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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 325

Day 2269 - 9/17 - Pretty good day

Today was a pretty good day. There were no jobs to apply for, but things went as planned. I got a shower. I played for a bit. I got to watch some shows. And I was not delayed getting in to sanctuary. I suppose these days there isn't a lot more to hope for.

Day 2270 - 9/18 - Feeling sad

Today I felt sad. All in all it was a pretty good day. It started out with some surprises. First, I saw a rainbow after I woke up and was driving around. Then, in the later morning I saw one of the friendly professors and he said hi and we chatted for a bit. In the afternoon I watched my shows, edited my podcast, and went to play my new game for a few hours during the cheap time.

But from the afternoon on I felt very sad. I think because we are yet again at a beginning. Yet again the world reminds me new kids are coming in to school. People are moving on to better jobs and starting their careers and lives. But not me. There are no positions to apply for. There are no job people who reply. And if they did, it seems like all I have to look forward to is my life barely meeting the minimum amount and not ever being truly happy; just barely eking by as I did before when I was in a home.

Today, though I had some happy things in some form, I feel like I will never stop failing; like I will never truly be loved and people will want me around, like my thoughts and opinions will never have any value to anyone but me. And most of all that I will never have enough simple things to be happy, nor be in a position I enjoy and able to make others happy.

Day 2271 - 9/19 - Lonely times

Today I felt pretty lonely. I would have preferred to play more, but what I wanted to play was restricted, and I could only afford to play a few hours.

Mostly I watched shows. I guess it wasn't to bad. Noone bothered me. Noone was mean to me. Noone was stinking of perfume or cologne and near me. But I long for peaceful days. Days I don't have to care about bills. Days I have a home and know I am safe. Days I know I can sleep in. Days I know I can play or watch shows as much or as little as I like. I don't want much. But without them, without friends playing the games I'm playing or at least talking about them outside of the game, I am left feeling very alone and sad.

Day 2272 - 9/20 - Sad fun

Today was sad fun. The morning was spent at the food store. I avoided the coffee shop because today I was going to spent a free pass at the Internet cafe for the day. It was super fun, and I didn't spend much on food, so I saved even more.

But the day overall was sad. While I forgot my troubles while playing, when the night was over and I had no home to return to, no bed to sleep in, no job to return to in just a few days. And I continue to wonder if I will, or if things will continue to get worse and I will be forced to become someone I don't want to become.

Day 2273 - 9/21 - Taking it out and putting it away experiment

Today was a day for experimenting. The morning started with my going over to school to install Destiny on my PS4. Previously I had resigned myself to simply having the time at the Internet Cafe, but being brutally honest there will be a lot of weekends I'll have nothing to do all day and no money to afford to go. (There are no cheap hours on the weekends.) So, I thought I'd test the local food store connection. It seems odd to say, but there is a tiny coffee shop area in the store, with a spot for about a dozen people to sit in. While people aren't there often, people staying for hours and using the Internet isn't entirely uncommon. So, after loading the game through the school wireless on the super fast connection, I tested the connection at the store. It played ok. It dropped me three times in the first fifteen minutes. But in the following two hours it only dropped me once more. I wouldn't trust the connection for 'important things' since it did drop me, and in my speed tests it can be good for gaming (around 5 mbps) or barely able to connect to anything (1 mbps or less). So, while not amazing, nor very reliable, it seems I can get a few hours play probably most weekends. (I won't leave my stuff unattended, so that will limit my playtime due to my bladder.)

It was incredibly nice playing on my own controller. No parts were sticky or worn out like the controllers at the shop are. It will take some getting used to, as the difference in screen size affects my perception differently (in terms of rotational speed and other things), but at least it seems a fairly viable option.

It was very sad to put away the system. Even taking it out was sad. It is a reminder this is not what should be happening. It's my system. It should be out in my home ready to play whenever I want. So this too, while nice fine play time, will be a reminder every time I do it that things are not as they should be.

Day 2274 - 9/22 - School chaos

Today was complete chaos at school. I started my day with laundry, and after figured I'd kill time at school. But it was chaotic. When I got there at 9 I had to park very far away from the building, as far as possible in that lot. When I got settled in I couldn't get a connection. There seemed to be two to three times as many students as there should have been. They were likely jamming up the network. I tried waiting and waiting but never actually connected. I went to get lunch at the cafeteria and still couldn't connect after that. I finally just gave up around 11. But, the parking lot was just as chaotic. It seemed like tons of people were leaving or just showing up. There was so much traffic I didn't even try and leave my spot for 30 minutes.

After that my day was fairly normal. I went to the food store to use their connection. I did my online work for my friend. I watched a couple of shows. Then it was time to play my game for a few hours at the Internet cafe.

I ate a different micro food and now I am regretting it. My tummy is all gurgly and upset. Hopefully I don't have any... emergencies I need to run to a bathroom for.

Outside of the chaos of today in all the various ways, I guess it was ok. Though school's chaos reminded me I don't really belong there. Internet at the food store always feels a bit odd. Playing at the Internet cafe reminded me I don't really have much choice. And my upset tummy reminded me I can't eat normal food. And sadly chaos like this is just something I have to accept as a recurring part of my homeless life.

Day 2275 - 9/23 - Calm before the storm

Today is quiet and peaceful so far. I just did a quick trip to grab some food and now I'm at school super early. I connected as quick as normal, but I'm sure that's because it's so early and hardly anyone is here yet. It is likely the calm before the storm.

If I had a case for my console I may have played a bit this morning. There is a manufacturer which makes ones with a built in monitor which look like a good solution. I'm considering it, but the good resolution ones are pricy and pretty large. I'd like better resolution than not, but I'd also like something smaller which is easier to carry and has a less visible footprint. I asked the company and new models are coming. But at a few hundred it's likely that won't be an option for me.

Hopefully all will go ok for me today. I'll have some time before a class I'll be T.A.ing for, then my class right after, but it is both nice to be back at a peaceful connection point, yet sad because I can't game here, and I have no home with a connection of my own.

Week 326

Day 2276 - 9/24 - The new professor

Today was ok I suppose. A sad but nice thing happened. I was sitting in my spot in the hall, and the new professor who is one of two teaching the class talked to me during one of his class breaks. He seems pretty nice. He mentioned it seemed like I lived here and I replied, 'I kind of do. I have a sad life.' So it was sad to be noticed as out of place, but nice to be noticed.

The day overall was ok though. I connected fine. The connection was just bad that first day. I watched my shows. I updated my site. I left in the later afternoon and played my game for a few hours. And after, I got a shower. I suppose with my sad life the way it is an ok day with nothing bad happening is probably a good thing.

Day 2277 - 9/25 - Exhausted over nothing

Today I feel exhausted for no reason. In the morning I recorded and edited my podcast. I checked for jobs. But after that I just watched a lot of shows. I did my TAing for a few hours, and had class for a few hours, but I feel kind of exhausted for seemingly no reason.

Maybe it's because I'm just tired from being out all the time. After all there are tons of students moving around me being noisy all the time. Maybe it's because I'm moving around more than in the summer and I don't get as much private quiet time, I don't know.

Someone did kind of make me smile today though. He was talking to the nice professor and he said seeing me felt reassuring. Like it (school) would feel odd and cold without my being there. There are always students around here and there doing stuff; napping, eating, whatever. And, even in halls where people usually don't hang out, not seeing that does have a certain cold stale feeling to it - less like a school building and more like a business. So, I guess that was nice.

Overall though I felt sad today. Again I thought of things I'd have liked to have been able to do. I thought of all the time 'lost' while out in public areas I could have done different things if I were in a home. But, for better or worse, I don't have those possibilities right now.

Day 2278 - 9/26 - The cute girl

Today was better than I expected. I decided to hang out at school even though I figured the building would mostly be closed. To my surprise it wasn't. In fact, there were some classes there. So most of the stuff in my usual building was kind of open. (No lab areas were open.) I watched shows most of the day. The super cute girl that was in a summer class was there. She said hi and we chatted for a few minutes while she was on break.

I played with my friend in a game in the evening. It's been a while since we last played together. We were doing stuff, so I stayed longer than I should have. We got into something super hard though, so I got kind of stuck there. I hadn't eaten dinner yet, so it was hours past when I should have left. I was getting very tired and hungry and grumpy. I'm sad my life is so limited. In a home I'd have just grabbed a quick something to eat and not had the stress of paying the expensive per hour time to play. But that is not my life. My life is sadness and pain. And even sometimes when I try and do happy things I cannot escape that.

Day 2279 - 9/27 - Special play weekend

Today was the first day of a special play weekend for me. It is special for a few reasons. First, this is the last big chance I'll get to do some stuff for a special timed event. I'll get today, tomorrow, and a few hours Monday. Then the last day will be Tuesday, when I'm at school all day. Also, it will be the last weekend I can afford to play for a while. Weekend days are all expensive time, so if I don't get a day pass I can only stay a few hours, which isn't really worth it. I pushed for a pass today and tomorrow I'll just use up all my star reward point things to get another day pass. I won't be able to save up enough points for a free pass for probably almost a month of normal play weeks.

I was sad and alone the whole day, though I did have fun. My friend was supposed to play, but he was too busy I guess. I don't mind playing alone, but it is much more fun with other people.

Day 2280 - 9/28 - Transported in time and space

Today was a pretty good day for the most part. I had enough free reward things at the Internet cafe to get a free pass today to do extra special event stuff. Sadly though that will be my last weekend to play for a while. Next weekend if I want to play I'd have to set up my own system and try and play from the food store.

I got extra close to the monitor. Not so close as to be super bad for me, but 6" closer than normal so there wasn't anything in my peripheral vision save for part of the monitor next to me. After a few hours alone in the room I had actually spaced out enough that I was transported in time and space. It felt like I was back in my room playing on my system while sitting too close to the screen. I thought I even heard my ex-roomie talking to one of her friends behind me. (Roughly the same direction my door would have been.) It was nice to be in the zone and not in my regular sad life. However, that kind of made the reality of returning to my sad life when my brain realized where and when I was even more sad.

I still hope one day I can return to a normal life again. Maybe even pick up where I left off and grown and progress and have more than I had. But when I look around me and see all those who have also failed, or those who barely have that minimal amount, I wonder if I will ever even make it back to that.

Day 2281 - 9/29 - Eating soap

Today was pretty good. I was pretty busy in the morning with doing online work for my friend, then entering this week's fail. After, I looked for a job then watched a few shows. A few people passed by and said hi. More are recognizing I'm in the hall in my spot. I looked upstairs where there new couches and chairs are and it was packed at 10:45 when I went to get lunch, so it seems my spot is a good choice. After that I got to spend a few hours playing during the cheap time. Though my friend doesn't seem to come on Mondays, so it was a lonely time for me.

After play time I got a shower. I think I was over zealous with soap though. My mouth tastes eew, like I am eating soap when I drink.

Maybe someday I can have a normal life again and I won't have to rush things, do them in odd orders, or do them in amounts I'd prefer to do differently.

Day 2282 - 9/30 - Cold hands

Today I feel pretty good. I'm a bit sniffly and sneezy though. I may have a cold. My hands and ears feel chilly too.

I don't expect much today. I have a bit of free time, then my class I TA for, then my own class.

I wish I could do things a bit differently, but without a home I have little choice .

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

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