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Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer
Book 9: Fractures

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 419

Day 2927 - 7/6 - Feeling better

Today I am feeling a bit better emotionally. There was the class I TA for, so I got to be helpful, if not at the very least entertaining to some people.

I played my game a bit too, but again I still don't really have any shows to watch since they are all on break. But I did get plenty of food, as my money flipped today. There is still a tiny bit of money left too, which I can use for gas if needed.

I poked at my aunt later in the morning since I still hadn't heard anything back and she is assuming the lawyers have been on Holliday. But she said her son, who I guess is a cousin I've never met, is going to the college just a bit south of me on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and she would feel more comfortable giving him the money to hand to me instead of sending it through the mail. So, in theory it's possible something will be set up next week. She has typically taken a few days per email to get back to me, so we'll see how that goes.

Overall I feel a bit better emotionally, but I still worry about the bigger things since they still loom over my head. And, as always, greater questions remain; Will I ever make it back into a home? Will I ever find love again? Will I ever find real life friends to hang out with and play games who I have a real connection to?

Day 2928 - 7/7 - Ok day

Today was an ok day. It started feeling pretty good, but in the afternoon I had to help someone, a lot. Which I really don't mind, but there really is a basic level of computer understanding and (digital) organizational skills required to use the software. So when someone doesn't have that... foooo. Like he probably spent two six hour days, or more, on something that normally takes most people 1-2 hours to finish, maybe 3 if they are very new to using this kind of software. So that was frustrating and brought my mood down quite a bit because for several hours both days he was needing help like every 15 minutes.

On a good note there was some progress contacting my aunt about the monies. Though it looks like for my food money I have to keep my bank account below a certain point. Not that they can check it as far as I know, nor have they asked to since I first signed up, but that will make things very difficult. I'll have to maybe see if I can get a bunch in cash and just hide it with my bunnies in the ex-garage so I can have it on hand if needed, but also keep it off the record.

In good things I got to play my game quite a bit (though interrupted) and watch a show (also interrupted). And the cute girl I mentioned last quarter visited me during a break in her class. She watched me play for a bit and sat super close, almost touching me, as she has done a few times before. And when looking at certain things, leaned against me a bit and peeked up close to the monitor. So, for a short while, in what's been forever, I had a nice smiley cute girl leaned sort of against me for a bit. Normally I would consider that flirting, but she has like seven people interested in her, and she's not looking to date anyone. Plus, I'm very beyond her range of people she's looking at. Which is fine. While she is super cute and attractive she is a bit too young emotionally for me.

But today was a pretty good day. Though a bit sad, as the happy things need to be done conditionally due to my sad life. Which does little more than remind me that my sad life is so sad and not normal.

Day 2929 - 7/8 - Different Friday

Today was shifted a few times. As I feared the building was supposed to be closed. It was open in the morning, so I went and set up in my usual spot. But in the early afternoon a staff person came and told me technically today the building would be closing super early and not open for the rest of summer. Which I kind of expected, so it was fine. And, because of the camp thing that is going on the cafeteria area was open probably later than it otherwise would be. So I just went there.

But that will start to make Fridays a bit different. But I expected that. As the later into summer we get the more my time will shift away from normal. I actually wouldn't be surprised if I were forced to the library in about a month and a half. Things seem to be closing faster and faster, so the usual extra bit it's open in summer may or may not happen. I guess we'll see.

I heard from my aunt again, so we are one step closer to a tentative meet and starting to get me some of the monies. In theory we are set for next Thursday. Which is just about right as the gas I have, and likely the gas I'll be able to get, will only last about that long.

Once I do though all these day to day worries that have pressed on me for so long will instantly go away. The bigger issues, however, will remain unchanged. It won't get me into a home. It's not regular income; just a one shot thing then done. It is unlikely enough to consider making any steps towards looking towards regular gaming groups and possibly finding new friends. Even though each trip would only be $7 a week, at four times a month that would add up very quickly. It is unlikely to put me in a position to find love, as I can't fix my teeth, or afford me the smallest of dates. Though having clean cloths and a bit more items to fancy myself up in or after showering may help.

So today, though chaotic, seemed pretty good. Things are still in flux and likely will be for a few weeks to a month. But when it does, I will hopefully be able to remain more hopeful and much less stressed than I have in past years.

Day 2930 - 7/9 - Sad thoughts

Today I had a lot of sad thoughts. I suppose it started because of needing to take over the recycling. Though I found a slightly faster way, it still took nearly an hour, and with most of the trunk full (without resorting to random garbage bags) it was only about a $10 gain.

So there as a huge loss of time, wear and tear on the car, stressful traffic, hot and uncomfortable weather on the way, all to barely gain one week's worth of gas. Again, I will seriously question if this is worth it due to how far of a drive it is next time I go. I'll keep it even longer and really push the limit, which will create stress and sadness of a different kind. Before when it was just going to the food store before work it wasn't a big deal at all. But since all the local ones have closed down, and this one like 10 miles away is now the closest, it's no longer anything remotely convenient.

I suppose that messed up my whole day. I had a super fun day playing my game and watching a show, but because of being put off my normal mood, when the wind started up and dust was getting in my face and all over my laptop it again made me sad and question if things will ever change.

And too I thought about beyond the change. What will it take to repair my teeth? Both financially and emotionally. Will I be in a position to repair my physical health to at least not be out of shape? Will I be in a place emotionally and physically to find friends? To find love?

I suppose it was just a single bad day in a way. That which I can't control must be forgotten and pushed away until I can. And with all days, I will hope tomorrow starts fresh, and is its own day. And that it can be a better day.

Day 2931 - 7/10 - The bigger sads

Today I don't have much to talk about. It feels like the end of a very very long weekend. Nothing was bad or unusual today. In fact it was a pretty good day. But I find myself occupied with the bigger sads in my life.

While my little issues will almost all go away, most likely within a few weeks of getting the first batch of the grandma money, the larger issues seem even greater. My mind wanders to those things often. What remains out of reach that I can't fix with the upcoming money seems even more unattainable because of it. The issues that exist because they are things I can't control seem even more uncertain and cloud my future, as I feel less and less in control of my life and my future; be it short or long term.

All I can do is what I have been doing; continue to focus on the positive things, the things I can control, the things which are within my grasp. And I will try again to put what I can't control out of my mind, and hope when I wake tomorrow it will be a new and better day.

Day 2932 - 7/11 - Feeling helpful

Today I feel pretty helpful in the class I TA for. It was the first day of doing group projects, so I walked around and helped a few of the groups focus and hopefully better manage their time and efforts.

Overall I felt a bit behind the world, as so many are playing this new free mobile game. I don't really care about it. I don't have any real interest in it. But what I am jealous of is the groups of friends going around together, talking, pointing at each other's devices, and running here and there. I miss having friends in real life to share stuff with. And this is just another reminder of that I'm missing out on... well... life.

It's not like I can just have friends just like that. Ones who I would truly feel bonded and attached to are extremely rare. Of all those I've met over the past few years only maybe four or six would even qualify as someone I felt remotely close enough to that I would even consider it.

But today was a pretty good day overall. And hopefully tomorrow will be too.

Day 2933 - 7/12 - Looking forward

Today I feel like I have things to look forward to. There hopefully will be money soon, so all the little things can change. I have enough food today, so I have that. I should be able to play my games and watch shows most of the day. And there is stuff coming due in the class I TA for, so there may be people to help for that.

I am wearing shorts, so hopefully it won't be cold. The weather has been bouncing back and forth lately. But so far it is medium, with a very slight breeze. So it seems like today could be a good day. And with as few opportunities as I have for change that's the most I can hope for.

Week 420

Day 2934 - 7/13 - Feeling anxious

Today was pretty decent. It was the class I TA for's first really big day in that we watched their first project. Everyone did surprisingly well overall. I'd say it seems a better start than the normal quarter's students even. We'll see if that strength stays with them.

I sent a message in the morning to double check we are still on to meet for monies tomorrow with my aunt. Things still seem set for her son / my cousin to meet me where I normally am at around 4 PM. So I'm feeling anxious about that. Odd because it is sort of a reconnecting. I don't know if or how much my cousins would be interested in meeting and hanging out. Will he just drop the check and immediately leave? Will he stay and talk? I don't know. He's not known me or reached out his entire life as far as I know, so I expect he'll just say a quick hi and go.

And I'm also anxious excited to be looking at having money again. I have already set up boots and headphones in my wish list and will likely order those just a few hours after getting my monies. Which both are really critical. The headphones regularly crackle and distort on one side now, and my left boot's ankle part has almost completely detached. I was literally looking at it and able to poke my sock from outside earlier.

On Friday I'll get my oil change, and maybe have them look at and fix the heat issues. With no appointment it will depend on what the shop I go to has going on. And on Friday or Saturday I'll tend to little things, whenever the money actually shows cleared. Things like the last $15 of insurance, setting up an appointment with my eye doc, re-subbing for my pay-as-I-go phone, and spending just a little bit on my game I play all the time.

So tonight I will hopefully rest easy. Though oddly, right now, and for a few days, the stress of having money has actually made my back stress and ankle more than normal. But hopefully I can let the stress go and sleep easy.

Day 2935 - 7/14 - Hanging on

Today was different than expected. It felt about three times longer than it was. The morning went normal, but the meeting with my cousin was kind of odd, as I thought it would be. I may have met him during my last visit with the family like 13 years ago, which would have put it at about half his lifetime ago. It was odd to hear him talking about his life and my other cousins as if they were complete strangers to me. But in a way they are. I would only see them about three times a year when I did see them, and once my mom died we rapidly started seeing them less and less. It quickly became once a year. And by the time I was about 16 dad had pretty much pulled us out of seeing them at all. And after I moved away from my dad, and pretty much ever since, I've not had the money to drive over or call. Though in the last 15+ years we could have stayed in contact online. But as I think I've said before, they really didn't seem to be reaching out to me since I'd become an adult.

The trip to the bank to drop the money was weird. I got a cashiers check, which is supposed to be like cash, but when the guy put it in the system it oked the cash back but locked the rest on hold for some reason. Which it was not supposed to do. So, because tomorrow is Friday, that means it will be unusable until Monday. I have enough cash to do things like get gas, wash cloths, eat some nicer medium fast food kind of meals, but nothing for bigger plans like replacing my destroyed boots, dying headphones, fixing the car, etc. So all the plans are forced on hold by half a week.

Which, I guess, isn't the end of the world. A few days shouldnt really matter, particularly long-term. But it's a bit disappointing to still have to wait.

So today became kind of surreal in the afternoon. So many things have potentially changed and shifted. Yet nothing has really changed at all. I am still me at my core. A few opportunities will open up when the monies unlock, but overall nothing will really change. But for sure, in the meantime much of the sadness and stress will go away. At least I continue to hope that will be the result. And I will have some better days ahead.

Day 2936 - 7/15 - Unexpected

Today several unexpected things happened. It started in the morning. I figured I'd check my money deposit to see if it really was being held. It was not. It showed as totally available. So I made several of the purchases I'd expected to make. Basically just the very important ones; boots, headphones, reactivated my phone, and got a bit of gas. The rest will either take more time, like the oil change and other car stuff, or can simply wait a bit before they happen.

The next unexpected thing happened at school. Just after lunch a school security student came by to tell me they were closing to students. Which seemed very odd since there is a camp here. But they bumped me and the other dozen or so students that were in the cafeteria area out. So if I continue being there on Fridays it seems, at least for the moment, I will have to be in a bad spot, as my shaded usual spot is right on the other side of a window from the kid's 'camp'. So it seems improper to be in that spot, even being out in the open area seems wrong since campus is only open for them. I may have to consider being at the library or something on Fridays, as being out in the food court area is less than ideal due to how sunny it is out there. It's extremely difficult to see anything I'm doing on my laptop.

And the evening too was different. I'd stopped by the ex-house to grab my laundry and the ex-roomie was there. We chatted a bit and it turns out the other roomie would be out for the evening. So instead of going to do laundry I did it there. And we watched a movie, which was the next in a series. Which is kind of funny because the last visit I had we watched the previous one in that series.

Though we talked and hung out like nothing was really wrong, at one point when I was alone and petting a nice kitty and he was purring I nearly started crying. It was nice, peaceful, and in a way like the old days when I was there. But too, it reminded me in general about being in a home. It reminded me of all the details about a home life I'd forgotten and had become accustom to not having. In a way I almost started crying not because of my sad life and what it's become, but because of all the things there were that I've now forgotten and become used to not having at all. It was as if I came from a different world and have been living in the foreign land for so long I had forgotten myself.

Overall it was a pretty good day. But it felt strange due to the changes. It felt strange to have options open up just a bit due to the money. And it felt strange to be reminded of just how much of me has been lost and forgotten.

Day 2937 - 7/16 - Little options

Today was good. It actually passed very quickly. And in a way it felt surreal and odd.

I played my game most of the day, so that was homeless normal. But because of my money I had some small options. I started my month long 'summer of movies', which more accurately my 'x of y' have become more TV series catching up that I don't otherwise have access to than catching up on movies. But I also got a movie from the movie rental box, which I haven't been able to afford in forever.

I also considered making a few other small purchases. Things like maybe getting a new T-shirt or two to replace old ones which are both getting old and messed up, and things I no longer do. But I held off on those. Mostly because I don't really need them right away, so I figured I'd spread out my purchases. But also because it still feels weird to have enough to not really worry about those smaller purchases. But too, I do know if too many of those go unchecked the money will get burnt through extra quickly. Even small things like smaller fancy meals of $5, done twice a week, every week, would burn nearly $50 in a single month. So I do need to be very extra careful of everything, even if it seems small.

But today was good. I felt a touch more normal. At last, I suppose, as much as I can without having a bed, being in a home, and having my stuff out around me.

Day 2938 - 7/17 - Looking forward

Today was pretty good. It seemed very slow as it was passing, but now that it is over it seemed like it went by very quickly.

I got my shipment of boots, headphones, and a single plug surge protector. (So I don't have to lug the 11 plug around with me.) I tried on the boots very briefly. They seemed to fit well, but they felt almost as stiff and rigid as some hard plastic ski boots I once wore when I was young. I don't even know if those are still like that. They are very grippy though, which is good. I did a few fencing poses and light lunges and there was no slip at all.

I didn't try on the headphones, just packed them up in the nice carrying case. I am excited to get them set up in the morning and not only have headphones that sound and feel good, but which aren't broken so they are solid and stable.

Overall these are two small and temporary things in my life. But for today at least I have a few small things to look forward to.

Day 2939 - 7/18 - New

Today I got to experience the new. The new boots seem very solid, but at the end of the day it seemed a bit too pinchy on the big toe bone which connects to the foot. That's the biggest unusual size area. Hopefully though that will stretch out and not bother me soon enough, as it really is the only issue other than a slight tightness overall.

Though I didn't test much due to having the class I TA for, I got to play my game for a bit and watch a few shows with the new headphones. It seems like the high notes are muted a bit, but then not knowing what speakers sound like for these things I no longer know how my games would otherwise sound. Maybe the highs are a bit off, or maybe the previous headphones were too high. I may never know the answer.

What I do know of the headphones is that they are super loud. I was listening to most things at 50-60% volume compared to the previous headphones being at 85-90%. And, they hold sound really well in the sense of if they are over my ears other people can't hear them. And, they muffle outside sounds quite a bit. With them on all the way I almost can't hear outside sounds at all, which I guess is really a good thing. But it will take getting used to as I've never had headphones that did that.

Overall today was a pretty good day. I started to feel a bit closer to normal. Though again, in an odd way, the more I can do the more I am reminded of what I can't do, and how my life is so very different than it was, and even how different from any kind of normal it still is.

Day 2940 - 7/19 - Pinched, but feeling ok

Today I am feeling ok. My right paw is still a bit pinched by the boot in that one spot, I'm sneezing a bit, have been since like Sunday, but otherwise I feel pretty good.

I feel like I am settled in where I belong (in life), at least for the moment. And though it seems unlikely there will be any students that need my help today, I am ready and hoping to help those who need it.

I still feel and hope that Destiny and Fate move me towards a happier and better life, and that for the moment I am where, and how, I need to be to get there - physcially and emotionally. And though there are still many things not physically ideal, or far more not emotionally ideal, I feel happy and positive about the day to come and my future.

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

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