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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 271

Day 1891 - 9/4 - Days or weeks

Today was fairly sad. I'm getting more and more worried about my laptop. Today it made the funny electronic squeak it used to do way back when. That was the original reason I sent it in for RMA that was, I guess, never really fixed. As before, after a second time it did the weird lockup thing for like 5 minutes. Also, when unplugging the system for 15 seconds the battery dropped to 75% and showed the damaged / replace warning. The rest of the day the system acted normally, but was still hotter than it should be. I am very worried that the system may have days or weeks, when I thought it might have months. I guess only time will tell how long it has.

My friend said she suddenly felt very worried about me and checked in. That was nice. I guess physically I am ok-ish. I'm still very tired whenever I do anything. I'm congested. I feel bad. I wouldn't say like I feel I might die, but I certainly feel like my homelessness has taken such a toll I may have years and not decades left. As always, all I can do is hope I can get out of it and recover before there is any real permanent damage. Hopefully I can still have those decades. But I always feel bad. And I am always sad. And I wonder... what if this terrible journey is the end of me.

Day 1892 - 9/5 - A regular Thursday

Today was a pretty regular Thursday I guess. I got to the coffee shop. I checked forums for a while. I watched a show. I played for a bit. And I checked for jobs. In the evening I watched a movie at work and edited my podcast.

My laptop seemed ok, which is awesome. Nothing really eventful happened though. There is a lot of whining about not being in beta on the forums. It's like the end of the world. People are freaking out when they should just chill. Everyone will get into beta before the game goes live in like two months. Sure, it's sad the developers don't talk to us more, but it's such a tiny team. They are all likely very busy fixing the stuff that really needs attention. In some ways I wish I would not have accepted MVP, as I feel I have to act like a community manager a lot of the time. If I weren't I'd probably just back off of the forums. There is so much whining, impatient people, and I guess entitlement, which makes me sad.

I suppose though, most of all, I just tried to hang on and survive my terrible journey for another day.

Day 1893 - 9/6 - Feeling sad

Today I feel pretty sad. I don't really know why. I had a tough time getting to sleep, so maybe that is part of it. I did see some people poop talking me on the forums, so that's sad. I don't know if they are just jealous I got MVP status, or if they feel superior in some way (and thus feel I am unworthy), or what. I played my game for a bit, but did get disconnected a few times. I saw a dead raccoon on the side of the freeway on my way to work. That made me super sad too. The poor raccoon was just trying to find food or go home.

I feel very sad today. But then, I suppose I feel sad a lot. I have very few friends, and those who were close seem to be drifting away. It's not unexpected, so many do. I just don't understand why. All my life people have drifted away, not being long-term friends. I so rarely have people to play things with even online. It's been 20ish years since I had friends to do offline stuff with; role playing games, board games, card games, watch movies, have BBQs, and the like. And, of course, there is the lack of a career. It seems I'm going nowhere, no matter what I try. And with so much of life barred from me because of that I wonder if anything will ever really change in any of it.

Day 1894 - 9/7 - Bad day

Today was a bad day. It started ok enough, but later in the day I posted on the forums and several people started attacking me and being mean. If I weren't MVP I'd just leave the forums or take a break. It seems more and more lately people are being mean. It's really the main reason I don't follow most forums. I think though they are just jealous because I both have a beta key and I'm MVP. I don't understand why though really. Everyone will get in beta at some point. And that point is likely to come in one, maybe two months. While I can understand being jealous over MVP they shouldn't be jealous or hateful because I got in one or two months sooner than they did.

Sad days are sad. I'm feeling less and less appreciated since I was awarded MVP.

Day 1895 - 9/8 - Good day turned into a bad evening

Today started out a good day. I had a quiet, if somewhat boring shift at work. I had an ok time at the coffee shop playing my game. My system had been ok all day with no issues. Things were going pretty well until I grabbed dinner and headed to sanctuary. The one thing I look forward to a week is my early time in sanctuary on Sunday nights. I have peaceful, quiet, alone time, that is just about completely risk free. I eat dinner. I relax. I listen to podcasts. And, most times I get to bed early. But not tonight. Tonight I'm not in until 2.5 hours later than I should have been. At first I couldn't find a spot anywhere close, or even far, from sanctuary. There is only so far my flat feet and weak ankles can carry me before they hurt a ton. After 30 fricken minutes of driving around back and forth, my dinner all the while getting cold, I gave up. I parked in a store lot, on the verge of tears of frustration and tried to calm down, eat dinner, and listen to stuff. After, I killed a bit of time with a chore, then went back. The perfect spot was open. But then, suddenly, I started to feel sick. I had to run back to the car to go somewhere for an emergency bathroom trip. In the probably 5 minutes it took to get to a place and come back, my awesome spot had been stolen. I spent another 15 minutes driving back and forth before a spot at basically the extreme far range I could be opened up.

So, an otherwise good day ended on the verge of tears by being reminded how terrible my life is right now. Two and a half hours wasted. Forty-five minutes of gas driving back and forth across a few blocks, wasted. And even now I still feel a bit sick.

It's easy to pretend I'm not homeless during the day, though I never forget. But on nights like this... it is extremely difficult to hold on to hope.

Day 1896 - 9/9 - Laptop plan

Today has been pretty good I guess. I'm super extremely tired though. I don't remember most of it. I suppose the mostly good news for today is, checking my bills, if the IRS doesn't take that $500+ they demanded (which I sent the form back on to negate it), I should have money for a replacement laptop in early January, just 4 months from now. The problem is though, that drains everything from savings, leaving me vulnerable for several months until it recovers.

I guess it's good news. I guess that will be around the three years I hoped my laptop would last. But I can't help but think that if my life weren't terrible that wouldn't be necessary. If my life were normal that money would be a pretty awesome desktop system. If anything bad happened to the car, or Gods forbid me, I'd have no money to cover that emergency.

But, I guess as it always has been for these past more than 5 years, all I can do is take care of one emergency at a time and do my best to deal with them as they come.

Day 1897 - 9/10 - Feeling sick

Today I feel a bit sick. I guess maybe for a few days I've felt a bit off. I feel congested, low energy, and like there is yuck clogging up my heart. I suppose it could be depression, I don't know. As we move up on another session of school I find myself really wishing I could stop. The classes seemingly gain me nothing. I've never gotten a job because of them. And somehow I seem to be one of the few who, no matter what I do, can't get my life restarted. But because of the incredible level of school debt I don't see a way to stop. I don't even know if stopping would change anything, because people already aren't interested in my skills I do currently have. I continue to feel trapped in my sad life and unable to escape it.

Week 272

Day 1898 - 9/11 - Feeling unappriciated again

Today I am feeling very sad and feel unappreciated. The forms for my game aren't being as poopie towards me, but there are still a few who are. I've sent half a dozen emails for suggestions to the lead community manager person who is my contact, but I rarely get a reply, and when I do it's often nothing more than she will pass the info on. And some days, like today, there are other comments she sends which make me feel like she doesn't appreciate what I'm trying to do for the community. My presence on the forums really greatly outweighs all the actual developers presence. I'm much more likely to be the first even remotely official person someone sees when coming to the forums. I was originally hesitant to be MVP and make a commitment in any permanent way because these communities are so often full of people who aren't respectful to other people's opinions or perspective, and it seems with every day that passes it becomes more and more like that.

I feel very alone, unappreciated, and lost lately. I'm not having very much fun with anything I do.

Once upon a time I had ways to try and be happier, ways to kind of let things I couldn't control go, and sort of reset myself. I'd take a long shower. I'd do some chores, like laundry or straightening up or dusting my room. I'd lay lazily on my bed and watch some TV. I'd spend an extra long time on a special yummy dinner. Or maybe I'd step out into the back yard and have some private time and just look around at the various critters.

But I can't do that now. There is no escape for my sad times. There is nowhere for me to go, absolutely nowhere I could have some private, calm, alone time without being interrupted by others, or risk of being discovered somewhere I'm not supposed to be.

Today seems to be yet another reminder my life is not going where I want. I have no control over where it's going. What little there was of me is fading away, and what I am forced to become is not something I want.

Day 1899 - 9/12 - Sneezing day

Today I feel pretty sick. I don't really feel bad, but since work started my cold has gotten much worse. I'm kind of feverish feeling, very tired, and have been almost constantly sneezing. My nose is super congested and runny.

I'm still sad about the situation on the forums of my game, but I'm trying not to let things get to me.

Mostly my feet have really been hurting a lot lately, almost all the time. Nothing in terms of surface have changed that I'm walking on. The only thing I can figure is this extra 50 pounds I've been carrying around the past few years might be causing it. I'm going to yet again try to get committed to getting the weight off, but I'm not very hopeful. It seems no matter what I've tried lately nothing changes.

Day 1900 - 9/13 - Feeling old

Today I feel tired, maybe a bit grumpy. I guess kind of like an old man yelling at kids to get off his lawn. I'm still having fun with my game, but being more and more saddened by the (forum) community.

Not sure what to say about today. I feel very cold and congested. I feel lonely and sad. But I suppose, most of all, I feel sick, and trapped.

Day 1901 - 9/14 - Do not want

Today I feel very sad and out of control. I don't want much, just the little things; to be able to sleep in on my days off, to not have Internet that disconnects me as often as every 45 minutes all day, to be able to shower in private in the morning, to be able to wear my house cloths in a house, to be able to eat what and how I want and not have to worry about portion size or food spoiling if I don't eat it all at once.

I do not want this sad homeless life. And while there are happy moments, there are so many simple moments I miss that I just can't have anymore.

For days now I've felt on the verge of tears at any given moment. I suppose, like any pain, anyone else would have felt this way long ago, but somehow I've endured. I don't know how. And I don't know what Gods want it to continue. All I know is that I endure. At times like this I don't know how I do, just that I must, I have no choice.

Day 1902 - 9/15 - Sick and tired, and craving salt

Today I felt kind of sick and tired. My cold still has me pretty beat. I'm not sneezing as much, but I am still sneezy. I have a lot of headaches and eye aches too. And, as it often does these days, my heart feels surrounded by yuck, and broken.

Oddly, I've been craving salt a lot today. I had a bunch too. I had some with breakfast, there were tortilla chips during lunch, and just now I put some on the fries I got. I wonder if my cold is doing something that it's used for.

School starts in basically a week. I have that same class I had a hard time with before. Unfortunately like everything else is after that class, so I'm kind of stuck. Lately I've been thinking about the days I used to spend in the side room or the cafeteria. The oddest thing happened just a few days ago. I saw 'the alpha', that leader of the regular lunch group. We only briefly passed each other on the way to / from the bathroom at the coffee shop. He said hey and politely asked how I was, yet kept walking out. I said meh, and that was about it. His group is gone now. Or at least they were when I was last in there. They have all moved on. I hope they are doing well in life. But, I think about things like that. I think about how people going to classes for the first time now could easily be the age of my kids, if I were to have had them when I first got married. Heck, if that would have happened my kids would potentially be graduating from a masters by now. I don't feel like I belong there anymore. I mean, I was only a few years younger when I started there, so it's not really like I belonged there to begin with, but the thought of going back now... feels uncomfortable, like I'm unwelcome, an invader, and I feel like noone will want me around them.

But I have no choice. I have no other options. Nowhere seems to want me anymore. And that makes me the saddest of all.

Day 1903 - 9/16 - Unable

Today I don't really remember. I guess I spent much of it on the forums trying to be helpful to people. I only have a very vague memory of that and doing my morning work online for my friend. I only got to play for a few hours before I needed to go pay for car insurance and do laundry before work.

I am still very sad about all the things. It seems no matter what I try to do I am unable to make my life any better. My podcast is awesome and I love doing it, but it feels like it's changed nothing. Though I have more hours at work and often get extra shifts, barely anything can be saved and nothing has really changed because of the higher income. And most recently now with being given MVP, it seems noone is really treating me any differently. In fact, many community people seem angry, upset, or jealous of me, certainly far more seem so than those who seem grateful that I'm trying to help in my posts.

Lately I have been feeling more helpless than ever before. My happy times these days seem fleeting, passing as quickly as a shadow from a bird flying above. It seems no matter what I gain, no matter what new path I try, they lead nowhere or eventually crumble to dust.

Day 1904 - 9/17 - Sad times ahead

Today seems pretty good. I slept ok. I've been sleeping through the night lately, which is super rare for me. This morning I got my regular spot in the parking lot. And there are only a few people in the coffee shop at the moment, so it's quiet, and more importantly I got my regular spot. So I'm all settled in for the day.

I think though there are more sad times ahead. I am not looking forward to class. It seems to be getting me nowhere. And being around so many younger people is starting to make me feel old. I think not so much due to our difference in age, but due to the reminder that this is how far on the outside I've fallen. It just seems to serve as a reminder of how unwanted I am in all aspects of my life.

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

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