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Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer
Book 4: on and on

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 183

Day 1275 - 12/28 - Bartender / Nina / Jerk

I had some very strange dreams last night / this morning that seem to have stuck with me in the back of my mind all day. The first was that I was on a beach with someone and we were walking and talking. They kept slipping in the sand dune as we went up a path and I suggested that they use the tree roots instead of the sand. They said thanks and we continued up the path. There was a sign above a shop that read "Bartender / Ninja / Jerk." They asked which I was as they pointed towards the sign. I looked up at it, pondered, and said, "I suppose bartender, though sometimes jerk." They nodded and that dream faded shortly after that, but we continued on in to the shop. I suppose it's fairly accurate to most people. There are a few like me who would be bartenders, those making sure people have what they need and are ok (as many go to the bars and drink when they are unhappy.) Then there are those who are ninja, who try to stick by the shadows unseen. And then, well, there are the jerks who are selfish and don't care about others. In the dream I knew I said I was sometimes a jerk because of what I post on forums sometimes sounding arrogant or like I know everything.

Another dream was that I was part of a group of people who did live role playing events. I was doing monsters, but I was really an angel. Often I'd hover in place to prove it to people, outstretching my hands and feeling light. In many dreams I'm an angel, but I never fly. I can only hover, and often that distance is limited. I suppose it's because I feel I am sacrificing myself all the time.

Today was ok I guess. Some friend/guildies emailed to check in with me, and the gray ghost checked in and gave me a couple of gift cards to places for nom. I played my game and watched a few shows during dinner. I did put a few replies for cars, but again the one that replied was to tell me that it sold, within less than three hours of the post. There's no way I can compete with that.

Nothing else special happened during the day. I guess with as bad as these days can be, today was actually pretty good.

Day 1276 - 12/29 - Not car

Today I was pretty close getting a car. I guess I was the second person to call, and it was within 30 minutes of the posting. I don't know how I'll ever beat that. Even if I were first it was unlikely he'd have waited the 1.5+ hours for me to get there by bus. Everyone assumes people will have someone to help them out. I don't know how I can compete with them with no resources.

The rest of the day is pretty much a blur. I played a new alt in the game to get someone up to help heal the guild. The group experience I had really kind of ruined my time though. There was one person that was like level 21 in the group, and this is designed for level 10, so it's like what the poop are they doing in this instance?! It would be fine if the game capped and dropped their level down, but it doesn't. So, they aren't treating it like it should be treated. New players are completely messed up in terms of learning their capabilities with someone like that in the group.

I guess my day was ok though. I'd rather have it a blur of playing my game and watching shows than like the old days when I couldn't. At some point too I did verify my paycheck went in ok and checked the few bills I have. But my days are becoming harder and harder to remember clearly. It's like my brain is so under stimulated from all the depression, sadness, and lack of things to look forward to - and I mean the little things; bed, cooking dinner, relaxing in a quiet controlled environment, showering, not having to worry about 'what if's all the time because I'm out in public - it seems the only days I really remember clearly these days are ones that break me out of, well, me. Like yesterday when I saw the gray ghost. Or like I remember Xmas eve pretty clearly too when the friendly person at the coffee shop and I talked about the game. But everything else these days seems a blur blended with the day before. It is becoming impossible to know where I'm going, where I am, or where I've been. It's all becoming a blur of sadness.

Day 1277 - 12/30 - A little rain, a little crying

I was pretty sad today. Not because it's New Year's Eve's eve and I have no car to go places even if there was somewhere for me to go tomorrow, but because I am worried about me, about my lack of a future. This morning as I was playing my game at the coffee shop I glanced up outside and I saw the old (local) homeless guy walking by with his bags and sleeping bag. I again wondered if that's what will become of me. Will things continue to get worse for me? Will I lose my storage space and have to sell everything but a few bags of stuff? Will I become that homeless guy who sticks around that everyone knows, but noone really cares about?

I know people are out there who do worry about me, who's lives I may have touched in some way. But I don't think there is anyone who would be devastated if I were gone. I don't think there is anyone who would be sad more than a brief while if I were gone. I cried for a few minutes a little while ago. I cried for me. I don't want to become that old lost homeless guy noone cares about. But I'm afraid that's where I may be headed. Things are not getting better. School hasn't seemed to change my odds, ever. New friends only seem to be appearing online, and those seem very few. And while I have my games for the moment, everything else seems in steady decline. My health remains bad, and feels like it's continuing to get worse. Cloths are always getting worn out. Even if it's only a few items a year they are being worn out faster. And there is a constant strain on my system from cramped and bad sleep, and from stress of overly bright and loud environments.

I'm tired, so unbelievably tired. I want things to be over, in a good way, and return me to a normal life. And while I try to hold on to hope, I'm beginning to wonder if it will really ever happen for me.

Day 1278 - 12/31 - Not a party for me

Today was sad, but passable all things considered. In the morning and afternoon it was a regular enough day. I played my game and watched some shows. As the evening came it became more and more not my party. I saw people dressed up in fancy party cloths on their way to parties that were not for me. I can't remember the last time I had a party that I dressed up for, and I never had friends who got dressed up this fancy. I'm not an overly fancy guy, so I don't mind being outside of the norm there. But it was sad not to have friends, to not have family, to not have a party to go to, or somewhere others felt that I belonged. I felt like an alien from another world, observing a culture I was not allowed to join.

Day 1279 - 1/1/12 - Helping and not

Today was pretty good I guess. People on my alt server in guild were talking about collector editions and I mentioned that I'd just talked about it in my podcast. They seemed interested in checking it out. Also, on my regular server someone asked about graphic cards. I was on my way out, but we talked for a bit and I pointed out some things they didn't know and told them about my site, so I got to help someone there too. Also, in a few different groups in my game I did some pretty hardcore leading by setting up target marks and talking strategies and got some crazy groups through some instances. (One had no tank and one had no healer.) They complimented my organization and strategy.

I didn't really look for cars what with the banks being closed, but there were hardly any posted, which is not surprising.

While being at the less expensive restaurant has given me a superior Internet connection I think the better food is now not helping. Because I eat it so often I'm feeling fatter, slower, and I always feel like I'm eating too much. They also don't really have great food choices. It's all burgers, bbq, and the like. Well, there is the chicken soup, which I get often, but for lunches I typically eat the regular semi-bad options, and they are larger portion sizes too. I'll have to try and cut back some in the future. School starts next week, so that will likely help some, as I can go back to somewhat healthier microwave foods. However, with still having no car getting there is tough. Hopefully car and job ads will start to pick up a bit once we get into the middle or late January time.

I guess that's really it for today. Not much is changing in my life these days with the holidays still around. Heck, my life doesn't really change at all. It just remains it's same sad. I know there are people out there who worry about me and share in my sadness, and hopefully that is enough to keep me going. As my options become more and more restrictive I become more and more worried about my physical stress/strain and how bad I feel most of the time physically.

Day 1280 - 1/2 - Everything hurts

Everything hurts today. My jaw that was hurting before is starting to hurt again. My eyes are hurting. My ears are ringing. My tummy feels overly full or overly empty. My nose has pressure on the inside eyeball area and roof of my mouth. My feet are tired. My ankle is a bit sore on the bump on the ankle that was broken... everything is so tired and worn down feeling. Hopefully I'll be ok, but I have no true privacy. I have nowhere to unwind. There is no time I am allowed to not be at least a little alert. I have the sanctuaries, which are quiet, and for the most part peaceful; but they are not a home, they are not a place I can rest, relax, and be free from worry.

Today was ok. I played my game most of the day. There weren't really any shows to speak of. I helped that person a bit again. There were barely any car posts at all. I suppose they will likely remain low this week.

This journey is becoming so terrible. While I am in a far better position now to take care of physical needs than when the journey started (minus the car), emotionally it is taking a far greater and greater toll as time goes on. Though I feel connected on days like today where I chat with others, I still feel more and more disconnected, as the longer I am out in the wild the less I feel I can really relate to normal everyday things. Like today I thought about when I was taking a bus to hide in a sanctuary that normally would be my time to start dinner, yet my night was basically over. I am now hiding in the dark when I normally would be eating a healthy dinner and watching a show.

I seem to have fallen so far. And the light at the top of the pit is diminishing to the point that I don't know if I will ever be able to find my way out.

Day 1281 - 1/3 - A bit different

Today is a bit different. I decided to have something different for lunch. It was super tasty and I'll probably get it in the future, though it's on special Tuesday and Thursday, when I'll be in class. Also, someone needs me to cover their shift tonight, so that's some extra unexpected money, which always helps.

Still nothing on cars. There have been very few posts lately. Now there are even more showing up that are completely broken or are so old it's not even funny. (A lot from the mid 70s for some reason.) Not really sure what else to say for today since it's just past noon and in a few hours I'll be leaving for work.

I guess all in all lately today has been ok. It sprinkled and was misty this morning but now it's clearing up. I'm not as sad for the moment, but it is always in the back of my mind. I'm not looking forward to my new classes. Nothing seems to be helping my situation and taking all these extra steps is no longer fun. Starting next week my posts won't appear until Tuesday evening at the earliest instead of the morning. So those of you used to reading on Tuesday may have to wait until Wednesday. I guess that's all for this week. Maybe next week I'll have something fun or interesting to talk about.

Week 184

Day 1282 - 1/4 - So confused

Today I've been very confused. I was so out of it this morning I paid $5 for a $2 item, was looking at my money and spacing out, then took the item and went to leave without waiting for change. Had the clerk not called me back I would have probably completely forgotten about it. I've never done that before. And on Monday when it was nearing lunch time I thought it was Tuesday. Today when playing I couldn’t at all remember the quest story the person just told me for my next quest goals. The other day I got a vitamin to help with my sad sluggish feelings, but it may be having a sleepy confusing effect, one almost opposite to what it's supposed to do. I'll stop taking it and see if things become more clear. It was only $3, so it's ok if I don't use them all.

Cars were non-existent. There are still only 10-25% of what there was prior to Xmas. I replied to only one today.

That was really it. Nothing special happened, but I guess thankfully nothing bad happened either.

Day 1283 - 1/5 - I can't imagine

I can't imagine what my life would have been like in a home today. As I left the less expensive restaurant I thought that I kind of live there now, at least for the time being. I tried to think what my day would have been like in a home had I woken up in a bed in my own room/place. I likely would have showered, cooked some breakfast noms, probably washed cloths, gone to a "9-5" job if I had one, done some podcasting, made a healthy dinner and watched TV shows while eating, and played my game for a few hours in the evening before bed. But that's only a guess. I may have done something different and new, like worked out, seen friends, run a D&D game, any number of unforeseeable things. I think, besides my health potentially being critically bad, this scares me the most. It has been so long that I've been homeless that I don't know who I am anymore. I'm not who I was. Who I was is in a box. And when I return to a home, if that ever happens, that person will very likely not be coming out of the boxes. There are new things that have been acquired, things that have changed. There are old things that are things I will no longer do. And who, or how, I live when and if it does happen is a complete unknown.

I can no longer imagine what life would be like for me when I'm no longer homeless. I no longer know who I am. I know what I do, but that is not who I am. The core of me is as it always was. But much like the seed of a tree I have no idea what shape it will take once I can put down roots again. ... If that ever comes to be.

Day 1284 - 1/6 - Unusual day

Today was pretty unusual. I was awake over an hour earlier than I needed to be. Despite knowing I was "safe" I just could not fall back to sleep. I got "out of bed" just over 1/2 hour early. I got to the coffee shop and played my game. The friendly manager came by and said, 'My coworker and I think it's cool that you play that game *point* wearing a cloak .' I said, 'Technically it's a trench, but yeah. ' I've often thought that when I see my shadow. With my hood up it definitely flows and looks very similar to Jedi robes. It certainly is the closest you can get these days without being in costume.

The not-sis was supposed to hook up with me in the early afternoon and we were going to see a movie since she is in town. But she was running late, so we just chatted for about an hour. I guess she's flown in to see a specialist. She has some funky medical stuff that people are having a very hard time figuring out. I hope she's ok.

The evening was my typical work night. For some reason though when I was editing podcast 38 it took over 3 hours to finish. Normally it's edited and ready in about half that time. It's not any longer than normal, so I have no clue why it took longer.

That was really it for today. I have to bundle myself up quickly now. It's grown super cold at night these past few days.

Day 1285 - 1/7 - Sad health

Today I felt so fat and overfull I almost cried. I was fine in the morning, and at lunch I had just the right amount, but I started to feel pretty hungry again for dinner, so I bought some extra food. It feels like it was a terrible mistake. I feel overly stuffed. I feel fat. I feel very unhealthy. And I worry because I get winded so easily. I don't think I actually am all that much bigger, and I doubt my blood pressure is all that bad, but I really need to try to go back to doing lemonade mix more often. I really need to see if I can come up with a way to reduce portion sizes of what I'm eating.

Today was different in that while it would always be so much better to be gaming on a desktop system with my 5.1 speakers instead of headphones, while it would be so much better watching shows on, say, a 40" HDTV with my 5.1 surround system, today more than anythig I wished for a kitchen. I wished I could have taken out some frozen chicken strips (with no skin) and eaten them, rice, and some mixed vegetables. My system feels so very bad about my eating habits lately, and those can't really change at all. At least if I had a car I could go out of my way to get some fruit or something. But without, and with being forced to eat "fast" food all the time, or pre-portioned micro foods, my options are pretty limited. About my only real control is the healthier micro food and trying to stretch out during my work shifts.

Today I am very sad, and very worried, about me.

Day 1286 - 1/8 - Feel like 300 lbs.

I feel like I weigh 300 pounds today. I was ok most of the day but after dinner I again felt overly full, weighed down, and get winded very easily when moving around. I suppose things will get better though fairly quickly. Starting tomorrow I'll be back to an in school schedule. So, even though I'll probably still be eating more than usual, a lot of my meals will turn back into smaller portions and (partly) healthy micro dinners. I've also set a goal for myself for trying the child sized meals. I've meant to, as there are things like three chicken strips and small side (which can be healthy apples.) So, that may work out. I'll check on that tomorrow, as it looks like as many as five lunches per week would be at the less expensive restaurant. Granted, such a meal is $1-2.50 more than I need to / should spend, but with no car options like doing self made sandwiches are difficult.

Anyways... the short version of today is I feel overly fat, unhealthy in general, extremely tired, and stress fatigued mentally and physically almost all the time these days. Things seem to be weighing down on me extra heavy, and I prey I make it to spring and summer when my body tends to lighten up and have fewer issues with being homeless. I'm so very tired, and so very sad lately.

Day 1287 - 1/9 - Kids item

Today was pretty uneventful. I did decide t try a "kids menu" item. It was plenty of food for me. I don't actually eat all that much. So, that should give me a few cheaper meal options to pick from. Well, cheaper than "full" menu items. They are still $5ish, which is more than the $2.50-4 I typically spend on a cheaper meal. Hopefully though that and eating regularly at school again will help get me back into shape a bit.

No cars to speak of. Posts are still just a tiny trickle.

I'm not looking forward to class tomorrow, but it is what it is. I must keep looking and trying new ways to find a better job. I guess I should be proud of myself for not giving up on trying to find a solid career and "better life", but I still really wonder if it's not too late, and if I'll ever really get that chance at starting over so much later than everyone else is starting.

Day 1288 - 1/10 - Horrible blood pressure

It looks like the construction that has blocked the blood pressure machine at school is finally done. I have confirmed my fear and my blood pressure is really terribly bad again. (Around 150/95 up from the 135/90 it had gotten down to from what I recall.) I'll only casually check for a few weeks to give my body a chance to re-balance to at school diet. Since I can eat smaller portions again, and have access to at least some vegetables through the Chinese place again, I'm hoping I can balance out pretty quickly again.

It looks like the classes I got are; programming in C intro, which may be somewhat challenging, though once upon a time I knew a reasonable amount of Basic. I'd even created a few programs; one a game where you 'chased' a space ship and shot at it, and another that was a maze that was randomly generated. (Well, it was walls and random holes were generated that made it like a maze, heh.) The other is a web page class that's online. So I guess that one won't be as bad. It may actually be so basic as to not help, but my life is what it is. I need more than one class to keep the financial aid hounds off my back. Class is from 1:30 - 4, which is not as late or long as I thought, but it eats up the bulk of my day.

It's a bit warmer today and there are a few cuties around, which always makes me smile.

I'll close here as I expect nothing to happen during the rest of my day. But if it does, I still have a chance to change it before posting.

(Edit: A cutie did say "nice bunny " when I came back from break after I'd drawn my bunny on the board on the way out. )

Comments and stuff Copyright E. Stryker 2008-2012
Pictures for Epic Fail are taken by me. :)

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