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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 299

Day 2087 - 3/19 - Bad but mostly done

Today was kind of bad. The Internet disconnected me before I'd even finished one game. I didn't try to play online after that, as even just while reading news it was disconnecting a lot. At around 4 I gave up and just did my podcast. The night was kind of ok. I went to school and just played stuff offline.

During the morning I did my big paper that is due tomorrow. It's pretty bad. And it's short about a page. But it's just about done. Hopefully in the morning I can do some fine tuning, but it's probably too last minute. I should have started sooner.

But, sad life is sad and so many things are much more difficult than they otherwise would be. I keep hoping things will change but they seem to just slowly continue to get worse.

Day 2088 - 3/20 - Rushed for nothing

Today was kind of sad in the morning. Again I couldn't play anything. Though I really didn't try for most of the morning. I had to start with my project thing, then I did my podcast editing. I finished both of those by 11. But I guess I didn't have to go so fast with the project. I guess I had the wrong date and it's actually not due for another week. Well, it's done. So now all I have to do is study a few times very briefly for the final.

Tomorrow my weekend beta starts for the new game I pre-ordered. I hope I can connect enough to play. The connection has been so bad lately. Saturday I may go for pizza to play a bit if the coffee shop connection is too bad. I was thinking of going to the Internet cafe I used to go to, but I guess they don't do betas, so that's not an option. It's funny. The guy who I don't really like answered. I'd completely forgotten about him these past few years. Well, I guess it's good to know that even in these sad days things like that can be put behind me and forgotten. Maybe that's hope for something.

Day 2089 - 3/21 - Super fun day

Today was actually super fun. The beta weekend started and I was... stable enough. I was disconnected maybe every 30-45 minutes, but I got to play a ton. It was super fun. It's a completely alien world, so it's a very nice distraction from my sad life. As I thought, so far I really love the class I wanted to play. I may not really max for the beta by the end of the weekend, but I'll probably just play the one character. (Max for the beta is level 17.) There are still like four more weekend tests before the head start and launch, so that's plenty of time to look at other classes, particularly since the alt I'd play would only be to help heal others. So if there isn't anyone I group with regularly, there would really be no reason to play an alt.

Still, as fun as today was I couldn't help but be sad. Sad I was not in a home and because of that lost connection. Sad I'm not on a desktop and have triple monitor, surround sound, and stream my fun if I wanted. And sad I didn't have the freedom to play as much as I want while the weekend test is happening. I know it doesn't matter long-term, especially in times like this when it's just a beta and will be wiped, but it is still sad to think my life is so different because of my homelessness.

Day 2090 - 3/22 - Dropped 100 times

Today was sad, but kind of happy too. I played my new weekend test game as much as I could manage while the connection held. It wasn't too bad in the morning with drops only about once or twice an hour. But after about 11 it started getting so bad it was half a dozen to almost two dozen drops per hour. I must have dropped more than 100 times total. But, I managed to top out at just a bit into level 13, though I'd probably have been 15 if I wasn't dropping so much. It was super fun and did seem like somewhere I would like to be. There really weren't people talking or interacting, but that's not entirely unexpected with how the game is designed and this being a weekend beta. Everyone is trying to power through and figure out which class they like best and learn how to play. Being social is likely very low on people's list.

As much fun as I had I wish I had a regular life. I wish I could have showered. I wish I could have slept in. I wish I could have played on a desktop. I wish I could have taken a break to cook dinner and watch my Saturday show. But my old life, on my terms, may never be attainable again.

Day 2091 - 3/23 - End of a weekend

Today started out pretty good. I had an extra work shift, so I got to play my new weekend beta all shift I had a super good time most of the time.

I say most of the time because at one point I started to feel super sick and the pain in my owie spot was unbearable. I had to go to the locker room and curl up for a bit. It felt so bad I felt like I was going to throw up and then uncontrollably cry from the pain. The odd thing is that most of the time it's only very mildly sore, like a bruise, and I don't take any pills at all. But the pain subsided quickly. I was only in very bad pain for maybe half an hour.

Despite dropping a lot at the coffee shop after work, today felt like a real weekend. The first weekend in I don't know how many years. I had fun. I wasn't too sad. And the sad things about my life didn't seem to bother me so much.

I don't know how long I'll wind up playing, and it will be two weeks until the next test weekend, but at least I had this weekend. And maybe, in time, I can have another.

Day 2092 - 3/24 - Scheduled pain

Today was mostly sad. The morning had lots of disconnects. I did my online work for my friend, then tried to watch some shows. At almost the exact same time as Sunday my jaw stared having that immense unbearable pain again. And it lasted about the same amount of time; maybe 30-40 minutes. I wonder if it has to do with growing pains, though that seems almost impossible at my age. I wonder if it's because I'm trying to not take pain pills and that's just when the lowest amount is in my system. Tomorrow I'll be sure to take more in the morning and again a bit before that pain should happen. If it's a tolerance and count threshold that should cover it.

My front tooth is now super bad as well. Most of the protective area is off in the front, and if I'm not careful when I drink soda I can feel the acid burn.

I am so very sad about my teeth. So very sad about the pain it's causing. I'll probably be forced to find a dentist very soon, though I have no money to get things fixed, and I know even though I have some form of coverage now it won't cover hardly anything.

I wish I could go back in time and change my habits. I wish I could go back to young me, tell him F your dad, take care of them just with good brushing and flossing and no stuff, and you'll have a nice smile and people will be more friendly. Which wouldn't be a big deal to young me, but I wouldn't be embarrassed, I would feel more confident in being social, and I wouldn't be as sad about it as I am now.

I know I've said it's my one real regret about how things have gone, and how abuse from my dad and dentists have led me to a lifetime of emotional and recently physical pain. And I know I've said it before, but please encourage your little ones to brush. And if you think they aren't doing it 'like they are supposed to', be understanding and supportive and find a way they are ok with; in brushing, and everything else.

Day 2093 - 3/25 - Odd feeling

Today has just started, but I feel odd. I'd say I feel lucky, like maybe a small something will happen. Like I get into a beta, find $5 on the ground, or win a little bit in the lottery. But I don't feel like anything will change. I expect my connection will be poo and I'll just rearrange my week a bit in terms of what offline stuff I do when.

I am still pretty sad. Nothing has changed for the better in my life. Things come, things go, but overall it's a slow degradation, both physically and emotionally. I can barely remember the times when I could just relax and not worry about things. My old life seems like a fading dream.

Week 300

Day 2094 - 3/26 - Beautiful peek

Today was somewhat sad. Again the coffee shop had such a bad connection that I didn't even try and play online. I did, however, do my podcast in the morning and early afternoon. Next quarter I'll probably want to consider moving it's days, as I will want to spend Wednesday just playing once my game comes out in June. I missed the game a lot today, and have been pondering character builds and stuff ever since it closed.

I did play a something offline though after that. It was kind of funny because I was so into it I totally almost missed the beautiful girl from class. She was waving and I wasn't noticing her, so she bent over to peek at me at my monitor's height. And then I saw her and we laughed. She smiled and went away before I could say anything though. So beautiful the girl. She's much too young though. Not that I would immediately say no to dating, but I really wouldn't be likely to be her type. I guess and hope my future sweetie is out there somewhere though.

Day 2095 - 3/27 - Unexpected weekend fun

Today I am happy. I got some super good unexpected news. My new game I tested last weekend that I loved so much needs more data than they thought, so they are increasing the level cap a few levels and having an unexpected weekend this weekend. So, this weekend I get to play again. So happy.

I guess the rest of today was ok. My final was earlier than regular class, so I didn't have a lot of time in the morning. I helped on forums and watched a few shows. I did get a reply to an application for a part time position. So I may get a phone interview, then an in-person one. They have to look at applicants and decide. I don't feel too confident that my preview questions were going to make them fall in love, so we'll see. All I can ever do is try and have as much fun as I can and stay as stress free as possible and hope for the rest.

Day 2096 - 3/28 - Playing so tired

Today was pretty ok. I mostly tried to play my game. It was still dropping a pretty ridiculous amount. I got up a bit early in order to have as much time as I could. By the afternoon though I was regretting it and I was suuuppper tired. If I could sleep in tomorrow I would, but that's not an option. And I don't know if I'll ever have a normal life again.

Day 2097 - 3/29 - Return of the unbearable pain

Today was bad. Emotionally it was rough. My game was being dropped every other minute by the disconnecting wireless. I spent so much time disconnecting the log-in music is now stuck in my head, even hours after I stopped. I decided 3:30 that I'd had enough and went to get pizza to have a stable connection. I guess that turned out to be a huge mistake. Less than half an hour after I started I was on top of the world. I had pizza and a super fun game, something I've not had in years. But rapidly that came crashing down. The unbearable pain, which I've not had in probably a week, returned with a vengeance. I was again on the verge of tears and had to stop my fun. It took over an hour and a half to calm down. It seems my theory of acidic food was correct, as I've been avoiding it for the most part. I guess I'll have to again.

Day 2098 - 3/30 - Crying through the pain

Today was a lot better than yesterday, at least to a point. After I did my entry last night, it wasn't long before the pain returned, and returned again, and again. In all I was having the unbearable pain for the better part of the next six hours. Through that time at several points all I could do was curl up and cry. Not just because of the unbearable pain I was in physically, but all my pain, all my loss, and everything I am unlikely to ever recover.

Sunday started better. The pain had been gone long enough to at least get a bit of sleep. I had an extra work shift, during which I played my weekend test. I also made it a point to test my acidic theory. I ate none of the $14 worth of left-over pizza - instead avoiding the acidic tomatoe food choice. As it had been for the past week, my pain was very manageable or not there. At least it's only tomato that takes it to intolerable levels. Also, I think more aspirin seems to accelerate my vulnerability. I have to have some, but more than a mild dose seems to actually increase my pain.

I wanted to play at the coffee shop. As expected, the connection dropped a lot, but I still had fun.

The evening ended poorly, however. It actually never ended. I am writing this entry a full six hours or more later than usual. I couldn't sneak in to sanctuary to sleep. It didn't seem safe. And safety is a huge concern for me, followed by routine. A disruption in either is bad. So I waited. And waited. And waited. And the entire night passed and I never got to sleep.

Day 2099 - 3/31 - Sooooo sleepy

Today was barely memorable. It started by being bled into yesterday and never had a proper start. I was ok in the morning. I got through my friend's online work, though wasn't stable enough to play online after. I tried to play some offline stuff in the afternoon, and by then I was having micro sleep naps. I literally fell asleep playing the game half a dozen times for just a few seconds at a time. Since school is out I skipped doing laundry. I only really need to do it weekly to have enough shirts, and since noone ever sees my shirts in the colder times it doesn't matter. (If school weren't closed I'd have just slept in the parking lot.)

The evening was ok. I was worried I might fall asleep driving to work, but I was ok. I had almost a normal not quite so sleepy energy level through work. I got to play one of my favorite games for a bit at work.

There was no pain, so I'll definitely toss the nearly $15 worth of pizza I saved. The pain certainly seems tomato acid linked. I tried looking for a dentist at work, but was too sleepy. Even seeing pictures of the office triggered my dentist fears and worries. But, at the same time, I still hope maybe someday I'll find that caring and emotional dentist who will treat me right and help me to smile again.

I'm writing this at the close of work, so hopefully everything will go normally tonight and I'll get some sleep. I'm so very tired.

Day 2100 - 4/1 - Incredible sleep

Today I feel good. I slept so well last night that I feel like I slept in a bed. My throat is messed up though, so I don't know if that's a cold or just from messed up sleep.

It's odd to not have class, particularly with such a small pause. And it's very cold, as if we were back in winter of a few months ago.

I feel ok for the moment, but I have a feeling I'll start to feel very sleepy pretty soon. I hope to have an ok day and try and look for a dentist and play my games, but I have a feeling I won't find the information I need to feel comfortable approaching a dentist, and the connection won't be stable enough to play. But I always hope for an opportunity for change, and that's about all I can really do.

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

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