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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 443

Day 3095 - 12/21 - Brain asleep

Today was pretty good. It was calm and quiet and not too cold. I was actually able to take off my hoodie most of the day.

Again though around 4 my brain started to get very sleepy and felt like it was shutting down. I remember what I did pretty clearly, but my vision was blurry and all I really wanted to do was fall asleep.

I suppose it's a combination of the temperature and being at the library. I know I wasn't needed or wanted to interact with anyone. I know everything there is for me right there is within reach. So unlike being in a home where even on days you do nothing there is lots of little activity moving around doing things, I do nothing.

I suppose it's ok though. It could be worse. And I could always just choose to get up and walk around for a bit every few hours if it starts to get worse. But for now it seems ok. It almost feels like I need to let everything shut off to try and relax a bit. Yet at the same time I have constant reminders that the slightest wrong move and I could snap from stress.

As always, I try my best to relax and not let stress get to me. And in these holiday times I hope everyone has better days.

Day 3096 - 12/22 - Bump from not bump

Today was ok. I was still sleepy. In fact, around 3 I zonked out while watching a show for about five minutes. It might be from a cold I have, or just too much cold overall. But it's probably stress too.

I have a bump on my head. I don't remember bumping it. I wonder if it's from scratching. I have a bunch of scratch scabs here and there, and I'm quite itchy in a lot of places. I think maybe something is on me that's causing a reaction. Possibly from nearby people in the library what with the scents and such that I'm allergic to.

Hopefully I will catch up on sleep or whatever it is my body needs soon, and the coming days are warm and better days.

Day 3097 - 12/23 - No lights

Today passed quickly. I watched shows and that was about it. There was limited time at the library due to it being Friday.

I was extra sad though. I think it's because I see lights everywhere and now I have none. And though being in a home would solve my issues, even then if I did have lights I would not have everything they represent to me. Maybe that's why I've never been one to do lights in the past. I have half a dozen ornaments which are important to me, but besides that I really don't have any decorations.

Today is extra cold, and the rain has returned. But a few wished me well, and I do have a few presents, so I try to hang on to hope. And in time, hopefully better days will come.

Day 3098 - 12/24 - Magic

Today seems sad. It's Xmas Eve, but there is little for me to celebrate. There are some presents in the morning, but very likely they will almost immediately go into storage, or other safe places. It seems unlikely they will be things I play with in the coming days, and certainly won't be things like I've played with on Xmas in years past since I'm not in a home.

But I hope, even though I am in the dark and things are uncertain, that I am a magic bunny. And someday I will be helped out of the special hat to cheers, applause, and laughter. And when that calms back down I will be safe and sound back in my home.

Day 3099 - 12/25 - Warm inside, cold outside

Today was quite a mix of things. I got to sleep in just a touch, so that was good. I finally got a reasonable amount of sleep. When I got up there were some nice presents waiting.

After that though the day didn't go as planned. I was going to stay at the food store most of the day, but much like for Thanksgiving the front sitting area was set up for a special employee party. I don't get that. They have a break room in back, I'm sure of it. When I worked there back in the day when it was at the other location, workers were forbidden from anyone seeing them during break or eating, so I don't get how they can now openly do both. My only real option with the cold was to detour to the old coffee shop. Which wasn't as bad as it could have been, but did cost $3.25 that I wasn't planning on spending.

In the early evening I went to see a movie. It was super good, but somewhat surprisingly crowded. I made a somewhat critical error though. I figured I'd just get fast food after, but all four of the places I would normally consider were closed. And I knew the food store had closed earlier. So now I am left with one of the saddest Xmas dinners of crackers and a small piece of pie.

I suppose it's not the worse ever. I recall in the early day I had less to eat on Xmas. And now though I am cold and have little to eat, I am warm inside from nice presents and well wishing. And that is more than some, so I continue to hold on to hope for me and for them.

So nice the Xmas surprise presents, opened!

Day 3100 - 12/26 - After

Today was ok I guess. It started very excited, as it looked like the pool area was open for showering. But sadly only the girl's areas were open. Hopefully tomorrow the guy's area will be open, or there will at least be an outside bathroom open to shave. My parts are getting very annoyed with the hairiness.

I suppose the day was ok. I had to be at the coffee shop due to the cold, which again was $3.25. But it was an ok connection and none of the workers gave me poop for staying.

It was weird because all of the homeless who spend half a day there or more are all still there. It's been more than two years since I've been there and they are still there. I'm not really surprised about that save for one cute younger woman. I'd guess she can't be much older than her early 30s. And she's super attractive, so it seems confusing she's still here. She claimed, once upon a time, that she was a contractor here in the area for work, but she had to have said that five years ago now or more. If she were so she'd have been paid well and not needed to be at the coffee shop then, and especially not now. She did not look so good. Her hair was scraggly and unkempt. She seemed twitchy. Even though she was probably already light at 5'10 and probably 150 pounds back in the day, she looks like she's lost 15-20 pounds. And when she walked she didn't have her calm grace, but more of a hunch and twitch like a hunted animal.

But I guess it was an ok day. I watched shows and played for a bit. I even peeked in my online game that I haven't played in forever and one of the people I haven't seen in months was there, which was nice.

But all the sad things were always on my mind, as everything about being out and about places constantly reminds me of what I've lost and how I'm an outsider. Yet I still try to hang on to hope.

Day 3101 - 12/27 - At least a shave

Today is just starting, but it's a bit disappointing so far. Again the same school girls were practicing and the same areas were open/closed, meaning it is unlikely to change this week.

I was so scary and hairy that I had to at least shave my parts somewhere. (And thanks to the nice Xmas presents it was a super good shave.) So I went all the way across campus to a bathroom I know is almost always kept open for the bus drivers that stop there. The water was all cold. The place was a disaster, not tended for days likely, and there was no toilet paper. But it was vacant enough to shave my face, and quickly shave other parts, and very super quickly wipe with a tiny bit of soap.

The lead construction guy came in; the one I'd talked with before. He commented on my faux-hawk and we talked about music for a few minutes, though I don't think I'm familiar with punk music. It seems he is a bay area native and asked if I'd gone to this or that club back in the day. I was never a big clubber either in music appreciation or in having enough money.

The chat was a nice surprise on an otherwise cold and disappointing start of a day. The library will be open soon, so I expect the rest of my day to be a normal show watching game playing day inside. And as the holidays continue and we move through the cold months I hope for an opportunity for change, and continue to hope for better days for all.

Week 444

Day 3102 - 12/28 - Arctic event

Today was pretty good. Things were mostly closed at school again, but this time the smaller side showers were open. So for the first time in forever I got a proper shower.

My time at the library passed ok. But my brain is still shutting down and failing to stay functional. I don't know if it's because it knows it can take a break or if it's a side effect of my changing my food and the sneezy congested cold I have.

There is an odd thing with my heart lately too. Again I don't know if it's related to my health, cold, or the weather. But near the end of my nights it's felt quivery. A kind of shortness of breath, weirdness, fluttery feeling. It's probably just extra stress and nothing long-term to worry about. But I do worry. Though I should still have as much life ahead of me as behind, there is no guarantee. And I've known others, like my mom, who didn't even have that long.

I was right about the cold. I guess before and the recent return of the extra cold is due to some arctic event. I didn't read too much about it, but it's something that's adversely affected all of the west coast for I guess the past few months.

But we are nearly half way through the break. So soon I'll be returning to my regular at school homeless life. And that will hopefully help balance things. As always, I continue to hope for better days.

Day 3103 - 12/29 - Still fading

Today was pretty good I suppose. It was a normal homeless day at the library for the most part. I've been playing my online MMO again lately. There is a holiday thing going on, so I've been there a few hours a day. I guess I'm not used to the movement though, as I get headaches and dizzy after a few hours.

I even found someone new that needed help and was helpful for a bit. It was nice to be of help. Yeah, I help tons on the forums every day, but I never hear back on if a person was helped or not.

I found a new show to watch too, so I'm getting current on that. Which is good, as it seems all my regular shows are on break and have stopped, leaving me little to watch.

My brain is still fading by the late afternoon. No doubt due to low activity and doing effectively the same thing with no interaction with people. The fact that I'm not in a home doesn't help either. Here I am almost completely still; wanting as little movement as possible because there is nowhere to go and no reason to adjust my seat, get up for drinks, snacks, etc. I sit and little changes during my day. In fact, if you were to review the surveillance I probably only get up four or six times for all the time I'm there, nad likely only shift positions every 30 minutes or less. It's very sad and I wish it didn't have to be like that, but not in a home things just aren't the same.

Still, I try to hang on to hope. I try to remember even though the outer layers of me may crumble or shift, the core of me is still there. And once back in a home, hopefully I will heal quickly and return to normal.

Day 3104 - 12/30 - Feeling sad

Today I am feeling sad. Though I have nice things in my life, I am still constantly reminded how my life is different from everyone else's. Now more than ever during the holidays I am constantly reminded of the 'little things' you have in a home that I am missing.

I am sad too because this Xmas is extra nice with the presents I have. But because of how I need to live differently, because I must experience them differently because I'm not in a home, they seem to bring up sad feelings along with the good.

I try to hang on. I try to remember in just about a week and a few days school will be back on. I will have a few classes, not just one class to TA for, but in theory three. There will be people who need or want my help, some who don't, some who are just entertained by me or what I do, and at least an easier routine for a sad homeless life.

I am not who I was or could be. I suppose day by day we are continuously changing who we are in minor ways. But I still can't help but feel no matter how long my story continues in the future that I am mourning the loss of me.

Day 3105 - 12/31 - Eve

Today was ok, but a quick day. The library again closed early, so I lost a bit of time for that. They will be completely closed the next two days, so sadly the coffee shop will be the 'best' option for staying warm and having a connection. I guess the like $7.50 that will cost will be tolerable, but it's a question of personal comfort, as it feels weird to stay there all day now. And I don't know who will be working there, so there may or may not be weird feelings based on that.

Again I just try to stay warm. And I try to focus on the fact that there is just over a week until school is back on and things are normalish again. And, as always, I hope for better days.

Day 3106 - 1/1/17 - Extreme fear of death

Last night was pretty terrible. I was cold and worrying about permanent damage I may be suffering from by being out in the cold, and even when I'm not cold I've still taken a ton of damage, and am very out of shape. I was thinking about how I should have 40 years left, but that's only if I'm lucky. Many pass in what would be 20 years from now for me. Or in my dad's case he's probably only got about 10 years left.

My heart started to race. I became a very scared bunny. I started breathing fast. I felt chilled on my skin. With no external cause I became one of the most afraid in my life over the thought of death. How will I die? Will I know that I'm dying? What if I have undetected cancer or another disease and I am already on my way to death? What if there is only blackness when I die, and nothing more?

I started to spiral out of control. I had to calm myself down. I had to remind myself that for the moment I am safe. There is nothing threatening me. If I am to die of natural causes, it is not happening now. I may have my 40 years left. Maybe more, maybe less. But I am safe for the moment.

When I calmed down I wasn't a lot better. Now almost 24 hours later I am still shaky. But I have to remember if I am always worrying about death there will be no room left to worry about life. There will be no feelings left to live.

It is inevitable. It will happen. And I must accept that. I am not ready now; far from it. And the thought terrifies me. I hope when my time comes. I will be ready. And hopefully in the meantime I can accept that there is little I can control about it, particularly right now in my sad homeless life. And by accepting it is out of my control I can keep my focus on being alive, and experiencing what I can while I am still here.

Day 3107 - 1/2 - Oh, that guy

Today was ok. There was a shopkeep at the coffee shop who was one I used to talk to and was friendly towards me there today. I wondered if he was still there, as it's been two years since I'd stopped going and I hadn't seen him in my recent trips. We caught up a bit and it seems like he's ok. But, still being there I can assume he's not doing great, as that job is likely part time and pays poop.

The day passed well enough, but it was short. I left early to do laundry, which was needed, as apparently my last batch was stinkier than I remembered. Last visit to the ex-garage the other night when I was near it I was like foooo that's stinky. Normally it's not an issue. It's just worse than normal as I haven't changed as frequently due to not needing to since it doesn't matter when I'm just going to the library.

In the evening I had my weekly game. That guy that irks me irked me. I was saying how I was the only healer not counting his special heal since two group mates weren't there, but he was like 'I'm not paladin'. And I felt like saying 'but you've been going on and on for like 12 weeks about how you were going to split specifically for this and that ability. He said I was probably thinking of his other character becuase he was just talking about it. OMG no, he's been me me me this this this every week several times for months. I think I know what he's been on about. And he irked me in another way too. No less than three times during the night did he say 'oh it's in the book'. Or, 'I know what that is, we don't want to do that.' Which is the most frustrating things about him. He's the kind of guy who's right even when he's wrong.

It did kind of make me again very much want to have my own game that I run again. Maybe someday. For now I can't. I tried to get one going back in August, and again in November, and it fell through both times. I'll have to wait until I know more people or something.

There was some news though. The very beautiful girl who was at the every other week game is for sure joining. Though it's a bit sad for me because she has a boyfriend already. But it will be nice to see a cute attractive girl every now and then. At least that's something. And it reminds me that there are such girls who make me feel that way still. And even more so, ones who game. So that is maybe more important, so I continue to hold on to hope.

But it is late. It is cold. It is raining. So hopefully I'll be asleep soon and the library will be open in the morning. Oh, school was open-ish today, so the morning started positively with being able to shower and shave al my parts, so that was good too. And with less than a week until school starts, with the library open all those days, I continue to hope for better days.

Day 3108 - 1/3 - Back to normal for others

Today others are back to their normal lives. I heard younglings going to class in the morning, and many cars are out and about going to work.

It is not back to normal for me quite yet. I still have a week off. While homeless with no real life friends I hang out with it is a bit of a curse. I am still eating differently. And my daily routine is off; both in a good and bad way.

In a home I'd have a great time. I could be on my computer playing. I could go over to my TV and watch stuff, or I could grab my gaming stuff off the shelf and do that. Showering or eating whatever at any time would not be an issue. While I can do many of these things, how I do them, the experience of it, is quite different. I hope it will pass in time, and I too will be back to normal.

Until then, I try to hang on and hold on to hope.

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

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