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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 351

Day 2451 - 3/18 - Lost sleep

Today I feel much better than I had been over the weekend. I slept pretty good, but had disturbing dreams, and didn't settle to sleep last night until about three hours after I 'got in bed.' When I woke up I was a bit dizzy. I don't know if that was from remaining ills, or from lack of sleep.

I guess I had an ok time today. With no class stuff to worry about I was free to do whatever, yet I didn't actually do very much at all. At least I don't remember it. I know I looked for jobs and helped on the forums, but don't clearly remember anything.

I have a feeling my life has fallen into two modes, 'normal' and 'unusual', and if it is normal everything about the day simply blurs into all the others, and little is actually retained about it; probably to spare my mind from piling on too many new sad memories.

Day 2452 - 3/19 - Stuck a fork in it

Today was ok I suppose. In the morning I decided to do some checks on my previous headphone repair work. I opened up the tape and looked around. Nothing extra could have been done more than I already did, however, I did have a plastic fork. Looking at the lead and pokie bits it looked like the flat bi had the very minor curve I was looking for near the end, and if I broke it there it would have all of the pad bit that leads to the extended bits. I decided to try putting that under a new very tight tape layer. What it effectively did was make a pad and fork extension spine brace. During use today it was great, and just as strong as ever. Hopefully that can continue to hold. As long as I just use it indoors I think it will be fine. The headset doesn't have a very strong spine compared to others, but I think it was the warm sun heating it up that partially melted that bit before, causing the crack when it cooled.

With no projects to worry about the day passed very slowly. I did all my normal things, and outside of the school network being down for an hour, my day was relatively uneventful.

Although, due to how desperate I am getting on money, and how worried I am about the future, I may have to try and put out a call for help tomorrow on the social media sites as my regular person page, since it seems there really isn't anyone checking on my gamer page.

Day 2453 - 3/20 - Desperate plea unanswered

Today was pretty sad. Early in the morning I decided to put out a desperate plea asking for help on my person page (since really noone has replied to it on my gamer things.) One person seemed to imply she would help, but none of the other half dozen I expected would offer to help or offer to pass on the message did so. I don't know if they genuinely don't care or if it's because they have so many other posts they just literally didn't see it. I will try not to give up hope, as it's all I have left these days, but I really wonder why I've gotten so little help in my times of trouble, yet all my life I've always helped those around me.

Day 2454 - 3/21 - One friend helping

Today seemed very slow, but was pretty good. I played my console game in the morning, but everyone was doing PvP stuff, so I was alone. In the afternoon I went to hang out at school. I got an email telling me a friend sent a donation. Yay. Slightly less worry. That will cover critical costs for basically a month. It's not a lot of leeway, but it's something. And, it's the only help I've gotten in recent times.

I was displaced about half way through my school time. A production started to come in to the theater area, so I had to move. With only a few hours left to be there I moved close by, but had no power, which didn't work out so well. I could watch shows, but not play games. And, as it was in a shaded area, it got cold fast.

I guess it was a better day than most, though it is still so sad I didn't have a home. Sitting out in my car looking in and getting quick peeks of people's homes as they come and go I can only barely remember being in a home; the freedom to do what I want when I want, being able to cook and do laundry, watching shows or playing games at any time, sleeping in. Everything seems like a faded memory of a dream to me now.

Day 2455 - 3/22 - Day of pain

Today I've been in a lot of physical pain. About 12 hours ago something I ate triggered my tooth pain. It was pretty bad and didn't lessen much after it started, so I had to run and spend $5 on pills at the food store getting ones that should work, but weren't my usual type. They didn't help much, but I managed to sleep a bit. Today it's been a dull ache. Before dinner I grabbed a small bottle of my normal pain pills, which was only $1, so that was good. I took some about 45 minutes ago and while the pain is subsiding a bit it may take days to fully go back to normal.

Today was ok I guess, not counting the pain. Nothing was new, good or bad. But with my pain it was difficult to stay cheerful, as I was easily upset, and on edge all the time.

Day 2456 - 3/23 - More pain, one helper

Today was ok I suppose. There was still a lot of tooth pain though. And, there is a lot of back pain. I guess from being out extra long Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at school.

One person who I've known for a few years forwarded my plea for help. So at least one person is trying to pass my message along. No more donation help has come though. Even though I am currently out of immediate danger, with only a little in my account more help is certainly needed and appreciated.

Day 2457 - 3/24 - Swollen and drooling

Today I feel kind of icky. I think I've yet again caught a cold. I've been congested and a bit sneezy since yesterday. And my tummy is a bit upset, probably from the congestion. My tooth doesn't hurt quite as much, but now the muscle under it is swollen and feels like it's sprained. Though sensitive to touch it doesn't actually feel swollen. I don't know if that has caused it, or is a result of it, but since last night I've been kind of drooling and swallowing a lot. I'm not exactly sure why.

It's a big day. I have my finals in both classes, both project things, and then that's it for about a week until it starts up again. I always hope for change but lately it seems my life is little more than baby steps to nowhere.

Week 352

Day 2458 - 3/25 - Like a snake

Today passed pretty slowly. Even when I was playing on my console with friends the day felt super slow. There were no jobs to apply to, mostly because I didn't have specific degrees or the experience needed, but that's nothing new.

My jaw and sore tooth are still pretty bad. I don't have a lot of pain, thank the Gods, but I have high enough that I'm irritated, sad, and quiet all the time. Mostly it's an odd swelling. I say odd swelling because the area isn't really swollen. It's maybe 5-10% bigger than normal, but it's 2-3 times the density. Mostly it just prevents me from opening my jaw more than about 40% of the way because it gets stopped by the stiffness. I can continue to open it normally if I suffer a bit of minor pain extra and sort of wiggle it to the side to unhinge it like a snake jaw. I'm sure it will be fine in a few days, but until the infection is gone (be that due to the tooth o the cold) I may be better off sticking to very small bits or soup.

It was a very quiet day because of finals. Not many were around. I guess it was nice, but on odd days like this it feels even more like I'm making school my home and it feels awkward to do so. I guess it makes sense, as I'm usually in my spot 11-13 hours on weekdays (when I don't have class o play my game at the food store.) I don't know, it's odd. But, I'm kind of at peace with it, and those who know me just know I'm almost always there. And, either they know in the back of their mind I have nowhere else to be, or simply don't care to ask.

I guess, as always all I can hope for is a better tomorrow.

Day 2459 - 3/26 - Anti-biotics

Today was bad. On my way to school I felt like my jaw was flapping like I was 30 pounds heavier. I looked in the mirror in the bathroom, and although it doesn't feel like it, that one lymph node area under my jaw was 20% bigger than the other side. It was very noticeable. I made an appointment to see the school registered nurse later in the day. It's a good thing I did because I started to feel really terrible later in the day. I ate what was a poor choice for lunch and triggered greater pain with my tooth. And around 2 I started feeling cold, like uncontrollably cold. I was shivering so bad it felt like I was out in 30F weather in the snow. I went out to my car, which was in direct sunlight on what was probably a 75F weather day. I still had chills. I felt my skin after a bit and it was almost hot, yet I still shivered and couldn't stop. It lasted for a while, and after 30 minutes it finally settled down and I got a very short nap before my appointment. The registered nurse says something definitely looks like it's going on, but because of my throwing up so much two weeks ago I'm getting blood work done in the morning to check some stuff out.

So today was pretty bad. My neck lymph node is swollen and prevents my jaw from opening more than about 40% without unhinging like a snake, I had fever, chills, drooling, swallowing, and the ever present tooth pain which I don't expect to calm down for about a week. I feel a touch better than earlier, hopefully the anti-biotics will do some magic over night, but my immediate future does not look very happy.

Day 2460 - 3/27 - Up and down

Today I was very sick. I was up and down all day. One moment I didn't feel quite so terrible, the next I felt feverish with chills, the next hot, the next so tired I could barely keep my eyes open. It wasn't a bad sick really, just more of a complete exhaustion. If I had a home I'd have been on my bed all day either watching TV very quietly or napping. My headphones probably were never over 40% of normal volume all day.

I did blood work in the morning, so early to mid next week they should get that and could call me if anything terrible showed up. I expect it will likely just show I'm still beaten down by my throwing up and being sick two weeks ago.

I barely ate anything. I had maybe 25% of my normal amount of food all day. I was sort of hungry sort of not. I think with my jaw still swollen and unable to open more than 40% or so my tummy has just acknowledged that and mostly shut down.

I was hoping to feel a bit better today, but really I was just bleh to bad, and bounced between those two all day.

Day 2461 - 3/28 - A bit better

Today, while I wouldn't say I feel good, I would say I feel a bit better. Last night my fever seemed to stop around 2 AM. The rest of the night I was normalish temperature. Today too I had mostly a normal temperature. A few times it was a touch cold or a touch warm, but sometimes my skin felt the warmth of the day instead of it being unaffected.

It was a fairly normal day for me. I played my console game in the morning. A friend was even on. Then, I hung out outside of school and watched some shows and did online things.

Mostly the pain is subsiding, more so in my tooth and jaw than my ears, but as it subsides hopefully things will become more normal.

Day 2462 - 3/29 - Feeling sad

Today I feel sad. I'm not really sure why, as nothing new which is sad happened. In fact, an ex-guildie sent quite a big donation. My guess is that I'm feeling sad for a number of reasons. First, I'm feeling a bit better and starting to get over my illness, which means focus is moving away from that and back on to all the sad things going on with my homeless life. But also I think I'm feeling sad because school is out. What should be a time of play, celebrating, and relaxing, is again a time of extra strife and worry for me because no school means lost resources. I lose access to a sleeping in spot should I need it, microwave, a place to connect, a place to hang out and do whatever online or off, a place to shower, and too a place to feel helpful by helping others do better.

It again feels like with each passing of what was once a time of celebration when I was younger, is now little more than a reminder of how far I've fallen and what I've lost.

Day 2463 - 3/30 - Odd start, normal end

Today was a bit different. I figured school would have too much closed, so I spent the first half of the day at the coffee shop. It was ok. The network wasn't slow, nor was it crappy as I expected it would be.

In the later afternoon I did a quick survey of school. There were quite a few cars in the administration area, and even an unusual number scattered in other spots. The locker rooms were open, younglings were doing swim things, and the water was tolerably warm for a shower. So, it seemed my afternoon was my normal shower than play my console game with friends. Tomorrow I'll check school first thing in the morning. It's possible some of the cafeteria area will be open. I kind of didn't expect it to be as open as it was, but if it is, that means at least my Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday could be a fairly normal school time. (Though in an unusual place.)

I feel a touch better than before, but my temperature seemed off much of the day. I didn't feel feverish or chilled, but the air around me felt 5 - 8F warmer than it was. Hopefully though tomorrow I'll be even better. My jaw movement is almost fully back to normal. I ate pretty normally today, so I certainly seem on the road to recovery. ... At least in terms of my cold.

Day 2464 - 3/31 - Too empty

Today I checked if the small cafeteria area was open. It was accessible, but the lights were off and there was noone in the campus center. There were some cars still scattered in the parking areas, so maybe it would be ok to stay outside for a short while, but it seems being on campus is not really an option. Hopefully the showers will continue to be open so I can at least do that.

Today will hopefully be ok. There is almost noone at the coffee shop at the moment, only about six people. The music is off, so it's pretty calm and quiet, so that's nice. I'll check for jobs, help on forums, but outside of that there will be little to do until the later afternoon when I head over to play my console game with friends.

I forgot to check my jaw swelling, but since it moves mostly normal I think it's getting better. I'm still very congested and my ears are still ringing a bit, but hopefully I'll be better soon.

But, as always, I still wonder if I will ever get a decent job, get back in a home, and if I can ever be truly better ever again.

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

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