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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 405

Day 2829 - 3/30 - Saying hello

Today was pretty good. It started a touch later than expected, but in a good way. Since the big donation I've actually been able to sleep. Twice since then I almost slept all through the night until my alarm, which I rarely do more than once or twice in an entire year. And, I haven't stayed awake too long when trying to sleep, nor gotten up earlier than I was supposed to.

I was mostly alone today. I played my games and had fun. The friendly student security guard came by and said hi and we chatted for a bit. And in the evening the cleaner people waved to me through the window I was near. So it was nice to get a few hellos.

Nothing really new that was good happened. In fact, it seems a hole in my upper pointy tooth is bigger. I'm not sure if it actually is, or if it's just my imagination. But it would be super tragically sad if I lost that one too due to not having the money to tend them. I already lost the other upper one.

But overall I feel ok today. I still feel like I am able to hold on emotionally. And I continue to feel better about me and who I am as a person as time goes on. I just hope I can hang on long enough to recover physically to hopefully someday match how I feel emotionally, to be even better overall.

Day 2830 - 3/31 - Cold

Today went pretty well. I got a shower in the morning, so that was nice. Things were still openish, so I got to be inside and micro lunch. Though it's still super cold in the cafeteria area. It's like they never heat it. I checked for jobs, quickly helped on forums, and spent most of my day playing.

I have a cold though. I was fairly sneezy, congested, and my throat is messed up. It doesn't help that if I want an un-firewalled connection I have to be inside and cold or outside and a touch colder. I guess it's an ok trade off though. I'd rather that than be warm and several of my games be blocked. The spring will warm up again soon, and on Monday I'll be back inside at my spot and be a bit warmer.

I don't know if I'll get to be inside tomorrow though. The bookstore and inside places are closed I think, so I expect I'll need to be outside all day. Which will be strange, as Saturday it's a flea market day and the area I've been in should be open for about the same time it has been this week.

I guess, as always, all I can do is see what tomorrow will bring when it comes and hope for the best.

Day 2831 - 4/1 - Happliy open

Today I was happy to discover the cafeteria area was open the same amount as it has been. It was still nearly as cold inside as outside, but being inside and being able to sit on a chair and table proper as well as micro a lunch was good.

I had fun playing my game most of the day. I've been feeling more sick though. There has been a ringing in my ears, congestion, sneezing, and mild eye ache and headache for a few days now. Hopefully it will get better soon. I'm trying to get more rest and stay warm, but there really are few options on that. Maybe tomorrow I'll get a juice. Since the car will be in the covered garage the next few days that will probably be fine since it's chillier lately.

Since the afternoon I've felt like I've been forgetting something. I mean, sure, there are things I kind of wanted to do during the break I haven't due to stress and depression, but this is something forgetful feeling. Like I had something specific for today that I was supposed to do that I forgot. I have no idea what it could be though. Hopefully it's nothing and my brain is just being a bit crazy.

As always, I try to forget my troubles and worries and hope tomorrow is a better day.

Day 2832 - 4/2 - Quiet

Today was unusually quiet for a flea market day. Things were openish as they have been, but almost noone came in during the flea market. Usually there are quite a few people, but I think there were only six all day. I would guess because it is cloudy and cold outside, a trend that has more often been the case than not lately. It wasn't too cold though, and when it got to the blind hour it was warm enough for a brief period I could take off my hoodie.

I had a pretty good day. There were no jobs to apply to, but being the weekend that isn't a surprise. I played and watched shows most of the day, then tried to rest and be calm to get over my cold. I did get juice in the morning, and there is enough to last a few more days. It should be cold enough in the car to not go bad. But I always worry about that.

I guess today wasn't terrible. But I couldn't help but worry about all the things I can't pay for. And my heart felt sad missing Saturdays past, where on similar days of playing and watching stuff I'd have been comfy at a desk, warm, able to stop or start whenever I wanted, cooked foods, and paused in the evening for my Saturday night movie. While I can't do my traditions anymore, my heart holds on and hopes I can do them again someday.

Day 2833 - 4/3 - Sniffly congestion

Today I am super congested. My cold doesn't seem all that worse, but I guess it is. My nose is almost so stuffed up I can't breathe through it. It's been a struggle. I've been sneezing quite a bit, and I'm super sniffly. I don't really feel all that worse in general. My eyes ache, I have headaches, and my ear ringing all seem about the same as before.

I had a very tough time sleeping last night too. I couldn't get to sleep for hours. And when I did I had bad dreams. I was again dreaming of being in my childhood home and being forced to move out because dad was selling the place and I had nowhere to go. And there were other dreams about now when I was homeless, but I don't remember them. I do remember that there was one so stressful and sad in the dream that I started crying, and as such that panic pulled me up out of the sleep and I woke up and my heart stated racing.

I guess today was reasonably ok other than that. I had fun playing, but I was outside, I was sick, and I was cold all day.

Day 2834 - 4/4 - Phoenix

Today was chaotic, but pretty good. In the morning I was moving a bit slower than expected, but I got to the food store and got to school in time to have a good parking spot. I showered after partking, so all my bits are back on track.

The morning went pretty normally. I had a few stop by and say hi and chat for a bit, but there was really nothing unusual.

The afternoon was quite different. I got in to the lab as soon as I could and started updating to Windows 10. I did it in the scary way of doing a clean install, so everything on the main drive was being wiped and set to default settings. I'd removed my SSD just to be sure. To my surprise, the preparing to install only took 45 minutes, and after the windows install took 30, instead of getting stuck at 86% after 50 minutes (and then waiting 30 or more to be sure it was actually stuck).

I did have quite a panic though after updating. I shut down and reinstalled my SSD, but upon turning the system back on it didn't see it. I checked the drive scanner and it still didn't see it. I was starting to panic emotionally, though not showing it physically, and after 30 minutes of freaking out I found some updates for the laptop, tried installing them, and after restarting after that the SSD showed up as normal again.

So now I'm nearly completely recovered. I'm sure there will be personal settings and things I need to set up that I forgot about, but it seems everything is finally updated to the current windows and ready for the future.

It seems strange to purge a system and have it reborn from the ash. I guess it just seems to be much more emotionally to me than it otherwise would be because of my current life situation and my laptop being critical to my emotional balance these days. But it's good to be set and back on track.

At least with some things. There are more yet to come in the next few days as the new quarter starts.

Day 2835 - 4/5 - An hour early

Today everything is starting an hour early. I woke up about 45 minutes before my alarm was set to go off, then rested for a bit, then since I was unable to get back to sleep I 'got out of bed' about an hour earlier than usual.

I guess it's ok to have an early start today. I got about seven hours of sleep, which is more usual than not for me. I'm still pretty sick, but not quite as bad. I'm still sniffling, sneezing, and congested, but my nose isn't completely stuck like it was yesterday.

I feel pretty good I guess. School was pretty busy with lots of people bopping around yesterday. I expect it will be today too, and I have my class, which is the bulk of the day. There were quite a few cute girls around yesterday, and it's warming up a bit again, so that's always nice.

As always, I try to stay hopeful for today, and that I can hang and enough help comes until I'm back on my feet.

Week 406

Day 2836 - 4/6 - Wardrobe malfunction, twice

Today was super good emotionally. In the morning I decided to wear shorts since it's been warm lately. It was nice since it's probably been nine months since I could. I even had my hoodie off most of the day.

In the mid morning the super cutie I used to see when I'd play on my console at food store walked by me. She has a class in the building I'm in. I can't remember the last time I saw her. It's been more than a year since I stopped being there regularly at the times she was there.

In the later morning the class I TA for was starting. But, just before it started, when I went to the bathroom, I noticed my shorts had a wardrobe malfunction. I saw the zipper head was in the middle of the path and it was unzipped completely. And the head was only attached to one side. I had two options. One was to hike them up to where my belly button was so no one could see the open fly, or go to my car and switch to my pants. On any other day I would not have the second option, as I keep all cloths in the ex-garage (ever since the pulling over incident.) But I had brought some just in case I got too cold. So that worked out ok.

The class went well and people seemed to be laughing at stuff and seemingly had a good time and were being very social. So that is always good as it means they are more likely to produce more interesting stuff.

The evening was ok. I played a bit, but after the fun class I TA for things seemed kind of sad. I was not one of the students making new friends and being excited about a class and going home after to enjoy what's left of the warm spring day. That is not my life anymore. At least not right now.

But I played and had fun as best I could and left a bit later than usual just because of how the timing of things worked out. But when I got back to the ex-garage to pick something up and change into my night cloths, my pants top button pooped off. I had to laugh. All these homeless years and I've lost maybe two pieces of clothing due to rips or other things. But now, twice in one day. This time though I could immediately fix it, as I have needle and thread in the ex-garage. I could fix the shorts too if I got a new zipper. But last time I recall checking zippers were kind of pricy at $5-10. I can check again for sure (if I remember), but even at $3, well, I have other shorts I can use until money isn't so tight.

But now I am exhausted. It is night time. I again had a bit of trouble getting to sleep, odd dreams, and woke up about half an hour early. I am still in a mix of losing sleep and being ok on sleep. With the cold though, things have gotten tough the past few nights.

Day 2837 - 4/7 - So tired, so sick

Today was good, but I'm still pretty sick. I was a little better, but today I am super sniffly again. I've still been congested, with my eyes and ears hurting.

I had an odd memory surface today. It was of when I was at a concert. I've only been to a few in my life. I think it's because I had short on and it was getting chilly at night. This concert was at an amusement park, so me and the friends at the time had gone and been there most of the day dressed for hot weather. But when the concert started at night it was getting very chilly.

Maybe too it came up because my brain was half asleep. I'm so exhausted. Both from losing sleep and from stress, as well as the cold beating me down in general. I'm so very tired.

But today was pretty good. Though I felt like I was missing out on fun. There are many people in the advanced film class having fun today. But I took it a year ago, so I can't participate.

The lights in the lab where I hang out have timers. At one point when I was playing they went out. It was dark. For a very brief period I left it dark. I remembered what it was like to be in a home and able to play in more ideal gaming conditions. I let myself remember, just for a minute. Then I moved so they would turn on again.

It seems today I remembered several times in my past. And while I have no desire to go to any live concerts anymore, I do hope someday I'm able to be back in a home playing like I used to.

Day 2838 - 4/8 - Rainy days return

Today was pretty good emotionally, but odd. It felt strange to be hanging out in my usual spot just to have a place to be. I mean I have to be somewhere, but it felt odd. Not quite as odd as back in the early days when I had no laptop and would just sit outside a shopping area and watch shoppers all day. But it felt odd to be there when everyone else was only there because they had a class. There were a few who said hi and were killing time though, but they were definitely the exception.

My cold is a bit worse, or was. I was sneezing and sniffling a ton in the early part of the day. In the afternoon I remembered to stop by the health center for decongestants. And now my nose is mostly clear and just the congestion, occasional sneeze, and head/eye/ear ache remain.

The rain seems to have returned. April showers and all I suppose. Which is nice, but disappointing after a couple of warm and nice short wearing weather days. I don't know how long the rain will last, but it started with sprinkling last night and now in the evening it's steadily lightly raining.

Tomorrow I'll drive to the 'nearest' recycling center. I really hope it is open and I find it ok. It will take 2/3 of a week's gas to get there. I have a feeling it really won't be worth it to recycle anymore. With that cost I'm guessing it will take a full trunk to only get a bit returned. It will probably take two months to get what will probably wind up being one week's worth of gas money. That's a full trunk for a long time, as well as constantly keeping and carrying around the empty cans during the day, all making me feel like a super desperate junk collector. If that really is all the full trunk is worth, I don't know if it's worth it anymore emotionally. I guess I'll see what it's worth tomorrow. Back in the early days when there was a recycle outside the food store I'd just go 30 minutes earlier than normal every few weeks and it was no big deal. That'd be one, maybe 2, empty 20 pack containers worth. It was easy, both physically and emotionally. But as I've had to save more and more cans due to the places closing down, it's weighed more and more on me emotionally (and physically in stress.)

I guess that's just part of who I am. I've always been a minimalist. My (living) space is always very Spartan in look. I've never been one to collect a lot of, well, anything. Usually I don't feel like I need much around me. I suppose with a home and fairly unlimited money, maybe then I may start collecting more.

But then I may never know if I would change like that or not. It seems unlikely at this point such a life will be an option for me.

Day 2839 - 4/9 - Medium rain

Today it rained all day. It was a light to medium rain. I actually didn't really notice much of the day because it was light enough I had to squint to actually see if it really was raining. In bad news, that meant it was chilly and gray and sad all day. In good news that meant from about 5-6:30 I was not blinded by the sun and had that time to continue playing, or watch shows, or whatever, since the screen was able to be viewed normally.

I guess it was a good day. I played and things were quiet all day. That's really all I can hope for in my homeless life.

But in another time I probably would have invited people over for games and having pizza. I don't know why, but rainy times feel like that to me. Maybe because when I was young it's just what you did in those days. Not that I wanted to go outside when it was not raining, but still.

I went to the not so close recycling this morning. I got a bit lost, so it took about 45 minutes instead of 30. But I got more than I expected, so I suppose it is worth it to continue doing it. Though I will see how long it takes to get that much, if I remember to. If it's more than two months I don't know if that is really safe to be keeping former food stuff in my car that long. I guess I'll have to see how it goes and how I feel about it. It's becoming very stressful.

I still have my cold. It was bad last night and this morning, but it's eased off some since then. Hopefully that means I can sleep better tonight.

Day 2840 - 4/10 - No more Blu... for now

Today was a bit extra sad. Lately I've been working on getting my movie player software back on my system. For the past few days I've gone back and forth with the software people. They say my version isn't compatible with Windows 10. They kept repeatedly replying to me with a link to "upgrade". Which I guess is my fault for thinking that would be free. I guess free would be "update". So I told them no thanks, I'm not paying $60 for something I originally got free. I did find a way to get some free DVD software though. But still, that blocks about 75% of my entire collection from being watched on my laptop, if not more.

The bigger loss is for things I'd rent. I'd have to get it on DVD, which isn't anywhere near as good quality. But then it's probably been years since I could afford to do that, so I suppose it's not a loss.

I guess the people are right though in that people don't really watch physical media on their laptops anymore. In fact, more and more aren't even coming with a physical media device anymore. Most people will just stream videos or get a digital copy to watch.

But I guess it's only an issue while I'm homeless, and only if I want to rent something. I'd be more likely to pay the $8 for an entire month of the streaming rental service I use and get all kinds of stuff I couldn't from the local rental box.

Plus today was sad because I'm still pretty sick, and being out in the cold rain times doesn't help. But while the library would be warm, I'd also be blocked from my current favorite game, and be exposed to everyone else around me who may also have colds or wearing things I'm allergic to. Even just the stress of the noise, the lights, and constant milling around me might be an equally bad trade as the weather outside of school.

But school will be back on tomorrow. I can be inside, warmish, micro soups or other foods to try and get healthier, and hope for the best.

Day 2841 - 4/11 - Resting

Today was pretty good. I was still super sick. I think a lot of people must be because there was hardly anyone on campus today. In the evening when I made dinner the cafeteria area had barely 15% of the tables occupied when normally at that time it's closer to 40-50% full. It might be the rain too. While it probably didn't do more than sprinkle it was wet outside most of the day.

I tried to rest most of the day since I was super sick. I checked for jobs and forums quickly in the morning, then basically just played my game. Since I'm sick my brain isn't really working, so I can't really concentrate or focus on anything. I suppose though I didn't really do anything more or less than a normal day, so I didn't really get 'extra' rest in any way. But hopefully just taking my decongestants and headache pills will be enough to help me get over the cold.

I suppose in an odd way it was a pretty good day. I am still glad I am available to help people, maybe even inspire students I help. But, as always, I hope tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 2842 - 4/12 - Same sad dream

Today I am still pretty sick. I wish there were something I could do to get better quicker. Hopefully I'll get better soon. I always worry about my health these days.

I had the same sad dream last night that I've had before. In the dream I was a time traveler and I had to save my girlfriend. But by starting the quest line to do so I could not time travel, and was vulnerable to being killed. I'm not sure why I had the dream again. It doesn't seem to symbolize much, so it doesn't seem to be something my subconscious is trying to say. And it was odd it was the exact same set up and pattern as it's come before. But it was stressful and sad. And I think in the dream I was crying some, because the corners of my eyes feel as if I've been crying. It could just be the cold messing with my tear ducts though, I'm not sure.

But class is today, so that should be good and something to hope and look forward to. I have plenty that is stressful in my life without extra stressful dreams on top of that. But I try to hang on to hope where I can.

Comments and stuff Copyright E. Stryker 2008-2016
Pictures for Epic Fail are taken by me. :)

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