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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 335

Day 2339 - 11/26 - Fun pew pew

Today was pretty good, actually. I had an ok time at school. A couple of people waived or said hi during the day. I edited and posted my podcast for the week early so people could have it before the weekend. And in a surprise, I had time to work on my final project some more and tweaked a few things that had been bugging me I wanted to tweak. So now that is totally done and ready. (I may even do something extra because I have the time.)

In the afternoon I had fun times in my console game with my friend that I play with. Though it seems it will be like two weeks before I see him again.

Everyone else is looking forward to tomorrow. I am not. For me it will be a day in cold public places, which are too noisy and too bright. I don't yet know if I'll need to go to the coffee shop, but since the owner's kid was there last year I'll want to at least avoid it in the morning. I expect I'll start with my console game, then have lunch there at the food store and play on my laptop and watch a show. Then I'm not sure what I'll do. I may just go kill time a few places and sit in my car. I may go to the coffee shop if it looks like the owner's kid isn't there. Or I may just go back to the food store for a while.

Whatever tomorrow winds up being, I won't be able to sleep in a bed. I won't have a special warm meal to look forward to. And I won't be able to play games and watch shows how I'd prefer. I suppose at least I know of all my friends that noone else is in a sad position. Everyone else has a place to be, and in many cases, a happy life and good day to look forward to. And I suppose that is something.

Day 2340 - 11/27 - Dinner plans

Today was ok during the day. I didn't have any problem playing at the food store, though I knew I'd be alone. I decided to go to the coffee shop, since hanging at a closed school campus on days like this would be unusual. To my surprise the connection was fast and stable, like it's old self. Maybe they finally replaced the modem. I expect I may have to go back again before the weekend is done.

But dinner plans kind of fell through, repeatedly. My original plan was to get soup from somewhere, but they were closed. I went to the food store to get theirs, but all the hot foods had been put away an hour early, so they were gone. I went to the fast food place, but they were closed. Even the kind of pricy health food store was already closed. I kind of expected trouble, so yesterday for lunch I'd grabbed a salami. So that and chips is for dinner.

In a home my day would have been very different. I'd have slept in, played what I wanted when I wanted, had control of the temperature and noise. For dinner I'd have made a single game hen with herbs and butter, stuffing, vegetables, and maybe a few red potatoes. After, I'd have watched some movies, or maybe just regular shows, and had some pumpkin pie for dessert. But I haven't been able to do that in more years than I can quickly count, and it's been even longer since I had someone to share a special meal like that with.

I suppose though I am still very thankful to have my laptop, console, car, and a place to keep my stuff in storage (that's free). At least I know while I may not be me on the outside, my stuff is still there. And maybe someday I can have a place to put my stuff and I can be me on the outside once more.

Day 2341 - 11/28 - Fast food shave

Today was ok I suppose. I played my game at the food store. I was alone gain, which is sad. I was hoping to shower at school, though I figured it would be closed. Before going over I remembered seeing a sign that they would be closed. So, I decided when I went to grab a cheap fast food lunch I'd shave. At least that is something. I'm finally soft on my parts again. I missed my Wednesday shower due to playing extra with my friend and a friend of his, so it had been since Monday that I last shaved. I don't get very hairy, so every two or maybe three days is fine, but more than three is too long.

I went to the coffee shop since school was closed and I figured the owner's kid would be around. I was right. It was an ok connection, so I played what I wanted, watched some shows, and did my friend's online work early.

I'm hoping the rest of my weekend will go normally for my homeless life, but it's possible school activities that normally happen on weekends won't. I guess we'll see.

Day 2342 - 11/29 - Fair day

Today was ok I suppose. I decided to check school in the morning, as the swim team almost always has practice. I was right. I got there after most had left, but the shower locker room area was open. I finally got a decent shower. (Though the water was barely into warm.) After, I played a console game for a few hours. As expected, I played alone, which was sad. I saw the owner's kid wasn't at the coffee shop, so I decided to go. It was cold and rainy lately, so I don't want to be outside at school. It was mostly ok. The connection was fine, noone bugged me, and the music wasn't too loud.

I suppose all in all today was ok. It was slow and quiet. But noone bothered me and nothing bad happened. I suppose that's something.

Day 2343 - 11/30 - Missing me

Today I am very sad and miss me very much. It had been pouring rain last night, and was still raining in the morning. I left my console in the ex-storage instead of risking carrying it and the monitor out in the rain. Since I'd just be doing a few dailies alone it wasn't worth the risk. It was laundry day, so I basically just started my day with that. After, I spent time at the coffee shop, as it would have been too cold to stay in my spot at school. Even though there are plenty of dry spots (one would be my regular one) it's something I'd prefer to avoid.

I guess the weight of how I do things differently hit me today when putting my cloths into the bag in their safe spot in the ex-garage. I was hugging my (stuffed) bunnies and putting them back in the bag on top of the cloths and thinking back to countless days before. I'd put away my laundry, hug my bunnies good night (lonely life is very lonely ) and go to bed in clean sheets. Earlier in the day I would have had a warm shower, and played games while waiting for the laundry. I guess all these cloths, particularly with struggling if I should order the last game I can afford on console to play with friends (instead of on PC like I'd planned), it just hit me how much I miss me. I hugged some of my bunnies and cried for a few minutes.

In a home I am happier, relaxed, more free with being silly or entertaining, much more creative and organized. Now, I jump at the slightest sound due to being afraid and worried all the time. I'm eating junk meals. I often don't get a lot of sleep. I anger and react with vengeful thoughts almost all the time. And creativity and organization are extremely rare. On the surface I may still mostly look like me. But I am not. Not really. It takes a lot of effort to be me. And despite how much I dislike being this homeless me I have little to no control over the factors which force him to be.

Day 2344 - 12/1 - Sad day

Today was a pretty sad day. It was again raining and cold, so I mostly just stayed on campus. Again I didn't want to risk taking my console system or monitor to the food store if it might rain on them. I watched some shows, checked for jobs, and played games for a short while. But people didn't really talk to me, despite being surrounded by them all day. It wasn't unusual. In fact just the opposite. And although my day wouldn't have been very different from what it was if I were in a home, the fact that the way I did everything needed to be different made me sad.

Day 2345 - 12/2 - Nearing the end of a cycle

Today is one of the last days of the quarter. There is this Thursday and then finals week. Which isn't stressful for me since my one class is project based and I finished it weeks ago. It will be sad for it to end. But I guess I am not where I am supposed to be in life. I still think of all the regular jobs I'd like teaching at a junior college best. But since noone has hired me in a teaching capacity yet, I guess Fate still needs to move me through life to where I am supposed to be. I have to trust that is the case. Because, if not, that means noone wants me at all, and that may never change.

Week 336

Day 2346 - 12/3 - Odd day

Today felt like an odd day, though I know it wasn't. A few more talked to me than on a normal Wednesday, probably because of the rain and people coming in and being around me. I guess it's more due to the energy being different. People are working on final projects, some are starting to say goodbye. Some are feeling close and open to others because things are coming to a close. Maybe too because it's nearing Xmas. But despite all that, my day was basically a normal Wednesday. Nothing different happened. Nothing changed.

As always that feels more like a good thing than bad, though I can't help but feel sad.

Day 2347 - 12/4 - Fun day

Today was actually a pretty fun day. I talked to people from the class I TA for, and in my actual class, so I was kind of social. I had to do a lot of podcast stuff today, so that took most of my non-class time.

There are a couple of games I play which are getting changes next week, so that's pretty exciting. I'm looking forward to that. And I'll be spending time with that over the almost full month I can't access my regular spot at school. But I'll miss being in my spot at school. It has become one of the few regular things I can count on lately.

Day 2348 - 12/5 - Fearless leader

Today was different. Mostly the day was basically a regular Friday, with some extra time working on my final. But in the evening I got a surprise. I had gone online to play my card game which I don't play often these days due to a lack of a connection, and the guild leader from my ex-guild was on. It has basically been like three years since I've 'seen' him, and at least two since he last showed up online somewhere. It was very odd to see him. Outside of a different job I guess his life hasn't changed much.

That was really my day. I'm getting more sad as things close down for the end of the school quarter and I'll have to break my routine, but I guess that's not new these days. It's just yet another mark of a year passing.

Day 2349 - 12/6 - The quiet

Today was kind of quiet. Not physically, but mentally. I played my console game in the morning. Then, since it's flea market day in school's parking area, I kind of was forced to go to the coffee shop. Noone bothered me, and I didn't talk to anyone there. I just did forum stuff, played a bit, and watched shows.

I guess today was ok. Quite mentally is good. But overall it was the same sad as every week.

Day 2350 - 12/7 - One pill

Today is the first day I'm forced to be down to one pill. I still have my cholesterol pills, but one of my blood pressure pills ran out at Thanksgiving, and the other just yesterday morning. I guess the store says the doctor hasn't responded to any of the three refill requests they've sent. Monday I'll have to try and remember to go to the health center and tell them that and see if they might know what's up.

Today was another noise-filled day. With it getting cold and school being shut down soon there will be more and more days like today that I'll be forced to consider the coffee shop. One of the people who I used to see there was in and said hi to me. I guess he doesn't work there anymore. I go there less than once a week, and for a few months I hadn't gone at all. I guess now he's a paid software designer at a small company. So that's super cool. I'm happy he has a much happier life now. At least I assume that is better money and hours, and hopefully a happy workplace. I still hope that someday I will find the thing Destiny plans for me. But so far I seem to be little more than a small inspiration to a very small number of people.

Day 2351 - 12/8 - Sugar lips

Today was a bit different. My professor for class showed up today before noon. It's very unusual because she normally doesn't show up until before her evening class, so that was quite a surprise. She opened the lab for some people, so I hung out in there most of the day instead of outside in my hall spot. I chatted with some people. And later in the evening I saw some people working on a project and I gave them some helpful pointers on how to do stuff they didn't know how to do, as well as creative editing suggestions that they liked. So today was one of the few days I was glad I was homeless because if I had been in a home I would not have been there to help suggest those things to those people. It's nice to think maybe those tips are something they will consider for future projects.

I think I've discovered something as well. For the past few days my lips have felt odd. Sort of like when you eat a ton of salt and you lick them and they... I don't know how to describe it... it's like they develop an odd very thin film, with a slight taste. At first I thought it was some salty chips I got. But I am not eating them every day, nor do I eat a lot when I do. I have, however, been eating quite a few blueberry muffins. These are big so I usually eat half at a time. But they have that sort of larger rock sugar on top. Why they need a big sugar thing on top when they already have a bunch of sugar is beyond me. I guess it's more tradition than not. But, I think because I'm eating those every day (for about a week now) they are probably the cause. Chocolate does bad things to my tummy, so that was when I moved away from some chocolate chip ones I've been getting. (Which do not have extra sugar on top.) After these are gone I'll go back to the old ones, or get a different breakfast snack. That way I could verify it.

I wasn't planning on playing my console game today, as my friend I play with is out on vacation. I was going to play my online card game, but the server was down all night. That too is part of why I just stayed at school all day. But I guess that too was good, because it added to the time I was there when those people needed help.

So, overall a pretty different day. Yet still, in the bigger picture it's difficult to not think of the sad things.

Day 2352 - 12/9 - Unsure

Today I am unsure of the day. My two games I play the most both have new content, but I'll be on campus all day and not play them until tomorrow. I thought of gaming this morning, but it seems odd to play in the morning now when I could instead be in my school spot. It seems to odd to decline myself potential things in trade for others, but I guess it's more that I dont' want to 'wear out my welcome' in areas I can play at since I know at school I'm just an oddity. (And can't wear out my welcome really.)

The day is just getting started, but basically noone is around. There is one professor here for a final, but there are no students around. Why should there be? It's finals, why show up outside of a time they need to be here? Why deprive themselves of extra time to relax and have fun for the holidays?

That is not my life. I suppose it still wouldn't be if I had a regular job. But still, it seems sad to be such an outsider and so different from everyone.

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

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