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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 293

Day 2045 - 2/5 - Unimaginable pain

Today was more bad than good. Oddly, it started off very promising. I got to play my game for about 1.5 hours before lag started affecting me. It's been weeks since I could play more than 3 games, but I must have played a dozen, maybe more. But pretty early, I'd say by 10 AM, things started to die. I could no longer play that game, and even forums were seeing effects. By the afternoon the lag and drops had become so frequent even my new game, which is only slightly affected by lag, was getting hit so badly it was unbearable through most of the day. Between 10 and about 5 I probably lost 40-50% of my day, if not more.

In the evening during dinner some food hit my very bad tooth cavity. I was in unbearable pain. Thankfully it subsided down to the normal level pretty quickly. I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, and it's normal level would likely cause normal people to be in tears. My unimaginable level would likely have them screaming and on their way to the hospital.

I've lived with pain almost all my life. If I wasn't in physical pain, like I am now, I was in emotional pain. Sometimes I've even had periods of my life, again like now, where I'm in both. Because I couldn't afford the dentist basically half my life I've had bad teeth and some level of pain and discomfort almost all the time. Before that I was living with my dad, and he was always putting me down for everything, so I had a lot of emotional pain.

I would love to not be in pain. There have been so few times in my life that I was not in some kind of pain I remember those times clearly. However, it is extremely difficult to imagine my life free of pain. I don't crave it. I certainly don't want it - especially physical pain. But I've genuinely had so few times in my life without it... it is difficult for me to imagine being free from pain.

Day 2046 - 2/6 - Again with stupid taxes

Today was mixed. It started out weak. Even in the morning I couldn't really play anything due to the bad connection. Classes were ok, but the teacher just talked about dates and names, and that kind of lecture is the most boring on the planet to me. I have no interest in memorizing names or dates.

The evening at work was awesome though. Things turned around when one of the coaches gave me the password for the new network connection. Not only could I connect, but it's like the fastest connection I have access to. It's at 40 whatevers compared to the coffee shop which ranges between 25-30. (Which doesn't even count anymore due to its inability to actually stay connected.) I tried out a few game connections and things looked fine. I had a movie to watch that I'd rented, so I only played online for about half an hour. But I guess I was fast and solid. I can bring my console to work for a super fast connection to online games. It's probably the safest place to do that anyways. It seemed that today something finally changed for the better.

But that was shattered a bit later in the evening, as it seems the tax people are still trying to insist on the $500. I looked around in storage and found some of the official records I'd sent in reply that first time two years ago. Hopefully these records, dated late 2011, will shut them up and they will stop bugging me. If not, then I'll have no choice but pay them the $500, which is nearly double what I'd be getting back this year. Which means while losing all my return this year would soften the blow, I'd still owe them several hundred that I don't have.

As much as the connectivity at work seems a victory I can't help but feel like something is keeping me down with the return of the tax people demanding all the money I have and more.

Day 2047 - 2/7 - Dear owners

Today was much less fun than it could hav been. The Internet at the coffee shop was at an all-time bad. As early as even 8:30 AM it started disconnecting and lagging. Of about eight hours there I got to play for maybe one uninterrupted, and added together maybe one more over the entire rest of the day. While tying to watch a single video it locked and was interrupted at least a dozen times in its 45 minute length. It was so bad I saw several of the other regular people leaving almost immediately after they'd arrived. It's too much. I decided to write as polite as I could of a letter to the owners to consider fixing the issue. As it stands, I can no longer really do any games, and on days like today I couldn't even read forums without interruptions. I was effectively forced to do offline things all day. If I'm forced to be offline, or not game, I'll just go somewhere else to game and go to school for non-gaming. There is no point in my paying $3-7 every day to support somewhere that I don't get Internet. I could spend half that much being other places. If I've lost the ability to use the coffee shop connection, dead connection or banned for writing a letter, both have the same result. I don't know. I remain hopeful they see that people are starting to show up less and fix it. But with recently having pluming and fridge issues, I doubt it will be a high priority.

I guess what happens with my life happens. It seems I may yet again be at a crossroads of change here things beyond m control cause my life to get worse, and I'm forced to adjust, like it or not.

Day 2048 - 2/8 - Tolerable

Today the connection, while bad, was tolerable. I played my card game for probably1.5-2 hours and didn't drop. I got a new card game and tried that, but the games are much longer, and I'm not familiar with the cards, so I got dropped while looking through stuff. In the afternoon it got kind of bad, but I got to play a lot compared to the average day.

The instability and interruptions constantly around me still prevent me from truly getting into a routine. It's getting harder and harder to have set times for set activities. I think that's a lot of the reason I'm losing focus. I'm a creature of habit, and a lot of my routine can't be kept on a schedule because of this instability. And it certainly can't be on the schedule I used to have because I don't have proper private space with uninterrupted times. I feel less and less like a whole person, and more and more like a shattered image. And the pieces I find are becoming smaller and more difficult to recognize each day.

Day 2049 - 2/9 - Smiling through the pain

Today seems to be all about pain. When I started my work shift I was disappointed. The new wireless wasn't working. I'd been looking forward to that freedom since Thursday. I had to play offline and do things I didn't plan on doing. My teeth started hurting mid-day, so I had to start overdosing on pain pills, as usual lately. When I got to the coffee shop, for some reason my eyes started burning. It's like something I'm allergic to bonded with them. And, while my back tooth stopped hurting, my front one started. It's only about 25-35% left on that tooth.

My smile is gone. Though I suppose I never really had much of one due to always having bad teeth and pain like this. I wonder how very different my life would have been if someone had told me when I was very young I'd be just fine if I brushed really super well with just water. Really the only reason I stopped was because my dad and the dentist told me, 'do it right or don't do it at all.' I wonder how different my life would be if I would have been able to keep my teeth in good, pain-free condition.

I suppose my day wasn't all bad. The coffee shop's connection was tolerable, so I got to play for a bit in the evening. But I couldn't help but think how sad it was for me, and all the other regulars, that we don't have a better place we can be.

Day 2050 - 2/10 - Soda selection

Once upon a time, when I was living in a home, I used to have a soda selection. I would drink Pepsi, probably 70% of the time, but when I didn't I'd often drink Slice, and on rare occasion Root Beer, or 7up. I'd forgotten about my selection. Back then if I wanted something different I'd just have it. Occasionally a roomie would come in and ask for one.

Today there was a buy two get one free sale. These were the times I'd buy those alternate sodas. Since I only had a different one every other or once every three days I didn't go through a 12-pack all that often.

But upon seeing that sale, and deciding to get some Slice, I was sad. I am sad I'd forgotten this was a part of who I was. I am sad I can't have that choice in my life (because I can't store that many drinks.) I am sad I'm in constant high levels of pain due to all my cavities, and I'm having to cut back a lot on soda. And because of that, certainly while I'm in pain like this, there may not be a time in my life where I can have a soda selection and drink a drink quickly and go 'ahh' happily at the taste. It may be years until I'm back in a home, if ever, and my teeth may never be healthy enough from being repaired to drink soda without tiny cautious sips.

Day 2051 - 2/11 - Mixed signals

Today there seem to be mixed signals. Last night I checked the ex-house and there was mail from work basically saying they are giving me a raise, and it's retroactive for 6 months back. So, at the end of the month I guess I'll get some extra money. But it's not state how much it is. Checking my last pay stub it looked the same, so the change would be $0.05 or less if it's in place already.

I haven't given the coffee shop owners the letter yet. I had no way to print it, and today will be my first chance. I'll print it, but since that bad day it's been tolerable again, allowing me to play for an hour or two uninterrupted each day. So I'll hold on to it and see.

My new work connection seems dead. It worked brilliantly that last Thursday, but Sunday and Monday it showed as having no connection. I could connect to the router, but it couldn't go anywhere. It said it wasn't connected to the Internet.

So it seems Fate is sending me mixed signals on if I'll be ok and stable or not (while homeless). I guess, as always, I will try to hold on to hope and manage the best that I can.

Week 294

Day 2052 - 2/12 - Sad disconnects continue

Today was mostly sad. Every time I tried to play stuff, which was only a few times, I was disconnected in less than 5 minutes. Even shows were constantly disconnecting and pausing. The connection at the coffee shop is getting ridiculous. I'm at the point where I'm forced to consider alternative locations to play. I guess I can do pizza once a week or every other week, but that's only one night. And that's really the only other connection I know of that's at a useable speed. All the other places are pretty bad or just don't work.

The manager ass was an ass about the letter too. I left it at the office door and half an hour later I saw the owner talking to him, looking confused at him, and I heard the ass manager say 'disregard it' and laughed. I know h doesn't like people hanging out there, but seriously, the owner should fire him if he doesn't understand that students who hang out and study are 85% or more of their business. The students need the Internet, or there's no reason for them to be there.

I'm still in pretty bad pain most of the time from my tooth. Though I wonder if it's more than one. And now I'm having to overdose on pain killers frequently to keep it manageable, which causes eye ache, ear aches, headaches, and tummy aches. Unless I'm sick. In which case these are because of that.

So today seems sad, and little more than a reminder that none of my problems would be problems if I weren't homeless.

Day 2053 - 2/13 - An ok end

Today had an ok end. The morning was still super sad at the coffee shop. It was dropping so much I couldn't game at all, and a show I watched took three times as long. I eventually just gave up and did offline stuff. In the afternoon I had class, which had a mid-term. I was super worried, but I think I did ok. The evening was the big surprise. The connection at work was up again. I had a movie that I rented, but after I had about an hour to play without drops or lag. Hopefully the connection will stay up and I can at least look forward to Monday, Thursday, and sometimes Sundays at work for gaming. Also, my free replacement mouse came, so I got that before work.

I thought of a place to check for a connection, so I may do that this weekend if the coffee shop continues to be bad.

At least today I feel a bit better about my sad life, and that is something.

Day 2054 - 2/14 - Missed connections

Today was extra frustrating and sad. In the morning I went to the coffee shop, but within an hour I'd been dropped a dozen times, with the connection completely disappearing from the network more than once. I tried to tolerate it as much as I could, but by 1 I'd probably only actually been doing stuff 25% of the time. I tried to play, and both times I was dropped within minutes. The show I tried to watch during lunch took not twice as long, but three times as long.

I decided I'd had enough and left shortly after 1 to try and scout some other locations. I checked a different restaurant location, and while it was a decent speed, it was not stable enough to play on, so that wasn't a viable option. I checked another coffee shop near the ex-house, and it couldn't even test the speed it was so bad.

It seems I have little choice. The new work connection is the only connection I've found that's stable currently. There is a connection at a pizza place which is really good too, but that isn't the best choice, as pizza is pretty expensive unless I get enough for 3-4 meals. And while super tasty, that's not an option I want to do very frequently. My only other option is to go to the Internet café I used to go to and rent a desktop, which from what I recall is $2-3.5 an hour.

In my travels I saw a friend online, but only for a few minutes, as the connection I was testing quickly dropped me. And at the other coffee shop I was testing I saw my friend/ex-roomie. But that connection was so slow I couldn't even test the speed.

It seems today is just a reminder of missed connections; how I have little choice for Internet connections, and how my real life connections are lost as well.

I don't even know if the good work connection is actually going to be up still. It may be my only gaming time for the foreseeable future. While it is 2-3 days a week I can look forward to a 5 hour window of gaming, it certainly is not the freedom I'd like.

Day 2055 - 2/15 - Enough

Today was actually ok. I was still dropped, and I never felt safe. But there were about three solid play sessions I had, and between them all I played 'enough'. I actually stopped playing after the last session because I wanted to, not because the connection was too unstable.

It was still a sad day. Any day I am homeless will be a sad day. I am still doing things in ways I would rather do other ways. I am still doing things out of order. I am still not eating what, how, or when I'd really like to. Of course sleep schedules and showering when I want one are totally out of the question. The instability of my connection in gaming, or even my schedule overall, still leaves me feeling tense. Not to mention being out in public, where people have scents I don't like, make noises I don't like, or simply aren't as healthy as they should be when going out in public.

Everything I do is tainted. Even on my happiest days I barely reach a normal level of happy. Genuinely smiling and laughing is almost entirely unheard of.

But I keep hoping. I keep wishing. Maybe someday I can be whole again. Maybe someday I can be free.

Day 2056 - 2/16 - Sad long day

Today was a sad long day. All week I've been looking forward to playing during my shift. Not only is the wireless turned off, but school doesn't meet next week. So I don't get to play today, tomorrow, Thursday, or next Sunday at work. My playtimes will be 100% dependant on the failing coffee shop - unless I go to the pizza place. Even more sad, I don't get to play online at all today because apparently the guy who works the shift after me thought he asked me to cover for him. So, instead of being able to play after 2:30, I called him at 2:40 asking where he was and apparently I had to work until 8, meaning there was no point going somewhere to play after.

I suppose in the long run I would rather have the extra money. But today, right now, it seems to just be a reminder that everything which is sad in my life is because I'm homeless.

Day 2057 - 2/17 - Disconnection and pain

Today was filled with more disappointing disconnects. I couldn't really play much without getting disconnected. I tried to play for maybe two hours all added together, and for one of those I was disconnected every 5 minutes or so. I really didn't get to play much, certainly not as much as I'd have liked. And, as expected, the modem and router at work are still off. That is unlikely to come back on until next week. So my chances of gaming this week seem slim.

I was in some pretty bad pain from my teeth again today. It certainly seems like more than one are failing on that side of my jaw. There is a throbbing pain in the bottom rear, and it feels like it's running along the jaw bone and circling up to the top rear section of my jaw. I wonder too if the pain pills actually help. It almost seems like if I overdose too far I cause myself pain. I guess I just have to keep hoping it subsides and stops soon. But the odds of any pain stopping, physical or emotional, seems unlikely to happen anytime soon.

Day 2058 - 2/18 - Sorta happy

Today has just started. I'm sort of happy though, as I got my spot and had a small laugh with one of my favorite workers here at the coffee shop. I suppose the class will be ok, maybe even fun.

I'm in a lot of pain - was through the night. I'm going to try a new medicine style of overdosing, but doing so less frequently than a normal dosage. I started with needing to overdose both in amount and frequency, but then things settled a bit and I was doing high frequency, but lower dosage. I guess that really didn't breach my resistance well, so now I'll try this new way.

I remain hopeful that will work. I remain hopeful that I can connect and play my games. And, as always, I remain hopeful change will come. Every day is another chance for everything to change, so I always try to stay hopeful.


G500s replacement mouse for my second dead G500.
1600 x 900

Comments and stuff Copyright E. Stryker 2008-2014
Pictures for Epic Fail are taken by me. :)

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