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Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer
Book 7: Dying embers

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 319

Day 2227 - 8/6 - Where do we go from here?

Today was basically the last day I can be at school in the lab. If I recall from previous years it will still be open in the sections that the cafeteria area is, but I think almost all the buildings will be closed and locked, making it very weird to be anywhere on campus. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I will still likely be forced to be at the coffee shop unless I can think up alternatives. I think tomorrow I may try to go to the food store, then see if there is anywhere open on campus to be. I really don't want to go to the coffee shop anymore with how bad the signal has gotten.

But I'm not sure where to go with school being mostly closed. I can only sit on my butt so long, and in the cafeteria... I don't know. I always felt odd there. Particularly with how long I'd have to stay.

Unless tings change these next few weeks will be very long, very boring, and I will likely wind up needing to sit in the film school hallway or move between 3-4 different locations each day.

Day 2228 - 8/7 - Half sad, half smiling

Today was a nice surprise. The morning started slow, and I thought I may not get time at school without sitting on my butt in the hall. But, at about an hour past when one person usually comes they showed up and unlocked the lab. Only two people and the cute professor showed up, but I got a little bit of time to be social and laugh and have a bit of fun with silly stories and silly times. It was nice to feel normal, if just for a little bit.

I am still torn about returning to a regular life in a home. On the one hand I'll be super happy in that I'll be able to play any of my games as much as I want, with little to no limitations on time or connectivity. I can cook, shower, sleep in a bed, sleep in, and watch my shows on a regular TV with surround sound. On the other hand, I'll be limited to just people online. I won't have the interactions with people that may happen randomly. I won't have students who need help asking if I can help them because I'm there a lot and seem knowledgeable. But then I suppose that will only happen at school. In the 1.5 years I've been going to the coffee shop there has really been no interaction there, and no friendships formed from meeting in public. So I think those connections are more just an effect of being at school than my being there all the time.

I suppose though, theories are somewhat pointless, as these things are outside my control. While homeless school is one of my best options for places to be. It's free, and or the most part it's quiet, calm, and I'm mostly left alone. And, should I ever find a job again, how much time and freedom I have outside of that work, and the flexibility from that income, will all depend on what that job is. So much of my life still remains outside of my sphere of control.

Day 2229 - 8/8 - Like the old days

Today reminded me of the old homeless days. I had too little to do and too much time to do it. The game I wanted to play doesn't come out for a month and the games I could play I couldn't because of the terrible connection. I'm still giving serious consideration to changing locations.

Most of all, in the evening sanctuary was seemingly inaccessible, so I had to wait and wait and wait. I waited so long that this is actually being written the next day instead of last night after getting in to sanctuary. I'm exhausted. Running on about two hours of sleep, if I'm lucky. I thought of napping at school - hiding amongst the swimmer's cars. But I think tonight it should be ok to go at my regular time and try and sleep extra. We'll see.

Day 2230 - 8/9 - Still exhausted

Today I am still exhausted. I can barely think with how little I've slept. It was another extremely slow day. Again I wanted to play the game I can't. Again I didn't really feel like playing anything else due to the crap connection at the coffee shop. I'm afraid too I may not have much choice. There is a lot going on at school which may make being there during the summer not as viable as other years. While there is still the food store and the pizza place, and the pizza by the slice place I can connect from, all that moving is exhausting.

I guess this summer I will simply have to move one overly slow day at a time.

Day 2231 - 8/10 - The long days

Today was another long day. It seems they get longer and longer. It is beginning to feel like the early days when I had only 5-10 hours of work a week with nothing to do.

I suppose a great part of that is I really don't have any games I can spend a lot of time with that I really enjoy. The one game I can play I am pretty happy with I can't due to lack of bandwidth. The other I used to play all the time, but I feel like playing less and less because I'm always in the bottom ranks.

I am beginning to wonder, when I win my millions and I'm free to play and stream whatever, will anyone care? I posted my video somewhere else yesterday, and again it was ignored. If my videos are being ignored, my help on the forums not appreciated, my site not visited, my podcasts not listened to, is it really worth it? I do these things for me because I love them, but I also get excited to share them with others. But if others don't care...

I don't know. It makes me very sad to think noone in the regular world seems to care about me or want me for a job, and noone on the video game side of things seem to support me or care what I do. Things seem very sad, lonely, and like I don't matter at all to anyone.

Day 2232 - 8/11 - Tired butt

Today basically all of school was closed. The cafeteria area I expected to be open seemed to have the main back doors locked. (I didn't go around to the front to check those.) Admissions appeared to be open, though I don't think they close at all during summer (save for Fridays and the weekends.) But the film building was all locked up. I decided to just sit in private on my butt in the hall. After a short while the equipment room guy came. He went around and checked that everything was locked. He didn't open either lab. I never ask him to though, but I'm pretty sure he knows I go in the big one I was sitting next to the door for.

I'm not sure what to do in the future during the remaining month and a half of summer. If I went to the coffee shop every day not only would that get really expensive, but I already feel somewhat like the owners kid is always watching me and like he still wants an excuse to kick me out. So, not counting Friday, Saturday, and Sunday where I don't really have a choice, it seems my choice is between emotional discomfort if he's there, or physical discomfort doing things like going to school and sitting on the floor (like I did today for about seven hours.)

I still haven't fully decided. There is enough traffic parked at school that I could go back to sleeping in some times. That would kill a few hours. But I'd still wind up going to the food store a few hours a few times a day. Which would rapidly make me as uncomfortable as at the coffee shop in terms of time spent in one shop spot. I don't know what to do.

Sad life still seems very sad, very lonely, unappreciated, and like if I don't win my lottery money noone will ever help enough through a job offer and a place to live for me to ever get back on my feet on my own.

Day 2233 - 8/12 - Unsupported

Today seems extra sad. Yesterday I checked my stats for my site. The old stats were seemingly very off. The new one are reporting just under 4,000 unique visitors a year, and in the last month's period my podcast page was viewed only four times, by me. While it's always possible people are only going there once ever and signing up for a direct subscription it seems noone new is going to my site.

It makes me sad to think noone is going to check out my fun things, noone appreciates me on the forums, few to none seem to care about what I post on my page. It makes me feel like, if I were to ever get a chance to live my happy gamer entertainer life, that too would wind up as much a failure as the rest of my life.

Week 320

Day 2234 - 8/13 - Dwindling

Today was pretty sad. The bandwidth at the food store has been dwindling. It's been worse more days than not for some reason. While I'm still trying to just do the coffee shop on weekends this may impact that. Because of that I've been having less and less game playing time. And, in fact, less and less desire to even try. Most of my ay today was spent on campus. My butt and back were hurting pretty bad, but it was private and calm. I saw fewer than one person per hour. Though I may only have access a few more weeks before even that building is closed and I'm forced to spend my time at the coffee shop, food store, and pizza place.

It seems my ability to play is dwindling due to failing connections. It seems my desire to play is dwindling due to instability. And it seems my options on where to go may be dwindling as well. Everything in my life seems to be in a state of greater and greater restrictions. These few times I can enjoy something are becoming more and more precious, and more importantly more and more important emotionally.

Day 2235 - 8/14 - Schedule settling

Today my schedule seems to be settling a bit. It is still weird with many locations and being at school when I see fewer than one person an hour, but for the next few weeks while some of school is still open it is really my best bet.

I was sad about all the things I can't do. Not just for today, but for the days before, and the days after. And all the things I may, in fact, never do because I've missed my window or I just don't have the ability or resources.

It seems my future life remains nothing more than a dream, and my past life little more than fading memories.

Day 2236 - 8/15 - Unexpected

Today a few things were unexpected. There were a couple of gaming conventions happening this weekend, so I got to see some unexpected news about a few games I'm interested in. It was good to see something unexpected for a change.

Most of my day progressed as normal for a Friday night. Well, normal since being fired. I spent the day at the coffee shop, like it or not. I didn't play anything, primarily due to the lack of bandwidth. I tried to help on forums. And I found no jobs to apply to.

I suppose, at least, things are getting back into some kind of established pattern, for better or worse.

Day 2237 - 8/16 - Expensive store

Today I ate at the expensive food store. Well, I suppose more accurately I got some food for dinner there. I think I mentioned in a previous year how they have food there you can buy 'by the pound', so you can mix and match. It seems an ok way to do things like get a bit of salad and some healthier food choices. I've done that a few times lately, and if I'm not careful it's more than I should spend. But when I'm careful, like tonight, it was only $6.50, which isn't too bad. I may do that once a week or so to get healthier food.

But it still strikes me as odd how different the people who go there are. They look different . They act different. They dress different. They even smell different. I suppose it's no different than any other 'high society' thing. But like tonight this one guy was picking chicken from the bin I wanted something from. He picked a piece and flipped it over. Picked another, and flipped it over. Picked another, and flipped it over. He must have looked through five pieces before picking one. And he did this two times. It seems odd to me to be that picky. I wonder if I had enough money to shop here regularly if I would ever be like that. Or will I remain me, dress as I do now, mostly smell as I do now, and still feel just as much like I don't belong, even with the money.

Day 2238 - 8/17 - Feeling

Today I had odd feelings. I woke up and started the day feeling like something significant had changed already. As if I'd misread some lottery ticket numbers from the night before and upon scanning them at the machine some great prize would be revealed. Or maybe that someone would contact me later in the day and I would be offered a spare room, or space in a garage, with no limits on my hours being there and a wireless internet connection to do all my things on.

But that was not how my day went. Besides the recent new homeless person at the coffee shop talking to me - as usual for him, a bit too much - there was really nothing different about my day. I still disconnected too frequently to feel safe playing anything. I still could not do a video project I'd like to do due to the software license running out. I still have no new views on the one I did recently. (Though five views showed up either Friday or Saturday, which was an interesting jump. Though the remaining six other views are just me.)

In fact, the only real change today was feeling sad and worried about my health. Which isn't really all that different or new. It seems very little food... gets through me... the way it used to. It's likely due to the constant stress and sadness I have pressing down on me emotionally. And I still don't seem to be losing any weight, despite eating less and having half the number of the hot chocolates as I used to have.

But really it was just another Sunday. A Sunday I felt icky due to not being able to shower. Sleepy due to limitations on when and how I can sleep. Upset in my tummy due to restrictions on food. Unhealthy, again due to limitations on food, but also due to my extra weight. Sad about what games I can and can't play. And unfulfilled feeling due to not getting anywhere in my personal stuff, nor my regular job stuff. I existed today. And nothing more.

Day 2239 - 8/18 - Outsider

Today I continue to be the outsider. The food store had extremely terrible bandwidth, likely due to the other person there streaming a video. So I left after being there just a few hours. I should have done my laundry, but my next paycheck has been extremely late. I'm hoping to get it tomorrow, but with the budget based on getting it Friday, these past few days have already been quite a strain. Since I had no laundry, and I skipped my Friday shower since I had one Thursday, I decided to go ahead and take one in the morning before lunch since my parts were bothering me so much. There were a bunch of older people there doing aquacize. I guess that makes sense, as that's how they used to schedule things at the city pool.

After my shower I just sat in the hall at school. I'm feeling more and more an outsider there. Today noone came down my hall at all. I did still hear about one person an hour come in the building and go up the stairs, but noone came down to my area. The one person who takes care of the equipment is still showing up. But he and I are the only ones there. (He still has yet to let me in the labs, but I guess I don't blame him since noone is supposed to be around.)

More and more I feel like an outsider. My schedule is not normal. My ways I do my hobbies is not normal. My not having a job, let alone a career, at my age is not normal. My being single and without friends (save for a few online) certainly doesn't seem normal.

I suppose though I have always been a bit different. I have always been somewhat unique. And while I don't mind being that way, it does seem to be that only a few want to associate with me, and noone wants to help me. And that makes me feel awfully alone and sad.

Day 2240 - 8/19 - Another season

Today it seems another season has come and gone. I saw high schoolers walking around in the morning when I was out.

I'm exhausted. Risky things were going on last night and this morning in my area, so I'm barely running on 5 hours of sleep. I think I'll be ok, though I feel kind of wavery sick from lack of sleep. I don't feel like doing laundry even though my money did come this morning, nor do I feel like taking a nap for extra sleep at school. Though I guess the high schoolers explain why the pool was closed and had no kids this past weekend or yesterday.

My birthday is tomorrow. Though it seems like there will be little to celebrate. My stuff is still in storage safe and sound, so there is that. I am alive and mostly unharmed, though I still question how much damage has been done to my expected lifespan. I only have a few online friends. But with another summer season passed I am reminded that another year has passed along with it. Another year I am missing so much I want to have in my life. Another year I seem to get further from any change. Another year that seems to confirm I will never get what I really want.

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

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