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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 387

Day 2703 - 11/25 - Thankful

Today I had an ok day. I am very thankful the car battery came and is starting super good, and doubly thankful that someone cares about me enough to have sent it. I don't know how I would have managed without it, particularly with it pouring rain as much as it has been these past few days. (I was very lucky to catch a dry window to install it.)

Today was a normal day, though due to how quiet school was it felt very slow. It felt two or three days long. The weekend will hopefully go ok, but we will see how it goes as it goes. I have a feeling it will again grow very cold very quickly. It was warmer last weekend, but now it's grown very cold and rainy lately.

For the moment I am very grateful things are back to normal, but with the holiday this weekend things may be a bit tossed around the next few days.

Day 2704 - 11/26 - +5% Turkey day

Today was extremely cold. I managed to make it through as planned though without the need to go inside somewhere. The weather for the next week is supposed to get warmer, so hopefully things will get at least a little better.

I felt very nervous about my gas. It was down to 1/8th of a tank or less, so I went to get gas with what little cash I had left. I spent a few minutes counting out the change, gave it to the guy, and it was $2.85. He put it in as $3 and wished me happy Thanksgiving. That was a super nice surprise. Though, I suppose technically even though it's only an additional 5% more than I paid, it may make a big difference. I don't have much more gas than I did, as that was just a little more than a single gallon, but hopefully it will last until more help comes.

This Turkey day I don't have much left. But I am very thankful I do still have a few things left that help me feel like I am still me.

Day 2705 - 11/27 - Fear for food

Today was very sad and very cold. It was a touch warmer than yesterday, so for about 1/3 of the day my parts were half numb. Hopefully it will warm up a bit soon, as the days have been about 50F, which is way below what it normally would be for this time of year.

I tried to relax today and played my game quite a bit. As I was cold and my legs were needing to change position I remembered Turkey weekends of many years ago. Times I'd watch the Twilight Zone marathon. Times I'd have my Turkey dinner and pie for a few days after. Times I could just switch my legs around in my chair when I wanted. All days long past which lately seem like they may never come again.

I am very worried for my food lately. I recently got notices about needing to renew my application thing and so that worries me that they may deny more. The thing runs out at the end of December and if that happened I would have no idea how I would eat. Lately while I have been getting some donations they have been slowing, and even getting $60 to cover the monthly car insurance and gas costs has become increasingly more rare to be covered. I am very worried I won't be able to make the next payment due in a week, so the thought of that on top of no money for food anymore terrifies me.

All I can do is continue to hang on and hope things work out until better days come.

Day 2706 - 11/28 - There and back again

Today was kind of crazy. It started out actually like a pretty good Saturday. Though the cafeteria area wasn't open for students, there was the swim team, so in the morning I got a shower. I was finally able to get clean and shower for the first time since Tuesday.

The afternoon was fairly normal-ish. It was slightly warmer than it has been, but I still had to have my gloves on most of the day, and the cold was somehow biting and the day felt colder. By the early afternoon I decided I was going to go somewhere warm and inside. However, I remembered I had recycling to do which I'd planned on doing in the morning. But since I was out and moving already I did it today instead. By the time it was done I actually felt 'warmed up enough', so I decided to just go back to my spot at school since it's private, I don't have to worry about anyone kicking me out for not buying something, and I know the connection is strong and stable.

I've been thinking a lot about winters past. I guess for the past few years I've been going to the coffee shop so often on weekends I have started to forget those early homeless winters. I have been remembering lately days of nothing where I'd sit in my car outside of a store and have nothing to do but sit and watch the shoppers.

I am very glad these days are behind me, yet very worried about the days ahead. Not worried for warmth really, as long as I have at last some gas I can get to an inside somewhere, but worried emotionally. I may not always have an online connection. I may not always be somewhere private or quiet. I may not be able to focus or do things I enjoy. Without the income I had, my options for places to be and things to do this winter (when school is closed) become very limited, even more so emotionally compared to what I could be doing.

Once again I am on the edge of a forced change. And although I'm sure it will not be too extreme and challenge what is left of me, I am worried it will cause great stress on what is left.

Day 2707 - 11/29 - Familiar faces

Today was actually pretty unusual. In the morning my prayers were answered and he church group that is normally in the cafeteria area was indeed there, so I got to go inside for much of my day, and got to eat a lunch that had been microed. But it felt like the building hadn't been heated all weekend. In fact, when I sat outside it almost felt warmer outside than it had inside. But for my time inside I didn't wear my gloves at all, which was something.

After only a few hours outside though it was rapidly growing colder as sundown approached. I decided to try a coffee shop near the food store since they wouldn't know me there and being there for a few hours should go unnoticed. To my surprise it was completely packed. I waited for a bit and nothing really opened up. On my way out I noticed not one, but two fellow student people who were there. One I chatted with for a bit and the other just kind of nodded and waved. He seemed to be on a date with someone I didn't recognize.

I decided to just walk to the food store and try there. For a bit the connection was garbage and unusable, so I did offline things. But later it came up a bit, so I played for a little more before leaving for hiding for the night.

I suppose for a homeless day today was actually pretty good. I was some level of cold all day, which led to some level of sad all day. And no help or change came to lessen my worries about all the things. But still, I hold on to hope. Tomorrow is another day, and with any day things can change for the better.

Day 2708 - 11/30 - The long day

Today felt like a very long day. For me the holidays, or any day not at school, feels overly long. One day away feels like a week, and a week a month. Even though there were only two days off extra it felt like I had been off for weeks. Yet at the same time I was not, as I was in a place too cold physically, and too off emotionally, to either enjoy the time off or to be productive. While people returned refreshed and happy I return feeling out of sync and bewildered.

I guess today was ok, but it was more of a reset than anything else. Though I helped many people, in my own doings it felt like it took a great deal of effort to try and re-balance to what was before the vacation.

Things are settling from my sad time with the battery failure, and so I am slowly regaining balance from that. But with no other donations or help my fears grow for everything else. I am again nearly out of gas. As of tomorrow the next car insurance payment is due. I could have signed up for classes a week ago, and I am no closer to having the money to do that today than I was then. Even simple things like laundry are getting greatly overdue. And with my appointment coming up for the food stamps it seem I have far more to worry and fear at the end of this fail week than ever before.

But I try to hang on. It's all I can do.

Day 2709 - 12/1 - Sad and bad

Today I feel very sad and things seem very bad. I am worried about all the things and don't know how or if I'll be able to continue without as much help as I've been receiving, and more. Things have started seeming extra sad. It wasn't anything terrible. I just whanged myself into the automatic door at the food store because the stupid thing keeps stopping half open. And when I came in to the school building I whanged my arm because it too didn't open as far as it should have.

I continue to hope everything will turn out ok for me but with winter closing in and things so dire hope is difficult to hang on to as the year comes to an end.

Week 388

Day 2710 - 12/2 - The big donation

Today started with quite a surprise. The person who has been so extremely supportive lately has again sent a big donation. Plus, I got a second donation from someone else. I can sign up for classes, pay the overdue car insurance, and have a little left to hopefully catch up on laundry and get a bit of gas. Again I am humbled with help from people who believe in me and want to help and see me back on my feet. I hope things will continue ok and I eventually can. I do believe in myself, but after so many years of trouble I no longer know what to think about what surrounds me and what may help or hinder my path that I can't control.

I got up over an hour early and couldn't get back to sleep. I have been too stressed about the interview for the food stamps. It turns out it wasn't actually an interview. There was a like slide show thing and then paper signing. Really? Like more than an hour driving because of traffic, fifteen minutes waiting because I was early, all just so I could spend five minutes filling out a form? They couldn't just mail it? Well, I guess it's done. In theory I am covered for another six months. But, I won't count on things being the same. I'll see what is what on January 6th then I get the new award cycle. All I can do is hope things are still about the same because they are already far too tight as they are.

I also got my replacement headphones, finally. I wonder if these will last longer than a few months. My fancy headphone case can do nothing to protect a weak cheaply made headphone spine. If these break I absolutely won't ever go back to this brand. And, the $10 it would take to RMA a second time will just be saved for something of the two brands I've used before that I know are superior brands.

But with all these things and more, things are mostly out of my hands. I can control what I can control and nothing more. The rest is in the hands of Fate. It seems I only have so much influence in my path.

Day 2711 - 12/3 - Another cycle

Today is kind of the last day of classes. There is still tomorrow, and I have a class, but for most people the quarter is almost over. There is just finals week and then that's it.

It seems odd that we are at the end of another cycle. It seems like it's only been half that much time. I guess maybe it's just because so much has happened to me lately. So many scary and tragic things. So many things coming up that are due and need attention, and yet more just around the corner.

Maybe too it's because I did have a fun game to keep my attention through the quarter. There was something happy to escape to. And maybe too it was because there are people watching out who do care and hope I make it through these terrible times.

I no longer know what tomorrow may bring. There is so much bad in my life, and yet too there is hope from those who do care. All I know is I have very little control anymore. Things seem able to go either way these days - for bad, or for good.

Day 2712 - 12/4 - One pair of pants

Today was actually good, but sad in a few ways. It was a pretty regular morning. It wasn't too cold, but I was inside. I had class and it was good and actually got out a touch early. But it was still strange that things are basically over outside of finals. So that was a bit sad.

It was also very sad because more than an hour earlier than usual someone came through the building and said they were closing up and shooing people out. So I lost more than an hour's time.

Another sad thing was I got to do a lot less laundry than I'd hoped. I only took about half of what needed to be done, but of the three pairs of pants I brought, if I were to do everything else, there would only be enough room for one pair of pants. Technically speaking one pair is all I really need what with finals week next week and then school closed the next three weeks. There won't be anyone around me to really notice if they smell kinda bad, or if I wear them two weeks or whatever. But more than that would risk being stinky. The inner layers will get stinky quicker, while the pants layer is kind of protected, but that can only go so far.

Hopefully I get more donations to cover another laundry soon. And too, I hope I get more donations as classes are covered but not parking, and not regular gas use. I guess we will see in time. I have a few more weeks and for the moment I am ok, so hopefully things will continue to be ok.

Day 2713 - 12/5 - Sad winter

Today is a very sad winter day. I expected to be inside and finally warm most of the day, but that didn't happen. For some unknown reason campus didn't open the part that should be open. I was stuck outside all day. I hope tomorrow I get my inside time, but it seems possible all weekend open times have stopped until next year. So while I hope for inside time, I will dress and 'equip' for being outside all day.

This winter will be especially hard. Though I will only be out for three weeks before school starts again (after next week ends) things were very cold and sad today. Being inside like previous years would be much better. I actually checked the connection at the coffee shop where no one would recognize me and it was garbage. I'd be lucky to be able to check email on it. So the food store is the only real inside option, and being right next to the door that spot isn't a whole lot warmer than outside.

As always I try to hang on to hope, as every day is a new day. And I continue to hope change for the better will come soon.

Day 2714 - 12/6 - Lost time

Today was actually pretty good. It started kind of odd in that there was a warm breeze and overall things were a bit warmer. It stayed that way throughout the day. Most of the day I was inside. Thankfully the church group was there, and though they left earlier than normal I got to be inside until about 1. Things weren't too cold after that, and again it kind of actually felt warmer outside than inside in the cafeteria.

The warm breeze was odd though. It is very unusual for here and even more odd for this time of year. That is pretty much a spring or summer thing. It felt like it is an omen, maybe some kind of doom, or at least a crazy rain storm is going to follow in a few days.

I am in hiding early. It's about three hours earlier than my usual time, which is two hours earlier than I would be ending my evening in a home. I suppose part of that is offset by getting up earlier, but losing 4-6 hours when I really can't do anything during that time is... very sad and disappointing. I suppose though in a way that would happen if I were in a home. Back in the day that would have been a typical Sunday work shift. (Though with only 2-3 days a week that wasn't enough to get in to a place.) But still, I can't help but feel as if my life is draining away, lost to nothing. Sure, in a home I may just play and waste it, but it would be a choice. I would at least have the opportunity to not, to be productive, or at least to think about or prepare for times to be. With it forced, with options so few, and places physically or emotionally uncomfortable preventing it... it feels as if I am paying life just to exist another day longer.

Day 2715 - 12/7 - Approching winter

Today was actually pretty good. I didn't do a thing for my site that I should have done, but I did the school stuff I hoped to do, and I got a lot of time to play and try and relax, as well as micro foods to try and recover from the bleh foods of the weekend. Plus, I was inside and warm all day and the night until I left, so that was good.

I am still worried about the coming weeks after this week. Hopefully the weather will hold and it won't get too cold. It will be weird being at school most of that time but honestly I'd be surprised if I saw any maintenance or security at all. The past few weeks I've not seen anyone around on weekends. Plus, they all know me by now, so I think most days it should be fine. The weather will be real tough, but that will continue and be an issue for the next three months, and probably even upwards of six months before I can consider taking my hoodie off again.

As always, all I can do is hope for help to hang on until an opportunity for real change comes along.

Day 2716 - 12/8 - Feeling ok

Today is again slightly warmer, more the proper temperature for this part of the year than the freezing of the previous week. There is evidence of rain and clouds above, but I didn't hear it last night and today it doesn't look like too much of a chance of rain.

Things seem like they will be ok today, and I feel pretty ok. But with the school year and the calendar year coming to a close I worry about me. I worry about emotional me, as loss of being inside at school those three weeks could be very rough emotionally. And I worry about physical me because I'll be out in the cold more than in recent years, as well as costs coming up that I don't have money for.

I have been getting an incredible amount of help in donations and things to save me lately, so I feel better that there are people out there worried who do care. But this year it seems I have more to worry about than ever before at the end of the year, and the upcoming new year seems more uncertain than ever.

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

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