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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 439

Day 3067 - 11/23 - Feeling better about it

Today I am feeling better about the accident settlement money. We agreed on a figure that seemed reasonable. It was at the high end of what my research found, so that is sad, but it was less than half of the ridiculously high estimate he got.

I feel better about where it is going. Granted I do still hope he can fix his car and be happy with it, but I feel better after hearing his words. I said to him after signing the paper, 'Don't forget to sign up for classes for next quarter.' And he replied, 'That's actually where this is going. I don't even care about the car anymore.'

So I feel glad for those words. And I feel relived. Relieved that he is getting some benefit other than just fixing a thing. But also glad because it is part of my grandma's death benefit money. It's always bugged me to think that because of how terrible my life is right now I would spend it on regular life and it would be gone. Yes, day-to-day life is important. Yes, I have my tablet and that should last half a dozen years. But in time those things would fade.

But hearing a young guy say he would put it towards classes and education, and I'm sure what's a first degree for him, makes me glad. Maybe it will help him finish his degree. And with that degree he can start his life on good footing. Maybe he will not have the rocky start I had that possibly led to the crumbling disaster that has come

Thinking something bad happened, and maybe something good came out of that, that's something worthy of the money. That gives me hope for someone. And at least that is something to be glad of in my sad days.

Day 3068 - 11/24 - Turkey not

Today started off sad and worried. This morning and yesterday morning the car had trouble starting. I would turn the key and noting happened. The dash pre-start lights were all on and ok, but turning the key produced no sound (outside of a brief and quiet buzz, which I'm not sure what that was.) Yesterday after three or four tries it worked, and it started just fine after school. Today it took about 10 tries for the first start in the morning, but seemed fine after that.

When I settled in to have lunch I looked at the fuses. I popped a few out and swapped them. I noticed, while not exploded on the inside, they were quite rusty on the contact points. The car immediately started after swapping. And, after more than a year of not working the turn signals worked 100% of the time and were strong and stable. Previously if they worked at all they would tick tock off after slowing timing for a short while.

So I have a feeling the issue may be the fuses, which is very good news if so, as fuses are only a few dollars each compared to I think $150 for a starter or the $600 for the computer. I figure if it starts fine the next few days that will be an answer. Also, after swapping some fuses I got another indication that may be an issue as the clock was 45 minutes off when I made my final move for the night. (After being still correct immediately after the fuse swap.)

But my Turkey day, so far, has passed much easier than expected. I spent the morning at the food store. I expected it to be empty, but it was packed solid. Then I went to school for the rest of the day. In the few hours I was there, there were almost always a couple of people walking around. It wasn't completely empty as I thought it would be.

But tomorrow the library will be open, so my weekend should return to homeless normal at the library in the morning. And as always, I hope for better days.

Day 3069 - 11/25 - Not as planned

Today really in no way went as planned. The car started just fine in the morning, so I am still leaning towards the issue being fuse related. Checking online I can get a kit with 120 of them for $7.50, so that's no biggie. But when I got to the library I found out they were actually not open today. So that threw me off quite a lot. I figured I would just go be outside of school, as cold as that would be, but after being there only about 30 minutes I heard workers on the roof. And after about 1.5 hours there they came down on my side and started putting up tape in my area. I had no idea they hadn't finished (since the scaffolding has been down since the start of the quarter months ago), let alone that they would be working today.

One of my seemingly last best options was the coffee shop I haven't been to in years, which is just across the street from school. I was surprised to see a worker there who left (before I stopped going), and is apparently now back working there again. He said hi and actually remembered my drink better than I did, which made me feel special and remembered.

But even though I haven't been there in years, it seems like the owners still really don't care. The connection was the same garbage it was before. I'd completely forgotten about that. I probably lost 20% of my time there just waiting for it to respond, which prevented me from doing anything 'real' with my time there, and even super casual show watching was extremely difficult due to nearly constant pausing. The couch I saw thm looking at reupholstering in those last days before I left still hasn't been done. The other benches are in the worst shape ever, with the spot I was sitting at having a spot as big as my butt damaged and tearing. And the wobbly and literally broken in half tables and chairs have not been replaced at all. In years no upkeep has been done, and even the toilet trigger was broken, which I know you can replace that entire assembly for like $6-10, which just seems shameful to have something that easy and not fix it.

I'm glad to have had the option to go there, but it seems very sad (for the shop) that they don't take pride in owning it. Yes, it's a bother to spend hours cleaning and maintaining a place, but how can you run a business and just not take pride in it? How can you, for years, not dust the edges of things, or take the time to mop the floors? How can you be ok with things getting bad to the point where lesser mold discoloration appears in the corners of things and not care? I just don't get it.

But the day is mostly over, and the worst is behind me. Things should settle and be calm and safe now that the sun is going down. And hopefully tomorrow can be a normal and better day.

Day 3070 - 11/26 - Raining

Today it was cold and rainy. I was in the library most of the day, so I suppose it was ok. My brain kind of just shut off once I got to the library though. So I didn't do much but watch shows, which I suppose is ok. A day of rest now and then is important.

But still, there was more I wanted to do, and it was chilly, and sad for many reasons. As always, I hope to one day be back in a home, and hope tomorrow is a better day.

Day 3071 - 11/27 - Disappointment

Today is a disappointment. The morning was slow, because it has been cold and rainy lately I stayed at the food store. Even though I knew I could be with the church group at school, it felt weird to think about being in a corner with their group there.

In the afternoon until evening I was at the library. It seemed warm, and in fact the day was warm, as the rain has left for the moment, though it was super windy. But I didn't get to play or relax much. I spent a few hours doing boring school work that I find uninteresting. And part of it involved making a spreadsheet and doing a big make believe budget. Which not only was not interesting, but it gave me a huge headache.

The biggest disappointment was in the evening. I was settled in the dark for the night and I'd gotten a movie to watch and about 1/3 of the way in it started to corrupt and fail to play. I tried cleaning it and it still failed. I tried again and again and again, each time with a different method, and it continued to fail.

For some reason the failures felt like my failures. I know it's not my fault, and there likely will be more copies to try at the library, but it felt like my fault. It felt like my failure. I suppose it was just the link to feelings of other things lately; things falling apart and starting to fade in time, things I get as nice treats for myself which don't work out, or can't live up to their potential. Maybe it was just the simple reminder of how my life is different from others; that I can't just delete it and re-download it, or I can't just stream it, or just immediately go back and try a different copy.

Whatever reason it made me personally feel like a failure, broken, outside of the norm. And because of that what should have been a nice treat for the evening has turned to all of my sad feelings about life coming to the front of my mind, leaving me in the quiet, cold, and feeling helpless and alone.

Day 3072 - 11/28 - A circle

Today seemed better. The morning class was good. There were a lot of presentations, so there was stuff about movies and it wasn't the usual boring bla bla lecture.

The evening seemed better too. The guy who is always 'me me me' and extremely loud wasn't there. I don't know if the others noticed, but there was a much more calm air about everyone and we were only talking about 3/4 as loud. Also, we had all of our turns in the spotlight and some interactions happened that I'm sure otherwise would not have happened with him there. There was also a very different feel overall, which was much nicer. I think again it has to do with that we were playing and being sure of who we are as characters, as opposed to 'me me me, I'm going to take bla levels of bla for y special ability, and then split to bla and bla for z ability'. Tonight just confirmed I'd like it much more without him. With him there I can take it or leave it. Which is sad that one person makes me feel that way about a group activity.

But today I feel ok. I am still very cold, though the rain is still gone for the moment. I am still very sad, and I had a lot of trouble sleeping last night, but I still try to hang on to hope. And hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 3073 - 11/29 - Cold

Today people are sleepy at school. I got my regular good parking spot, despite showing up at a time when I shouldn't have (gotten that close).

It's getting very cold. It seems this year things will be cold sooner than normal, which is sad for me. But school is warm, and outside of something like a three week break there is that.

I'm sleepy; haven't been sleeping well lately. My eyes have that puffy kind of messed up feeling. The bottoms of my feet have been unusually itchy too lately, which is funny because scratching tickles.

I think the class I TA for has an in class shoot today, so things should be super fun, as it's the funniest shoot they do. So hopefully today will be a good day.

Week 440

Day 3074 - 11/30 - Generous to a fault

Today I am feeling very very depressed. I'm not entirely sure why. It may be a combination of things. Yesterday someone talked to me about my sad life, which reminded me of how long it's been, as well as asking questions that looked forward and reminded me that I am not in control of things.

Maybe too it's because I feel unappreciated. I spent more than two hours yesterday and today on the forums I help on. And on the average I help between one and two hours basically every day. Yet this year when the yearly convention came up the company gave me nothing. Every year so far they have at least sent a virtual ticket so I could see it online and get a few virtual goodies in a few games. But this year nothing. And the game itself... I played today and I just do so badly at it. It's the game I play the most lately too. I have really been so depressed lately I havent played my online game in probably months, and even my new single player game I like a lot I havent played in probably a week.

So I guess there I just felt unappreciated since people who I help almost never say thanks. The devs who I'm helping never say things. Only once ever has that happened. And people in the forums even give me poop at times for trying to help.

Maybe it's just everything. All the things I don't have, all the things I miss, all the things everyone is doing for the holidays I'll miss out on. I'm out in the cold, alone, and I don't know when I can come back.

Day 3075 - 12/1 - Canceled

Today was weird. The class I TA for was canceled. So all the cool fun stuff I was expecting to do today didn't happen. In a normal life I may have just gone back home, or certainly have left earlier than normal. But I do not have such a life. The best place for me with my current sad life is on campus.

But today was not a great day for that. The school network was having a terrible time. So shows I tried to watch crawled. I tried playing the game I play most, but I'm bad at it, so I lost a lot.

I suppose the day wasn't really bad, but it left me with sad thoughts and feelings. Simple things like getting lunch, or seeing a delivery truck, remind me of what I'm missing in life, particularly now during the holidays.

And too I think I'm sick. I've been extremely tired today, jumping at the slightest things, congested, sneezing, extra hungry and thirsty, and a bit cold no matter what the temperature is.

But I tried to have a good day. I tried to relax. I tried to help on the forums. I tried to focus on what I do have. And I tried to keep my mind off of sad things.

And hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 3076 - 12/2 - Cycle

Today as ok, but once classes were over it rapidly became sad. I thought about how yesterday should have been an early start on the weekend. And I remembered a time when there was a happy me in a home on such a weekend. How the happy me would be making a nice dinner, sleeping in, probably doing a Saturday movie after a day of relaxing.

And I thought about how limited my life feels lately. Yes, there are the small victories, a game here and there, a new pen and paper game meeting now and then. But I thought of how it seems like just a cycle of limitations. I must be a school, as it's the best option. I must eat micro foods. If it's night, I must be offline and hide quietly. If it's the weekend I must be at the library.

Though there are small victories and good times, overall it feels like an unending cycle. And while the cycle isn't completely intolerable, it can't end without a forever change coming along.

So I must continue to endure. I must try and hang on to my small victories and think them big. And I continue to hope for better days.

Day 3077 - 12/3 - A day off

Today I decided to take the day off in a way. I only had one assignment to do, which likely would only take about 10 minutes, so I decided to just do it Monday morning.

I played my games for a bit and watched some shows. But I tried to watch some different shows. And I tried to look around for news of different games. So today was a bit different from normal, while still retaining the forced core of normal.

Of course I was still sad. It was still very cold outside. I am still sick. There are still many things I am missing in life and sad about, but I can't change that.

But I did my best to control and focus on what I could. And I suppose it was enough for today. And hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 3078 - 12/4 - Crash the butt

Today was pretty good, I suppose. The morning started a bit weird though. Something was happening at school when I went to try and get a shower, so a bunch of people were leaving the pool area. And they were being stupid and turning across the straight part (where I was driving) without stopping. While I was trying to go between cars, in a go a foot and pause and go and pause in a 'hey, you guys don't have the right of way stop going', kind of way, when I paused someone hit me in the butt. He must have been riding right on my ass, as I hadn't been moving for more than a second, and stopped several times before he hit me. And with a big line of cars to the side not stopping, it was obvious they weren't letting us through. I guess it was ok though, because as loud as it sounded there was no visible damage to me, and just a 6" circle on his bumper where he hit my bumper.

Besides that I guess it was an ok day. I'm doing laundry now, had my every other week game earlier, and feel reasonably ok.

I'm chilly though. It's surprising how quickly it gets cold and dark now. But I suppose all I can do is wait for warm weather, and hope for better days.

Day 3079 - 12/5 - Not feeling it

Today was good, I suppose. It started with a phone check-in with my food stamp monies. I was worried it would take a while since the things warn you it could take an hour, but it only took 15 minutes, so that was good. I was also worried they would ask questions about costs I had, or how I paid for them, etc. But they only asked how much income I had, which is still zero, and how much rent I paid, which is also still zero. I guess with all the years of doing this with people they probably came to the conclusion that asking those details just isn't worth their time since they already spend so much time on the basics.

Class was ok. Again it was all lecture, which is bleh, but I guess it was the last one. I guess next week is already finals, which is kind of crazy. I guess it makes sense, as we are rapidly approaching mid December when the quarter is over.

I had my cammo pants on today, but I think I'll go back to jeans. Lately I just haven't been feeling my cammo pants, mostly putting them in storage or simply not wearing them. Once upon a time I wore them to give myself a fashion identity, but now I just don't feel like it lately. Maybe it's the cold weather. Maybe it's because I've now started to associate them with being homeless since they stand out in my memory as something I'm wearing because they are easiest, not because they are what I'm choosing to wear above others. Maybe too it's because of my sadness and I don't want to stand apart as I would rather be a part.

But today wasn't too sad, despite feeling very on the edge lately and thinking about certain things that rapidly trigger tears. It is somewhat easy to avoid those things, or simply be sad and let a few fall. But today I was hanging on ok, and hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 3080 - 12/6 - Sleepy world

Today is ok so far. I got a shower and it was warm, but last night I had a rough time. I didn't get to sleep for a while, and when I did in the middle of the night I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep for probably 45 minutes.

But I'm here at school and I'm settled and warm. I'm still sniffly and sneezy, but there should be a lot of fun things in the class I TA for. And I'm set to meet the person I'm editing for, so hopefully today will be a good day.

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

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