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Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer
Book 6: Fading memories

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 265

Day 1849 - 7/24 - Settling in for the night

Settling in for the night used to have a very different meaning for me. It used to mean I was coming home from work. I'd change to house cloths; maybe take a quick shower to help me forget the day. I would put what I wanted out for dinner to thaw if need be. I would go online to check email, maybe to start playing for the night. While I cooked dinner my evening of TV and play had just begun.

But now it means the opposite. It means my night is over. It means my games and shows must be put away. It means I am settling in to my hiding spot for the night, hoping nothing unusual or bad happens.

As bad as it is though, for the most part I don't feel as trapped. Back then my timers were short. A 15 minute break, 1 hour for lunch, only about 5 hours of getting home before I needed to be in bed, and only 14 hours before I'd have to be back up again and back at work. So many timers all ticking away. All in constant motion, never stopping, never a break.

I suppose now isn't a whole lot different. While I don't have as many timers they are still the same. The work timer is ticking away, though it may be days between timers instead of only a handful of hours. And, much like my bed timer, the timer for play and show watching still tick down. Only now, it is unpredictable if I get the full time or not, even more unpredictable if that time will be disturbed by noises, smells, or the activities of others around me.

Coming home, settling in, changing cloths, playing, having someone waiting for me to cook for or enjoy some shows with, all are distant memories now. But I suppose as long as I still remember them my old life isn't entirely lost.

Day 1850 - 7/25 - Forgotten day

Today was strange. I remember editing my podcast in the morning. I remember checking for jobs. I remember watching a couple of shows. But I don't really remember anything else which happened more than about 5 hours ago. The majority of the day is kind of a blur.

Nothing special happened, but nothing bad happened either. I guess today was just so similar to all the other days it's blurred into the rest, even though it should still be fresh in my memory.

Well, I guess all I can hope is the same thing I always hope, that tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 1851 - 7/26 - Good start

Today had a good start. I finished my podcast editing and posted it in the morning. After that I had a live stream to watch for Hearthstone, which I'm super excited about. I haven't been this genuinely excited about a game in a long time. After that, I had a stream to watch for a different game, but that was so early in development they hardly showed anything. I watched a few shows and another stream showed up, this one for a new MOBA. Though, as usual, the community (people in chat) were so... mean and disrespectful towards each other, I left pretty quickly after it had started. Which was just sad. They aren't even in the game and they are trash talking each other.

My friend said hi very briefly today. She is super busy with happy important things. She hardly has time for anything. It's sad because I feel lonely, and I suppose in a way abandoned, but I'm happy she has a super busy happy life. I know I would love for my life to have lots of good happy things going on keeping me busy. But until I win some lottery money, it seems my life has become destined to be the exact opposite.

Day 1852 - 7/27 - Feeling agitated

Today wasn't really good or bad. But now I feel, I guess, agitated. I feel like someone has been poking me every few minutes, or like I've been in water too long and my fingers and toes are all wrinkled. I guess it's just my constant exposure to artificial lights, constant music, and people moving around me that is getting to me again. I'm at the park and I'm going to rest a bit. Maybe that will help.

I suppose things aren't bad, but I certainly don't feel normal. But then, I rarely do these days.

Day 1853 - 7/28 - Ouchie boo boo

Today I got a pretty bad owie. At work I'm sometimes lazy when I open. There are a couple of bathroom doors I usually just lightly push open, stick my hand in really quick to turn on the light, then yank it out again before it closes. Well, that is a pretty dumb thing to do, and this morning I paid for it. One door wasn't really pushed open, so it slammed closed on my wrist. There was a tear of skin and immediate swelling. It's not too bad. The swollen bit is about half the size of the wrist bump. That is right at the end of the bone though, and it is a pretty small one I think, so I am hoping I didn't do permanent damage. The small bump seems to move with my skin, so I'm hoping that's just swelling, natures air-bag, and it will go down and be fine in a few days.

Though I think I may still be losing weight slowly, today I feel super fat. All day I've been extra hungry. I ate a breakfast micro, a small lunch, a chip snack, a pizza slice snack, and a larger dinner. Though I feel fat from all the extra eating my tummy feels like it really needed it. Maybe it's due to lost sleep. Maybe my sneezing lately is a cold and it needed to fight the cold. I'm not sure.

Mostly today, as usual, I feel sad about being homeless. Some fun games are coming in a few months and I find myself extra sad I have no home to have a calm, uninterrupted experience with them. One is something I can do on my laptop, but the instability of the wireless may weigh heavily on my experience. Most of the rest are console games, which regardless of where I go that experience will be diminished.

I find myself lately thinking back to my days in a home where I would happily bounce from one activity back to my room to play on PC or in my lounge type chair to play on console. I would hop back to my room after a shower eager to get back to a game I'd play the night before. It may be in the middle of the afternoon, or it may have been at night with the window drapes open where I could glance out and see the night sky during loading breaks. It's one of the only experiences I really want back in my life as it was. And again it seems yet another doomed to be plagued by disruption, or simply impossible, due to my unchanging, and seemingly never ending, homelessness.

Day 1854 - 7/29 - Another blurry day

Today was another blurry day. I didn't get much sleep last night. I think in total it couldn't be much more than about 6 hours. Today was pretty much a blur. I watched a few episodes of a new show. I checked fun forums and job postings. But that was all I really remember doing. During the job checking my day literally was blurry, as my eyes had trouble focusing for some reason.

My boo boo is a bit better, but still swollen. It may be a while before it goes down. It seems my weight loss was a fluke or my stress has brought the weight back. Today I was the usual 220.

Nothing else much to say. Lately I've been having odd dreams. Mostly about moving, or my stuff in storage, or other homeless things. The more I dream of returning to the dull day-to-day life I had in dead end careers, the more it seems I feel like I will never recover when I am awake; and that what I have today will be all I will have for as long as I can manage to hang on to life.

Day 1855 - 7/30 - No new jobs

Today I'm sleepy. I did a job check early though, so that's done for the day. Though postings are picking up a bit in some areas there were still no new jobs to apply to. I often think (since I seem unable to be paid to do my gaming stuff) I would have had a much easier time if I'd have lived maybe 50 years earlier. I think I'd have been a pretty good private eye with my observation and stealth skills, as well as my higher understanding of personality. My strengths just don't seem to be desirable to people anymore, either due to the job not being one people need or that job having so many that can do it you have to be highly trained before anyone even considers you. I suppose, at least it seems, I will always find somewhere that is ok with my being around (to do job searches and spend time doing regular life things.)

I did still have odd dreams last night, but they weren't bad. They were mostly about a few games I'm looking forward to. When I got to the coffee shop the friendliest worker and probably the person who is second most friendly chatted with me about game stuff for a few minutes, so that was nice. So the day started out ok I guess. I may work on system recommendations. Though I doubt anything has changed, they are about due for an update. I may go to a movie tonight. There's one I want to see, but I might go tomorrow, I haven't decided yet.

Though things seem fine for an ok day at the coffee shop and other places, I am still so very sad I do not have a place I belong in a home.

Week 266

Day 1856 - 7/31 - Owie on the other wrist

Today went ok I suppose. I have somehow hurt my other wrist. It hurts a bit when I rotate it. Right near the bone bump is the worst. I must have sprained it moving some storage stuff last night. I can't think of any other time it would have been hurt. My other wrist is mostly better. The swelling is nearly gone. Now just the laceration from the tear is sort of swollen from nature's putting it back together.

I had packaged up my headphones for RMA because twice now the foam has come off the ear. This last time it came completely off. So today I had to listen to stuff on my little ear buds. It was strange watching shows like that, but it worked out ok.

During dinner I decided I am not going to RMA them. Though the RMA was approved and I have a number, I decided that the $10-12 for shipping just wasn't worth it. I decided to just try and push the material back in where it came out of. I figure since I was not putting it in a bag in my backpack that it must have been getting yanked around by various things inside. I figure if I go back to putting it in the bag every time that won't happen again. I had just gotten lazy and this is what happened. I tried to get it back in place, but I couldn't. I found some tape in the ex-garage to use to tape it in place. It's low level electrical tape, so it should hold pretty well. I'd hoped for high level black electrical tape, but I didn't see any.

I went to drop some chips and storage money off for my ex-roomie while picking up my new wallet. She actually came to the door when I was there. It was strange standing there talking like old times. I don't know how long it's been since we really talked. It's hard doing that. All the ex-house smells are the same, so all the memories of living there quickly came flooding back. Since I have not been able to move on physically it is difficult to be there. I feel like I can just walk in round the few corners and I'd be back in my old room. But it's not there anymore. Once upon the time it was where the cats stayed. But now I don't even know what it is. I know my stuff isn't there. I know my room isn't my room anymore. I am not there. And if anything did remain of me there, it would be little more than a fading memory or a fleeting feeling.

Day 1857 - 8/1 - Eye doc

Today was ok I guess. It was pretty busy. In the morning I kind of had to rush and do my job check then forum posting. I only had time for one show. I had to leave early to grab lunch then head off to my yearly eye doctor appointment. It went fine. Everything's about the same.

The only real interesting part of my day was watching a movie and doing my podcast editing at work. I still wish I had more... freedom to do it. I was going to say time, it's what one typically says, but I really have plenty of time. It's the places I can be and limitations on what I can do that cause stress that really limit it in being the very most awesome it can be. I would still really love to have the chance to live my happy rabb1t life all the time and do more for the podcast and website.

I feel weird today. It feels like Friday already. I guess that might just be due to lack of sleep. I've probably lost 6 hours over the past few nights from not being able to sleep right away. I guess it really wouldn't matter if it was (Friday). My life would still be just as terrible. I still have to be out in public all the time regardless of what day it is. There is nothing to look forward to even if it were a day later than it actually is.

Day 1858 - 8/2 - Amazing start, meh end

Today was kind of good. In the morning there was a stream for a game I was cautiously optimistic to see, and it totally blew me away. I don't think it would have been possible to impress me more. However, I will still be a bit cautious, as some of the aspects have yet to be seen in practice. In so many games before there were features and promises which just didn't work out well. I'll ramble about it in the next podcast.

The evening was just meh. I got a decent enough shower at work. I overate a bit during dinner. But I've been really hungry lately, so hopefully it will work out ok. And while I had two movies to watch, they were both really terrible.

My night isn't over yet, and all I hope is that I can get to safety and get to sleep quickly, and that I get enough sleep for a change.

Day 1859 - 8/3 - Feeling confused

Today I feel confused. Maybe it's because I'm super sleepy. I've been losing a lot of sleep lately. I think it's more because my schedule is so empty and flexible compared to when I was in a home. Before, I could sleep in, but after that I had kind of a schedule. I'd take a shower, plan lunch, have lunch, plan dinner, put dinner out to defrost, cook dinner, eat dinner, decide when during the free times to check forums, watch shows, or play games. Everything was flexible, yet everything needed to be done. I looked forward to planning and doing all the things. But now... everything is scheduled for me, and everything is pre-done. I go to a coffee shop. I have nothing planned after that until dinner. When I have dinner, with today being Saturday, it will be chicken soup. I know where I'm going. I know when. There is no planning. There is no thought involved. It just is.

I feel groggy and confused, like I just woke up. There is no schedule to plan or manage. There is nothing to challenge me or wake up my brain. There is no need for it to come out of a sleep state, so I guess it hasn't bothered to.

I feel tired. I feel lonely. And, I suppose most of all, I feel like since I don't interact with anyone nothing I do matters.

Day 1860 - 8/4 - Heart feels bad

Today my heart feels bad. It has felt bad for a few days now. I'd say it is most likely due to all the congestion and cold stuff going on. For a few days I've had heavy congestion; sneezing, coughing, yuck coming up when I cough. I've been extra tired too, but having a very difficult time actually getting to sleep. My heart feels weak, hurt, like it's surrounded and filled with yuck.

I've been plagued by bad dreams too. One of the recurring ones has the boss from when I was younger that was mean to me. In the dreams she is still young, strong, and striding around with this air of authority like she did in those days. I've often wondered how much further she got in the company. She must have already been making 100k or more back then. She was the head of a whole department of operations. (Though she had noone under her besides me and her secretary.) But for some reason, as I was thinking about it last night, no matter what she did it would have to be over by now. I last worked for her 20 years ago. I don't know if I even knew her exact age then, but if I were to guess she would have been probably around 40. Only just now have I thought that by now she must be retired, possibly gray and feeble. And her newborn and young child are now grown and done with college, possibly with masters or doctorates, possibly even have kids of their own. It seems strange that such a powerful and menacing figure as she was in my memory probably now is this feeble old grandmother who is starting to get on in years and just stays at home doing small hobby things.

I suppose she could still be that strong person, as if my figures are off it's possible she's only in her mid 50s and still in the business world. But as I searched the current social network websites and found no results for her name, the image of the tired, starting to hunch over grandmother type, came to mind more and more.

I don't know if the truth of the nightmare will finally clear it from my mind, or if that realization will only make my own life seem that much more sad, alone, and old.

Day 1861 - 8/5 - Extra hours

Today my boss called me and I got some extra hours. It's not much, a few shifts for a few hours each, but I guess it adds up.

Today I was pretty tired. I'm pretty sneezy and have a lot of congestion and snifflyness. I'm doing a lot of extra stuff for my podcast and feeling pretty good about it this week. There is a new game which promises to do some new stuff that I'm very excited about. It basically has almost all of the ideas I've thought should be in a MMORPG for quite some time. So, if it pulls it off correctly, it could be something I'm happy playing for years to come. (And it will be free to play, so no monthly subscription.)

I feel very tired and run down though. The more I have a good time with my rabb1t stuff, the sadder I am that I'm not free enough to do more. I just want a simple life, free to play my games and do my rabb1t stuff without worry of bills. I don't want much, but I continue to seem unable to get there.

Day 1862 - 8/6 - My first EQ story

Today seems ok. It's pretty quiet at the coffee shop. I don't have my favorite spot, but someone new is there, so they likely won't stay long.

My mind keeps wandering to the super exciting new game. It is actually the fourth in the series if you count a console only version. But in thinking more and more what to say about it in my podcast I remember more and more about those days before. It's a very personal story, one I think most won't be able to relate to. For me, the original EverQuest was my first fully 3D game. All these creatures I'd been imagining all my life until that point I'd never thought I'd see, all the adventures to fantastic places - when I started playing this game in my mid 20s was like a great weight had been lifted. It was not just a game. When I saw a gryphon for the first time I had some tears and had to stop playing for a few minutes. These things I'd imagined that I'd never see or hear my entire life were made real, or very close to it. Though this game I could see a world. And I realized then it was the first one that I'd see of countless others to follow.

Comments and stuff Copyright E. Stryker 2008-2013
Pictures for Epic Fail are taken by me. :)

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