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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 287

Day 2003 - 12/25 - To bed without dinner

Tonight, and last night, I've felt like I'm being sent to bed without dinner. Technically I am. I got some salami that will last all day for basically three days, and that's all I have to eat. Since yesterday I've basically been down to $1. It's totally my fault really. Had I not forgotten I was so short I wouldn't have spent that $25 and things would probably have been fine. But with how things turned out, even though I have enough food to not be hungry, I've felt like I'm being sent to bed without dinner as punishment.

Hopefully since my paycheck is automatic it will not be delayed and it will show up just after midnight. If it does I can start to re-balance my health and have enough that I don't have to worry about meeting my budgeted food and gas. If not... well, I've got enough soda and salami left to eek by, and I probably should have enough gas for even a couple of days since I'm hardly driving anywhere.

I'm tired of being so overweight. I felt bad enough pushing 180, but at least I didn't feel so bad then. But at 220, more so the 230 I've been lately, it's not ok. I'm very committed, though I don't know how I'll get time or space to work out. Today I'm starting what I'm calling the '100 forever plan'. When I was working out before at the restaurant I'd hit 100 exercises in a day. With this new plan I'm targeting 100 per mini-workout, meaning I may hit 500 or more on average for a day. Today I didn't get so many chances to work out, so I probably only hit 300, but I'll try and figure some things out. Though I know my body can't take much per session, I know I should be physically able to do way more than I have been. I just have to remember not to let my depression about things beat me, and accept this is a very uphill battle right now. I am far more sad about my shape and health than I am sad that results don't seem to show up, so I'm going to try and push as hard as I can with what small time I have, and on the days I don't need my muscles (basically any day I don't have class) I'm going to try to keep repeating the 100 mini workout cycles forever and hopefully not stop until I'm too sore. The goal for the plan is to be mildly sore all the time. Hopefully that's the point I need to be at to see some good results.

Although today was Xmas, it was just a day. And although I did feel somewhat cheered by all the well-wishing, it was difficult to not be sad about all the basic things I don't have, nor may ever have again.

Day 2004 - 12/26 - No more food

Today is not as happy as I thought it would be. My paycheck didn't come last night like I hoped it would. As I feared, it was indeed delayed by the holiday. I don't know why; it's automatic. The timing of things should have also automatically counted for that. Hopefully it will flip at midnight tonight. If it doesn't I could be in serious trouble. I've run completely out of food. And, my car is about to hit the red line on gas as well. I couldn't make it through tomorrow without some money. Hopefully everything will be fine at midnight, or at least one donation will flip. The donation would prevent disaster for another day, maybe two.

I met a someone online. We chatted for a bit and exchanged sad stories. When they heard about mine they wanted to help. But I told them to just work through their sad times, especially if some resources I'll send them can help them, and have a good and happy life after that. If I can't have a happy life for myself, it would be nice to know that others I've helped could.

Day 2005 - 12/27 - Laundry day

Today is finally laundry day. I've waited a super long time for a few reasons. For one, in winter, especially during break, it really doesn't matter what I wear, so I change less often. But more so there was the vacation from work (I do laundry near work), as well as just not having enough money. It is technically part of my food budget, but I've been running quite a bit over lately, so I have to be really careful at times.

I really miss being in my room and doing laundry; hopping back and forth between cycles, smelling the clean stuff, having warm clean sheets on my bed when I go to sleep.

I don't really have a lot of smell, so mostly I'm sure I smell fairly neutral. I'm allergic to so many things I certainly don't smell perfumed like most who have recently showered and put on clean cloths. But I do miss that clean feeling. I am sad knowing that even though my inner layers may only be a few days dirty, my outer ones may hit a week old at times.

It's such a simple thing, but when it's half the money you have to spend on food in a day, or nearly 10% in a week, it sometimes has to be skipped if it can be.

Day 2006 - 12/28 - The broken connection and new friend

Today was an odd mix. Most of the day I was ok-ish feeling, but also very sad feeling deeper down. The connection at the coffee shop has been getting increasingly worse. Playing my game and staying connected seems highly unlikely. There were times I could connect and try and play, but lag would get so bad I would spend four times as long doing nothing as actually doing something. Other times I could play fine for a bit, but then would just be dropped entirely. While videos that buffered worked, they would constantly be kicked down into lower resolution due to disconnects.

I tried doing some stuff with the new person I met, which was fun, but the game doesn't account for level differences, which just boggles my mind, so what we did didn't work due to our level differences.

Today deep down I was very sad about everything. All I wanted was to be in a home; warm, quiet, free to cook and eat normal foods, and to have a connection free from all these troubles. I wonder if I will ever have such days again.

Day 2007 - 12/29 - Tummy ache

Today started poorly, but I guess ended ok. Last night, through most of the night, I had a pretty bad tummy ache. At least I thought I did. Since I was asleep I wasn't really sure if it was, or if I thought I had one and it was just a symptom of my bad dreams.

In the morning I tried to play my newest beta. The Internet connection was beyond horrid. I couldn't stay connected for more than 10 minutes, and even just staying on forums I saw horrendous lag, and it flat out just died for several minutes more than once.

The afternoon was ok. I could still see some slowness, but I got to play my game for a few hours without trouble. I've been playing a ton, but I think I won't get it at launch. It's an expansion for a game I just never played much. Granted, I've probably played 50 or more hours in the beta so far, which is double how long most games last me. But honestly I just don't have anyone to play with. At $80 for the collector's edition, which is what I'd want to get, I just don't see that as something I should probably spend with my life so sad right now. Particularly if the IRS still keeps insisting that I owe them the $500, and now apparently I'm required to have health insurance in 2014, so who knows how much that may cost since I was denied the low-income free coverage. (I know in previous years when I've left jobs which offered it they wanted like $300 a month, which is insane. I couldn't even afford that per year, let alone per month.) It would be more than fair to pay for the game based on how much I've already played, but with everything else... it will have to be a very low priority, as I may need the money for other things I want to play more.

As always, today I wish I had more than I do, but that more is so very little, and something everyone seems to have but me.

Day 2008 - 12/30 - New Year's Eve's Eve

Today was ok I guess. The coffee shop is mostly empty these days. There were a few times that there were high schoolers around, which seems really odd because it was at the normal high schooler times. That would be insane if school were open today. But, for the most part, it was quiet. Quiet in terms of volume overall, less movement around me, sometimes not as many people close to me, and there are fewer scents I may be allergic to.

The connection was a lot better, which was good and bad. It was good in that I could play games and stuff how and when I wanted. It was bad because, despite being a lot of fun, that really just reminds me what I miss from regular home life.

Once upon a time, tomorrow would have been a time for friends to come over and play games with some marathon running on the TV set on a science fiction or comedy channel. There would be no drinking or late night, but we would have fun times. In more recent years I would spend New Year's Eve playing my games and watching a marathon. But now... though it should be good in that I can do stuff in the coffee shop, tomorrow will be just another day to me.

Day 2009 - 12/31 - Shaving proper

Today will be just a day. I guess in a way it's started out good, though it has a sad result. Because work has been closed I haven't gotten to shower and shave regularly. Showering isn't too big of a deal (even though when not homeless I enjoy a daily hot shower), as I said I smell very little, but shaving... hairiness bothers me, and I get itchy in places after a few days. I decidd to shave at a food store - not a place I've shaved while homeless before I don't think. I knew the water gets hot quickly, so that's why I chose that spot. There is also a mirror and lots of light. Despite my shaving blade being a month old, about twice the length I'd normally keep it, despite not using saving cream or after shave, because I had a mirror and light, this is the best shave I've done in probably about an entire year. Being able to see exactly which way to go, how much hair is where, and alter my speeds accordingly, it is a way better shave than I normally do.

It is amazing what you can do with even the most basic of comforts. I've been without my daily basic comforts for so long I've forgotten what a huge difference they can make, both physically and emotionally.

Week 288

Day 2010 - 1/1/14 - Forward

Today was pretty sad. I had an ok enough time at the coffee shop. Things were stable enough for the most part. (Though in the afternoon it was so bad a show I was trying to watch kept stopping.)

Some of a tooth broke off too. It feels like a lot, though from the bits I spit out it actually was only a small bit, maybe 10%. But it reminded me of my constant downfall; how everything is corrupt and dying. Even if I recover and get in a home, some parts of me can never be recovered.

Will the year moving forward be different? Everyone says Happy New Year, as if it should be different no matter what, but so many of mine lie out of my control. So many have not been different due to lack of opportunity. And what little I have left is in a very unstable state.

Day 2011 - 1/2 - The saddest day

Today was the saddest day in probably years. While nothing bad happened physically, emotionally quite a lot happened. Early in the morning I set my console up and got everything ready to stream. Right away there were sad times. For some reason the new headphones I got were barely audible. It seems this is an issue with the system that many are having. Plus, there was already a high chance I would not replace my current ones with them, as I misjudged the specs and my old ones are actually superior. I did kind of poorly playing my game, but I had fun, and I thought everything was set up correctly so that the stream would be saved. I guess, however, I was wrong. After a few hours of not seeing my stream show up as recorded I discovered a post which stated that the console streams would never be saved. So, again, only the less than half a dozen who saw me live will be the only people to ever see that stream. Meaning I can't bank videos to build up an audience. I'd have to be a regular streamer to have any chance at all at building an audience, which is basically impossible.

I felt bad setting up my system. I felt like I'll never amount to anything compared to others due to my limitations. I couldn't even verify if it is ok to stream in the future because I couldn't verify the quality.

After, in the afternoon, I tried playing my other games. The Internet became super unstable again. Again I couldn't stay connected to my games, and again any shows I wanted to watch were laggy and broken up by pauses.

Today I was the most sad in probably years. Because I am homeless I feel bad setting up my console and staying so long. I can't build up an audience for streaming because I can't regularly stream. Because I'm not on a landline my connection isn't powerful enough to stream PC games.

I have the potential to stream from my console and entertain people. I have the potential to stream from my laptop, or a desktop when I upgrade and have a home. But I can't. Neither can I due to the lack of a home, but because I don't have a stable environment. And in order to get out of this situation I'd have to work a lot again, leaving me few hours in the day to stream or do other hobby work.

Today I feel like I don't matter. I don't feel special or appreciated. And, most of all, because of not having enough recourses while homeless, or not enough, that should I get back in a home I feel stuck. And I feel like I will be forced into obscurity living day-to-day like I used to, with my spirit crushed even more than it is now by my homeless troubles.

Day 2012 - 1/3 - Eating less

Today I ate less than normal. That's actually been a trend for about a week. I don't know if it has something to do with my working out and trying to drink more water, or if it's because I have a cold, or if my being super depressed has affected my appetite.

Today I guess was ok. I wasn't quite as sad about my life, but there were extra sad times. I found nothing to apply for. As expected, barely any jobs are being posted these days. And the Internet was so bad I basically couldn't play anything that required an online connection. Even watching shows that buffered still had issues. In a side note, I have a lot of shows to catch up on. The streaming service I have finally got current on one of my shows, so it was like *poof* here are four entire seasons you are behind on. I guess the current season I'm on is from 2010, which seems ridiculous.

I went to get Chinese food today. I do that maybe once a month. Well... I get a teriyaki chicken with rice maybe once a week, but I don't count that. Plus, I think that's Japanese. Anyways... it reminded me that Chinese New Year's is coming up. My relatives, particularly my grandparents, used to give me money in those red envelopes. They would always do a big multi-course dinner at a restaurant. It makes me kind of sad I never stayed in touch with my cousins or anyone else on that side of the family. But then... things work both ways. Much like I'm sad about how my relationship with my dad never worked out, he never reached out to me in all these years. In all that time after my mom died, only my grandma reached out, and she only did so a few times. I needed space for a while, as I didn't want to be remembered as the dead daughter's or sister's son. I wanted to be known for me. But still, noone ever reached out. The last time I went to an event - must have been about 13 years ago now - a young cousin who I'd never met seemed most curious about me. I guess she'd heard stories about me. But why did noone ever try to contact me? Why haven't they since? I guess I shouldn't feel bad about not contacting them if they never contacted me.

Well, all I can do is hope things work out for me, and for anyone out there reading my sad story. And, as always, try to hang on until things do finally get better.

Day 2013 - 1/4 - Sad TV time

Today I was still pretty sad about all the things. The end of the year has always been a time of reflection, a time of hope for the New Year. While I've rarely been in a position to celebrate and b hopeful these recent years have been the toughest. Daily I'm reminded in everything that I do that I'm not in a home - that I don't have a home to be in. All I can do is do what I did today during my sad times - try to distance myself with things like my TV show and wait for the sad times to leave me. But the saddest thing of all is that I know they likely won't. Until things change and I'm back in a home it seems like there will be nothing for me tomorrow that wasn't here today. It seems like I have no tomorrow, only today.

Day 2014 - 1/5 - Cold fries

Today was an odd kind of sad. In the morning I read my news and did forum stuff, like I do every day. I played for a bit, which is unusual lately, as I've been so sad that I haven't really felt like playing my games lately.

I watched a few of my shows after, the ones I'm getting caught up on. I had seen the first three seasons when I was in my home. It was a nice private time in my room. One of the nighttime shows I'd watch around dinner, having sort of a routine about it. So, I guess because of that, while watching these seasons I haven't seen I've felt a bit extra sad about what I've lost, as well as a bit more connected. I remember what my TV looked like and how things were set up nearby. I remember how my chair felt, or the floor if I was having dinner. I remember how the characters voices sounded on my system. It is like old friends coming to visit me in my sad times. There is no other show like this. All the other shows I watch are ones I've only seen on my laptop. This one connects me to who I was.

I got cold fries with dinner. I don't eat fast burger food a lot, almost never when I had a home. But I guess my life is like soda getting warm, or these fries getting cold. Once they've changed, no matter what you do, they just won't be the same as the way they are supposed to be.

Day 2015 - 1/6 - New class

Today was ok I suppose, all things considered. I was sad, and so I didn't play my game during my free time. I just looked at news sites and did my online work for my friend, which I guess won't be changing, so I'll keep doing that. I suppose that's good, it's a decent chunk of income since I don't make a whole lot. And after, I watched a few shows before heading off for laundry and work.

I had a ton of time for a shower. I spent extra time washing my parts, trimming down my hair, and shaving my parts. I had clean clothes to put on after. It's been a week and a few days since my last laundry and shower. It felt so very different putting on clean clothes over my clean self. I used to do that quite often in a home. But now, it's been so many years since those events lined up, I'd forgotten it ever had a different feeling.

Tomorrow is my new class, in the new field. It's an entirely different building. I've never been in this one. While it's true logic tempers everything I do, passion drives me. It's been forever since I've been around artistic creative people. I know a few online, but we don't really interact. I don't know if I'll find friends. In fact, with my being twice as old as the average student, if not a touch more, I still expect to be the lone outsider in all my classes that noone talks to or associates with. But it is different. And even though, in a way, I already walk this path, it will be a different path in school. Maybe something will change.

Day 2016 - 1/7 - Feeling sad

Today I feel sad. I had to wait for my spot at the coffee shop. But I got it quickly enough I suppose. I checked my news and skimmed forums.

It's just morning now, with class to come later in the day, but I'm feeling pretty sad. I guess it's because although this is yet another unknown beginning, with who knows what waiting for me down this path, I guess I feel that ultimately it will end up the same. I guess, deep down, although there is hope, the memories of the last almost 15 years can't be forgotten. None of the now four paths I've tried so far have led to anything. I've gained no new friends at anytime in school - none that stuck around anyways. I have not gained any interviews from jobs because of my classes, or if I have my class experience was considered worthless as I have no field experience. I have not found love or companionship. And every time, I see young people come and go, passing me by and moving on. And all of that just makes me feel lost, helpless, and alone.

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

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