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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 297

Day 2073 - 3/5 - Dinner at school

Today was pretty sad. There as basically no connectivity at the coffee shop. It was one of my days off, so it was extra depressing. By the mid-afternoon I was tired of being dropped and left to do my podcast and play offline for the remainder of the night.

I decided to have dinner at the school cafeteria. It's probably been more than a year since I ate there. It was ok. I certainly got more food for the money spent than I would have elsewhere.

It was strange to see. Some things remain the same. There were still gamers in the side room. There were some groups in the big area, but I didn't recognize anyone. The alpha and his groups moved on years ago. I hope they moved on to better things.

Yet I am still stuck. In some ways by choice, sure, but mostly not. Mostly there isn't any way out without huge risk of losing what little I have left, or no way out without support. And with noone in a position to provide it that's not an option.

Not counting the sometimes extreme tooth pain, my life is fairly tolerable. I have my gaming laptop. I have some games to play and some paid for that I'm looking forward to. There's the spot at school I found recently which offers some privacy, as there are usually only a few other people there, or noone at all. But I have to play offline stuff due to the firewall while there. And I earn enough now I can have some savings. What was once on the verge of starvation and literally spending down to my last penny to have enough gas has relaxed enough that it's not usually a concern, and I have so much food that I've gained 40 pounds since then.

Though I constantly worry. The stress makes me sick. The sadness puts me on the verge of tears, or in a mood where I just want to be alone, hide, and play offline games. I worry that the combination of my deteriorating health and motional sadness will just cause my body to shut down one day and I simply won't wake up. And as long as I do, I will always wonder if I can ever really live again.

Day 2074 - 3/6 - The argument

Today was pretty sad. I tried to play my game some in the morning and the connection started dropping me only half an hour later. The coffee shop continues to be unstable to the point of not being able to game at all.

I got in a pretty big fight with my friend from forever ago. If things continue as they have been I don't think we'll be able to remain friends. He has this mixed idea of the me he knew 30 years ago and a sort of imagined idea of who I would have become. The reality is though that person I was has basically been lost long ago. He's remembering things that I did that I stopped doing and had forgotten about. Additionally he seems to be trying to bend everything to his way or his perception. I don't think he realizes how every much it's hurting me. He says things like, 'Well, if you don't do x you aren't a real gamer.' Or, 'If you spend money like x you are wasting money.' We've also chatted about a few games, and he's either poo pooed the ones I've liked or said ones I'm looking forward to and hopeful about will be bad or are going to fail. Things he said were stressing me out so much last night I probably lost about 3 hours that I would have otherwise slept due to how stressed out I was. He seems to be uninterested in learning who I am, where I've been, and my current beliefs and thoughts on why I do things than he is clinging to this incorrect hybrid ideal.

Due to my sad life the path I was on so long ago was lost, and I was lost along with it.

Day 2075 - 3/7 - Sad and tired

Today I am pretty sad and tired. I wish I weren't so truly exhausted. There is some school stuff I really should be doing very soon, but I've been so tired I can't think at all. I may have to pick a day to try and sleep in on campus or something.

The coffee shop again had a pretty horrible connection. It disconnected me not even 15 seconds after starting my game. I tried to play a different game later, one I knew could resist disconnects, and it wasn't more than 30 minutes before it completely dropped.

Again another week has come and gone with really nothing changing. I'm still so tired I'm exhausted all the time and don't feel like I'll ever get enough sleep to be awake enough to get out of this haze. And again another week passes where I wonder if I will ever be able to be me ever again.

Day 2076 - 3/8 - An ok day, I guess

Today was ok I guess. I only got to play my main game online for about half an hour before it started dropping. I played a different game a bit later for about an hour. After that I just played offline. I guess the day was ok though. There was less tooth and jaw pain. And it was a bit warmer of a day. I felt a bit less sad than usual, though nothing changed or was truly different.

Day 2077 - 3/9 - Sad and painful

Today is sad and painful. The morning started with great promise. Work had a solid connection and I was ready for a relaxing day, particularly with being extra tired from the time change. But right after my shift started there was a confrontation with someone which had me on the verge of calling the police because he kept pushing and pushing. I finally told him, 'ok, that's enough. Get the f out.' I was so mad at his not listening or respecting my position and authority at all.

I had a lot of school stuff I need to do, so I did some of that. Right after I started on that my friend from 30 years ago started messaging me a lot. Again he made a few hurtful comments that were like he didn't value my experience or thoughts at all, or he assumed I knew absolutely nothing without even asking. I stopped being friends with several other people for that reason. I'm hoping he will calm down and this over sharing and presuming I don't have experience with something is because of that gap. But I don't know. It is really starting to feel like unless I like the games and stuff he likes, for the same reasons, then my opinion is invalid and my opinion and thoughts aren't worth anything. I guess we'll see in time It would be sad to lose him after searching for so long, but I'm in too fragile a state right now, let alone when I would not be in this sad position, to be thought of and treated like I know nothing and have no value.

My teeth pain continues to be bad. It wavers between tolerable and only very mildly on the high side of dosage to needing 3-4 times as much as overdosing. I've noticed blood in my toilet paper when I wipe occasionally. It's just a small amount, but I'd guess that's liver damage allowing blood to pass through borders it shouldn't be.

I worry a lot about me lately. I worry about my physical condition. I worry a lot about my emotional condition. I wory I may just not wake up one day due to things being so sad. And I worry that if I ever do recover it will only be the most minimal of recoveries, and all my hopes and dreams will forever remain unrealized.

Day 2078 - 3/10 - Reorganized schedule

Today I remembered to reorganize my schedule a bit. I did my normal morning online work for my friend, and then I remembered to do the Epic Fail entry.

I thought I had a stable connection in the morning, so I tried to play, but I disconnected maybe 30 minutes later. And from then on the connection kept dropping now and then. I could watch shows and didn't have a whole lot of time before laundry, so it was ok.

There was still a lot of pain in my tooth and jaw, more than I'd like. I may have to give serious consideration to finding a dentist. But even at maximum coverage, with what I saw last time I looked into it, that would still be hundreds to fix just one thing. And there is the whole picture to consider, which when I last went to a dentist probably almost 15 years ago now, it was estimated at about 15k to fix everything.

My friends messages were somewhat less frequent today. Though there were still games I said I was interested in that he said he hated that design. It wasn't insulting or hurtful like he has been, so maybe he is easing off that. I guess we'll see in time.

There is still so much pain in my life. I was thinking earlier I don't know that I've ever not had pain more than a few times in my life. I can't even imagine what a pain free life would look like.

Day 2079 - 3/11 - Missing entertainment

Today started off happy, but rapidly got a bit sad. The weather is warming up, so people are a bit friendlier. One of the food shop workers I see regularly said hi, and I had a brief laugh with the coffee shop workers when I got here.

But my day quickly turned sad when I got notice that a game I was expecting to maybe play today didn't ship like it was supposed to, or when it was supposed to, so I won't even get it until mid-day Thursday. I was hoping to play maybe today or tomorrow but now that won't happen. I guess it doesn't matter long-term, but short-term it makes me wonder why things got so off track from normal. I've never had an issue like that before with game orders.

I have class later, which should be good. There should be lots of happy people around with it turning to shorts weather. I've got a movie to see after class, so that should be fun even though I'll still be seeing yet another movie alone.

As always I'm trying to hang on and be ok with all my sad things and focus on the good, but with so many basic things missing any happiness I can manage tends to quickly fade.

Week 298

Day 2080 - 3/12 - Pew pew pizza

Today was mostly sad, but had a surprise. The morning started sad, as I was dropped by the coffee shop early and frequently. But at noon I decided to check on my new game and it had already been delivered. So, not so late. I sleepily suffered through the afternoon doing news stuff and editing my podcast. In the early evening I went to the pizza place to have a solid connection. I messed around with shows for longer than I maybe should have, so I only got 1.5 hours to play there. But it was super fun. It makes me sad I don't have a regular life to play things when I want without limitations. I really miss that.

Oh, I was also on fewer pain pills, and the pizza didn't cause any pain at all. Which hopefully means the nerve is quieting down and going to sleep. This isn't something that can get better in the healing sense, as all I can hope for is that it doesn't bother me.

Day 2081 - 3/13 - Poked tomorrow morning

Today balanced out to ok I suppose. In the morning the connection was pretty bad. I didn't get to play online really at all. It's ok. I just did office or news or forum type stuff until class. Class was ok, but by then I was in some pretty extreme pain. When I got to work I had some food and ODed pretty heavily on pain pills. The pain went away and I had some uninterrupted time. I watched a show during dinner and played for a bit. It always amazes me how much happier I feel with even just a few hours on a stable connection.

I have to get poked in the morning for another blood test for my blood pressure meds. I'm not too worried about getting hungry over night, but I'm very worried about my pain levels. The past few nights the pain has woken me up, and since I can't drink or anything, that means no pain pills either. Hopefully I can make it through the night to when I'll get poked without being in too much pain. It may be an extra rough night though.

Day 2082 - 3/14 - Poking and HR

Today started off with being poked. I slept well enough, but I would have preferred to be able to take some pain pills.

The connection at the coffee shop was total poo. It must have dropped me 10 times an hour every hour. I watched shows, which was tolerable. Though I should have done homework stuff. But I've been half asleep, so I was way too tired for that.

Just before leaving for work I got a call from HR. I guess someone wants to talk about the incident. It's probably fine. I'm probably worrying for no reason. It's been like six years, maybe seven, that I've worked here. And although I can come off a bit cold I've never had any formal talking to about it. (Though since I'm most often in a security mode at my work, it kind of requires a certain air of authority.) This would be the first time I've ever been called in. If I'm in trouble it will likely be a slap on the wrist. It's more likely to get the details about the other guy's attitude. Though he may not have gotten upset, I think they may not be as amiable to his going anywhere at any time as he claimed. I guess we'll see.

I suppose I had an ok enough time during work. I watched a movie and played for a bit. It was ok. I'd like to have a better job and enough to be in a home, eat properly, and play how and when I want. I don't want much, but I don't know if I'll ever have it again.

Day 2083 - 3/15 - Ok day of shows

Today was not what I'd really planned, but it was ok. I played for a bit in the morning, but by 10 the connection was going bad. I was dropping half a dozen times an hour, so I decided to mess around on forums for a bit. Hopefully I helped out some people. After, I did the last homework, so now I just have my super big paper project, which is only half as big as I thought, but it's due in less than four days, so I should probably get on that ASAP. The last half of the day I just watched shows or videos. Some of the videos are of a game I'm looking at playing. It's presentation isn't so serious, so that made me smile and laugh a bit, so that was nice.

My sad life seemed a bit less sad today even though a lot of what I did I only did because I don't have a normal life.

Day 2084 - 3/16 - School visit

Today started ok. There was a good connection at work, so most of my shift I played online games. The shift went by pretty quick. As I was leaving the guy after me said he was considering dropping one of his shifts and asked if I wanted it. I told him I was basically free, so I could, but if he's permanently dropping it that's something the scheduling people need to decide. It would be cool to have the increased money. It would be one small step closer to being in a home. But I can't count on getting it. The management seems to want to give people as few shifts as possible, and now with that 29 hour a week cap in addition to the 1100 per year cap I have my doubts I'd get it.

After work I tried the coffee shop, but it had the worst connection ever. It continues to be worse every day just about. Yesterday it dropped about 5-10 times an hour and was running at 10% normal speed. Today in the 30 minutes I was there it was barely responding. At the end when I left I'd been waiting like 10 minutes for a response and finally said forget it and went across the street to school.

School's connection was serviceable. It was enough to do my online work for my friend and I messed around watching videos and looking at news stuff. It was super hot today, but when the sun started to set it rapidly started to cool off. I'd forgotten how much sitting on the floor hurt my back and mouse hand. But if the coffee shop continues to be terrible this may become more common on the weekends.

I felt lonely though. It was nice not really being interrupted at work. And it was nice having private time on campus instead of being in a super crowded loud café. But I still felt lonely. Even though I probably really wouldn't have wanted to be around people, seeing people in videos with friends and having a good time made me sad that the few friends I have are basically just online. It would be nice to have friends I visit on occasion, though with no home they can't visit me. I've never been one for a lot of social activity, but not having a home to have my private time makes things seem extra lonely, despite being out in public surrounded by people.

Day 2085 - 3/17 - Ok in the afternoon

Today started off bad, but went ok from the afternoon on. Again the connection was complete crap at the coffee shop. It was so bad I was considering leaving and hanging out at school. If it continues to be bad I may consider just sleeping in at school and not even going to the coffee shop on Mondays. (Though next quarter on Tuesday and Thursday I have a 9:30 AM class, so I'll likely wind up doing that a few hours those days anyways.)

The afternoon was a bit better. My appointment with the doc was mostly good and ok news. The lab didn't send over one test, so we still need to wait on that, but most things were ok. We are still worried about my cholesterol levels. The bad ones are bad, but the good ones being a bit off are more worrisome. So I've got a new medicine I'll be trying.

My visit with HR was ok too. They basically just asked me the same story again. They didn't say I did anything bad and did indeed seem most concerned about what the other guy did. Hopefully nothing will happen with that and things will go back to normal.

I did the math on the potential extra shift and it seems I'm basically already capped. There is a weekly cap of 29 hours, which I'm under and could do the shift. But there is also a yearly cap of 1100 hours, so that's basically 21 hours a week, which is what I'm already doing with the extra Sunday shifts. So I'm basically already maxed on what I can work, which is lame.

At work I played my games and watched a show. It was nice to be able to play without lag or disconnects. Though I still hope someday I can have a home and go back to being able to game how I want and when I want.

Day 2086 - 3/18 - Seems like ok potential

Today seems like it has the potential to be an ok day. It is pretty chilly, but it feels like it will warm up, though I'll be inside all day. I have class in the afternoon, and a pretty big project I've been putting off that I need to do. I expect the connection will be nonexistent, but with a big project I have due that doesn't really matter. (Someone is here who plays almost all day playing a something, so maybe it's ok so far. I don't get people who aren't homeless who do that.)

As always, all I can do is hope for the best, as everything is out of my control.

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

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