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Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer
Book 8: Endless Void

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 371

Day 2591 - 8/5 - A feast tomorrow

Today was pretty terrible. I again got down to nothing on food and for the past 3 days have eaten garbage soups and canned food; The very cheapest of $1-1.5 items. It has... wrecked my system, which is already very sensitive to begin with since it's been forever since I have had fresh food.

But tomorrow I will 'feast'. I will have my money revived, so I can buy better food, even if it's only slightly better. And I can get a snack or two, and I don't have to worry about pinching every penny right away. Sadly I will have to, to some extent. Apparently if I don't I'll keep getting short at the end of the month. But for the next month and a half things will get very weird regardless. With school closed after tomorrow I'll have no access to a microwave. I'll have to eat 100% ready to eat food like lunchmeat and such. I pray my system isn't completely destroyed, but with not even enough donations lately to have gas, even just once a week fast food from a fast food place is out of the question.

Tomorrow is my last day indoors for a while. It's only about six weeks, so I'm sure the time will fly by. But will it pass well? Of that I'm not so sure. I haven't gotten donations in quite some time. I'm nearly out of gas. And even if that were covered I still really need to get signed up for class next quarter (which is $50) to keep financial aid loans off my back. And who knows what kind of poo my phone bill will begin to reign down on me for owing them so much.

For the moment, as difficult as it is getting, I still hold on to hope. Hope that there is enough generosity in the world to have enough help to continue to eek by on donations. Hope that someday I will find a job I'm at least moderately happy with. Hope that someday I can get back in a home, that I can find true friends again, and that my life will someday return to the normal I remember it once was.

Day 2592 - 8/6 - Thunder and lightning, very very frightning

Today was the last day I could be inside at school. It was pretty much a normal day (save for the connection dying for half an hour). But at the end, when I was leaving my spot for the last time, it felt very sad. And I shed a tear. School, particularly my spot, is the closest thing I have to a home, even more so now that I have no job and I'm there all the time. Leaving the spot, even though it's only for about six weeks, just seems oddly final. As if I will, in fact, not be able to return. As if this were another part of me lost and another step in the final few that will end me.

Outside of that my day was ok. I did job checking when I first got in, brief forum helping, a quick check of news, and then most of the rest of the day I spent playing in my game. I had a lot of fun, but I was still a bit lonely because I am in an isolated area and I still have no guild.

In the evening when I went to hide for the night, and now, it's started heavily raining (in terms of the drops being large) and there is occasional lightning and thunder, which is super rare here, even when it's in the rainy season. It is a bit frightening, as any unexpected light or sound makes me jumpy due to being homeless. But it makes me remember happier times too - times in a home when I would listen to rain on the roof. And a time when I was stuck at an ex's with a super high fever and it was raining and windy and there was a tree outside making scary sounds and shadows in the flashes of lightning.

I suppose today was pretty good, though I am worried about me physically. For a few weeks now I've had a cold or allergies, I'm not sure which. But today my voice is destroyed, and I'm super congested and sniffling and sneezing. It seems I'm having a very tough time getting over it because of all the stress over the money worries. Hopefully I can get some donations soon and relieve some of my worries.

Please send help and pass on the word if you are reading this while my sad story continues.

Day 2593 - 8/7 - Sad morning

Today morning started again with sad news. It seems my account is overdrawn by 0.77. Apparently the monthly fee for being poor has been raised. So the $11 and something I had did not cover the $12 fee (up from $10.) If I don't get a donation over the weekend I'll have to burn more than a day's gas going to the recycle place to get $1-2 for the few cans I have to cover that overage. Thankfully I have five business days before they charge me an overdraft fee since it was such a small amount, so I don't quite get immediately screwed.

I started a new thing today. I wouldn't call it a job, but it's something online. I go and look at websites with specific goals while doing that while a screen capture thing 'watches' what I do, and my mic remains open so people can hear me talk about what I'm thinking. And, if it's good, for the 15-20 minutes I spend they will pay $10 per thing. However, like most survey type things, most of the time I don't qualify. There were like six possible things today and I didn't qualify for any. I'll continue to check, but the friend who said her friend does this says she only gets about $40 a month. I suppose though that's more than nothing, and since they pay 'off the books' it's not any income I have to worry about in terms of my getting disqualified for the food stamps because it will come from the same source as my current donations.

Even though life is terrible and I spent the first day of between six and seven weeks spending 12 hours sitting outside on the concrete floor in a corner, I feel oddly at peace. There were a ton of people roaming campus despite everything being closed, and cars coming and going all day long. Maybe it was from special school closing stuff, I don't know, but it makes me feel safe to park in the lot. I have a sticker good until the end of September, so nothing bad should happen. But still, I worry when school is closed.

Everything is terrible in my life. I am barely hanging on physically and emotionally. No doubt the phone company will quickly start hounding me to pay them, and my boots may lose what little they have left any day now. But I try to hang on until help comes or I'm back on my feet. It's all I can do.

Day 2594 - 8/8 - Sad dreams, oddly at peace

Today started strangely. I was in a very good and deep sleep for once, when suddenly at 5:30 I woke up and felt worried and alert. Something in a dream must have startled me. I started stressing out and my thoughts about my sad things in my life began to spiral and I didn't get back to sleep for another 30-40 minutes.

When I did I had a bad dream about moving in somewhere and fighting with Sony about my banning or suspension because I was setting up my console. Then, a giant light tan wolf spider as big as my palm (with its legs curled tight to its body) ran across my bed. I grabbed one of my coloring pencils from off the desk, and when it paused on the short haired carpet I impaled it right through the back of its abdomen. It did not bleed, just stayed there imapled, and slowly sank. I knew it could feel its death. My fear turned to very deep sadness.

I woke up again pretty quickly after that, partly still fearful, but mostly still sad. I thought about what the dream could mean. Why did Fate show me this? I think the spider was me. A dull brown color would be something I consider bland and unattractive. I killed the spider out of a natural fear of what it was. Yet the spider did nothing wrong. It was just living it's life. It did not ask to be fearsome, nor did it intend to be, nor did it act so. It's just how it appeared to be. And when I was in the dream and it had been impaled I noticed it was actually not scary. It, in fact, felt and looked stuffed.

I don't really know why I had the dream other than I was both the fearful me reacting to the spider, and at the same time I was the spider, while the me was society and those around me reacting fearfully of how I appeared. But will people see who I am and not what I am really like before killing me in uncontrolled reaction? I guess time will tell, but it seems my unconscious is getting more and more fearful and sad all the time.

Day 2595 - 8/9 - An unexpected visit

Today turned out to be quite unexpected. My ex-roomie has kept recycling stuff for me to take to try and help me out. And since I'm overdrawn on my bank account I have no choice but to go in the morning. I asked if she had any and she said she did and that I could come over whenever and hang out because her boyfriend (the one who sort of doesn't like me) wasn't going to be around because he was out of town. So I got a short visit, we watched a movie neither of us had seen yet, and probably most importantly I got to do laundry. I think it's been probably six weeks or so. So that's awesome. Now I should easily be able to wear clean clothes for several weeks and not get too bad smelling. And with there being no school I don't have to worry about no changing my outer layer so often.

It was weird being back in the ex-house watching stuff with the ex-roomie like I used to. It felt like I could just turn the other corner from the bathroom and go into my old room. The door was closed, just like I kept it. Since I didn't let the kitties in my room for more than an hour every few days due to allergies, the door was usually closed, or open but pushed to being mostly closed. So seeing the door closed was a normal occurrence.

Though I'm sure my sadness will quickly return now, for the moment it felt like I had my old life. And, I suppose, I am a bit revived knowing old habits and thoughts came back quickly to me. Parts of my brain and thoughts I'd thought had long since been lost due to being shut off for so long seemed to quickly spark back on, not like something lost and drifted away to sea, but something simple like a dusty light switch. It seems I have not compeltely forgotten how to be in a home. I have not completely forgotten where my foods would go, where my cloths go when dirty or clean. At least I know when prompted by physical space my mind will remember where things go and how to live like a normal person.

But the question remains; will I ever actually see that day?

Day 2596 - 8/10 - A scare and a surprise

Today was an interesting mix of things. The morning was sad and slow in that I killed time and edited Epic Fail until it was time to go to the recycle center. Once there I had to wait nearly 1/2 hour extra because I guess thier actual hours are different from what is posted there on the sign or at their website. So that was a sad and slow start, not to mention the sadness of being so short on money that I needed to do any of that.

I got quite a scare though. Of my first few times starting the car, not in a row, but one normal and one odd, it didn't immediately start. There was the smallest quarter or half second pause. It went 'vrrt vrrt ___ vroooomm.' When it would start normally there wasn't that pause. With all the extra trips today I noticed that twice out of the six total times I started the car it happened. I was extremely low on gas, so I'm guessing maybe that was it, because I've been hovering between 1/4 and 1/16th or less for probably six or so weeks now. I was very super worried both times, but it hasn't happened since, so I will try to not let it worry me if I don't hear it again soon.

In the later morning I got word that there was an unexpected package for me. I got super excited someone bought me something off my wish list. No one had said anything lately, so I didn't know what to expect. Just a bit ago, at the close of my night, I grabbed it at the ex-house. It turns out one of the surveys I did, possibly months ago, sent one of the few prizes they gave out (in lieu of being a paid survey). I'd picked headphones if I got a something (since my PC mic had not been working for at least the last 1.5 years.) So, though it's not the brand that is on my wish list, they look like they should be pretty good. They have the larger speaker types, and it's USB based, and it has an in-line volume and mute. It does seem pretty light and feels like a cheaper plastic, but for free, and since the electronics inside is what really matters, I am anxious to learn what they sound like tomorrow. I'll likely try them without the special software first, as that is often unnecessary. But it seems promising.

I do have to say though that the headphones not being from a rabb1t friend does concern me. That means I still have not gotten a donation in quite a while in either cash for things like gas, or in stuff from my wish list that I need or want. So while today was full of ups and downs, it seems it ends on a worrisome note that it still seems I'm on my own, and donations have stopped for the moment, and it seems no one seems to be putting out the word on my behalf in places which are receptive to it.

More and more I am beginning to feel like there are only fans - those who don gifts and attention to those being entertaining, funny, or who are very popular. And there are those like me, being more serious, or trying to create change, don't seem to attract the affections of very many people at all.

Day 2597 - 8/11 - Unknown day

Today is a bit of an unknown. It's the first Tuesday of the between time when I can't be inside at school. Yesterday there was a ton of activity. There were people doing a few tours, and apparently the student place for getting IDs and such and health center were open. But, unlike previous years, the building area of the cafeteria around that seems all locked on the side I come in from, and the lights are all off in the upper area that entrance is on, so I figure I shouldn't hang out in that space since there isn't easy access.

I briefly tested the headphones. They have super good sound. I heard subtle things I didn't with my console set and they were a good volume. They don't seem to have very much 'noise canceling' to them, which is both good and bad. It's bad in that once I'm back in a busy environment it might get tougher to hear. But it's also good in that when I am, if a student needs help it will be much easier for them to get my attention if I have my headphones all the way on. (Normally if I know I may be asked something when I'm TAing I have them down around my neck.)

I expect today will be pretty normal with a job check, forum check, and then playing and watching shows to distract me from the sad things I can't control. It still seems a bit odd to mostly wait, but with so little left it seems focusing on what little I do have, and can enjoy, is best. I would still love to get back to a normal life, maybe something like voice acting work or video editing work. But with no connections and no help from people with connections, it seems all I can do is try and do what I can when school is in session and wait until such an opportunity comes. Hopefully I can get some donations soon and get more gas and sign up for classes. It seems my life has gone from big dreams of the future and big steps towards that to living one day at a time and holding on to a fraction of my dreams while praying I don't lose more of me along the way.

Week 372

Day 2598 - 8/12 - Feeling helpless

Today I am feeling pretty helpless. Well, I guess for about a week now that's been the case, but even more strongly since this weekend started.

First, my cold is getting really bad. I'm sniffling and sneezing a lot of the time. Sinus pressure is so bad I'm getting sinus, jaw, and eye migraine pain all the time. Normally I'd just go to the store, spend $6 on a nose spray, $3 on pain killers, and $2 on drops that are like cough drops, and I'd probably be better in 6-12 hours. But I can't. I don't have any money for even part of that.

And in a related note I've been asking here, and on my site, and in my podcast, for help for weeks now, yet no help has come. In a few days I'll be out of gas. I may be able to delay things, stretch them out if I put myself through the extremely bad pain of walking. (Which it took my ankles weeks to recover from last time and have only barely started returning to normal. ) But once the car isn't moving I'd have two, maybe three days, before I need to move it again. With as little gas as I have that will need to be seriously considered at the start of next week, maybe sooner since there are only a few day's gas left. But asking for help has yielded no help lately. And I have nothing of value I can try to sell. Jobs I apply to never reply, though now there is also the concern that if they are willing to call me they will hit a dead number.

It seems lately I am unable to help myself, have been for quite some time. And it seems too there are fewer and fewer looking out for me, or willing and interested in helping.

I no longer know if any help will come, or if I will ever get back on my feet without it.

Day 2599 - 8/13 - Inside, and a surprise

I don't think I mentioned this before, as I discovered it a few hours after posting on Tuesday, but it seems the little area of school I said had been open in previous years is indeed open. I just have to go all the way around to the other side of the building to get in. I was open-ish this week, and will be again for the next two. So, like it was before, I can be inside where I can sit, get the wireless signal, and even use a microwave, from Monday through Thursday. At least that is something. Then for like three weeks after that school will be completely closed.

Someone had suggested I make a post about my sad life on reddit. That's not a place I normally go because I know that even though it has volunteer moderators for each section, being an open place on the Internet there is likely a lot of attacking and fighting going on, which I'd rather just avoid. But, with only a few days of gas left in the car I felt there really wasn't a lot to lose. Worst case scenario I get some poop and just back out. So far kind of the opposite has happened. I got a donation a few hours after posting, which I'm very hopeful will get to my account by Saturday. (There is an extremely small chance it may even get there tomorrow.) And, I got a message kind of encouraging me to hang on. I really expected the post to go unseen and sink more than any other result. But the fact that I already got one donation is very hopeful for me that will help me hang on, and that I might even get more in the coming days.

Day 2600 - 8/14 - Gas, and the sun

Today was actually a pretty good day. As good as I can expect with my life so low. I went to check my funds in the morning, and indeed a miracle occurred and the funds showed up as pending and available. I took out what I could and proceeded with my day. (The close gas station was kinda pricy, so I went a bit down the road to the cheap one in the evening.)

My connection was solid and stable all day, so after posting my podcast, checking for jobs, and a quick check on the forums I help on, I got to play my game. And when not playing, I watched a few shows.

I grouped with someone I've grouped with before, so that was fun. But I am still sort of banished to areas where there really aren't any people, so I seem no closer to finding a guild home.

Since I was outside, the sun started blasting me around 4. I should really just move when that happens. There is a table close by that I can move to that is mostly out in the shade. It's an odd place / position to sit, and there would be zero back support so that would kill my back, but I get pretty warm with the sun blasting me in my normal spot.

I still miss a regular life more than anything though. To play at a desk sitting in a chair, to be able to get up and go to the bathroom whenever I want, to snack on good food that isn't garbage, to not wear headphones (which pinch me) all day. I suppose even going to work at a job I at least mildly enjoy would have also been good. And now, at this time, I'd have probably just recently finished dinner and be in the middle of a show.

I still hope to one day have a normal life again. And, who knows, maybe the few small dreams I have might even come true.

Day 2601 - 8/15 - The blurred distance

Today I feel pretty sad. I think it was a mix of being on campus with no one around, needing to be on campus both because I'm homeless and because I have nowhere better to be, eating the same food all day as I ate yesterday because I have to buy on sale and cheap foods, and just being alone, not just in my game but knowing no one would talk to me in messages.

When I got settled in to my spot I looked off to the parking lot where my car was. It's far, a few minutes walk for me, but the trees seemed oddly blurry. It seemed like there was a blur in the distance overall, as if there was a fog back or small fire. I'm not sure why this made me feel sad, but it did. Maybe it's because my own life felt just as unsure in the distance. Maybe it was because I don't recall if I could see that distance and more clearly, after all it was very far and certainly beyond what I should see clearly. Maybe it was the stillness and silence on campus, how it is a constant, and much like my own life the campus stays still, unmoving and unchanging. Yet everyone who passes through moves on to other things. But not me. At least not now.

I am still unsure of my future, or if I will ever have one, especially in these present times. I continue to hold on to hope that enough average people will help me return to an average life. But I wonder... while I am certainly not extraordinary, at least not right now, I am certainly not exactly normal. I wonder if that means someone equally unusual will be the only type of person who can save me. But without any connections, and not knowing such people, I wonder if such a person will ever come along and notice that I am here needing to be saved.

Day 2602 - 8/16 - 100

Today was super hot. It was 100F the two times I checked the temperature online. I was worried about my laptop by about 11 because it seemed to be a fair bit warmer than normal. Not a whole lot more, but noticeable on the one side where I'm assuming the graphics chip is. I was getting fearful I should turn it off, but it seemed to not get much hotter. To be safe in the future though I'll monitor the outside temperature and if it feels hot, and the site says it's over 90F, I'll probably shut off my system. Systems which aren't liquid cooled can only cool the parts to as low as the ambient temperature. Which this hot, fooooo, is way too hot.

I took a big chance and posted that I'm looking to play games with people on a site. I don't expect a reply though, as only around 550 follow the site. Spread across just the US that's fewer than about 12 people per state. Considering it's a worldwide page it seems highly unlikely to find people in my area. But people are right. I do need to take a chance and reach out if things are to change. But I am very very afraid, almost terrified, to find people in real life. It's a scary prospect opening myself up like this, and I worry that it may go badly. I am in such a fragile state now.

I suppose, despite the heat and how much I'd have loved a pool to swim in, and a cool home to have ice cream in, today was ok. I got enough playing, and because I stopped almost 2 hours earlier than usual, got caught up on a few shows. (Though I may wind up dropping one. I don't like one of the new hosts, and as a variety show it's just meh.)

Tomorrow I can, in theory, be back in school. It will be shaded and air conditioned, and quiet, and somewhat private due to the lack of people. I'll take micro food, so hopefully I'll still have access to that. I saw a few workers using it last week, so I'm sure they will always request it be somewhere they can get to.

I'm still very congested and sick, less so earlier in the day during the heat, but now it's coming back again. But hopefully that will go away soon. Hopefully I can sleep well today. Hopefully I can have a good day tomorrow. And, who knows, maybe I'll get a nice donation or some kind of lead on something. All I can do is try and stay hopeful.

Day 2603 - 8/17 - Must have been, might have been

It must have been super hot again today. I was in the lower level of the cafeteria area, so mostly I was in a cool fairly air conditioned area. I came up to the upper area to micro my lunch and it was a bit warmer. But at 5 when I went up to do dinner it was significantly hotter up in the upper area. The area up there has glass on the outer walls. It's all windowed with basically glass, so the sun was likely beaming in for the previous few hours. I have Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to still be inside, so as much as I love the warmish hot weather, hopefully it will cool back down by then. If not I'll have to seriously consider alternate locations to be on the weekend.

Thursday it will be my birthday again. And, as always around that time, I reflect even more than usual. I am profoundly sad. I don't look good. I don't feel good, either emotionally or physically. I've been sniffling and sneezing so long I am getting very concerned about permanent damage to my voice, throat, or sinuses. And while I can eat micro food for many meals it is destroying my body. I have never lost as much weight as I have these past 6 months.

When I was very young, up until my early teens, I always thought and dreamed that by this point in my life I'd have a decent job, kids, and occasionally go on trips to fancy places. Or, if I didn't, it was because I'd become someone rare and special. Not world-wide kind of fame or anything, but someone known in a smaller community (like gaming) who would be invited to be a speaker or guest at panels at different conventions across the country.

While I still hope the later will come try, as it seems 'to late' for much else, I grow very worried about me. Each year I seem to get further and further from any goals, let alone ones where I exceed what is considered 'normal'. Things that were once rare, like new friends or trips to conventions, or other special gatherings, have become nonexistent. I may meet people online, or people may follow me for a while, but pretty quickly they fade. And I can't remember the last time I could afford to go anywhere special. (I remember a few events, but would have a hard time recalling the year, and a month and day would be impossible.)

It seems I am not special. I am not noteworthy. I have no skills people assign real value to. And it seems as if I did fade away to nothing, only a few would notice. And even if they did, it seems I would quickly be forgotten after.

Day 2604 - 8/18 - Tiny dream

Today I feel very sad. I feel very sad about what my life has become, both because of things I guess I failed to control, and from years of things I could not control weighing me down. I am sad because it seems very unlikely my dreams I had as a child will ever come true. And with a touch under half my life left, if they do (which hopefully they still will) I may be too old to truly enjoy them. Or too old to have found people to share them with.

What once were big childhood dreams have turned to very tiny ones. No longer dreams really, more just the last remnants of hopes of wishes. With my birthday coming in a few days it seems the best dream I can have is getting $75 or more so I can sign up for classes next quarter and have the money for a parking sticker. Such a dream isn't even a second thought for normal people. If it is in their plans they just do it and it's done. But for me it's an uncertainty. Like so much else I've lost or not been able to attain lately even that small 'dream' may never come.

If I have lost so much hope I can no longer wish and dream of what the future might be for me, what has become of me?

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

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