjoyed big changes. I always forget that. And I enjoy them even less when it seems I'm forced to do them against my will, or that if I don't my pain will continue forever.

It saddens me to think that while this frees me, while I am elated at the thought of being able to change, that as long as I love this laptop, as long as change follows that I'm forced into, the pain of these times may never heal.

Day 956 - 2/12 - Return to gaming

Today was my second day of gaming on my new system. I still feel so strange and sometimes sick about it. I think I'd like a system 2/3 as big, which really only exists in netbooks. No gaming laptop exists that small. Part of it is the portability, but too think a part of it is that it allows me to 'live small' as if my enjoyment would be fitting to how limited and restricted my life is. I do love the power and freedom of my system, and I'm very slowly getting used to it. But I'm still so sad. Sad that I don't have a home. Sad that it seems there is no place for me (physically). Nightly I pass by and see empty apartments, new homes for sale, places I could be living, yet I can't. After 3+ years of searching the job market I've found nothing new. Seemingly there is no place for me there either savefor what I have already.

I fear I may be headed to a slow and eventual fail that I can't get out of, possibly even death. There was a homeless guy on campus today. This guy is like me though, but maybe 15 years older. He carrys a big bag, a laptop, sometimes a few bags of food to microwave stuff, and I've seen his truck. Its back compartment is completely filled with sleeping stuff and stuff stored in boxes, and some electrician stuff.

I worry that this may be it. While I played some online from work and it felt like I was in a home again, after only an hour I had to leave. It was not my home. It was work. I had no reason to be there still. While others in the guild logged off to go to bed, I have none. I have the shadows and the uncertainty of when I'll play again, or where. It has been such a long and sad journey so far, and while gaming has certainly made it better, and I can truly enjoy my shows and movies again, I fear this road may have no end, and my only company will continue to be those I only see online; distant disembodied voices of ghosts and spirits I will likely never meet in person.

Day 957 - 2/13 - Cried just a little

Today was a pretty good day. I'm still sick, so that's sad. I was supposed to work on some school projects that are due Thursday but I couldn't. I was too sad about things. There are a few minor issues with the laptop. Nothing bad, but the two hard disks are divided into five parts for some reason, completely messing up where things normally go. Someone pointed me to a software to fix it, but it would be $25. (Edit: I was later pointed to a free one that worked, yea!) I don't understand why they aren't two standard full sized disks. It makes no sense. Also, the theme seems to be getting reset every time I restart the system. Lastly, two of the rubber foot pads have already come off and gone missing. The battery life is truly terrible compared to my netbook. The netbook could easily go the 3 hours of an evening class and still have 60% left. I was watching Big Bang Theory during dinner just a bit ago and it went through 2.5 20 minute episodes before it was drained from 98% to 8%. Seriously? Not even like barely an hour before the battery drained? I guess that's about the same for other laptops, but still. I love the laptop, don't get me wrong. I played an online game for about 4 hours today in 1920x1080 at maxed settings with solid framerate. But I really wish there were a netbook sized option. Though it would be more sad in the 'wow factor' I really think that a 13" 1920x1080 or 1600x900 screen with 4+ hours of battery on about a 12" footprint would be ideal for me. Unfortunately right now everything sub 15" isn't really close to gaming grade. There is like one 14" that's got a mid-range graphics chip, but that's it, and it's not at all cheap.

Just a few minutes ago I was thinking about my day. How I wished so much for peace, quiet, and privacy to do the school stuff I need to do, how I loved the game I was playing, but was forced to play certain times and in certain places. As I feared, having the freedom of the power of the laptop to game or watch my shows and movies anywhere has made me miss a home more. A few tears were shed and even now I feel like a few more may come. I'm happy to finally be with my online friends, but in many ways my sadness about being homeless has been increased that much more.

I know love is hard and rare to find, even good friends to laugh with and share good times are rare, but I don't understand how I have none of either in my life. Noone will take me in. Noone to laugh with. Noone to help me find a good job. I am so terribly alone, and I don't understand what I did to deserve it.

Day 958 - 2/14 - V-day

I guess today is V-day. There were a few things going on at campus. I did get a nice surprise from a Facebook friend saying happy Valentine’s Day. I hadn't heard from her in a while, so I was getting kinda worried about her. Also, back on Thursday I got a surprise after break. One of the roses left a few candies at my desk, so that was a nice surprise thank you for the candies I gave her.

I am a touch happier now that I started podcast 7. I am having a very big struggle with doin a project and studying for a test though. Things have been a bit crazy emotionally since getting my laptop. I'm getting used to it, emotions are settling, but I'm still a bit sad. So while I'm more happy, I'm also a bit more sad. I suppose that's a good change I can adjust to as time goes on. Hopefully my increased freedom will help me reduce my stress and sadness overall.

That's really it for today. Bye for now. Hope everyone had a good Valentine’s Day.

Day 959 - 2/15 - Ok day, adjusting

Today was an ok day I suppose. I'm still adjusting to my system. I fixed some of the dumb things (the hard drives are no longer separate), but I may have done something bad. There were new drivers released for the graphics card, and even though didn't need them I got them. Well, now a game I was playing is crashing. It crashed twice in both attempts to play in under 10 seconds each time. I haven't had a chance to see if other games were affected. I think just that one was.

So busy with projects today, probably will be tomorrow too. But Friday I should finally have a chance to check multiple games and have a final verdict on if the laptop sems ok and all.

That's it for this week. A crazy whirlwind of emotion. Hopefully things will settle down as time goes on.

Week 138

Day 960 - 2/16 - Feeling very broken hearted

I'm feeling very heart broken lately. I feel as if someone has stopped my heart, split it in two, and taken what little happiness and love was in there out and left it broken and empty in my chest. Noone can tell I feel like this. I seem my normal silly, fairly friendly, and outgoing self on the outside. But I fell very sad on the inside. I don't know if it's my bad blood pressure, my cold causing congestion around my heart, my homesickness, or my loneliness that's causing me to feel this way. All I know is it's not getting better.

My life is fairly happy though. I fixed all the issues with the laptop and it's working as it should now. I snuck in an episode of Big Bang Theory during dinner and a few hours of play. I say snuck in because I've got a big project due tomorrow as well as a test and I couldn't focus on either. I'll have to get up early and get them done. I've no choice anymore.

I guess I'm feeling very sad about my life and about my health. It's very hard to recover from colds while homeless, and getting better in terms of eating habits and blood pressure is effectively impossible without a large spike in income.

Daily I see people with friends having fun, laughing, sharing bonding moments, reminiscing, moving on to their homes. Yet I can't. I have no friends to hang out with. I have no home. While I occasionally get notes of encouragement from online friends it's hard to stay up and happy (emotionally).

It's been pouring rain the past few days. Maybe it will stop soon and the sun will come out and it will start to be spring. If that happened, if I could at least be warm some of the time, at least that would be something.

Day 961 - 2/17 - That old self so far away

Today I did something I haven't done in a very long time. I studied and played a game at the same time. IT was almost like the old me. It made me remember the days when I was in my room and had the freedom to do that, as well as study and watch other shows, or work on projects late at night.

I miss me. I miss being in a room with my bed set up, comfy soft with soft warm blankets on top. The room warm, or if the house is cold, warmed by candles. I miss my shows on when they are aired on TV. The excitement of waiting for them all day and preparing dinner so that it's ready when a show starts. I miss weekend movies where I'd take a break from studying and gaming and enjoy watching a movie I'd collected or rented. I miss sleeping in, then sleepily checking hardware news and updating my site with something exciting or important. I miss looking outside the window at the rain or the night sky from the inside of the warm and quiet room.

This new me... does what he must. Tonight for me the rain was not outside, but falling on my head. And the night... the night I can't look at because I must wrap myself in it. I must hide in the shadow and become a part of it. And I... I am the one looking into homes wondering what happened.

Day 962 - 2/18 - A night of lag

Today was ok I guess. School was closed so I had to be out and about all day. I couldn't sleep in at all. Normally I could have at least tried, or napped later in the day. But lately we've had a bi rain storm, so it's pouring rain and pretty cold. Neither works for car sleeping during the day. Hopefully it will let up soon or I'm going to be running on no sleep before school is back on again starting Tuesday.

I tried to play my game from work, but it was horrendously laggy. I could barely play at all. I did play quite a bit in the morning, so that was good.

I finished podcast 7, but I may not get a chance to post it until Tuesday. School is the only spot I can upload files these days and with the holiday and the rain I doubt I'll get a chance to get to school undetected. I feel ok about this one. The subject matter was kind of meh, so it's not my favorite one I've done.

That's really it. While a friend in another state did message me for advice, which made me feel valuable , and another person asked more questions in a line of questions, which also made me feel helpful , today I really was just tired and sad. Most of all I missed having a home; a place to be warm and play my game via a land line so I'm not lagged and limited. That's all I want. But for whatever reason, the gods seem to want me on the street.

Day 963 - 2/19 - So cold, so rainy

Today was an almost non-stop downpour. It's been cold for several days. It's a shame too as it was previously reaching spring temperatures about a week or two ago. I don't think it's been much above 45F all day. Although the phone temperature says it's 43F I think it's colder where I am. I can see my breath half the time if I breathe deeply.

Today was an odd day. I played several times, and at each play session it felt like a whole day had passed. I've been out of gaming for so long that 1-2 hours of play seemed like 4 or more. I suppose that's a god thing, but it seems so strange. And too my life seems happier and yet still sadder at the same time for being more like my old life than not. I still have so many sad limitations to overcome and I still have no idea if, or when, I will truly be able to overcome them.

Day 964 - 2/20 - Another long day passed

Today is finally over and I'm in hiding for hopefully the night. It was cold, but not quite as cold as it's been the past few days since it wasn't raining today. I decided to check school campus even though it's "closed for the holiday". There were indeed people, so I slept in a bit, and after snuck in to the building while the church people were there. I ate lunch and posted podcast 7. Basically the rest of the day I played a beta, save for a brief few hours where I took a break by doing a teeny bit of homework that I could do, and watched three episodes of Big Bang Theory.

Hopefully today and tonight at least a few people will be listening to my podcast snuggled warm in their homes. Me, I'll listen to it in a cold dark hiding place. (I always check them on my phone even though I check it several times on PC while doing it.) The long day is over for me, and so begins another cold long night hiding in shadows, wishing for a basic simple life it seems everyone else has.

Day 965 - 2/21 - End of the long weekend

The long weekend is over. Thank the gods. I am s looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow. Nothing special today. Pretty much a repeat of yesterday.

I miss being in a home. Being with online friends, playing my game, hearing people I sort of know talking about regular life things; it all makes me miss being in a home and having a regular life. Unfortunately I don't seem to be in control of my life right now. What I can do to try and fix it I'm doing, and have been for, well, as long as I remember. I guess I'm just not very good at it.

Day 966 - 2/22 - Fragments of me

Today I feel fragmented, as if there are three different mes. While we always have different sides of ourselves, different aspects or facets, and only show some to people at different times, I feel as if the three mes are completely separate people from one another. There is the old me, which only really exists in ghost form. I can see through the old mes eyes when I've got my headphones on and drown out the world while playing a game or watching shows. There is the day walker me, which is out walking around interacting with people during the day. It's similar to the old daytime out and about me, but beneath the surface layers are layers of sadness and this me is only out and about because he's got nowhere to go. He travels in places I would normally not. And there is the shadow me - the one which must hide and blend in to things unseen at night. This is the most sad me, the me who is the outsider. The me who is the thing outside your window that you wonder who that is when you catch a glimpse of something out of the corner of your eye. Once upon a time this me was another part of the regular me, yet it was not so much a place of sadness, but one of contemplation, wonder, imagination, and exploration of shadows; the one to find the things people want unseen.

I wonder if these three will ever come together again. I wonder, now that my soul has been shattered in such a way, if coming together again will ever be possible.

Another end of another week of fail. And I know it will not be the last.

Comments and stuff Copyright E. Stryker 2008-2011
Pictures for Epic Fail are taken by me. :)

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