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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 345

Day 2409 - 2/4 - Slowing

Today was ok, but still very sad. I did my normal stuff in the morning and helped on forums. I tried to cheer myself up watching shows and playing games after, but I was too sad.

I am hungry a lot of the time now. I'm having to slow my eating as much as I can to get ready for saving as much as possible. Without help my funds will drain extremely fast, so if I don't hear anything soon at the end of this week I'll have to start going into heavy conservation.

I already have to conserve so much. It's so stressful all the time. Plus, there is always everything about my homeless life I don't or can't have adding to that weight. And now, the last thing I sort of have control over, hunger, is being lost as well.

It is tough to remain hopeful and not be dragged down all the time by all my sad things.

Day 2410 - 2/5 - Slow day

Today seemed like a very slow day. I didn't actually do much. Maybe that's part of why it felt so slow. I helped on forums, edited my podcast, and watched a show. Just that portion of my day felt like an entire day. Then I had my class I TA for, which almost felt like another entire day for some reason.

Today was one of those das I had several things I could have done, should have done, but just didn't feel at all like I wanted to do them. Maybe it's because I have a cold. My throat has been incredibly messed up with congestion, and I have been inexplicably hungry. And there is a bit of sneezing and extra tiredness, so I almost certainly do have a cold. Of course too it could just be various aspects of my depression. I may never know since I have no real way out of my depression since, even if I am happy for a while, there are always my sad homeless thoughts at the back of my mind.

Day 2411 - 2/6 - So much rain

Today felt sad. Noone talked to me; Not even my gaming friends on console because they showed up late and then just appeared to be doing their own separate things. A few people at school waved and smiled, but I didn't talk to anyone all day. I suppose that's not unusual, particularly if I have my headphones on. But still, it seems very sad.

It's been pouring rain today, which is odd since the past week has been getting warmer. I suppose it's good, as it's the easiest weather for me to hide in. Provided I can sleep through the rain I can probably get a bit extra sleep.

But my life seemed sad. Though in a way it would have been more sad being isolated in a home, it would have been less, as everything I did today was out of place. A few looked at me oddly, which is understandable. I'm not doing normal things in normal places. And while that would just be eccentric if I had enough money, doing it because I have none just makes me feel sad.

Day 2412 - 2/7 - Tired of sad food

Today I am sad. I am tired of sad food. I want to eat something nice. I want to cook my own food and have a nice dessert. I want to have juice in the morning and a choice of foods, maybe even more than one meal at once to have different flavors from different foods. But I am limited. While I may have one or two fancy meals, very soon not only will I not have those, but I'll have bad and cheap food all the time, as I will either not be able to afford nice food, or won't be able to eat more than a few things a day due to cost. I hope I have some freedom. I hope the food stamp program comes through. But my life continues to seem like it will never change, never go back to normal, and never be what I'd hoped it would be.

Day 2413 - 2/8 - One last treat

Today I got myself what may be one last treat. It's a single serving cake. It will probably be ok, but nowhere near as nice as my tummy thinks. Since I'm lactose intolerant pretty much any cake has a chance of doing bad things to me, and store bought items always have way too much frosting.

It makes me sad to think it may be a last treat. And it makes me sadder still that I have been alone and not had people in my life to bring me treats. Even when I had people in my life, I can't even remember when one last got me a special food, or bought me a surprise when I wasn't expecting it and said, 'I thought you might like this thing.' Upon reflection my former best friends did get me Magic Bunny and a little house charm. I suppose I forget those came from them easily due to the weirdness of the one saying he was never really my friend and cutting off contact with no warning.

I've always been the one to get stuff for people, either to cheer them up or just because. Maybe being overly generous is part of why I've now got nothing left.

I fear I may never have people like that in my life ever again. In so many ways I'm afraid to. I don't know how to live anymore. I've been afraid of everything for so long.

I feel like a bunny who's people abandoned and forgot him when they moved away. And noone I've met cares to take me in, leaving me alone and cold out in the rain.

Day 2414 - 2/9 - Dead network and taxes

Today went differently. I did a little work on a project I was supposed to do. Though I didn't have time to do another, I kind of got rapidly stuck as I didn't know how to get the program to do what I want or needed.

When I went to play at the food store I wasn't on for more than about 15 minutes before the network died and didn't recover. I rushed over to school since the lab was open. I am very lucky I have that option now. It seems like there isn't going to be a re-upping of the firewall that previously blocked me. I may consider playing from school more in the future. I can't really talk in the lab, but it's a lot faster and more stable.

I checked my money and it looks like I got my tax money. I now have all the money I'm going to have. Thought the budget shows it lasting about a month, I have my doubts it will last that long. And even if it does, what then? I've been looking for a new job for more than seven years. For whatever reason it seems I'm not going to find one.

I continue to hold on to hopes I'll win enough money in the lottery to be safe until things settle back to normal, but reality seems to be showing no signs of intent to going back, nor doing so anytime soon.

Day 2415 - 2/10 - The clock begins

Today seems ok so far, but I can't help but worry about money all the time now. Before, while I only had a few hours of work a week, I didn't have to worry about it. It was enough. I had enough for food. I even had a bit extra to put away for emergencies or things I'd need to replace. But now it's everything. When it's gone, everything is gone with it. No more food. No more phone connection. No more gas. And all of these will bring me rapidly to an end, emotionally and physically.

I try to stay positive, and today is my day of classes all day, so I should be distracted. But things don't look very good for my future.

Week 346

Day 2416 - 2/11 - The worst day

Today was the worst day in a very long time. It started with my laptop not starting up correctly. For an unknown reason it couldn't get to the desktop. This made me sad and worried all day, as it took 12 hours to resolve what was going on and get it seemingly cleared up.

Also, I had to drive up somewhere 15 minutes away (a further drive than it sounds) to do paperwork for my food stamp thing, basically answering questions that could have been asked on the phone or by web form.

Then, when I was getting ready to leave after a day lost trying to get back what I had, I discovered a soda had been slowly leaking since the last move or two, and the entire bottom of the bag had absorbed it and nearly everything was pretty badly soaked. Thank the Gods my laptop and headphones were unaffected. While it got my microphone bag, the bag protected it, so that too remained safe.

Yeah, things could have been worse, but for a homeless day, this one had me scared and worried all day, and I still am. For a homeless life, it was pretty terrible.

Day 2417 - 2/12 - A promising start

Today had a promising start. I checked on my food stamps thing and it seems I was awarded almost as much as my current food budget (which is pretty tight.) So, most of my food costs will be covered, expanding the life expectancy of the money I have on hand by a few months. I will have to make some fairly decent changes in how I spend the money. Most of my food budget will now exclusively have to come from the food store, as opposed to what is currently only about 30%. So that will be quite a change as I move to more lunch meats and microwave food. It may be better for me in a way, but I have a feeling it will be more bad than good.

My system seemed to act normally again today, so my worry about that is calming down.

In the evening I had a pretty good time in the class that I TA for, and I had time to do a few extra things for a project that's due Tuesday. So I not only got the base project for that done, but also the fun extra version that has been floating around my head.

After the worst day it was a pretty decent day. I even laughed a few times, which is pretty rare these days.

Day 2418 - 2/13 - Phone repairs

Today as set to be a pretty casual day, but quickly turned into another crisis. When I got settled in at the coffee shop I checked my phone, but it was dead. Figuring it was just out of power for no reason, I plugged it in to charge. It did a crazy blinking thing. I spent the next two hours trying various things to fix it. Eventually I gave up and accepted it was probably a dead battery. All the signs pointed towards that, since it could still operate normally when connected to power. I had two options, which really was zero options. I could buy a battery and kit to change it for around $10 and wait 1.5 weeks to two weeks for it to get to me, or spend $40 and do it immediately today at a store. Needless to say that was not a choice since my phone is critical for having an alarm and knowing what time it is to get in or out of my safe hiding spots at night or in the morning.

The rest of the evening was pretty good. To my surprise the school pool locker rooms were open. The water was hot and I had the place to myself. I got a pretty great shower time. After, I went to play on my console with my friends, but they were basically all doing separate things.

I did discover something sad about my food stamp money. I would guess it doesn't cover cooked items from the store, which rules out several items I would otherwise get. Sure, soups aren't a big deal at $3.25, but other meals at $6, or whole chickens for like $8, on sale for about $5, aren't going to be covered either. While not tremendously expensive that does reduce me to just micro food, canned food, lunch meat, or microwave food. I suppose it's not a huge change, but it seems weird. I'm confused because, in theory, I could eat all the junk food and soda I want, but a cooked soup isn't ok.

I suppose today was ok, but I still would have much preferred to be in a home with no major issues in life.

Day 2419 - 2/14 - Return of the worst day

Today started out pretty great, despite my discovering it is valentine's day already with noone special in my life, or even friends to hang out with. But it rapidly turned to poo in the early afternoon. My system locked up, and is now basically failing to start up at all. It's doing what it did before, bu now it just doesn't respond at all. I don't know what I'll do. It's about 2.25 years old, as it almost certainly isn't under maintenance anymore. And, if not, that means I've lost it for good and can't replace it. I really won't be likely to know anything more until Tuesday when I can maybe submit an RMA form. I might be able to tomorrow, but I guess we'll see.

Oh wait, just as I was writing that it sort of came up. Maybe I can still get to some kind of login. ...

Seemingly repaired again and played for a few hours without issue. But will I need to keep worrying, or is it finally restored for good?

Day 2420 - 2/15 - Peaceful day

Today was a pretty peaceful day. I got up and played my console game. Noone else was around, so it was kind of sad. But it was quiet, which I do like sometimes. After, I went on to campus to hang out. It's getting warm again, so sitting outside, while uncomfortable with no super close bathroom, was quiet and peaceful. I snuck into my safe spot at night a bit earlier than usual and played for just a little.

I suppose, all in all, today was a rare peaceful and ok day.

Day 2421 - 2/16 - Miss my heart

Today was ok all things considered. It really wasn't all that different. I spent the first part of my day doing laundry. I spent some time at school doing an assignmnt and helping on forums. Then I went over to play with friends on my console, but they weren't around.

I've been missing my heart. These past few years I barely feel it. It's like there is an emptiness there. It's not cold, but neither is it warm. And I don't feel it beating or feel it's presence like I used to.

I am sneezing. I am congested. My ears are ringing. I'm so very tired.

Day 2422 - 2/17 - Shorts, no shorts

Today is odd so far. All weekend it was super warm, yesterday like it was summer, and I had wished I wore my shorts. Today I sort of did. But the sky was gray and sprinkling, so I grabbed my pants too. When I got to school I changed and put my shorts away. I hope it warms up, but so far it's chilly and still sprinkling.

Today is my big class day. I've got a couple of big projects due, so it will be nice to finally get those turned in and I don't have to worry anymore.

The last remnants of the computer cold seem gone now, but my cold still remains. Hopefully today will turn into a nice spring day, but so far it's chilly and like it will get more cold.

Comments and stuff Copyright E. Stryker 2008-2015
Pictures for Epic Fail are taken by me. :)

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