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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 323

Day 2255 - 9/3 - New show

Today wasn't too bad in that I was occupied. I've found a new show to watch and it has five seasons, so I've got plenty to get caught up on in the next few weeks before school.

The connection at the coffee shop was mostly ok, though in the later afternoon it started going bad, and in the evening it died completely for several minutes. After about five minutes not reconnecting I gave up on it and went to do my podcast and took a previously unplanned shower.

Someone called about a resume I supposedly put out today, but she seems totally dumb. She called when I was driving, so I didn't get the call and she left a message to call her back at that number at a particular extension. Well, the number she called from didn't have extensions. It went to a voice mail of someone different. And, she didn't say her name, nor what company she was calling from. She must have called from someone else's desk or something before leaving for the day. Double brilliant. Call right before you leave, and leave the wrong number for the person you are calling to call you back on. So who knows when I'll hear from her again. I guess, as usual, all I can do is continue to wait.

Day 2256 - 9/4 - Seems like a trick

Today was tolerable I suppose. I kept busy with my volunteer forum moderating, watching my new show, and editing my podcast.

There were no new jobs to apply for, and the one who called yesterday didn't call back. I wonder if it's a trick of some kind. She didn't leave her name or business she was calling from, which seems extremely unusual for someone calling about a resume I sent. But what seems doubly suspicious is the number she called from. I did a reverse lookup thing and it's from far to the south. I'd guess probably 1.5 hours to get to there in moderate rush hour traffic. I never would have put out a resume for something that difficult to get to. And, if I did, according to my records I certainly didn't do it within the past 2-3 months, which makes it even more suspicious.

There was some sort of sad news. One of the gaming content creators I like said his numbers are getting really low, and because he has a family with two little ones, he'll probably have to cut back on doing his stuff and look for a regular job. That's very sad. He's trying to live his dream, just like I'm trying to get to, and he's a lot closer to doing it since he's been doing it a while, but now it looks like he'll have to stop. That makes me very sad for him.

Day 2257 - 9/5 - Odd numbers

Today was ok. There were the normal half dozen at any given time in the coffee shop. But what was weird was the rest of the crowd was only about 25% of normal. Hardly anyone was there most of the day. It seemed odd. There was no holiday or special event that I knew of happening. It seemed strange.

Day 2258 - 9/6 - Low res

Today was sort of better than most. The connection kept dropping a lot though, so I couldn't play games and my shows were kicked into lower resolution a lot. But it was fairly peaceful all things considered, almost like an old Saturday. I spent the day watching my new show I picked up, which is about as close to watching a Saturday movie as I come these days. At least that was something.

Day 2259 - 9/7 - Food and stress

Today my tummy was upset. Without the school cafeteria to get fresh cheap lunch my tummy has been getting more and more upset with lunch meats. Hopefully I can return to normal food some day, but until then I'm having a harder and harder time eating lunch meat and other ready to eat lunch food without my tummy getting upset.

I think stress overall is taking a toll on me. Though I've slept very well lately I have back spasms of pain, today there was a mild pain along the tendon inside my left arm, and for about a few weeks to a month now my heart feels clogged and bad, as if surrounded and filled with congestion. Thankfully my teeth have stopped hurting for the most part, though I know they can't get better.

Hopefully someday I can return to a regular life, and all these physical ailments will fade away in time.

Day 2260 - 9/8 - Launch not launch

Today, well technically tomorrow, Destiny launches. It's 9 PM now. I am still considering if I should go play at midnight or not. The Internet cafe closes at 2 AM, so at most I'd get just under 2 hours. But I can't play for another 3 hours from now, when I normally would try and sleep in half an hour to an hour, so I'd lose as much as half of my entire night's sleep for just 1-2 hours of play. It doesn't seem worth it. Better to just wait until the morning and buy my week pass as planned and not go tonight.

Once upon a time I'd be too excited. In some ways I still am. I certainly can't remember how many years it's been since I've been this excited for a game. If I were in a home there would be no question I would wait up. I normally sleep around 11 PM, so waiting up a few extra hours, then flopping immediately into bed when done wouldn't be an issue. But now... particularly after the last homeless midnight launch... I feel just as sad about what I can have as I am happy at the prospect of what I could have.

All over the world there are people excited - some already playing. I guess as I write this those on the east coast in the U.S. are just now getting their physical copies. And soon others will too. People are at midnight launches celebrating, having contests, and in some places there is live music and other revelry.

But not for me. As much as I've been looking forward to being a part of it, now that it is finally upon me I feel more separate than ever. There are no parties or celebration with strangers for me. There is no turning on my system and checking now and then until launch at midnight. There is no setting my alarm to get up super early to play and have fun all day.

I can play. And I will. But not with the same freedom as others. I will have limitations. I will have restrictions. Even though I am part of a game that has, in some ways, had the biggest launch in gaming history, I will be apart from that, just like I am in everything else.

Day 2261 - 9/9 - Sick

Today I feel pretty sick. I guess I've been progressively getting worse. The congestion I've felt around my heart is definitely in my lungs. I'm coughing a lot and yuck comes out. I do have decongestants, so I'll try and remember to keep taking them until I get better.

It's early morning but today will be the first day of playing my game on a week pass. It's a lot to spend but I won't get another chance like this since I'm homeless and have school coming up. If I were in a home I'd have already played some last night and be preparing to play now. But I can't. I'm not. I have to wait until noon when the shop is open. Hopefully I won't be taking away other people's fun by getting so much time. I hate monopolizing one of only two systems. But I think most who play will be doing so at home. During beta I was the only one who played, so I doubt there will be much interest. Hopefully things will be fine and I can at least forget my troubles for a little while. I'm sure that the time will pass swiftly and things will very rapidly go back to being very sad.

Week 324

Day 2262 - 9/10 - Pushing too far

Today was super fun. I played my game most of the day. I was pushing myself though tonight and last night to get to the important level I've been trying to reach. I should be able to get it pretty early tomorrow, then I can back off and start leaving at a reasonable hour to go to sleep. I didn't feel bad a few hours ago, but now I feel exhausted, or even a bit sick from lack of sleep. Friday morning I can catch up with a few hours if I feel bad still. But I think going to bed at a reasonable hour tomorrow night will be enough.

Hopefully everything will work out in time. I hate doing things in ways I would rather not do them.

Day 2263 - 9/11 - The first goal

Today was pretty good. Though sleepy, in the morning I edited my podcast. I checked for jobs. And I even had time to watch one show before showering then going to the shop to play.

I hit my first major goal; the one I basically got the week pass for. So, with my remaining time I can have more fun and work on easier goals. It was nice to accomplish something, even though I know my fun time will be very limited soon.

Day 2264 - 9/12 - A big sad scare

Today started off with a big sad scare. I uploaded my podcast, but when I went to check I neither saw my site nor could it be downloaded. I guess it turns out the network I was connected to was having issues. I was super scared and sad until that was resolved. I know it doesn't seem many others care, in fact it seems just a few do, but my site means a lot to me.

I had a lot of fun in my game. I spent almost all of the day with a friend and we had a lot of fun. I still have a few more days on my pass to look forward to fun playing, so that should be awesome. After that I will only be able to afford a little bit of time each week, and that will be super sad.

Day 2265 - 9/13 - The verge of exhaustion

Tonight I'm exhausted. I played with my friend half the day, and was alone the other half. I left late, but not unreasonably so. But when I got to sanctuary to sleep something weird was going on. I couldn't get in place to sleep for 2.5 hours.

I wish, in so many ways, my life was not what it is. There are so many sad and terrible things. But at least I got to watch some shows in the morning and play my new game during the day into the evening. I guess that's something.

Day 2266 - 9/14 - Feels two hours later

Today everything feels two hours later. I'm so very tired from my playtime. Though for me playing on consoles is fairly low energy. Unlike some I don't move anything but my fingers, so mostly my body is in a rest state. Even still, I stayed up pretty late those first few nights, but each night I've been too tired and left basically half an hour earlier each day. Though it feels like it's two hours later than it actually is tonight.

Tomorrow is my last day of fun. Though my mornings have been somewhat regular, my sad homeless life has been kept in the back of my mind, at bay from my conscious mind much of my days and evenings these past several days. At times it's been like I'm in a home, alone in the room with the game. At others there have been people making noise and the poor condition of the controller has gotten on my nerves. But there is one last day. One more fun time to not feel quite out of place in the world. And that is something.

Day 2267 - 9/15 - Last play day

Today was the last of the week pass play days. For the last week I've almost felt like my old self who could play online games with friends. My troubles didn't seem so bad, and it was quick and easy to forget the mornings when I couldn't find, or didn't get, new leads for jobs.

Tomorrow I will return to basically my old homeless routine. (A few times a week I'll go to play for a few hours.) I expect nothing will be different. I expect I will quickly remember the sadness and pain of my life. And although I can still play on occasion, most of the days I will be unable to. And while I may not want to all the time, it's having the option I miss the most.

Day 2268 - 9/16 - Back to homeless regular

Today things go back to my homeless regular. Although, as it was many years ago, before I had my laptop, I'll be visiting the Internet cafe to play a few times a week for a few hours.

I've been checking for jobs every day, so I don't expect the additional time at the coffee shop to reveal anything I'd missed, but an extra bit of searching will happen. As will extra forum helping, and extra show watching.

The friendly coffee shop person and I got 'caught up' and he still remains hopeful for me, so that's nice. Though nothing seems likely to change I feel hopeful today will turn out ok, and I look forward to my new class next week.

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

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