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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 373

Day 2605 - 8/19 - Lemon honey burn

Today started a bit frustrating, but it wound up ok. I've always been concerned about the security of my web host, so I tried contacting them to see if they had some kind of authenticator layer I could add. The person took like 20 minutes for me to be connected and she wasn't sure so she sent me to someone else, who then took another 45 minutes going in circles saying stuff. When I finally discovered they had completely misunderstood my questions and had been leading me in circles the wrong way. So my first 1.25 hours of my day was lost in slow pointless web chat with customer service people.

The rest of my day was just about as well as one could expect. Well, on average I suppose. There were no jobs to apply to, no online site survey things to do (there actually haven't been any at all since the first few days), and my time at school was stable enough to play my game and watch a few shows.

I'm having another cough drop I got free from school. They are... actual cough drops, so they taste pretty bad. They are like honey and lemon and have that super hot menthol stuff. They don't really help. My not cough drop things I use are way better. But even at only $2.50 that is something way out of my price range.

Tomorrow is my birthday. Outside of another day like today I expect nothing. There will be no special dinner. No cupcakes nor ice cream. I will be very surprised if there are any presents or donations. I will even be surprised if more than half a dozen post any well wishing. I still hold on to hope donations and gift money will come so I can sign up for classes at school. Hopefully if I can it's not too late and the few I can take aren't full.

Of course it would be nicer still if I had a few spare donations to et lottery tickets and won it for my birthday. After all, someone wins every few weeks. Sometimes several someones. More if you count the bigger prizes which are just four or five numbers. Then you are talking about thousands of people winning each week. So *shrug* why not me? My life seems full of unusual things. Why not the ultimate unusual ending (and new beginning) to my sad story?

Day 2606 - 8/20 - Surprise cookies

Today started off kind of poorly. I spent two hours basically arguing with someone via email about what was said, why, and how it was not what they realized. It was not how I expected to start my birthday, and it really killed what would have been a good start.

Trying to ignore all of that heartbreak and move on with my day, I did a very quick check of the forms and then moved on to fun stuff. I had half a dozen b-day wishes, with half a dozen more later in the day. Nothing special happened when I played my game, but the fact that I could pay it, and was inside, helped tremendously. I had a pretty decent day considering I really couldn't expect anything. And, I did get a few donations. It's not enough to cover next school quarter yet, and it's sad I can't use it for something fun, but it is a very strong start. Dad said he sent a card and monies today, so hopefully all added up I can at least sign up for classes and get a bit of gas. Oh, and my most helpful current rabb1t friend sent half a dozen little games, most of which I've never heard of, and one medium sized one I had on my wish list since it had come out. One of the little ones was actually one of my favorite tower defense games from back in the day which I haven't played in years, so that should be fun.

In the evening I got a surprise from my ex-roomie. She left a card with some monies out for me, and some cookies she made. I almost cried. It doesn't seem like a big deal, but I can't remember when I last made cookies in a home. It had to have been quite a while before I left, because that last year or so I was there I was struggling pretty badly.

Overall today had some nice surprises. It was not what one would expect living in a home, but being as alone and outcast as I am it was nice to think that some do still think about me at least once in a while. As always I hope this is the last homeless birthday, and that the next time I get gifts I can return to getting gifts which are just for fun and celebrating.

Day 2607 - 8/21 - Sad outside time

Today started off badly again. I had hoped to restart a fun day, like I'd hoped to yesterday, but that didn't happen. Again the person who was bugging me via email was doing it again. Several times during the day there were several emails. It really brought down my whole day and has me irked and stressed out. I have a feeling I may just have to hope for the best and just start ignoring him completely again. I've had his emails auto filter into the trash ever since the last time, months ago, when, for the third time, he said he was 'done with me' and would stop following me and emailing me. For some reason he just can't let things be and revisit being friends in the future when I'm in a better place.

Outside of that I tried to have a good day. I checked job stuff and my forums I help on quickly and tried to get in to play my game as quick as I could to try and have fun. It was really very quiet again. I'm still questing and leveling up in places which are basically empty, so it's kind of sad when I'm alone in those areas. Once upon a time with my first MMO I had a similar experience. I was leveling out kind of at a different speed than the bulk of players, and not knowing many people, I was alone basically all of the time. Here though I'm coming in to the game when some others are, as a sort of new generation added recently. But because I play so much I'm basically ahead of them, so I'm kind of between the bulk of where the max level players are, and the bulk of players with the new generation. I still hope to someday find a happy new guild to be with, but it seems that will be more difficult than I originally had hoped.

There was some good news in the late afternoon though. My ex-roomie sent me a second b-day present of monies. So, I'll have enough to safely sign up for next quarter once it hits my bank account. So that will be nice. Though it is still very sad to think 'my future' is really only planned a few months in advance, and more often, only days or weeks in advance. And beyond that I have no future.

Maybe someday I can still return to a normal life and have bigger dreams again and look further ahead.

Day 2608 - 8/22 - Big events that are not mine

Today was odd. There was some big event getting set up around 1 right near where I normally sit. I decided that would be weird to be next to a big event, so I moved to the other side of the cafeteria building. It was ok because I got an outside seat at a table close to a plug, so I didn't have to sit on the floor in the corner. However, the connection on that end is somewhat bad. In the like 4 hours I tried to play on that side I probably disconnected 12-15 times. And watching my show was a nightmare, as it was in garbage resolution and what should have been a 3 minute commercial break was taking like 5 or more minutes for each 30 second commercial. So I just gave up on show watching.

I checked my car data. It looks like while the radiator fluid change was a pretty long time ago in real time, about 1.75 years, it was only about 7-8k miles ago. I doubt the place will check it free, but I may go check out if they will. I'd rather not have to drive over there, but seemingly, like all automotive places they still live in 1985 and the only way to contact them is by phone.

I had a pretty fun chat with the weekend security student. He was there last night and said hi to me as he went in to the building right before I left for the night, and I was surprised to see him again this morning. I asked where his beautiful partner was, as I'd always seen him with a beautiful thin blonde girl partner up until recently, and he kind of chuckled and said she worked a different shift now. Which isn't really surprising being that school is mostly closed for the summer and they don't really need people around. He chilled there for a while and we talked about gaming stuff and a few other things for like 30 minutes.

My day was pretty regular other than that though. The displacement was disappointing. The automotive place having no contact but phone is upsetting. For some reason I had a massive headache for a lot of the day. But other than that I guess things were reasonably ok.

Day 2609 - 8/23 - Chilly at night

Again the big event was set out when I got to campus in the morning. I settled in at the alternate back spot and looked up the event online. It went all day yesterday, will go all day today, and is set to continue tomorrow and Tuesday. I guess it's pretty huge. Monday and Tuesday though is the start of the last week I can be inside, so for those days it won't matter. I'll have my inside spot and be back to a stable solid signal area. Today wasn't bad though. It was reasonably stable. I disconnected quite a bit, but not as much as yesterday. The funny part is that at lunch I moved my laptop just a bit, rotating it about 30 degrees and moving it about 1.5 feet to get better shelter from the glare of the reflections behind me, and for some reason that small change gave me just enough stability that pauses during video were extremely rare, and commercials basically took their normal amount of time. If I'm forced back there in the future I'll try to remember that.

I'm finally getting over my cold. While I seem under more physical stress due to emotional stress going on lately, as well as physical changes in routine, the last two nights I took just one cough drop and it's made a pretty big difference. Yes, it could be coincidence, but I'm a lot less congested, and slept a lot deeper. Though I remember having very strange dreams last night and this morning, I can't seem to recall what they were now.

Today was a bit overcast. The 100F of last weekend seems long gone. I'd be surprised f it got much over 75F today, and at night it started to get pretty chilly. I wouldn't be surprised if it were down to around 60-70F now. It might be higher. My ability to sense these things has become off over these homeless years. And now I'm losing weight at a seemingly increasing rate, so it wouldn't surprise me if my senses were getting thrown off.

It felt odd being in the back today. While I suppose the distance I could see was actually shorter than my usual spot, the view was quite different. In my usual spot I can see some outside seating, a path, a few buildings in the distance; it seems almost like a view from an apartment over a central area of the complex. But in back it seemed strange. I was on a raised area, college walking paths here and there, buildings and doors to the buildings in view. I guess it felt more like an actual spot outside in public. Maybe it was just because of the difference of the time spent there. I've been in my usual spot on weekends for months, and off and on during weekends for years. It's been years since I was in the back area hanging out, and even then, in total, I've probably only done it half a dozen times.

I think that is really the key to my emotional stability lately. I've said it before, but my routine, something I can expect to hang on to, seems to be one of the few things I can use to keep myself grounded. And when that routine and stability is thrown off outside of my control, I get very fearful, worried, and stressed out. But, as always, I can't control what I can't control. All I can do is hope for the best, and in many cases simply avoid possible trouble, and hope for opportunity for change in the future.

Day 2610 - 8/24 - Felt like a pizza party

Today was pretty much as expected for a Monday. All was quiet in job searches due to the weekend. The forums I help on were extra quiet due to maintenance and then a new expansion launching, so issues were typically ones that had nothing to do with things I could help wit. My friend I sometimes do dungeons with was on when I first got in my game, but she basically left right after that. She's east coast and had stuff to do today, so I basically spent the day doing solo questing. It's fine. I like to do that, as much of the stuff is single player oriented. There were some people here and there I helped though, or very briefly acted silly with, so that was fun.

I got a shower in the evening and shaved all of my parts. That had been bugging me all weekend. I used to shower Saturday morning, but lately football people have been in there, so that is weird since they are the only ones there, so I skipped that one this week.

For some odd reason around 3 or 4 it felt like soon I was going to be packing up to go meet friends at their house and eat pizza and play a game. I'm not really sure why. I haven't had friends like that in more years than I can easily count, so that happening out of nowhere would be impossible. I suppose it might be because Critical Role is usually up on Mondays, and I watch at least part of that. Often, since they play the game from 7-10 PM, they are eating pizza or chicken or some other easy to eat gamer food. Outside of that I have no idea why I felt that way.

I paid for classes today, which put me in a pretty hopeful mood. One class I got, but the other one I'm the 10th person on the wait list, which means I'll probably get in. Usually a few don't show up and a few are added, so usually if you are with the first 10 you are ok. I'm shorter on cash left than I'd hoped, but I still don't have dad's money, so hopefully I'll be ok for getting a parking sticker and having enough gas to last the next few weeks, and enough to see if I can set up a new pay as I go phone. Though so far I really haven't needed it. No surveys have come and I haven't put a resume out in a few weeks. There are a few sites it's on where employers can, I guess, just look at it, but I've never been contacted like that ever before for a job.

I guess today was decent. I was inside with a strong signal and could microwave foods. And these days that's something.

Day 2611 - 8/25 - Risking chocolate

Today I don't really expect much. School is still partly open so I can chill there. So baring any crazy Internet outage or closing the area I'm in unexpectedly, things will likely be normal. No card from dad yet, but that's ok as I have 'enough' to be safe for the moment. I still could very much use donations to help with all the things coming up soon, but today, right now, the critical issues are covered.

I'm risking a chocolate doughnut today. My tummy really can't handle chocolate at all like it used to. I've always been lactos intollerant so it's always been a bad idea, but it used to be with moderation it was ok. Now it seems like even the smallest amount can end badly. I don't know if that's just age, or a combination of that and not being able to eat well and my tummy being off and sensitive in general.

Things seem off of 'normal' for today. They seem settled, quiet, and at peace. Maybe it's because I'm getting over my cold. Maybe because I slept a bit more than usual. Maybe because it's been cloudy and overcast, a bit chilly, and I always kind of feel like that in this weather. Maybe a small part of me is feeling hopeful for the future since my immediate troubles are less troublesome due to the birthday boost. For the moment I continue on, and I wait for opportunity, and hope for the chance one comes up to find a new path.

Week 374

Day 2612 - 8/26 - Alone, not alone

Today was mixed. Not in that something good or bad happened, it was basically neutral as always, but in terms of feelings. In the morning and early afternoon there were a fair number of people around. A few small tour groups came through, and there were between 4 and half a dozen people around me almost all the time. But in the later afternoon and evening the place was pretty empty. And while I was not alone I felt kind of alone. None of these people were my friends. I don't know any of them. I recognized two or three, as they are people who walk by me several times a day, but they aren't my co-workers, and they didn't introduce themselves.

It's an odd place to be emotionally. I am not necessarily scared to let people in because they hurt me, but I am very selective of who I let in, who I tell private things to, and who I talk about certain things with. So I am not one to chat with strangers who I have nothing in common with besides that they are sitting next to me. If I want to reach out I will have to find a place people have common interests and reach out. Maybe soon I will try and reach out again, as my recent reaching gave me some possibilities, but due to financial or physical limitations aren't an option right now.

I do want to get into a job I enjoy, or at least expand my current hobby enjoyment to have more interaction. But without an opportunity to get into that job line or work I would enjoy, I may be stuck. And with my current limitations on hobbies my options are limited.

Speaking of jobs, there may be something someone I recently helped as a TA may have for me. It would be a single shot kind of thing, she says 15-20 hours, but next week I'll know more. It's an editing thing, so I should be able to do it on my laptop. I'll know more probably next week.

I guess, besides feeling out of place as I often do lately, and not counting what feels like an extra sad broken heart lately, I guess today was pretty ok.

Day 2613 - 8/27 - Must have been hot

Today must have been hot. Up on the upper area of the cafeteria part that is open it was quite a bit warmer than down below. When I left everything was pretty warm and it was kind of mid-evening getting towards night.

Nothing special happened today. There were a few jobs that caught my eye, but they required a hardcore biological / science degree with research experience, so there was no way I would qualify. Still nothing has come up on the work at home thing I've started to try and do.

I got dad's card and money today. I guess he sent it to the wrong address, so I'm lucky it got to me at all. It was actually quite a bit for my current situation, so it will help a lot. It's a check, so I'll have to wait a few days before it can clear before I can use it for anything.

I've been thinking a lot lately about being or doing something special, like I talked about I think just before my birthday. Today I was pondering about how, for many people, when they got to the sort of middle part in life they turned things around, or changed directions, or careers, and everything worked out ok. So I hope that winds up being my story. In a way I'm free to go wherever I want in terms of a career. But sadly, no matter what direction I choose, without knowing someone in that field who would give me a break, or without finding my break on my own, I will remain where I am.

I really do hope I someday matter to a number of people. Not for myself because I desire fame and adoration, but I hope as an inspiration or beacon of some kind. Acting in a positive way for them to change or act in a particular way I would approve of or be proud of. I know a few over the years have said my writings have helped them find their own strength to recover or continue, or their own understanding and courage to re-approach something they feared or was sad about and repaired something emotionally. But I do hope someday to reach more. Hopefully a lot more. To see a result, to know I matter, that would be something.

Day 2614 - 8/28 - Tiny cute lizard

Today was odd. It started out pretty slow. I had some extra stuff to set up for my site in the morning, then played a bit, then had lunch and checked for jobs, played a bit more, then did more site stuff. But the day seemed to pass very slowly. Also, my heart and chest still feel off. I don't quite know how to describe it. It feels both like congestion all around my heart, and yet at the same time like an empty stillness. I may have a deeper cold. Part of why my day felt slow was I was extremely tired all day. Like I could barely stay awake and kind of feeling tired.

There were a few people around expecting school to be open, but mostly today was like the first Saturday in a long line of three weeks of Saturdays. And not in a good way. I saw the security guard again. He was busy but he said a quick hi when he passed me the two times I saw him today.

My day kind of ended on a laugh though. On my way off campus I stopped in the bathroom, as I often do. There was the tiniest and cutest little lizard zipping across the floor. He couldn't have been bigger than about two inches long. Years ago on vacation on the east coast I saw them everywhere, but I've never seen them over here on the west coast. So it was zipping along and it made me smile and laugh because it was super cute. Lizards walk funny, particularly when going fast. I very carefully scooped them onto a paper. He seemed pretty calm on the paper, which is good because I didn't want it to fall when I carried him out. I set him down at the nearest green bush. He happily scooted off into the bush.

I guess all in all, despite it being super hot and my brain not working and my chest feeling weird, it was a pretty good day.

Day 2615 - 8/29 - A month early

Today was ok I guess. There were some laughs in the morning when someone came by looking for a yoga class. I told him, 'uhhh... unless you are here for a special event everything is closed until next quarter.' We pretty quickly figured out that for some reason he was thinking it was September. His brain was an entire month ahead. We laughed.

A similar sort of thing happened to me last Thursday when I saw the friendly security person. I asked what he was doing there on a Tuesday. And then I was like, why do I suddenly think it's Tuesday?

Nothing really happened today. My 'work at home' thing went a little crazy in the head saying there were like six possible tests for me. When I checked the site it said there were none, so I'm not sure what's up with that. The friend type person I may do an editing job for got in contact and said stuff might be ready tomorrow, but maybe not until Monday, so we'll see I guess.

I guess today was ok. Mostly I played alone. But I'm really used to that. It kind of made me think back to a MMO I was playing about 9 years ago, and another about 14 years ago, where I'd be on most of the day, but since I knew few people I was basically soloing in quest areas that had low populations. I may try and go to a high population area and try to find a guild, but I don't know. Part of me feels I should just do what I do and let Fate cross my path with a guild. Right now I'm still trying to find a balance emotionally and figure out a future for myself; if I have one, what it is, what is my least risk path, is there something better that might be not too risky, and if so what is it? Things like that. Though with few to no resources things still seem difficult to impossible, or that I really have no choices at all.

Day 2616 - 8/30 - Headphone shell

Today was ok I guess. It was very calm and quiet. There was the church group at school, but besides them all was quiet. Though I got a fancy dinner and my tummy is not very quiet at the moment. It seems to be disagreeing with me.

I don't remember if I mentioned that with part of my birthday money I got a protective shell for my headphones. It is way bigger than I thought it would be. This huge clam shell thing. Though putting my headphones in I discovered two things. First, it's actually just the right size. Particularly if the headphone ear cuffs were rigid and didn't want to rotate. (My current ones rotate 90 degrees.) And second, as a bonus because of its larger size, my mouse actually can fit pretty easily in the space between the headband and the ear cuffs. So now not only are my headphones in a protective hard shell, but the mouse is too. So, no more worries about either of those being hurt, smashed, snapped, etc. by the sad days in my backpack.

However, something new may have come up. A couple of times while playing the power line shut off and my laptop went to battery mode. I can tell because the screen dips darker in battery mode (I set it that way). It seemed to be related to my power cable, and when I placed my leg on it. So I investigated. It seemed the bends were maybe pinching something. I unwrapped that bit, sort of unpinched the bends, and things seemed stable again. But later it happened again, and I got worried and looked up a replacement (which would be $60 ). I again investigated and was somewhat relieved to narrow it down further. It's a single 'joint' bend in the line, which I'll tape more rigid like a brace to help keep it straighter. And, it isn't visibly damaged, just one of the bend spots from being wound up together, and only seems to suffer the power loss symptom only when that area is pushed certain ways. Left alone the power flow is normal and solid. So, I'll tape that bit both to reinforce it, as well as to remind me to avoid pressure or bends in that section. Hopefully it will be fine.

My tummy has been extra sensitive lately. I'll have to eat very carefully over the next few weeks since I can't get to a microwave. In previous years summers weren't so tough because I could micro at least one meal 3-4 times a week at work, and I had enough income to eat ok on days I couldn't. But now, with not being able to afford 'fancier' ready to eat food from fast food places (outside of special times like this when I have birthday money), it is going to get very tough to stay balanced. (And too I wonder, is it all due to my homeless diet? Or is part of it because I'm getting older?

Day 2617 - 8/31 - Surprise open

Today had a pretty big surprise. There were some students on campus in the morning, more than there should have been if things were totally closed. Around 10:30 I saw one come out of the door next to where I sit outside. In a strange turn of events it looked like not only was the main area of the cafeteria not closed off from the other bit, but the lights were on. When someone I knew came by about half an hour later I had them watch my stuff, walked around, and discovered that indeed not only was the lower cafeteria area open, as it has been, but the upper area as well. About an hour before I left in the evening a security person reminded me of when things close. I asked why things weren't closed for floor cleaning, and would they still be open. Apparently they just mop most of the areas, and the part they re-wax was what they did over the past few weeks. So not only is the lower area going to be open as before, but the upper area too. I can continue to do micro food for sure and be inside Monday to Thursday like before.

The evening had an odd twist. I went to shower, but lately the fans haven't been working. There are still classes for little ones going on, so I guess due to how many showers had been going on during the day, the shower area was extremely hot and stuffy even with no one in there at that moment. I waited in the hot for a minute, deciding if I should stay, and I was pretty quickly starting to have a difficult time breathing. I decided it wasn't worth it and would just try again later. My hair had been bugging me though, so I quickly shaved that in the sink and wiped off my head. An odd turn of events, but that should easily hold me a few days until I can check again and see if it's as hot and stuffy.

Day 2618 - 9/1 - Quiet beinning

Today has just started. There are one or two around in the school cafeteria area that's open, but that's it. I can hear fans of machines above me, someone walking in the distance down the hall, but overall it's quiet.

No replies on jobs in email. Word from the person I'm editing for came that stuff should be ready tomorrow night. I haven't yet checked for jobs or forums or started my day. But things seem quiet, peaceful, and settled for the moment. I need that. I need things to not be upsetting, worrisome, or go badly. It takes all the balance I can manage, and a lot of fun that I have available to me, try and remain ok enough to try and heal emotionally. And if I can manage that long enough, and finances stay at least at a minimal manageable level then I can remain hopeful that I can make it until positive change opportunities come along.

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

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