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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 391

Day 2731 - 12/23 - Cold walk

Today was both good and bad. In the morning I still only had the $5 donation in my bank, so I left the car where it was to be sure. The walk to the library was ok. It wasn't too cold and unlike yesterday the rain seems gone. The walk back in the evening was dry, but freezing cold. I don't know how much colder it was, but I had to put on layers I wouldn't normally have on when doing a long walk.

Besides the cold walk though today was actually pretty good. I played my games in peace at the library. The day passed slowly, so my time there seemed extra long. And, probably more importantly, I got a few donations. So more help is on the way and today was the last day I'll be walking. At least for now. Through the holidays I would rather not walk. It is much too long and cold a walk to be good for me, particularly with how much I am exposed to the elements already. Next quarter I'll see how things stand. With the critical costs the money is basically already spent, with only a little bit going to gas. I'll have to carefully plan things out before spending any, but it seems likely I'll have no choice but to do my conservative drive some bus some plan when school does start. There just aren't enough donations to continue as things have been.

And I still have no idea if I'll have food starting in February or not. There has been no follow up mail about my food stamps amount since the last one saying my 'award' is zero.

But for the moment hope is renewed. I am again spared from extreme tragedy for the moment. And, as always, it seems lately I must try to focus on the good things I have today, and not worry about tomorrow, and hang on to hope that good change will come.

Day 2732 - 12/24 - Not Xmas Eve

Today is Xmas Eve, but for many reasons it doesn't feel like it. There is no tree. There are no decorations up, nor anywhere to put them. There are no presents waiting to be unwrapped. There is no family, nor friends to visit, and no one who will be visiting me. It has been more years than I can count since I felt the proper excitement and uncertainty of what will happen on Xmas.

In these recent years it has become just about opposite. It is not a time for visiting. It is not a time of joy and wonder. It is a time of hiding. It is a time of crying. It is a time taking inventory of what was lost, what will soon be lost, or what little is left.

In a way I suppose it has always been two sides of the same coin. One looking forward and celebrating what was and will be, and the other looking back and mourning what was passed. But for someone who now has little to no future it is very difficult to look forward. It is tough to hold up my chin and continue to look ahead when so much by my side has been lost.

Day 2733 - 12/25 - Felt normal for a time

Today was much better than I thought it would turn out to be. In the morning and early afternoon I was at the food store. There was really no connection to speak of, so I played my new game offline and did not try to connect.

In the early afternoon I went to see if I could see a movie I've been waiting forever for. I got there about 2 hours before it started and it was already sold out. I had to wait for the next show for the fancy 3D format I wanted to see it in, which meant an additional 3.5 hour wait. Not wanting to waste gas I waited with nothing to do. (I'd put my backpack in the ex-storage not wanting to have it in the car on Xmas. Which was fine, as there were no plugs anywhere around where I was in line anyways.) The wait was very long and very boring.

But for a brief time I felt normal. I had played my new Xmas game. I went to see a movie I'd really been wanting to see. And for a brief moment I felt balanced. I felt like the me I used to be in such conditions.

But now.... the cold is returning. My body is slowly calming from the excitement of the night. As things close in so does the sadness and fear of what my life has become.

Day 2734 - 12/26 - Ok-ish

Today was actually pretty ok. It was a pretty normal day at the library. I played my games, watched a show, and tried to not be sad. Mostly I felt ok, but for some reason the library was freezing cold. It felt like the heat wasn't on at all and I don't know if it was genuinely cold, or if my body just doesn't know regular temperatures anymore because it's been so rare at the places I've been for so many years. I can say for sure over the past three or maybe four years I've been more and more cold feeling in general, and taken layers of even inside at school less and less often.

As always all I can really do is to try to hang on until change comes and my life gets better again. With gas and the library open again things are better, but the sadness of my life continues to creep in to almost everything I do.

Day 2735 - 12/27 - Cold everywhere

Today I was pretty much cold everywhere. In the morning I went to a coffee shop because the store would have been freezing. It was one I don't usually go to, so I pretty easily hid and avoided being noticed for the few hours I was there. But in all my winter bundling I was barely on the almost warm side of things.

Later I discovered why the library has been so cold. Apparently the heater has broken and won't be fixed until sometime tomorrow. (I wonder now if last week the AC wasn't actually on, it was just the thing blowing air and the air was not being heated as it should.) So again today I was freezing in the library.

Currently the car is still warm from moving, but that will likely pass quickly with the weather site saying it will get down to 35F at night. Though it's currently raining and that tends to hold the heat in a bit, so maybe it won't be that cold.

But, as always, all I can do is try to get by as best I can and hope that change comes soon. Though it seems unlikely during the holidays.

Day 2736 - 12/28 - Almost normal

Today I felt almost normal. In the morning I finally had a chance to do the blood test the doc wanted, so that was super important to get done. Then this was one of the last days school would be open in the pool area, so I got a super long shower and finally shaved and washed my parts after a week of not being able to. Then I played at the library and watched shows. Unlike previous days it was on the slightly chilly side of warm as the heater was working again.

It was almost a true day off. If it hadn't been for the cold and being out in a public place, and being unable to cook and eat properly, it would have probably been almost identical to what my day would have been in a home.

But there were differences. I was cold. I did feel sadness in the back of my mind. And when I left for the night, even the one minute walk to my car was enough to make my parts half numb.

Day 2737 - 12/29 - Super cold

Today is super cold so far. Last night and this morning so far my breath made poofs. My hands and toes are a little numb, so I hope when the library opens in about half an hour it is pretty warm. Yesterday it was only kind of warm, and certainly not what I'd call toasty or even warm enough for single layers.

Things are still riding the edge and too uncertain to not be scared and worried all the time. At least when I had the part time job things were sad, but balanced. Now everything is off balance and uncertain. And while I am a bit excited to see what is new I have yet to discover, I am still very sad about the loss of me that was, as there is no guarantee that if I recover I will be happier or it will be a better life than now. Especially since the current direction seems to not be much of a life at all.

Week 392

Day 2738 - 12/30 - Counting down

Today seemed pretty good. I got an unexpected shower in the morning, so that was nice. Someone took my spot in the library for most of the day, but it was ok. I got to play my games and watch shows undisturbed, which is the most important these days. It was almost even warm enough to consider taking off a layer (though I didn't.)

But things are still sad. Last night / this morning I was plagued by horrible nightmarish dreams. Not about being homeless, but terrible horrific things that were super gross. I don't know if it's because of that or just my sad life in general, but all ay I've felt this profound sadness; a sort of defeated feeling that feels like I accept that things are happy-ish and ok 'today', but as time goes on all will be lost.

Maybe it is just because when I have a good morning I seem to reflect more on what has been lost, both permanently in things like my teeth and possibly my health in general, the things spiritually in how this dark time will forever hurt me emotionally if I do recover, and outside things, the things I seem to still be unable to attain or control.

It feels like now I am ok with myself physically and in terms of my personality. I love me. And this is a place most people reach 25 years earlier in life. But because I didn't have that love and support around me growing up, it's taken forever to get here. And now that I am, I no longer have the resources to take care of things moving forward. And without an Xmas miracle, or outside help and opportunity, things seem unlikely to change.

Day 2739 - 12/31 - Not an Eve of change

Today is New Year's Eve, the biggest thing people celebrate all year regardless of who or where they are. It is a celebration of what has passed and what may be. It is an eve of change where one feels things will be new and different just on the other side.

But not for me. I suppose in a way it hasn't really felt that way for me for many years, even before I was homeless. But in these recent years, this year in particular, it feels like next year will not be better. It feels like things will continue to get worse beyond my control.

I try to hang on to hope. I try to distract myself with my games. I try to hang on to the fact that in half a week things will be regular for me again - at least the current homeless regular, until at least that sharply changes in February (when it seems I won't be getting food money anymore.) I try to hang on t the knowledge that people are out there who do worry and care for me. And most of all I try to hang on to hope for me, because I love me and I am a good person deserving of a regular home and regular job like everyone else.

I suppose, as the calendar year comes to a close, that is all I can ask of myself.

Day 2740 - 1/1/16 - Rearranging

Today has been a day of rearranging things. I spent the morning and a bit of the afternoon at the food store. I was going to go to a coffee shop after, but I kind of felt like not when the time came. So, I decided to do laundry today instead of Sunday morning. What of it I could anyways. I only had enough for one wash and I still have that extra wash that has been waiting forever which is mostly shorts and extra pants. (And it seems I may not have soap for that when I finally do get money.) I hope nothing will go wrong with them, like unexpected mold and such, before I get a chance to wash them. Dad said he sent money for Xmas, but I haven't gotten it. He likely sent it to the wrong address again. I was hoping to have extra to do the laundry with it, but by the time it gets here I may be so low on gas again that's all I'd be able to do with it.

So I moved laundry from Sunday to today. I guess it doesn't really matter. The temperature would likely be about the same either way, and I am really just a touch more awake now.

But mostly today I feel sad, even though I played my game quite a bit. I think it's that without at least being in school I feel extra homeless. School is not a home, for sure. But it is warmer, it is predictable, it is where I have a place and I sort of feel I belong. So until I get an actual home, without school being open and me there, I think the sad feelings will just close in more and more.

I don't know what the rest of the day will hold after laundry. Probably nothing. The sun is just starting to set so there are still several hours before I am 'safe'. But, as with all things, I'm sure I'll make it through to the other side. It's all I really can do.

Day 2741 - 1/2 - Unremarkable day

Today was fairly unremarkable. It was the last of two days at the library before school is open again and things are sort of back to homeless normal.

I still worry about all the things. I had barely enough to eat this past year, and much of it was not what I would have normally eaten in homeless times. If I don't continue to get money, as has been implied so far, then things will be even worse. And I don't know how I'd manage to eat at all. Plus, now the car insurance is late. I don't think they will care much until the end of the month, but if Dad's Xmas money doesn't come soon, and it isn't an unusually high amount, I just don't know how I'd be able to pay it.

All the things continue to get worse, and it seems all these years later I am seemingly less close to becoming not homeless than when I started.

Day 2742 - 1/3 - Anxious

Today I am anxious for tomorrow. I am looking forward to 'cooked' food again, even though it will just be microwaved. I am looking forward to my spot on the floor. I am looking forward to a regular schedule with mostly known and predictable results.

As always, I don't know what the new quarter will bring, or what job searches may start to reveal in the coming months when people start looking for help again. But I try to remain hopeful. I try to remain open minded about positive change. And hopefully the semi-regular life of being at school tomorrow will finally help shoo away the constant sad thoughts and worry I feel and it subsides down to the quiet whisper of a thing I can't control or change, and it fades into the background of my mind.

Day 2743 - 1/4 - Hopeful

Today I am hopeful. Things went ok at school. There was not quite the normal balance, but the quarter will take a week or two to get to that point for me. But it was a lot better to be back in my spot. It was nice to see friendly people again and actually talk to a few like a normal/regular person again.

And I did get Dad's Xmas money finally. He did send it to the wrong address again. I'm glad it eventually found its way to me. It was quite a bit more than he's been sending lately. (A lot for him and me. Not much to a normal working person.) So I can pay the overdue car insurance for this month. I can get gas for a few weeks. I can maybe get caught up finally on laundry this weekend. I can probably re-up my phone for the next few months. (You have to spend $10 minimum, which is 3 basic month's cost.) And there is even enough to consider getting a regular meal. Which would be extremely helpful, as I've been getting hungry to the point of it waking me up at night lately. This extreme rationing is going to hurt and be extremely difficult to get through and adapt to.

Today was pretty good overall. Though for some reason I got up 2 hours earlier than I needed to. I woke up before the sun and just couldn't go back to sleep. At that point I'd barely gotten 6.5 hours sleep. Hopefully with the niceness of the day, and the good news from the Xmas money, I can sleep a bit easier. At least for a few nights, maybe a week. And that would be something.

Day 2744 - 1/5 - Start of a cold

Today I think I'm starting to get a cold. A few days ago my throat started feeling a bit raspy. And today my voice definitely sounds off. I have congestion in my nose and throat, but the weirdest thing is my lungs feel dry, as if I've been breathing desert air.

Today is just starting, but I think it will be ok. It was super super rainy all last night and that is finally trailing off. Tonight I have a class I TA for, which is not the super fun one, that's Thursday, but it should be fun. And after trying all during Xmas break, I finally have a decent idea for what to do for the writing class. So I can work on what I assume that will need today and tomorrow and get quite a bit ahead (in theory.)

Besides the bleh in my nose and lungs I feel pretty good today. I will try to hang on to hope and hopefully things will not beat me down and I can hang on.

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

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