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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 331

Day 2311 - 10/29 - Cereal

Today was ok I guess. In the morning I procrastinated a bit on doing my project by watching a few shows. For some reason the bandwidth went to total poo, so I shut the show I was watching down and did my homework project some more. After about two hours, probably 12 to 15 total spent, I called it good enough. I've spent way too much time on it so for too small of a result. I'm sure it will be fine.

The evening was ok. I played my game at the Internet Cafe but there was noone on that I knew. It was fun enough I guess, but I'd feel a lot better about playing alone if I were in a home. (I'd also play more than I do on weekdays for sure.)

Hopefully someday I will not be homeless anymore and I can play my game without paying, or I could play any other games I wanted. The only other two I've been wanting to play I can't anymore because I don't have the bandwidth.

I've been super hungry lately. In my thoughts of what to get to eat my brain thought of cereal. It's odd to think it's probably been about five years since I had cereal. I used to get it and put it in a container that kept it super fresh. I'd slowly nibble at a box over a few weeks to a month. I know I used to get it in the early homeless days, but at some point I just stopped. And in time I guess I just forgot it was an option. It seems so many things in my homeless life has happened like that lately.

Day 2312 - 10/30 - No spirit

Today I am pretty sad. The day went ok I suppose. But it normally would have been my day to pass out candies to people at school. But I couldn't afford it this year. And what is worse is I feel too sad and alone to think it would really be appreciated or noticed. It seems that this year I have no holiday spirit. I have noone to really celebrate anything with. There are just a few online who may say something. I expect no little ones to visit me, as I have no home to visit. I expect no relatives, loved ones, or friends over for turkey day, as I have noone, nor a place for them to come over to. And while there are some who still care about me in the world, I don't expect any of them will send gifts at xmas. And I haven't had a tree to put them under in more years than I can recall.

Day 2313 - 10/31 - Sad holiday

Today was a sad holiday. I got to do really no holiday things. I played my game in the morning for a bit, and in the evening a bit, which was a nice holiday type of thing. But there were no specific holiday types of things. I could not pass out candies to little ones. I could not make or set up spooky ornaments. I could not even watch a special movie and have pumpkin pie for dessert. While it was nice to play with anew friend and a friend of hers it was sad to think of all the normal holiday things I could not do.

Day 2314 - 11/1 - Unwanted public

Today was good and bad. I had a fun time with my new friend in the game in the morning, so that was pretty good. There have been some stability issues lately, so I was dropped a few times, but mostly it was ok.

It was raining and pretty cold today. On top of that it was flea market day in the school parking lot. So even if I wanted to brave the cold outside on campus it would have been busy-ish. I decided to go to the coffee shop. The connection was pretty terrible. It could barely play my card game. And when I tried to play the MOBA test I'm in it was barely enough bandwidth to get even one FPS. That connection, the one I used to stably play on a year ago, is just about worthless now.

I was out in public all day. Not a place I want to be. But I have no choice. Nowhere I can be is ever private. There are always people around. I am always in public places. There is no more private space for me. The only thing I really want, the only thing I've ever wanted, was private space. Not just my own room, or my own house, but enough space beyond that to not have anyone else around me all the time. To have quiet all the time unless I chose to disturb it. To be alone unless I choose to have people over, to play online with people, or to have loved ones in my life. I've always had no choice in needing to live with others for financial reasons, or lived in apartments with people right next to me, or even when I've been in a home the neighbors were only a dozen feet across the yard in most cases (and I'd only had a room in such a home.)

I am tired. My brain needs a rest. I want space. But I think because of all the traps I was born into, and all the traps I've put myself in, intentonally or unintentionally, without a miracle I don't think I'll be able to ever have that space.

Day 2315 - 11/2 - Winter's bite

Today I feel the coming winter's bite. Not so much on my body, though for a week I have been chilly all the time, but more on my heart and soul. Today, despite having fun I feel sad. I feel alone. I feel like no matter where I go I don't belong. And above all else, like I will soon be gone. And after, I will quickly be forgotten.

Day 2316 - 11/3 - Different evening

Tonight was a bit different. The day was normal for the most part. I honestly remember very little due to being 'up early' due to the time change. I decided to not go to the Internet Cafe. My friend really doesn't show up on Mondays and my new friend is more a later in the week person. I was right in that I was playing alone, so I'm glad I decided to just play for free at the food store. (I'd still like to get one of those Gaems cases for easy and safe carrying. I still worry about my system and monitor being bounced around in transit to and from places.) I also decided to be a bit different and stop early and get a movie to watch. It's been a long time since I watched something on a Monday night. I used to do it all the time back in the day during work, but now that seems a distant memory.

I've been very sad lately. The little things are keeping me going, but just barely.

Day 2317 - 11/4 - Broken butt

Today I feel a bit tired, but ok. For the last few days I've felt like my butt is broken. I don't know why, but it's like the bone parts you sit on have been hurting more than usual. I'm not sitting on the floor more than normal. The only possible thing I can think that it could be is I'm losing weight. My legs between about the mid thigh down, particularly near my knees and in back just above there, are starting to feel tougher and tighter. I doubt I'm really losing weight though. While I may be eating a little less I don't see how it would be enough to cause a change.

This next 'pay period' will be incredibly tough. My 'time card' is now nearly a week late, and that's assuming it gets here in the next few days and hasn't been permanently lost. (I told them about it and they said they'd send a new one but that would take 10 days.) So I'm going to be off at least half a pay period's money. If this happened in a month I'd be fine, but now I am riding the edge. I will probably run out before I'm paid again. I don't know how I'll make it. But then too, the clock is ticking. In just about three months I won't have any income at all save for my online work for my friend. This winter could quickly become impossible.

Week 332

Day 2318 - 11/5 - May be better

Today was ok I suppose. It passed fairly quickly, though it seemed slow at the time.

In the evening I got to play with my friend in game. It's been nearly two weeks since we last played, so it was super fun. Although, even though I got an ice cream sandwich I don't know that I can say going to the Internet Cafe was better than playing at the food store. The food store seems as safe as school, so I don't really worry running away from my system for one minute to pee while I'm there. Though I'd double my visits to play there if I did start playing in the evening during the week, it might be worth considering. Plus, in a few months I'd have no choice as I'd be out of money to go to the Internet Cafe anyways.

Of course, thinking of ways to make my terrible and sad life slightly less terrible and sad seems like something I shouldn't even be considering. But then it seems inevitable as my life seems to not be getting better and it is very very slowly slipping away one piece at a time.

Day 2319 - 11/6 - Forgot

Today was pretty sad. My morning and afternoon went ok. But when I had no time left I remembered I needed to edit my podcast. For some reason I'd completely forgotten about it. It made me sad. Did I not really care about the stuff I discussed? Was I just sad and forgetful overall today? I'm not sure. I do feel as I'm losing more and more of my ability to do things I normally do I am losing more and more of me. And more and more I am surviving, doing nothing more than automatically reacting to what is at that exact moment. And anything beyond the immediate moment seems beyond my scope of vision.

Day 2320 - 11/7 - Finally, the time sheet

Today the missing time card finally showed up. (Or this is the replacement one I requested last week.) So my pay will be here an entire week late. Right now that's a like $150 which I can't slide around. At most the pennies I have in savings would cover $35 of that. I have no idea how I'll make it through and have enough for food and stuff.

Outside of that stress I guess today was ok. I got to watch some fun BlizzCon stuff, but again another year has come and I can't afford to go in person. I played my game in the morning and in the evening, but no friends were on either time. I guess it was fun enough, but it was pretty sad to be alone. I suppose it would even be if I were in a home. But in a home I could just play other things and tell my friend to message me if he's going to play and then swap whenever.

Maybe someday I can live a normal life and go back to playing any game I have that I want when I want, and I don't have to be wary about having enough money to eat, but that day is still not today.

Day 2321 - 11/8 - By myself

Today I was by myself. Any given day I am alone, but today felt especially lonely. I played my online console game in the morning. Noone was on most of the time. My new friend came on about one hour before I left. She didn't say hi or join me. That made me feel even sadder. In the afternoon and early evening I watched convention footage. There is a new game that was announced that seems super fun. But again, I watched all that footage alone. I actually decided to play my games on my laptop I haven't played in months. They went ok. I may do that a bit more often. I sort of miss them.

But even though I was lonely and that would have been no different if I had a home, at least with a home I could have had online friends contact me when they wanted to play. Without, my windows of opportunity limit me, and my life seems even more lonely.

Day 2322 - 11/9 - Hot, cold, sad

Today was interesting in that it was a bit different, but everything which happened was basically normal. In the morning I played my game. It was pretty fun, but again I was alone. After, I went to hang out at school. Despite the pool area usually being locked I checked the locker rooms, and the side one was open. So, I got to grab a shower. Which is super important since it most certainly will be locked tomorrow. While hanging out outside I had just my tank top under layer on. It was so warm I took off my sweater, house shirt, and t-shirt. In the evening it cooled down pretty quick, and while I was playing at the food store I was cold and shivering a bit.

In the evening I played my games on my laptop. I've been missing them and it's been forever since I played regularly. My card game that I'm an MVP for was ok. I had enough bandwidth to be fine. But I was never very good, and now, nearly two months out of practice I lose almost all the time. My other game which is still a test that I used to be pretty good at reset everyone's progress, so I lost the character I loved. And with the other character I'm playing I'm not doing well. And there isn't enough bandwidth, so half the game I couldn't even play. The evening just reminded me I'm not in a home. I can't control the temperature. I don't always have access. I don't control if my access is good when I do have access. And above all, I am alone. And I don't feel very special or desired because of it.

Day 2323 - 11/10 - Different holiday

Today was a bit different. Since it was a holiday and school was closed I started by playing at the food store like I do on the weekend. It went ok. The connection was fine and my new friend was on for a bit, but she didn't talk and all we did was gather resources. In the afternoon I checked school to see if I could hang out there. There were a few cars in the lot but there was a regular motorcycle police person driving around in what appeared to be repeated circles. On rare holidays the regular campus police don't show up and have the regular police show up to patrol sometimes. Since it looked like he wasn't leaving I just went across the street to the coffee shop. The connection was still pretty terrible. It was ok for my card game, but my game that's in a test phase didn't have enough bandwidth. It was no more or less stable than the food store connection. I decided though since it was about the same to just stay there the rest of the day. Neither of the two who don't like me that work there were there, so it turned out ok.

Today was pretty different. But outside of seeing an extremely beautiful girl who was the most attractive girl I've ever seen in my whole life, my day was really no better or different than any other. I suppose most of the day was nice and warm, but I had noone to share it with. I couldn't even be outside of school like I planned to and do my online hanging out. Maybe someday I'll have people to share my life with, but until then I guess I just have to continue alone and hope that someone comes along and notices a something I do and considers me special and appreciates what makes me me.

Day 2324 - 11/11 - Feels ok

Today feels ok so far. It's been a bit foggy and misty in the morning the past few days, but today it was prety clear and even a bit warm. Before I'd settled in at school the fire alarm went off. There wasn't anyone here yet but people went outside. I chatted with someone from the class I TA for, so that was different.

The day is just starting and I'm glad to be back at school and hopeful that people did all the things for the class I TA for and we have a fun time. I feel ok for the moment and I hope that will last, as it seems hope is all I have these days.

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

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