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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 407

Day 2843 - 4/13 - Tastes funny

Today was ok I suppose. It is kind of a blur because I'm still pretty sick. I checked for jobs. Someone even gave me a lead on someone who is like a headhunter, so we'll see if they reply. I helped on forums super quick. And then I played for a bit until the class I TA for started. I almost forgot it was at the early time. I'm so used to it being in the late afternoon.

It was warmer, but all day there was still evidence of at least sprinkles, so I don't think the rain has entirely gone away quite yet.

My throat tastes funny. When I swallow there is an odd taste. Sort of like dry dirt, sort of like maybe saffron rice? I'm not sure. I haven't had any decongestants since like Saturday afternoon until dinner time today, so I'm not sure what that's about. Maybe my nose is finally sort of clearing, and so it smells things differently?

I'm still super sick. My mind is very scattered and has trouble focusing. Songs keep haunting my mind. Repeating, fading in and out of my conscious thoughts. And I'm very hungry; with all kinds of cravings for foods I can't afford and haven't had in a very long time. Hamburger with fries, chicken nuggets, tater tots, a burrito from the place just outside the cafeteria, roast game hen with herbs, potatoes, and stuffing, and steak with sauteed mushrooms and little red potatoes. So many things my tummy wants, but can't have. Yet they are all so simple to make or cheap to get.

Day 2844 - 4/14 - Still so sick

Today I'm still super sick. I'm still so out of it. I remember doing a bit more job searching than usual today and even putting out a resume for a very part time thing. But the rest of the day is a blur. I remember I played a lot. But I don't remember any specifics about my day, or any details of the conversations I know I had with people.

As always I long for the foods I haven't had in forever, the peace and quiet of being in an environment alone that I can control. The freedom to play my games without headphones, at an actual desk with comfy chair set just right. And maybe even a bath, to rinse off the outer layer that has been beaten up for years and is covered wtih bites and scratches. Above all I try to hang on to hope for my future and that tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 2845 - 4/15 - Feeling sad again

Today I am feeling pretty sad again. I'm not getting better and I'm still super sneezy and congested. I think I only got about six hours of sleep last night.

I tried to play and have fun, and again the day was a blur that I don't remember. I suppose I was distracted from my sad things for a bit, but wasn't entirely. This year I have several costs coming up that I have no money for. Last year I scraped by, and was saved at the last second. But this year that seems unlikely. Donations are fewer than ever these days, and while I know that the person who saved me last year is still out there watching, I have a lot of other costs coming that were already covered at this time last year. So this year things will be extra tough and I don't know if I'll make it.

I will keep trying to hang on, and keep hoping help will come until I'm in a better position, but it is getting tougher to stay positive and not completely freak out from stress.

Day 2846 - 4/16 - Warm again

Today it was finally warm again. The rain looks like it's finally gone away for good and the sun was out and shining. In fact, the blinding hour came early and was fully burning my face by 4:30 when just a few weeks before it wouldn't do that until 5:30 or later. Which seems a bit disappointing in that it didn't really get low enough to play again until nearly 7:30. I could watch shows perfectly fine, so that's good, as I've been getting behind. But it's still sad to be forced to set my schedule to things I can't control.

Nothing was really different in my day save for that. I was inside for a bit, as things were openish, and then I was outside for the rest of the day.

My cold may be on the verge of going away. The world seems clearer, and less like it's through a hazy lens, and my memory of the day is stronger than it has been for a while. I am still very congested, sneezing, and more hungry and thirsty than usual, as well as being very sleepy all the time, but hopefully I'm on the mend.

Day 2847 - 4/17 - I don't remember

I don't remember what it was like to live without stress. I don't remember what it was like to live without constant fear, and jumping at nearly everything. I don't remember what it felt like to have a place to invite people over for stuff, and to be nervous about meeting new people to have to invite over. I don't remember what it was like to think how unusual it was to watch the sun go down, or rise. I don't remember how it felt to get in bed and fall asleep knowing there was no alarm set that needed to wake me up.

I remember times when being itchy or having a blemish or scratch was extremely unusual, instead of constantly having them. I remember a time I could mess with my hair and try and make it do a thing, instead of how completely uneven and chaotic what I still have looks. I remember how my gamer chair felt under my butt, how the wood of the desk felt, and how my feet would sometimes squeeze my toes into the carpet because it felt funny. I remember not worrying about the weather outside because I was inside. I remember being able to play or watch my shows whatever time or day it was without restriction.

The me now is not the me who was. The me now is a shell, shadow, or skeleton, and has lost all substance. The essence of what was once is there, but without form, without substance to the memories, I wonder if that form is doomed to forever be lost.

Day 2848 - 4/18 - Warm, then cold

Today was pretty warm. Since it had been so warm Saturday and Sunday I checked the weather online and it was indeed supposed to be super warm today and sort of tomorrow, cooling off back to the mid to low 70s as the week goes on. I wore shorts, so I was actually a touch chilly at times, but outside it was nice and warm most of the day. When I left campus in the evening it smelt like rain, and I even felt a drop of rain on my head. I'm going to assume this means it will cool off quicker than expected and wear pants again tomorrow.

My soups were even a bit warm to the touch when I got back to the car. I hope they are ok and didn't get spoiled in some way. It's been so long since we had truly hot weather I'd forgotten to consider that. It should be fine though I'd think. I'm sure the canned soup goes through many climate changes on its way to the store.

Today was pretty good. I checked for jobs and checked forums. I studied less than I should have for a quiz tomorrow, but I think I'll be ok. Mostly I tried to play and relax. I'm still so very worried and stressed out over all the upcoming bills. But I continue to hang on and hope an opportunity will eventually come, and until then hope there are those out there who care enough to lend a hand in the meantime.

Day 2849 - 4/19 - Feeling hopeful, but sad

Today I feel hopeful, but sad. The weather is nice and looks like it will get warm again later today. Though I do have class, and no reason or place to be outside, so whatever it will be I will likely just remain inside. But I feel a bit sad because between alarms this morning I had some sad dreams about being homeless.

I'm again more stuffy and sneezy. I don't know if this is a cold or maybe allergies. Allergies might explain the odd taste that is going along with it.

I have a few hours until lunch, then my class, and after I look forward to playing and watching my shows. Things have just started, but I remain hopeful that today will be a better day.

Week 408

Day 2850 - 4/20 - Skinny jeans

Today I didn't want to wear the last pair of clean pants I had, so I'd gotten some old blue jeans from the ex-storage. They had been put there because they were to small and pinchy on my tummy. While they are still a touch too small, they are just about right for wearing without a belt. I guess with all this weight loss I 'fit in my skinny jeans' again. But not in a good way, because I still worry about how I've lost the weight.

Overall it was actually a good day. A school friend visited me during lunch, as he does a few times a week. I shared one of my shows with him and it was pretty funny, so we laughed a bit. He headed out and then I had the class that I TA for, so that was pretty fun. After that I played and watched shows for a bit.

But I was very sad much of the day. I had to micro food I've eaten so many times before instead of eating freshly cooked food. While probably not a whole lot better or worse than cafeteria food overall, it is much more sad emotionally, as well as being extra weight I have since I'm carrying food around. That alone makes me feel like an outsider. And then in the evening it was worse because this quarter campus is extremely empty in the evenings. It's like only 1/3 as many people are taking evening classes, and many classes that normally happen don't seem to be happening. So again I feel like an outsider being one of the few still on campus.

So much of my evening these days feels like it's being spent trying not to be sad. So much lost because just being who I am right now makes me an outsider where I am physically, and emotionally, where I am in life, and where I am in life compared to others around me. So much of me feels off, like a failure, like I'm getting behind, or already behind so much I could not catch up. And while I know it wouldn't take much to be back on track and feel not so sad, until that happens things seem very difficult, very oppressive, and even when I am happy I still can't help that part of me feels worried and sad about all the things.

Day 2851 - 4/21 - Feeling small

Today was pretty ok. The morning was not special, but it went quickly. I checked for jobs, did some quick helping on forums, then played games and watched a show at lunch.

In the afternoon I was in the lab and helped a few people for a bit. And in the evening I peeked in to the intermediate class where there were a lot from the beginning class I TA for in previous quarters. They were showing in class shoots they'd done, which was super fun.

The day was cloudy and gray, not quite as warm as earlier in the week. When I left for the evening I looked up to see if it had cleared and it hadn't. It was still cloudy, and the only light was the moon. There were no stars. For some reason that made me feel very small and alone.

Day 2852 - 4/22 - Self bruised

Today I again feel like I'm forgetting something, but I know I'm not. I'm doing my laundry now, and I again have waited too long. Not even doing everything I needed to do the things are all packed in so tight they won't be able to tumble during the wash. I can only hope they wash ok because I could barely afford the one wash. I can't afford more.

I was sad when I took off my boots to get the socks I have been wearing to wash them too. It seems today my pants have been folded and pressing against my ankle in such a way that I kind of bruised myself.

It was raining last night and again this morning. It's somewhat cleared now in the evening, but it's still cold and seems like it won't warm up again until after the weekend. Which, in a way is good because it means it will be cloudy and I won't have to worry about the blind hour. But it's sad because I rarely get truly warm enough on weekends even when I do.

I guess today went well. I played, watched shows, and talked to a few people. But still I feel sad. I suppose it's because the weekend isn't a weekend for me. I don't even get that break to be in my safe place and relax and not worry about the stress of the week. For me weekends don't matter, not really. The stress is always there, constant and unending. And, if anything, weekends are actually more stressful because of that.

Day 2853 - 4/23 - Good day while feeling sad

Today was actually a god day even though my sad feelings were always in the back of my mind. I was sad for being in public, sad for being cold, sad for wearing dirty cloths, though a few were just washed yesterday, sad for being outside half the day, and above all sad for not having friends to have a special Saturday dinner and game night.

But despite all that, today I managed to be pretty happy. I watched a show that made me laugh and smile a lot. I played my new current favorite online game, and even peeked in on my old favorite one. (The one I was playing all the time until the frame rate went to poop.)

All my worries are still there, more than ever. There are still things fading away that I may never get back, and other things that have bills coming up that looks like I might not get money for. Without help I am again looking at being unable to pay for car insurance, gas, web costs, and the car registration. My back is currently stressed and in pain constantly. I am getting very worried I'm on my way to another seizure like I had years ago.

But I try to hang on. I remember what was good about today, and try to hold it like a candlelight to keep the dark shadows of sadness at bay. I try to hang on and hope that help will continue to come until my dark days are gone for good.

Day 2854 - 4/24 - Sniffle sniffle

Today went very similar to yesterday, but with a lot more sniffles. I think because of all of the stuff blooming in the air it's creating my cold-like symptoms. My eyes hurt behind them, my ears are ringing, my nose is completely stuffed up again, and I can hardly breathe. And again when I smell or swallow I'm often getting that sawdust type smell.

I suppose today was good. I played and watched shows and tried not to be stressed out about things. Though I continue to worry as I'm now down to $0.50 in my bank and the last money I had on hand is now in the gas tank and will last maybe a week.

As always, I will try to stay as warm and rest as much as I can, physically and emotionally. But with my limitations there is little I can do but hope for help from others to help me hang on, and hope that tomorrow is a better day.

Day 2855 - 4/25 - Difficulty sleeping

Today I feel pretty good emotionally, but I had difficulty sleeping. I probably tried to sleep for almost three hours last night before falling asleep. Then around two hours before my alarm I was awake for half an hour or so for no reason. Songs have been repeating in my mind ever since. Then I wound up getting up and about maybe half an hour earlier than usual.

I did my usual stuff for the day, so I feel pretty good emotionally. But physically I'm beat. I'm tired from lost sleep and fighting off allergies. And I'm exhausted from constantly fighting of sadness and stress. So I guess overall things feel a bit wonky from the good and the bad.

As always, I try to hang on to the good things. I try to remember good times past and hopes for similar good times in the future. And I hope help comes and I can get by until I'm in a better place.

Day 2856 - 4/26 - Struggle to hang on

Today I feel like I'm struggling to hang on. It has been a very long time since any messages of well wishing or donations. It seems few are watching out for me these days, and of those who I know I am in a bad spot it seems very few or none are passing the message on that I need help.

I am again concerned that we, as a people, seem to have so few that care to help a stranger. And how it would only take a few sending a small amount now and then to keep going, yet so little help comes, even from those I've met who know I would be ok once I'm back on my feet.

I feel good and try to hang on to hope, but with upcoming bills and so much physical distress from my cold, or allergies, or whatever this is that is beating me up, it is extra tough to hang on.

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

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