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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 411

Day 2871 - 5/11 - Third strike for them

Today was good, but also kind of bad. In the later morning I was surprised by my lunch friend. His class was canceled so he showed up early and we watched a few shows. My class I TA for went well and was fun, but after it was over I rapidly felt sad and quickly felt like my less than ordinary depressed self.

The other day the replacement replacement headphones cracked on the side. Which is unsurprising since two, or is it three, others broke in the exact same fashion. Today I put them back in the box, as they are still functional with that side pushed all the way in. They are uncomfortable like that, and the other side shows signs of cracks, so they won't last long. But I won't get rid of them yet, just in case. They are headed straight to the trash though when they are done. That company's product is garbage and I will no longer use it even if they offer to replace it again for free once these are gone completely.

So again tomorrow I will be back on my console headset, which has a broken spine in two places. While it is heavy and broken, it is the most functional one I have. (Not counting the very low power phone in the ear type ones I have.)

I suppose losing nice headphones isn't the end of the world. And honestly I would prefer a nice game as a gift instead of a medium fancy replacement headphones right now, as I do still have mostly functional ones. But it is sad to have a thing that frustrates me every day.

I sort of cut myself shaving in the morning. It was nice to have a few people comment on it and show concern. Usually I feel I am unremarkable and largely ignored and people don't care at all about my looks or health.

I am again exhausted today. I think due to lost sleep I am extremely hungry. I ate double the amount of chip snacks, and probably 50% more drink, and I still feel like I had no dinner at all. I think it's because of everything I've not eaten for so long. Once upon a time I could get a fancy meal once a week. Then it had to be reduced to every other week. At this point it must be nearly two years since I had any kind of money to have any kind of scheduled fancy meal. It's probably been three or four months since the last, and as long to the one before that.

My lack of freedom of money has caused so many things to flat line and become the same that my life is turning into one big long blurred cycle of a week, over and over. And even days which should be different are so limited they are effectively still the same. It's not that I want to change or break my routine, it's just the choices within it are not really choices anymore.

Day 2872 - 5/12 - Another spinal reinforcement

Today was mostly a blur. I am still so very exhausted, and so very hungry. Last night I actually fell right to sleep, a first in probably more than six months. I slept well too, but again had sad dreams about packing and moving out of somewhere.

I don't remember much of today. I did my regular things. I do remember a few brief conversations in game though. One was a person who rapidly seemed crazy, and the other was mostly just me offering to help someone with checking why their system seemed to not quite be working right.

Though I was again in a haze, confused, not speaking clearly or able to communicate my ideas well. But my brain did clear for a very brief while. I was doing stuff with the old console headphones and being frustrated with its limitations. As it flopped loosely as I put it back on I thought how the replacement headphones actually aren't that differently stressed. In fact, the parts it would need reinforcement on might actually be easier to reinforce because they are less stressed. So, tonight after I'm done writing I'll try that out. It would be much better than the console ones for several reasons.

Outside of that my day was regular. I still worry all the time about all the things I don't have money for. With nothing new to look forward to my days all blur together. And as always I try and hang on to what good things I do have, and keep hope alive. And hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 2873 - 5/13 - Feeling betterish

Today I am feeling a bit better. I got a bit more sleep than normal, though not by much. I am still in a haze, but it is not as bad as it has been lately.

Mostly I was alone today, as usual. But not alone, as I am always surrounded by people. A few said hi and a few other passing words as they passed by me in the hall, but otherwise I didn't really interact with anyone. I honestly don't know if I can ever really feel alone and like I am getting space as long as I'm in public places. Even when I'm out on campus on the weekend and hardly anyone is around I still can't relax and feel like I'm getting space because it's still in public. I don't control it. I can't alter the volume or the temperature of things. And, as always, there is the ticking clock.

Today really wasn't bad. More than usual was done in a way. And yet since I don't have any privacy, since I couldn't unwind, less than what could have been done was done. My games continue to offer some distraction. But without new things it is getting harder and harder to be pulled into other worlds away from my sad things in this one.

As always, I continue to try to hold on to hope and try to remember that tomorrow could be a better day.

Day 2874 - 5/14 - Add line

Today was pretty good. It started worried and sad. I discovered my oil is below the add line, so that is probably yet another $10 I need to worry about along with gas and all the other things I can't pay for.

But my time at school was ok. It wasn't too cold outside. And most of the day it was quiet and there were very few people around. And, for once, in a great while, I actually had a lot of fun playing my games and was distracted from my sad life. I watched a few shows too, and as usual helped on forums.

All in all it wasn't a really unusual Saturday. In fact there really wasn't anything different about it in terms of what I did. But I felt ok. Maybe it was because it was a bit warm in the sun, so for the briefest moments I passed through the sunny areas it was nice after so much cold and cloudy weather lately.

Today was a better day. But only in how I felt, maybe how I perceived things. In actuality there are still so many worries and fears and nothing really changed. But I felt better, so maybe, if even for today, maybe I changed. Just a bit.

Day 2875 - 5/15 - Feeling better, feeling sad

Today was actually pretty good. It started much later than usual as I decided to take a shower today instead of tomorrow. And, since the discovery of almost no oil in the car I decieded to start just walking to the shower instead of parking near the pool then moving the car over to my regular spot across campus to reduce wear on the engine until I get more oil. Though with how rare donations and other help is lately I don't know how I'll be able to hang on.

Mostly today I feel better. I had fun in my game and watching shows. It was warmish again today. Though there was an unusual breeze that kicked up stuff I was allergic to into the air, so I started sneezing as it got later in the afternoon.

As it got into the evening things started to feel weird as night approached. I got more and more sad. I am getting very worried about all the things I need to pay for to keep my car and keep moving and I don't know how I'll make it. While it seems my social page is getting more visits lately, there are no new followers. And while one new donator has appeared, that was the first new donator in probably over a year.

It seems support is becoming less and less likely, and with it I wonder why I don't have help. Is it something that makes me seem unworthy of helping? Does everyone just assume I can get a job anytime I want? Is it that those who know me, or find my site, are also in a bad position in life and can't help? Or is it that people just don't consider me special enough to allow themselves to feel something or worry about me?

With being isolated and an outsider for so long I can't help but feel something must be 'wrong' with me. Either as an invisible force or feeling people get about me, or in the way I go about things, or how I present myself. I have been alone most of my life, with few around me. I 'm used to it. I'm mostly ok with it. But I would at least like to have the basics everyone else seems to have. At least if I could get back to that I could try different things. I could be in a place emotionally and physically to consider change.

Until then I will continue to feel like the hurt, lost, scared bunny, and continue to hang on to hope that help will come, or that I can hang on long enough to find my way back.

Day 2876 - 5/16 - The cutest surprise

Today started a bit sad. I guess there was an allergic reaction in my eyes from all the dust yesterday, as the bottoms are a bit poofy and sensitive to touch. Also, there were no donations or well wishing, so I was sad about all the things.

But there was some good news in the mail. As I thought, I do not need to do a smog check this year. Which is a huge relief since the problem that existed before has not been checked or fixed, so without some kind of illegal cheat it seems unlikely I'd pass. So that is a huge relief in that I have a bit over a year to worry about it. But equally as important is that the registration is just under $100 (if paid on time), quite a bit lower than the $150 I'd been remembering. I guess that figure stuck in my head and was higher due to smog. Still, I have $0 towards it, but it is very good to have the not smog confirmed and the news of the lower price.

Today was actually pretty good emotionally. Maybe, in a way, the best in a long time. I had quite a bit of fun with my games and shows. I chatted with some people, so though I was not directly included in stuff I was indirectly a part of other things for a brief while.

But the best part of my day was near the end of my lab time in the evening. There were a few people in there, but they weren't people I was expecting to help. So I was playing my game and not paying attention to them. I noticed out of the corner of my eye something slowly moving along the floor which was moderately sized. I glance down to see what it was and it there was the cutest baby kitten. Not so small as to need to always be with his mother still, but maybe between 6-8 weeks old I'd guess. He was just curiously walking around, and I gasped a happy surprise hello and asked him who he was and how he got here. He looked up at me. I paused my game and went over to slowly and carefully scoop him up with one hand. As I gently picked him up and set up a huggy cradling spot to talk to him a bit more his person said 'oh, he must have got out.' While they came around the tables to get him he purred and snuggled in to my spot I was holding him in near my heart. He was so very soft, so very warm, and had the happiest purr.

It's been a very long time since I held a tiny baby critter like that. The last time I was near a critter at all was probably when I went to the person's house to help with their project about two months ago. But even then that was a full grown kitty. The tiny baby kitten was quite different. He was full of curiosity, so much life, and so very soft and warm. And it was nice he instantly trusted me and was snuggling up and happily purring in my arms.

I only held him for a brief moment before kissing his head and giving him back to his person, but it was the cutest surprise in as long as I can remember.

Day 2877 - 5/17 - Sad and weird

Today has started out feeling sad and weird because of sad dreams again. It's warmish though and it feels like the day will get super warm again like it did yesterday. But I have class through the bulk of the day, so I'll likely miss it. It's ok though because class is pretty fun since we just watch old movies.

The day is just starting, so I don't know what it will bring. But as usual, I try to hang on to hope it will be better than the last.

Week 412

Day 2878 - 5/18 - Nice surprises

Today was a day of nice surprises. Pretty early in the morning I got a big donation from the person who keeps saving me. While not enough for insurance and registration, it will cover most of it. So that reduces my worry quite a bit because I'll just need a bit more and both will be covered.

Then, a bit later in the morning I was sent a gift of a game that's been on my wish list for a while that people have been saying is good. So I get to check out a newish game in a world I haven't yet played. (It's the third in the series, and the gift actually was a combo pack that has all three.)

And then in the early afternoon I got into a beta for something I have some interest in. It will be a free to play game in the same genre as another I sometimes play, so it will be cool to check out the differences and see if I like it.

So today was quite different. Though due to my TAing a class for the bulk of the day I didn't actually have much time to do stuff, so tomorrow will be the really relaxing day I have to start checking out all the things.

But it was nice for things to be different. It was nice to know people out there do watch out for me. It was nice to know people do want me to feel better and hang on. And tonight I will hopefully sleep a bit better because of it.

Day 2879 - 5/19 - Good day, but feel sad

Today was mostly a pretty good day. It started off poorly though with a chore that at the best of times will take 30-45 minutes, but today took a lot longer due to traffic, eating up more than an hour. My ex-roomie left some recycle, which filled what spare room there was in the trunk, plus all of my back seat area. So my car smelled like garbage recycle and it couldn't wait until Saturday when there wouldn't be traffic. It worked out ok though, as it was quite a bit of monies. But it left me bitter and upset until the afternoon, as I lost a ton of otherwise relaxing fun time.

Overall the day was pretty good though. I settled in and played my main online game, plus a new game, plus a different game I don't play much, and the beta I just got in for just a brief while. The shifting helped me clear some of the monotony and routine away, so that helped a bit.

The day was pretty quiet, so that was relaxing. And my lunch friend visited me during my break, so he got to share at least part of a show.

But around dinner I started feeling sad again. Maybe it's because even though I'm on my way to being saved yet again I'm still not safe. It's like I'm in a running lava flow and a safe stone spot opens, I jump to it, then it starts to sink. Though safe for the moment, the danger continues. It is all around me and I am not in the clear.

All I can do is what I have been doing; try to stay positive and hang on until better days.

Day 2880 - 5/20 - Evidence of rain

Today was a strange day. Nothing really unusual happened. I saw basically the same Friday people as I always do, and did much of the same things, but I felt odd. It was like I was there and not there at the same time. I suppose it was because I had a good time with my games and shows, and the sand things in my life didn't bother me too much. But it felt like part of me was where I was, and like another part was outside of that, looking on from... I don't know where. As if today was a memory, and I was actually in the future in a better place, somehow replaying this day.

Monday it was warm and nice; shorts weather. Today it was cold, cloudy, and super windy. When I left school there were gray clouds and here and there was evidence of rain.

Things feel as if they are changing, and in a way already have. And yet I see no evidence of it. To me, things look the same.

Day 2881 - 5/21 - Sprinkles

Today was ok, I guess. It was pretty cold, and rained for about an hour. It made things feel extra sad. Which is strange because once upon a time rain made me feel at peace, balanced, like a soothing force.

There was a special speaker event today, so for a couple of hours I saw people I'd see most any other day. There weren't too many hellos because of how brief a time the event was, but it was nice and unexpected to see people.

Other than that my day was a fairly normal Saturday. I was inside in the morning and outside in the afternoon and evening. I played my games and watched some shows and had a pretty good time.

But I was still sad and missed my old life. I miss the very basic things I don't have, and the average not basic things which I may never have again. Today too again I didn't feel quite right, again like I'm partly outside my body looking in. In a way it feels as if part of me, maybe my soul, is lost, or separated from the rest of me. Maybe there is too much sad. Maybe there has been so much sad for so long a part of me, maybe hopes and dreams, have passed on.

I hope someday I can be whole again; that I can be back in a home, maybe even have real life friends I hang out with. And that when I am, the old me can return. But I fear that parts of me may never be able to recover.

Day 2882 - 5/22 - The missing day

Today seems to have been missed. I'm adding this at the end of the week. I remember Sunday was a pretty usual day, though it started out very unusual. While showering on Sunday is a newish thing, there was some huge event going on there, which blocked off everything around it. Parking was a huge pain, and when I got to the locker rooms I discovered they were closed and locked.

I remember there was some kind of graduation event going on, and the chef and some of the cooking staff were around. In the later afternoon the chef offered me some left over sandwiches. Unfortunately they had mayonnaise on them, which at first I didn't notice, so it's good I didn't dive in. But after the package sitting near me for a while I definitely could smell it and had to cover it to prevent the smell from getting to me. It was nice to be thought of, but sad to be reminded my life is not normal and people treat it as such.

Day 2883 - 5/23 - The spill

Today was a bad day. It had already been a bad day most of the day due to feeling tired, grumpy, cold then hot, then feeling fat, then depressed about what my life has become. But in the later afternoon it got worse. I had been drinking water and playing. I normally use plastic bottles, as they can be re-capped. I will pour in a drink, toss the can into the paper bag if it's soda, but then seal the drink. Today was one of the few days I figured I wouldn't, as I was having a snack and frequently drinking. Somehow the water (with a slight bit of lemonade mix flavor) tipped over and spilled on about 1/4 of the laptop keyboard. I froze for what felt like forever, likely waiting for sparks and flames, but it was probably only really about five seconds. Nothing seemed to be happening. I quit my game, shut off the system, then padded up the spill as best as I could. After I padded off the keys in the area to dry out each spot. I left the keys off for about five minutes before putting them back on and turning it on. Since nothing had immediately happened on the spill I figured on would be better, particularly if I could get it to gaming temperatures, as that would help dry it out. Laptop keyboards are different from desktop and fairly spill resistant these days, so it seemed a decent bet.

It turned on and seemed fine. I played for a bit, but things started to seem a bit funny. It turns out several keys in the area were misfiring when pressed, registering multiple keys instead of the one. Unable to game I watched a show. Four and a half hours passed and while the effect lessened it kept happening.

I'm in the ex-garage now and after I'm done writing I'll clean the entire keyboard out using cleaning alcohol and q-tips. Hopefully in the morning it will be fine. If not... if it's not better... or if it's worse... I don't know what I'll do. If it's the same then at least in theory I could get a cheap USB keyboard and just use that. I thought I had one here, but it looks like I probably gave that to my friend when I gave him my desktop. (Which now would probably be 11 years old, so nothing in it would be useable to pull into a new gaming system today.)

All I can do is hope for the best. And it's kind of a miracle the laptop is already like five years old and still going strong. I don't know what I'd do without it.

I shed some tears a few minutes ago thinking what if it's worse, what if it doesn't work? And if it does, how much longer does it have? While I can only live one day at a time and try to focus on the best that each day offers, it is extremely difficult to do.

Day 2884 - 5/24 - Phew

Phew, today, as hoped (and somewhat expected) the keyboard seems fine again. And, I did learn a little something. I learned how the plastic 'springs' work for each key, as one popped out and came apart, and I spent probably as much as 10 minutes trying to figure out how to put it back together and in place. And I discovered that my spacebar has only a single button in the center, not a couple near the edges like I thought, which would explain why it hasn't always easily registered clicks.

So what had started as a slow and potentially depressing morning will hopefully turn into a more normal one as the day goes on. There is no news yet for donations or job searches as the day has just started. Nor are there any unexpected changes such as a sweetie and flirting. But since the day has just started I will try and stay positive and hope for the best, and change, as I always try to.

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

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