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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 409

Day 2857 - 4/27 - Almost broke down

Today I almost broke down into tears. I got a donation yesterday, so that was super happy. As dinner approached the more I thought about my 'plain' soup I had to eat for dinner the more I felt like crying. My tummy so very much wanted a hamburger and fries. In a way I could have afforded it. It would have been a small part of what was donated, leaving plenty to take care of a few things. But I couldn't. It's needed too much for the bills I have coming. I barely held myself together in the following hours thinking about how sad I felt that I couldn't have a simple hamburger and fries from the cafeteria, and that it's been longer than I could remember since I last had one.

I wonder if the extra sadness came from the increasing homeless that are showing up during the morning showers. Back even just a month ago it was only two, which even just that is depressing to see every time. But recently it's been four, sometimes as many as six. I only know some, but they talk to the others, so I can tell the others are too.

It wasn't bad when it was just students in there. Or even when I was alone. I may go back to showering at night, or maybe start making special trips mid-day so I don't see the other homeless. Maybe it is getting too emotional for me to be reminded of how sad things are, and how things could continue to get worse and I wind up like them.

I wonder to if it's because someone sometimes has lunch with me now. Maybe that half hour a few times a week of regular interaction is bringing back fresh reminders of what a normal life is and how I don't have it.

The donation yesterday will cover some of the bills coming up. And for that I am extremely grateful and relieved. But emotionally it continues to be difficult to hang on. There are still big bills around the corner. And until they are covered I still can't really relax. And things like a simple meal that isn't a microwaved food remains out of reach.

Day 2859 - 4/28 - A super cute director

Today was actually very different in the evening. IN the morning and afternoon it was pretty regular. It was even kind of a bit slow. My nose was running, sniffly, and I have a jaw and headache from congestion and sniffling.

But in the late afternoon and early evening I helped some people do a short for a project. The director was a super cute girl I have been sort of seeing for a quarter or two. She had previously had part of the right side of her head shaved, which I find extra attractive, probably because it means they aren't afraid to be different and show it.

We ran around and had a silly fun time with the shoot. I smiled and laughed a lot and made the people laugh quite a bit. She mentioned she hadn't had food all day, which made me super sad, so I gave her some chips and a soda and a tiny bit of cake. It was the most unhealthy snack ever, but with what I have to choose from to buy it is really one of my only snack food options. Anything healthy tends to be literally four or five times more expensive. (The last time I got about half a serving of grapes it was more than $1. And that wasn't even one breakfast worth of grapes.)

It was pretty fun and silly and a nice change. I hope they do ok on the project, but I have a feeling the lack of storyboarding or script will leave a lot of missing shots they would really need.

At least for a brief while my sad life was held at bay. Now settling in for the night it seems very likely the sadness will return even before I fall asleep. But I will try to hang on to the memories of fun as long as I can, and find comfort in the fact that there are still cute girls out there to be found who I have chemistry with, even if it's only one way.

Day 2859 - 4/29 - Woken up too early

Today I was woken up too early, nearly two hours earlier than I normally would wake up. My runny nose and birds chirping woke me up and I couldn't get back to sleep. I started my day an hour early, so the time wasn't wasted. But I am currently exhausted. Save for half a dozen flashes, the day was a complete blur and I remember almost none of it.

One thing I do remember was seeing some old pictures on my social page for games I don't play anymore. Not my rabb1t me, but my person me, where I barely ever post because my life is too sad. I went through and deleted them all. As I was doing so I started to feel sad. I was remembering how my life was better then. Even though I was homeless at the time, things weren't as bad as they are now, and in a way I was balanced, and even a bit happy. I think because playing that game then, being on my console, was more similar to playing on y console at home.

As I was deleting the pictures they would fade on deletion. It felt like my past was fading out. My memories of being happy somehow fading with them. It made me think about how those times made me feel closer to being in a home, and how the fading seemed like my memories of being in a home now... fading.

I thought how it seemed like my social me was fading away. Which made me think about how I feel like I am fading away. How I still feel like I am fading away. How I still feel like day by day instead of having a stronger presence in this world and growing stronger, I am continuing to become more and more a shadow, losing more and more of the me that was.

Day 2860 - 4/30 - Deep sleep, good dream, sad dream

Today was a mixed bag. Last night and this morning I slept very deeply. I had both good dreams and sad dreams. Good because I dreamt of being somewhere new and joining a gaming group and finding someone who was interested in being my sweetie. So I dreamt of new friends, good times, and new love. But I also had other dreams, of again being out of time and being forced to move out, and not having somewhere to go. So the good dreams were somewhat quickly overshadowed by the bad.

This morning the building I'm normally in was open all day. Since I was going to a guest speaker thing in the afternoon I decided to be in there instead of the cafeteria. The morning was good and passed normally.

In the afternoon I was in the room and listened to the speaker while playing one of my games. It was an ok talk. It was more entertaining than I'd expected. She talked about being a writer for a TV show, which I don't really have any interest in. But she also talked about being a writer in general, and how you need an agent, a manager, and others, who basically make up a team of people who believe in you who help you find opportunities.

While I don't have much interest in being a writer in the industry, that made me sad. A big reason why I'm having so much trouble and struggle lately is because I don't really have those kinds of people in such positions interested in helping. I am very grateful and thankful I do have some watching out for my well being and helping me get by. But in terms of career people, cheerleaders, and helpers in positions to create opportunities for me... no. I have no one like that. And never really have in my life.

When the event was over and everyone was leaving I again felt sad. It was still somewhat early in the day, just late afternoon or early evening. People were leaving to go have fun with their friends, or do things they needed to do. But I was alone. I was going nowhere. I had nothing to look forward to. And, as always, as much as I try and hang on, I couldn't help but feel sad thinking about that.

Day 2861 - 5/1 - Big headache

Today was pretty good, but for as long as I can remember I've had a pretty big headache. I suppose it's part of the allergies, as I've been sniffling and sneezing all day. I'm beginning to think whatever it is comes from the trees near school. It seems most intense when I'm outside at school.

Yesterday was International Table Top day. Again I looked for places locally that were celebrating. But no one was close enough. At least not close enough with no income.

I feel so helpless overall though. So much is beyond my control. And even when something is, I lack the resources to give it a chance.

Day 2862 - 5/2 - The missing person

Today was pretty much the same as always. I did have a bit of a sad lunch though. Pretty much this quarter more days than not a school friend has visited me during lunch and lately I've been sharing my shows with him. He didn't show up today, which is unusual. So that was kind of sad because I was looking forward to a show sharing.

Most of the rest of the day was about the same, though I did help a few people with projects.

The end of my night was different though. When I went back to my car to leave school for the night I noticed a car a few spots over was running for quite a while. I looked over and it looked empty. I slowly put my stuff away, then waited around a few minutes. I investigated further and checked the car. It was absolutely empty, with no one around in sight (save for the dancer group close by). The car was running, empty, and unlocked. I deiced to leave it as is and report it to the campus security since there didn't seem to be an owner and it wasn't one of the dancer's car. By the time I'd reported it and the officer got back to it, it had been there for at least 30 minutes that I knew of, and the officer asked the dancers how long they'd been there, which left the car as possibly unattended in that state for as long as 1.5 hours.

I am now left with the mystery of it. There was no student parking sticker, so that seemed odd, particularly since it seemed there were snacks in back, and sporting gear and clothing in the trunk, pointing towards a student lifestyle. But if it had been stolen and abandoned, why put it here? The lot is checked for parking stickers every day. With no sticker it would be ticketed the next day. And why leave it running, and unlocked? That calls an extreme amount of attention to it. If one were to steal then abandon a car, one would want it as normally parked and inconspicuous as possible. But if it wasn't, which it didn't seem to be, who would leave a car running, lights on, unlocked, and forget that they did that?

I still have all my sad things, and so many worries about upcoming bills, but for tonight at least maybe the mystery of the missing person will distract me enough to get to sleep quickly, and I can sleep well.

Day 2863 - 5/3 - Unknown

Today I'm not sure what to expect. Yesterday it got pretty warm, but today it's a bit cloudy and chilly so far. And this afternoon I have class, which should be fun, but leaves only a little bit of day before and after where stuff may happen.

The mystery car was gone this morning, so hopefully the owner eventually came back. I'm sniffly and still a bit out of it. Yesterday and today I've felt very confused and disoriented. But I don't feel overly worried about things, at least not yet because I'm still sleepy. And though little has changed lately I still hope positive change continues to come.

Week 410

Day 2864 - 5/4 - Sore feets

Today my feets are super sore. I can barely walk. I don't know what is up with that. I've barely walked any extra lately, certainly not enough to warrant hurting like I've walked a couple of miles.

I'm worried about my lunch friend. Last time I saw him was Friday. I know his class he's been visiting me after is Monday and Wednesday, but I haven't seen him all week so far, which is highly unusual. I'm worried he's sick, or worse.

Today was the class I TA for. They are starting to shoot and show stuff, so that is where it starts to get super fun.

But I'm very stressed lately. And there have been many sad dreams and stressful nights leading to a lot of lost sleep. I'm exhausted. Yesterday I nearly nodded off a few times in class. Hopefully soon things will be better, and tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 2865 - 5/5 - Getting colder

Today things are getting colder again. The sky is turning more and more gray, and when I left school last night and tonight there was evidence of light rain.

I saw the lunch friend today. So, phew. I can stop worrying something bad has happened. He showed up with some students in the later afternoon (he's a TA for the writing teacher). He reminded me he was helping his grandma who'd hurt her hip lately. And I felt very sad because he'd mentioned that and I should have remembered. But I've been so completely exhausted and out of it lately I totally forgot.

And I am very out of it feeling again today. I am again feeling like I'm in a haze. I feel like no new information will have really stuck from today, or that I would be able to recall events clearly. I know it was an ok day. I know there were times I helped people. I was sad. I remember smelling super yummy burger smells walking outside to go to micro dinner. And I laughed some talking with people. But details are gone. All that remains are feelings of exhaustion, feelings I look unique but don't feel attractive, and that I continue to feel lost and like there is no place I belong in the world.

Day 2866 - 5/6 - Sad on the outside

Today I feel like I am not just sad on the inside, but sad on the outside. Maybe it's because I've been losing a lot of sleep lately. Possibly more likely a combination of that and no longer being able to afford food that isn't microwaved (or pre-cooked) anymore, even if the past few years that's only been once or twice a week. But I feel exhausted. I feel upset, grumpy, like there is a rage inside me and I'm right on the edge of snapping and unleashing on someone.

I was really looking forward to seeing my lunch friend, but he didn't show up. I guess that's not extremely unusual as I don't usually see him Fridays, and it was raining for a bit today, but it was disappointing.

All day I've felt off about my games too. I don't know if it's that I have really been wanting to play a particular game since it launched three months ago, or if it's just that my depression overall has me feeling sad about everything and if I just want something to be different.

A movie I am hoping to see opens today. I have my gift card thing with me already so I don't forget to take it. But more importantly I am going to check how much is left on it, to be sure there's enough. I didn't see any way to check it though and forgot to look. I would probably want to go Sunday anyways. Saturday it would likely be completely packed since a lot would want to see it. Sunday may not be a lot better, but I figure with it being Mom's day it might.

I suppose overall today could have been worse, but I feel exhausted, grumpy, sad, and mad. And the saddest thing is if I had friends I hung out with in my life all it would take to feel a lot better is some game playing and a no stress dinner; something like pizza, or Chinese food, burgers and fries, or maybe new school wings.

I thought of going down to the gaming shop today. They have 'open gaming' scheduled. But not knowing anyone there, and it being probably three or four days of gas, it's not something I could afford right now.

Day 2867 - 5/7 - Hurting heart

Today was sort of good. I had fun playing my games and watching shows. But it was cold and gray outside. The day came and went and it never felt like time passed because the day was the same color and temperature all day.

All day there was a hurting around my heart. Not a lot. And maybe it's just congestion, that happens sometimes. But it seems more like deep sadness. As it has often felt these days, broken.

There is so much I want to change in me. But I either lack the safe space to do it, or lack the money to change. Things I want to have or do must be left undone. And the absence of that change, the absence of those things, makes me feel more and more is lost or missing. While many of these things have not been for a very long time, in my current life it seems they may never be.

But for now all I can do is continue to hang on. All I can do is try to hold on to hope. And maybe if I focus on the few happy things I can still have, maybe I can set aside the things I don't have long enough to make it to a time and place I can.

Day 2868 - 5/8 - Almost forgot

Today was actually a better day. The morning seemed pretty average, the afternoon too. I played my games, watched some shows, and helped on the forums for just a little bit.

When it got into late afternoon and early evening I remembered I wanted to go see if I could see my movie. I got there later than I normally would have, but in plenty of time. The gift card paid for most of it, but I had to pay a few dollars from real monies, which thankfully I had.

For a few hours, and maybe a bit in the coming days, I feel like a regular person again. Sure maybe small, out of shape, and not how I want to be comparing myself to people in the movie, but that's to be expected after an action superhero movie. But in terms of doing normal things, things which were also how the older normal me would do them, I feel happy. And for the moment, at peace.

But that was it. The gift card is gone. This will be the last movie I could see as I normally would. And the two more I'd like to see coming out in the coming months I likely won't be able to see. For the moment my happy things keep me hanging on, and on days like this calm my nerves, rage, and sadness. But as the ability to do the things run out there will no longer be that escape.

Day 2869 - 5/9 - Need a vacation

Today was good and bad. It actually started out feeling very good and happy. But as the day went on I think each step of my 'normal' routine brought me more and more down.

I feel like I need a vacation. Like need time to rest in a safe space and not worry about a time for windows. Every day I watch for this window, and when I'm in it it's counting down to the next window. Every day I count small windows for a few hours for this, then a few hours for that; a never ending stream of stressing out over which small window is when.

I suppose back when I had a 'nine to five job' it wasn't much different. The windows were a bit longer, and once a week the timer was reset to a few days away instead of a few hours. But even that small break, in a safe and calm space, was something far greater than what I have now.

I know I had a pretty good day, but the enjoyment isn't as great. The memory feels flat and barren, like looking at a desert. Yet I know, just like the desert, if you know what to look for it is not as barren as it seems. But with my sadness and exhaustion beating me so far down lately I lack the strength to properly look.

I only have a tiny bit of money left. Yet gas is nearly gone again, another insurance payment in just under three weeks, and a big cost to renew the registration in about two months. Though these are not overwhelming costs, with no income and needing help from others to get by, things feel very bleak. And it is tougher and tougher to hang on.

But in spite of how much I feel I am losing, how much I have already lost, memories of what a regular life is growing more and more distant every day, I must continue on. As long as I can hold the faintest light of hope the shadows cannot completely consume me.

Day 2870 - 5/10 - Test

Today I have a test in my class. I'm always ready-ish, but I don't really know what will be on it since we had one just a few weeks ago.

I suppose the day will be ok. I feel congested, and due to sad dreams last night, sad. The day is confused, pretty warm, but also overcast like it will rain.

I don't know what today will bring. I always hope something good, maybe something new. But it's been so long since I've had control of anything I can't remember the last time I had plans for a day. In a way I suppose that's a good thing, for without plans and expectations it is difficult to be truly disappointed.

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

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