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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 191

Day 1331 - 2/22 - Five and ten

Today was pretty good I guess. It's very difficult for me to say it was "good" or that I was happy. Yes, I got to play my games and watch shows all day. Yes, even just a year ago I couldn't have done that and I am extremely happy and grateful that I can now. But even with these happy things, even with these small freedoms, I am not free. I do constantly have to worry and keep my eye out, if even just a little. I do have so very many other things still wrong or bad about my life.

No cars to reply to today. They were ridiculous mileage (150k-250k) or just not something I'd be at all happy diving.

My heart seems a bit better in some ways. Today I discovered not only could I do 10 sit-ups a few times during the day, but five half push-ups as well. (My regular workout before I was homeless was three sets of 10 sit-ups, 5 push-ups, 10 sideways sit-ups on each side, and pushing up my tummy while laying flat, followed by a brief pause to catch my breath and stretch my back / sides between each set.) Now that it's night and I'm hiding my heart still feels a bit bad and sad, but not as bad as it's been lately. I'm still on 1/4 pill instead of 1/2, so I'm on half my medicine dosage, and I'm trying to cut back on caffeine a bit. I think I may be heavier than I think. I peeked at my tummy and upper thighs in the mirror during a bathroom trip and it looks bigger than it feels. There are no scales I can easily get to, so I don't know for sure.

All in all I guess today was pretty ok, but I can't escape the fact that everything I have now, everything I don't, and everywhere I look, I am reminded of how much of a failure I am, and how much I feel like a failure, and that I won't ever be able to recover.

Day 1332 - 2/23 - Still hoping

Today was pretty ok I guess. I tried to study in the morning, but I was so sleepy the book just didn't sink in. It doesn’t really matter though, as we are behind and it's a chapter that I've read before. Class was a big headache. We went over something we'd done before, but it's a tough concept and pretty confusing. Before class I hung out with my class friend. I finally got a chance to show him around the spots gamers hang out. It was kind of disappointing because even though he seemed thankful he didn't seem really willing to break out of his shyness to visit the areas to meet people. I worry that after he doesn't see me anymore he will be alone and wind up being like me when he gets older. He still has no idea that I'm so much older than he is. I bet if he were to guess that he'd guess I was less than 25, heh. After class I was at the restaurant and I played my game and watched my shows. Again there were no cars or jobs to reply to.

It was nice and warm today. If I had a car and had some extra cloths in it I may not have carried my sweater and trench and put on my shorts. It seems so sad I have to carry all this extra with me everywhere. Of course, all the other things about not having a car are also sad, and I'm pretty tired of that. As always though I can only try to control what I can control. I can't control if there is opportunity or not.

I still hope everything will work out for me and I do get to live a normal life again someday, if not a happy rabb1t one. But for now I am still just as homeless and bad off as I have been so many days before, and all I can do is hope that tomorrow is a better day.

Day 1333 - 2/24 - Podcast in one day

Today was different. It wasn't different in what I did or how the day went; I still found no cars or jobs. But, it was different in that I came up with a bunch of stuff to talk about on the podcast and had a chance to record. And on top of that I actually recorded the entire thing and got it all edited during my shift. So that's all ready to go in the morning.

That was really my day. Nothing else of interest happened.

Day 1334 - 2/25 - Sleepy, sneezy blur

Today was ok I suppose. I think I have a bit of a cold coming on. I'm sooooo tired, and for the past couple of days and today I've been sneezing now and then. I have a bit of snifflyness too. Today was pretty much a blur. I only remember bits and pieces basically. I was completely out of it until about the early evening.

I posted my podcast in the morning. Noone has said anything about it, which isn't unusual, but for some reason I feel extra alone. I feel very lonely, and despite the constant noise of the music and chatter of people around me, I feel alone and isolated.

I did my stupid class homework for this week which thankfully 'only' took about an hour (so far). I was expecting it to take longer. I played my games and watched some shows. Noting special or different happened.

Day 1335 - 2/26 - Family day

Today was kind of sad. Sure, I played my games and watched shows, so that was certainly a great homeless day. But emotionally I am very sad. Today was family day at the restaurant, as it is every Sunday. Even before I was there I saw families at the coffee shop. I saw a little one, couldn't have been more than 2, start to sniffle and tear. She was so cute, but so very sad. I wished very much that I was her dad so I could have scooped her up in my arms and asked what was wrong. (Apparently even this young she noticed that her drink was not in the same kind of cup as everyone else and she just wanted to be like everyone else.) Later in the restaurant I noticed several families with little ones. Some as young as her, but more closer to around 5-7. It made me sad because I am alone. I am always alone. Not only am I alone, I was not with a family (in the sense of being a single person in a family). I have no little ones. I am not a daddy. And since I am old enough most "my age" are starting to become grandparents, it seems my having my own someday seems an impossibility. ... If I ever even regain my balance and survive being on the streets.

Those of you who have little ones, or loved ones who are not yet starting a family, take a few moments to remember how lucky you are, and how truly special that is.

Day 1336 - 2/27 - Another lonely and sad day

Nothing really to say about today. I spent the morning at the restaurant, then I had work in the evening. Nothing special happened and there were no jobs or cars to reply to. Again I felt pretty lonely and sad, but that's not really anything new in my life.

Day 1337 - 2/28 - Leet day (not)

Today was pretty sad. I did some work on my next podcast this morning, so that was good, and I had some fun with my class friend. But, despite that, I feel sad and lonely. For the longest time all I wanted was the freedom to have my games and shows. Now that I have them it seems to emphasize what I'm still missing in my life.

Things are better now than they were before, but again I'm starting to feel very alone, very isolated, and very depressed about all the limitations in my life. It seems the few triumphs I have are small and fleeting and that I may never have more ever again.

Week 192

Day 1338 - 2/29 - Online fun

Today was actually different for a change. It started out with rain and laundry. Needless to say, on foot that was a huge pain. Most of the day and the early evening was sad. I felt lonely and didn't want to do any of my normal stuff. I have stuff due still for the class I like, but I didn't feel like doing it. I had my online work for my friend, but I crashed the other day, so the stored passwords were lost and I didn't have her login info. So basically I just blew everything off. I was so tired.

In the evening I had some fun with online friends. I met up with my friend Jenesee and some of her friends and we played some Mass Effect 3 demo multiplayer games. It was super fun.

I guess I'm still sick though. I'm so very tired. I'm so very easily angered with all the little things in life (overly bright lights, people talking near me, etc.) I've been getting winded super easily. I was walking at 1/4 to 1/2 of my normal pace, and even now after I've been sitting at rest for a while I'm still having difficulty breathing. There was occasional sneezing and a bit of wheezing, but that's getting better.

Today was pretty mixed, starting sad and lonely, then having fun, while overall feeling kind of sick. More than anything though I still wish I could be living a happy rabb1t life. There were some podcast topics I would have liked to have rambled about and tweaked for this week, but I couldn't. There was stuff I'd have liked to have researched and tested, but I couldn't. I keep hoping that I can someday, but sadly the reality is more likely that's a dream that will not come true without a very special lucky event happening. People do win sizeable amounts of money in the lottery all the time. I suppose there is a chance someday that person could be me.

Day 1339 - 3/1 - The following friend

Today was different for a change. I expect even just a month from now this will have no impact on things, but today my class friend decided to follow me to the restaurant. I let him play stuff he didn't have for a bit. It was fun to hang out and have a friend person to chat with. He is super young and super hyper though sometimes, so he'd be tough to hang out with for long periods I think. But the class time and one hour after is fine. On his way in he left his stuff in the car. I was like, 'You don't need any of that stuff?' And he replied, 'No, why?' And I mentioned how it's just very odd for me to not have anything with me when I go places and that going places without stuff is like normal, but not an option for me. He didn't get it, nor should he, and I hope he never needs to.

With my online fun last night and the extra time with my class friend I feel a bit more like a normal person today. I would even say my heart issues seem lighter and that I don't seem to have as much difficulty breathing, but that would be very difficult to verify as mood related and not just that I do have a cold and it's getting better, or that my normal dose of blood pressure medicine today didn't have something to do with that.

Normal... I still seem and feel so far from it. At least days like I've had lately I can at least sometimes feel a bit closer for a brief time.

Day 1340 - 3/2 - Blurry

Today was pretty much a blur, but it was ok I guess. I spent the early part of the day at the restaurant. I can barely remember my time there. I watched a show or two I think. Then my work shift was ok. I got a chance to finish recording for this week's podcast, so during my shift I did that and watched a movie. And that was really it.

I feel more normal than not today, though nothing in my life has changed.

Day 1341 - 3/3 - More online fun

Today was pretty good. I actually did my assignment that was due for the stupid class. I originally thought I wouldn't do it. It looks like the teacher has also put up the next three, which are all the ones left for the class. I may actually try to do them all next week just to get them all done and over with.

Most of the day I played Mass Effect 3 demo multiplayer online. In the evening for about 1.5 hours I even played with online friends, so that was super fun. We are set to play again tomorrow starting at 5, so I can play a bit before I have to catch the bus to go hide.

Oh, I posted podcast 45 in the morning too, so that was new too. I'm a bit happier with it in terms of style as some lately have felt very rushed. The style of 'talking on the phone late night with a friend' was starting to disappear, so I made some special trips to the ex-garage for a few recording sessions. Just doing it once a week before work was really stressing me out and forced me to rush through them. As long as I'm homeless my recording will be less than ideal, and I just have to try and deal with it as best as I can.

So, today was actually pretty good. I don't feel too sad, although my sadness is ever-present. Also, I still feel a bit sick, congested and an occasional sneeze, but I'm getting better. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 1342 - 3/4 - Even more online fun

Today had a surprise and was pretty fun. The early morning wasn't anything special, but then I played some Mass Effect 3 demo multiplayer online. My online friends surprised me by coming in around 1:30 my time. I guess they meant 5 their time, not my time. So that actually worked out super good because we got to play a lot longer than if it were 5 my time. Of course I wouldn't be so pressed for time if I had a car. I could stay until 9 instead of 7:30 on Sunday. And, if I were re-established in a home, or even just on someone's couch, I could play until I started getting super tired at like midnight.

I remember being in a home, free to stay up and play, or get up and play, whenever I wanted. It's such a simple thing, but something impossible in my life. The memories of my once life seem stronger now than they have been, possibly because my connecting with people to play with online has allowed me to have some sort of connection to things that were. But it still seems so strange. I remember what it was like. I remember the freedom of it. But I can't remember how it felt. Maybe I took it for granted. Maybe the world I live in now is just too different. Maybe, even though I was free to, because I had no friends online to play with as I do now I didn't really have fun and enjoy it like I would now.

I have some online friends I can play with now. And it makes me happy and it is something. But when it is night, when I have to hide in the dark, and I know they are still having fun or snuggled in their beds, I wonder if I will ever be able to truly play with everyone else ever again.

Day 1343 - 3/5 - Not a midnight launch

Tonight all over the country there were people out in the cold, waiting in line for the midnight launch of Mass Effect 3. They likely had a temporary camaraderie. They likely talked about their favorite companion characters. They probably talked about other games. And, who knows, maybe while in line they also played games.

Once upon a time I would have been among them. Once upon a time I'd have been cold from the night, yet warmed by the many people close to me. Once upon a time I'd have cheered and wooted alongside them when the store started letting people in. And probably at 1 or 2 in the morning when I got home with the game I'd have installed the game while I calmed down from the excitement and got ready for bed, so it would be ready to play the minute I got up in the morning.

But that isn't my life anymore. Tonight while they were cold and in lines I was cold too, but I was alone. The quiet around me deafening, in an entirely different way than the cheers of joy that likely happened at some of the launch events. Tonight while they shared stories and made friends, if even for a short while, I did not. This is my life now. Cold. Lonely. Silent as a shadow in the night, for fear of being discovered. And while they wondered how long the line would be before they could take their copy home and get in bed, I wondered if I will ever have a home, and if I will ever be able to be in a bed again.

Day 1344 - 3/6 - Mass day

Today was genuinely super fun. It started slow with waiting at the ex-house for like 2 hours for my copy of Mass Effect 3 to show up. (It came significantly later than the normal delivery time.) I went to school, then met up with my class friend and we ate and chatted before class. I was able to install the game during class, but it gave me a weird error when trying to connect to the game server. It's likely that school only has one layer firewalled (the game itself, not the service login site.) But, it did get all installed and ready to play after class. My class friend followed me to the restaurant. Even though I made him swear not to talk during the story bits he went on and on. He also couldn't get over the fact that I picked a female character. It wasn't that I was playing a female per say I don't think, it was more an issue that I guess he has an issue with / mental block about female soldiers. He also didn't get why the story was important and wanted to fast forward through it all. I'm not going to say younger people can't be empathic, sympathetic, or emotional, heck I've seen ten-year-olds that showed more emotion and sympathy towards others than some adults I've known, but he certainly is in the mainstream bulk of late teen gamer male. I likely will not let him watch me do single player anymore. That's really a private time thing for me. I don't mind so much sharing with someone, but they would have to be a totally silent observer, any talking would only be during breaks (like I pause to pee or whatever) or when the game is off.

After he left I had about an hour to continue single player, and then Jenesee showed up, and a person we've regularly been doing online multiplayer stuff with showed up, so I had super fun during multiplayer with them for a few hours.

I didn't want to stop playing, even though when my last bus was coming they needed to leave for the night. If it were any other time in my life I wouldn't have stopped. I could have still played for a few more hours before getting tired. I wish I could have. I want to get more time in and be able to podcast about it. But I can't. Now I have to hide silently in the shadows. I have to hope I get enough play time and enough recording windows to try and podcast.

For a few brief hours today I felt like a regular person. Like my old self. Now in the shadows for the night I again wonder if I will ever be able to return to a regular life, or if I will ever get the chance to live a happy rabb1t life.

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

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