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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 381

Day 2661 - 10/14 - Sore heels

Today was ok. I tried to play in the morning. My game friends were already in the game but the network at school has been pretty bad all week. I dropped and died several times in the group so I just left to do other things. An unstable connection just puts people at risk when a group member drops.

The rest of the day was ok I suppose. I helped a few people with their projects. I did a bit of 'homework' stuff. And I checked for jobs and helped on forums, as usual.

My heels still hurt quite a bit. My feet are used to the new boots no. There is no unusual pain. But the bottom of my feet still hurt when I walk. It's no doubt from all the extra walking I've been doing over the past few months, and that everywhere I walk is hard unpadded surfaces (unlike in a home or office building). Going in and out of the food store every day, going to my spot on campus on weekends, going to and from the cafeteria to cook my foods a few times a day; it all adds up. And, with up until recently having old and busted boots my feet likely took some damage and may take quite a while to rest because I can't stop those trips. If I could afford cafeteria food like I used to, that would at least cut out maybe 15% of my walking every day, which would help a lot. But sadly I can't. With the food stamp money I have to buy everything from the food store. And day by day I grow more and more worried that will stop at the end of a year's time.

Though I am no longer constantly reminded of how bad things are (by the busted hoodie and boots), other reminders still come up. They remind me the clock is ticking. And with no money, as things run out (break) I won't have any way to repair or replace them.

Day 2662 - 10/15 - Farewell old boots

Today was kind of sad for a couple of reasons. First, I decided since my new boots fit fine I would throw away the old pair. (Two pairs ago technically. I'll keep the most recent just in case still.) It was very sad because those fit me the best and were the most comfortable I'd had in quite a while. But since the bottoms were so brittle they were breaking off in bits and it had lost all of its springy gel, they weren't salvageable. They were not a design someone could repair. I can't recall how long I had them. I am tempted to say I wore them probably three years as the primary pair and then on occasion after at certain other times.

The night was also sad because I smelled a fireplace smell. But it was also a cross between that and a campfire. So many memories of happy times in a home, as well as times I was cooking outside, times in the SCA, or other camping times, came to mind. Yet now I can't do any of those.

Overall I guess the day was ok. But it was my busy day, so most of it is a blur of activity. But the events at the end made me sad. I guess I at least have those happy memories to remember.

Day 2663 - 10/16 - Didn't want to

Today I didn't want to do anything. I guess it's just one of those wrong side of the bed things. Maybe it's because of my cold. But I was tired all day. I was cranky, though no one would have really noticed unless they knew me very well. I din' want to go hang out at school. I didn't really want to play my games. I didn't want to go to class. I didn't want to watch shows.

Today I guess I still feel heartbroken. While crossing my legs I could smell my feet inside my boots just a bit. It was icky and reminded me I can't take care of things as I normally would. It reminded me of the boots I'd just thrown away. It made me think to the future when I throw this pair away. And it made me think of y own (body) with things rotting and falling apart and how it feels like when I am gone no one will really miss me.

But I did feel better while at school. I did feel a bit better for the brief time I did play my game. I did feel a bit better watching my shows. And I did have an ok time being in class. And while I helped no one from the classes I TA for, I know my help is appreciated. And while I heard no well wishing today I do know some are out there who do hope I get better and do hope I feel better enough in the meantime to hang on.

And I guess that is really all I can do; continue to do the things I will be most likely to enjoy or be balanced by, and just try to hang on to enough of me until I can get back in a home and properly and truly recover.

Day 2664 - 10/17 - In the 818

Today seemed pretty good. Now, thinking back on it, it is difficult to remember. It flew by pretty quickly.

The morning was a pretty regular morning. I played a bit, checked the forums I help on, and checked for jobs. But during a break in the afternoon I finally looked into activating my new phone that someone sent me. When I went to pick a number it told me there were none available in my area code. Which seems like insane crazy talk. I checked if I'd be charged for a 'long distance' number, as I am pretty sure that had been done away with years ago. And, sure enough, I could pick a number just about anywhere. So, I decided to pick a number from down in Van Nuys, which is in the Los Angeles area.

So now it is funny to think that my number is from future me. A me living down in LA, who has a home, who is doing voice work, and who hopefully has friends and real life people who care about him. Things feel different now. And even though it isn't anything more than 'make believe' stuff, it seems like hope. It seems like a 'real' step towards such a goal and change in my life.

Will I ever make it? Will I ever be more than the very little I've fallen to now? I suppose time will tell, but for today it feels like there is hope. It feels like I do have something to look forward to. So, sure, why not.

Day 2665 - 10/18 - Gray skies

Today was pretty good, but cold. All today and yesterday the skies were cloudy and gray. It is turning to winter more than it is remaining summer.

I played my game in the morning, but in the afternoon I got kind of sad. Because I am crafting my own stuff the resources I need are coming very very slowly. In many ways too slowly. In many ways the best case scenario I can hope for is one piece every two weeks or so, which means about four months to complete a single set. And with running one set for tanking, one for healing, and one for doing damage, well, if those numbers are accurate that would be an entire year at my rate of gain to get a top tier set for all the roles. So it makes me sad that it will take so incredibly long at my (usually solo) rate of speed. I hope things aren't really that long, and that it just seems that way. But yes, in any game once you get a top tier set you are happy with there isn't much left to do. But it makes me a bit sad to think that my in-game gain has become almost so slow as to be imperceptible, since that reminds me of my real life gain being equally imperceptible.

I suppose my day was ok other than that. There weren't any jobs to check for, and things were peaceful and quiet, and my connection was stable. And these days there seem little else to hope for.

Day 2666 - 10/19 - Feeling forgetful

Today I'm feeling like I'm forgetting something. I've actually felt that way for a few days now. But I really can't think o what it would be. My phone is now hooked up, so I remembered that. My car insurance is paid until December, so it's not that. My web space is paid for, so that's covered for more than a year. So I can't think of what it could be. The homework I have is stuff that is kind of always being worked on in the back of my mind.

I had a pretty good day. I played in my game a bit, helped on forums, did some TA stuff in the lab, and did a bit of work on the editing thing for a friend. It was actually a pretty full day in terms of being busy and doing things.

I am torn though. On the one hand I would like to get back to having a job and working some, as well as having friends to do stuff with. On the other hand, days like today seem very trying. I suppose it's just the lack of proper rest and sleep, but I am just completely exhausted lately. More-so mentally than physically, but the thought of doing even more busy work... foooo it seems very tiring to me.

Day 2667 - 10/20 - Chilly

Today is very cold and chilly feeling. Yesterday or before it was raining. While it looks clear today it is much colder. Winter is coming, and it is on its way sooner than other years.

I feel sleepy, congested, hungry, and tired. But I am hopeful today will turn out to be good. I am awake, and alive, and with that I continue to hang on to hope.

Week 382

Day 2668 - 10/21 - Virtual sad

Today I'm feeling very sad still. Over the past few days I've felt pretty sad. My game I usually play is still super fun, but after doing the maths it seems like to get the gear I want it will take months. And, since I can do basically everything already, would getting it make it more fun?

I guess why it weighs heavily on me is that it feels a lot like real life now. It is slow, and there is seemingly very little gain when I do it, and besides the two I group with I am usually alone, and have no guild or anyone to talk to. Much like real life where gain is imperceptible, and outside of helping people in class, I really don't talk to anyone or do anything with anyone.

There are a couple of new games very soon though. One released today that looks super fun. It's pretty cheap at $20 normally, currently a few dollars or so less for a launch sale. And another in about two weeks. That one is a bigger game, possibly huge, and it's a full priced game at $60. I certainly can't afford that one, and even the lower priced one would be a risky choice with only $50 left in my account. And if I did have enough, honestly the money really should go to an overdue oil change for the car. It's now 1/3 of the way to being two times overdue.

So I feel sad. I feel trapped in real life. And, at least for the moment, things in my game life have slowed to a similar stand still. I don't know when for sure either will change. And not knowing a when makes me the saddest of all. Because without a when, it becomes a question of ever?

Day 2669 - 10/22 - Doesn't feel like Friday

Today is a bit odd. It doesn't feel like it's Friday tomorrow. All this week has felt slow and like no time was passing. Today, however, felt super fast. The day pretty much flew by. The morning time when I did my job check and quick forum help seemed a bit slow. But even just the few hours gaming and one show at lunch felt like they passed very quickly. Then, class and then the class I TA for just flew by.

I guess today I feel ok. I feel less sad about the things. Though that may just be due to being distracted. I will probably know more on Saturday. That's when things will heavily slow down again.

Day 2670 - 10/23 - Slipping

Today things feel like they are slipping away. I am almost out of money again. Certainly low enough I can't spare any. And the automated high school number continues to burn up my phone time. I am losing it quickly, and I can't spend more since I have so little left. In fact, I have to give serious consideration to if I can afford the $5 for laundry or not on Sunday.

Things feel like they are slipping away again. And while I got help not too long ago, quite a bit actually, with everything going to paying off the upcoming things, it feels like it is rapidly slipping away again with little help to come.

Day 2671 - 10/24 - A nice day

Today was a very nice day, despite sad things. First, there was stuff going on last night, so I was worried and kept up until nearly 2:30, so I lost a lot of potential sleep. Next, there were a few more messages on my phone, so again that worries me that any allotment will be burnt up and that will be lost. And lastly, due to not having cash and a limited amount of food to chose from, as well as what my body will accept, my tummy is a bit upset from junky sandwich lunchmeat.

But today was actually kind of ok. Despite my still very much wanting the new game that came out last week, I played my game I always play and had a good time. I was not sad about the progression being slow and reminding me of my sad life. In fact, in the second half of my play day I spent some time making some sort of lateral gains.

The weather was moderate, not too cold or too hot, though I wore my hoodie most of the day. It was a pretty good day, which gave me cover, so I didn't get blinded after 4 like I normally would have. (Which is good since yet another tree seems to have been removed. )

Today my life is very sad and worrisome. But I suppose it is no more or less than it has been for quite some time. And, for today at least, things were mild feeling and I was mostly ok with all the sad things in my life and not brought too low.

Day 2672 - 10/25 - Too cold

Today seemed ok. It actually passed very quickly. I was too cold. Even with winter layering I had my hoodie on all day save for about 2 hours. And the concrete under my butt was cold all day long and constantly drained my warmth.

My game was pretty fun, but the group wanted to try a thing which a few of us knew would be too hard. So we died, a lot.

I also watched some shows, but again, my heart kind of felt broken and I wasn't really having a good time. I am still very sad from all the worry about all the money things, all the things I should be doing in upkeep if I had more, the few fun game things I'd do if I had some, and, as always, all the regular life things which are basic everyday things I can't do not in a home.

Maybe I was having an extra hard time because of the other homeless there. While not terrible in clothing, there has been this couple there on weekends who are a bit older than me, but are wrinkled and messed up far beyond their years. And seeing them there, coming to school to wash, rest, and plug in their battery chargers (leaving them scattered here and there like leeches on a body), makes me sad and worried that could be me in a few more years.

Hopefully I'll be ok. Hopefully I can continue to survive. And, hopefully, most of all, I can continue to play my games, keeping my interest, curiosity, and imagination alive. And I can continue to hold on to my dreams and hopes for the future. Even if they never come to be, because it feels like as long as I keep my hope, it is like a light holding together a shooting star, and with that light that falling body can make it safely to the ground.

Day 2673 - 10/26 - Too much gray

Today I decided to try something I'd been thinking about for a while. When I shaved my face, I also shaved 75% of the sides and back to have what I still can of a fat mohawk. It's about as wide as my four fingers on one hand, kind of more a military style cut than a mohawk. It's only a quarter of an inch big, but I don't know if I should let it get much bigger. It's only about 50% there on top, and by that I meant most of the top of my head. So it's a pretty sad mohawk. But the sides have been getting gray to the point that it seemed it was probably 30-40% speckly gray instead of black, and that felt like too much. So I'm trying the mohawk thing.

It's not that I necessarily mind signs of age, or having gray hair, it's just that I don't feel old. And I don't want to feel old. I feel there is too much I haven't been able to do to feel old. I feel no one respects my age, nor celebrates it, so signs of it just serve as a reminder of what I haven't done. So maybe this will help me feel a bit better. Like the tattered hoodie and busted boots, maybe getting the gray hair out of sight will put it out of my mind and help me to still feel as young as... well, I feel, but also act.

I don't want to be old. I don't want to think about that there are likely a hair fewer years ahead of me than there are behind me since so little has come before that is worth celebrating or remembering. And maybe, just maybe, this is one of those changes that help things move forward in an unexpected, unusual, or unpredictable way.

It doesn't feel like I thought. Last time I shaved my head it felt hot and cold and weird. Now it feels almost completely normal. Maybe it's because I've been keeping it so much shorter in recent years than the last time I shaved. I guess we'll see if it works out. It will be tough to keep looking good, as razors are not something I see a lot of. And not being able to see the back, or even the sides really, it may be more of a disaster in looks than it feels.

No jobs to apply to, and not much help needed on the forums. I played a fair bit, and besides one elitist jerk things were ok. I also contacted the principal and like six other staff members, as my phone is now up to about twelve calls / messages in just about one week, cutting me below 50% of my remaining time for the month. Hopefully that poop gets stopped before my time is bled out completely.

Maybe today changed something. Maybe nothing will change. I suppose only time will tell.

Day 2674 - 10/27 - Short

Today my short mohawk still feels almost like my old haircut. No one has come by yet who knows me, so I don't know if it's super noticeable or what people think. Though since it's not a true mohawk in terms of thickness I don't know what people will really think, as it's unlikely people will really say.

I'm hoping to get into a new beta test for a game. No news yet, but they are doing maintenance for another few hours.

I'm tired. I'm sad I don't have money to just buy what foods I want whenever I want. There's always a lot of stress from that, even though it's such a simple thing. But I feel ok, despite a little congestion, so I am hopeful today will be ok.

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

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