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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 453

Day 3165 - 3/1 - Extra helping

Today was pretty good. I had a good time TAing the basic class. After I was still very hungry. I debated and debated and debated to spend the extra too much monies ($7) to have extra food (my lunch and dinner were on the smaller side). And although it was money I shouldn't have spent, I got a really good deal. For whatever reason the person gave me probably three times as many fries as he should have, and maybe 50% extra nuggets. So I saved more than enough in a container for lunch tomorrow. And, I even shared some with a few people.

Sharing was odd. I rarely to never have 'extra' food to share. I can't even remember the last time I did. Sure, every now and then I'll give someone a drink or snack cookies, but I expect to share those. This being 'real' food, and people being so happy to get it, was quite different than normal. It was super nice to see the happy people and being able to share.

For some odd reason though after eating the food I crashed pretty hard. I felt like I could certainly use a nap, and stayed that tired for the rest of the day. Hopefully it didn't affect a take-home mid-term too much, because it felt like it was garbage as I was writing it.

But it was a decent day. I am still sad about all the things, still worried if my laptop can play my beloved game, and still disappointed I didn't know that would be an issue at the start of having my money. While I suppose I learned a lot about how I did spend the money, if I would have bought a big thing the rest would have been held for emergencies and regular life only, and the waste would not have happened at all.

But I suppose there are many such what-ifs in my life. And if I'd have known how things would turn out I'd have done them differently. So, for now, I try to focus on the positive things, try to let go of what I can't control, and hope tomorrow is a better day.

Day 3166 - 3/2 - Sad again

Today was ok-ish. I had an ok morning, but in class my assignment stuff isn't working as it should, so I feel sad about that.

In the afternoon I got some bad news. The multiplayer beta test for the game I'm worried about is canceled. There is still a way to test the game, but it would cost a bit of money. I may need to do that to be safe. I'm tempted to still get the game either way (and not spend that extra checking in advance), so that way it's waiting for when I can play it. But the thought of that outcome made me more sad. I don't know when I can upgrade. That is clear to me now that I know how far I've gotten behind.

So today I am sad. I try to hold on to hope for the future, but as usual so much is out of my hands. I am again so very very tired too. But I try to hang on, and hope for a better tomorrow.

Day 3167 - 3/3 - Maybe more sick

Today I may be more sick. I have been sneezing again lately, and the past few days I've been extra hungry, extremely tired, my brain just doesn't work or doesn't care, and I get winded very easily. Of course some of those could be the constant depression I have over my sad things. It's very difficult to tell the difference these days.

I suppose today wasn't really bad. It certainly wasn't more or less bad than any other in terms of external stuff. But still I am fighting the extra sad internal thoughts of 'what if' with how the money went. I guess looking back trying to live a bit more normally to increase feelings of normalcy may not have been the best course for me. Since things seem to change so slowly with my life it seems buying a bigger thing, like the new laptop, and living small as if nothing would change probably would have been the better bet.

But, as they say, life is life. We make what we perceive as mistakes, pick ourselves up, and move on. It's just extremely difficult to pick myself up on my own, with no resources and often no second chances.

Yet I continue to hope for an opportunity for change. I continue to hope those around me who I can help or influence do not make the same mistakes. And I continue to hope tomorrow and the days ahead are better days.

Day 3168 - 3/4 - The road taken

Today I have been feeling very sad. The more I've thought about how the money was spent, the more sad I become. But I realized today what I am most sad about, and it caused a few tears.

What has seemed the most limiting in my days lately is the lack of connection to people, places, or groups. And with the lack of connection comes lack of opportunity. So that failure is what has been greatest. I took my money and spent the bulk of it trying to find a new path. I tried to form connections. I tried to create opportunity. I suppose my failure was not in taking that path, but in that it failed me. The attempts led to dead ends. And now what was spent has nothing to show for it.

Had I taken the opposite path; one of fear, belief that nothing would change, I likely would have my awesome new laptop. I'd still be living small, as I have been, but I should still have a lot more money to keep living that small lifestyle for quite a while.

No new opportunities could have happened, but in a way I'd have more life. Not a life in body, but in mind. I would have years of gaming to look forward to. New worlds beautify rendered to live in. Less fear of all the little costs that come up. I suppose, in a way, I traded an opportunity for a better future, for what was known to be a small and difficult life physically, but more free emotionally.

In short, it was stepping off my previous path to try and create change for myself that failed. And I don't know what to feel about that, as what could have been is gone. And my small simple life will now be worse because of it.

But I still try to hang on to hope. I still wait for opportunity to come to me along my path, now more than ever. And I hope tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 3169 - 3/5 - Slightly better

Today I feel slightly better about my sad things. I had my every other week game (which I guess the last time we met was in mid-January) and it was pretty fun. I like the four people I play with, though I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about the guy hiding his rolls and trying to cheat. It's like really? It's just a thing for fun. Why are they trying to cheat? Particularly when this is a team based thing?

I am still sad about how everything turned out about the money, but again I'm really just sad that living a more normal life didn't lead to change. And, of course, more sad I didn't have a new laptop to show for it. I recall at the time I first got it I felt it would take too much long-term security to get it, as it was a projected half year's worth of money, but with running out in only seven months I still can't help but wonder if getting it and the extra pressure of having little left would have helped me hang on longer than I did.

But I guess things were ok today. It was rainy and cold, so that was terribly sad. But nothing new which was bad happened, and I had the fun time at the game, so overall I suppose it was a better day. Times do seem extra sad though, so I continue to hope for better days.

Day 3170 - 3/6 - Snow

Today was pretty good. I was somewhat helpful in the basic class that I TA for, and the Monday game was canceled, so I had extra time to do stuff. I tried to do some homework stuff, but my brain was just not feeling it. So I just watched shows instead.

It has become ridiculously super cold again. It was raining most of yesterday and all last night. My professor showed me some footage she shot of her drive in and there was snow on the hills and the trees. Which is totally crazy, as I've only seen it snow here like three times in my entire life, and normally the snow melts within an hour or so of happening.

I tried to be not sad about things, particularly the laptop and how my game will perform on my current one in comparison. But it is very difficult not to think about it. I think, again, it's just because all my life I've known who I am, and my path, and what felt safe, and I took a risk and veered off when I had money to try and create new opportunities off of that path, and they basically failed me. And in doing so, cost security on my safe path. It is very hard to not feel sad about the road not traveled when you know that had you stayed the course and taken the road you were already on, not the road not traveled, that you'd be in a better place.

So I try to hold on to hope. I hope warm weather returns. I hope I get another boon to be back on track. I hope until I do help continues to come and I can get by. And I hope, someday soon, I make it to my forever better days.

Day 3171 - 3/7 - Too cold to start

Today and the past few days I've woken up around 5:30; I think from being too cold. Back a while ago I used to regularly have a brief awake period around 4:30 for no apparent reason. These days I've put extra cloths on and attempted to get back to sleep. Usually I can stay asleep until the alarm. But not this morning. It was too cold and I woke up about an hour later and just couldn't get back to sleep after.

Thankfully now on campus at about 8 it seems the cold may finally be going away and it looks like it will be a bright warmish day.

Today I have the intermediate class to TA which is directing, which I think is often the most fun in terms of balance of discovery and skill. As always, I feel sad about all the things, but try to hang on to hope. And hopefully soon my forever better days will come.

Week 454

Day 3172 - 3/8 - Slightly better

Today was slightly warmer, and slightly better feeling in terms of losing my money so quickly. Though I again found a video that makes me feel like my laptop won't be able to run my beloved game at playable settings. Which if that happens, I will be in a terrible position of spending the money as intended, retaining all the pre-order stuff I get and having it downloaded and ready to go, but not being able to play. (Though I would just be able to swap the SSD it's installed on to the new laptop whenever I get it and instantly be ready to play.) But not knowing how many months, or years, it could be before I get money again to upgrade, will be terrible. If I were to cancel the pre-order I'd lose all the special things, as well as know that the money would undoubtedly just slip through my fingers on everyday things, much like all the rest of the money has seemingly done, and there would be nothing left but regret.

The fear and pain I feel all the time is starting to consume me again. I was watching a show which happened to passingly mention mortality and felt a twinge of the chill of the void, not as deeply, but very similar to my recent panic attacks. In the most recent video of my beloved game they talk about being adrift in space and the colony ships reaching a new galaxy, and that it's your job to help them find a new forever home for all the people. And that brought tears.

At any other time in my life I would not be so sensitive. Yes, I'm always more caring and sensitive about things, but I'm getting to the point where I'm so afraid all the time, and see so many things that point towards not having what I have now even in the near future, that I am getting very worried about me again.

I try to hold on to hope. I try to stay positive outside help or opportunity will come. But it is getting more and more difficult to see the positive things. And even more difficult to see a future for myself. But I suppose terrified and blind to the future there is still hope in me. I suppose that was always my strongest attribute. And likely why people see me as able to survive so many bad things.

Day 3173 - 3/9 - Anxious

Today was ok I suppose. Nothing bad happened, but nothing good happened either. Again I was super extremely tired. I feel very out of shape lately too; feeling fat and like I have no energy or ability to move without getting winded.

I'm anxious about tomorrow. There should be lots of coverage about my beloved game, and I think it's the start of being able to get a preview if I get the membership. Which, if I recall correctly, I could do for $5. I'm still torn if I should or not. Again I feel like I don't want to know and I will just hope things are playable in some form. And again too, I feel like if I cancel the pre-order the money would be lost to nothing, just like everything else.

I suppose I should look for people posting videos with low specs. There are always those out there with low specs trying to see how much they can get from a game, so maybe someone with similar specs will post something that gives me hope. I guess we'll see tomorrow.

But I hope things work out. Especially with my beloved game because not being able to play after waiting five years for it would be terrible. But also with everything in general; being in a home again, being able to eat better, having freedom to try and get healthier, and all the things. Not just for me, but for everyone who is hurting. And in the meantime I continue to hope I can hang on until better days come.

Day 3174 - 3/10 - Bank scare

Today as pretty good I suppose. I didn't get to peek at my beloved game though. I was wrong about the preview date. That happens a week from now. So it will really just be early access by a few days. There was quite a scare though. It seems they charged me for the pre-purchase already, so no going back on that now, which I don't necessarily mind. But the scare was that it has potentially overdrawn my bank account since my insurance somehow double charged me earlier in the week. I asked the bank if the pending charge goes through and does actually overdraw me if I'd be ok since the insurance double billing is already being reversed. They confirmed that overdraw fees that happen because of that double billing would be reversed when the double charge is reversed. So phew, I just have to keep an eye on that.

Other than that it was a fairly normal day. Things are starting to warm up. Even now at night with an extra layer on I actually feel almost nicely warmed. The rain seems to be gone for good. At least for the moment. And the sky is clear and there is a beautiful full moon.

I am still worried about all the things. And I am still horribly out of shape and worried about the future, or more accurately my seeming lack of much of one. But I try to hold on to hope. And with spring, bunny day, and summer coming, hopefully better days are still ahead.

Day 3175 - 3/11 - Feeling sad and worried again

Today I am still feeling very sad about where the money went. I looked back and searched for 'laptop' to see if I could find my thoughts n why I wasn't considering upgrading, but found very little. It seems I was indeed focused on spending all my efforts I could on forming new bonds and finding new paths. And with the bulk of my money it seems I was trying to tuck it away in fear of what-ifs and my uncertain future, putting myself in an emergency use only mindset.

It seems focusing on the unfamiliar path has sunk me. I became so fixated and so afraid of what might be I couldn't clearly see when I was losing my old path. And more importantly, when I was losing me.

Yes, being a pen and paper gamer is also me, a me I've not been able to be in quite a long time. But someone who was able to join a club or group of strangers and come out with new friends who I bond strongly with has never been me. For whatever reason, people haven't seen me as that kind of guy.

As I talked about in the early days there seems to be an indefinable aura about me. It seems to make me very likeable for the moment, yet not someone people want to form long-term or close bonds with. Perhaps I seem too strong and confident in what I do. Maybe that is why people don't seem interested in me. Studies have shown people are attracted to those they feel they have something to offer, or who they can help in some way. Maybe I don't seem like such a person.

But then too I wonder; is it that those who know I need help and that I am in pain consider me too far gone? That what they can offer won't help me? And if so, am I avoided for both reasons?

I suppose understanding it doesn't matter. It is lost and I can't go back. At least I do have my tablet, come what may in the future of my current laptop, car, or other things, at least there is that.

But in every footage I found today of my beloved game I again felt very worried my laptop won't be able to run it. The level they showed is extremely complex in terms of rendering. It was very definitely a high spec game of this new generation coming along. And my laptop, while high-end when new, is now three generations old.

I suppose things weren't completely terrible. The day was mostly warm. I even took off a winter layer for a bit. I finished one of three homework assignments due next week. And I got to play my online game and watch shows for a bit.

I try to hold on to the good things and stay hopeful for the future. I try to focus on who I know myself to be, what I have, and that my differences make me special, rare, and interesting. But I can't help but worry my future may continue to crumble before me.

Day 3176 - 3/12 - Accepting the sads

Today was kind of busy. I needed to do laundry pretty badly, so I did that this morning. After, I finished just in time to head over to the library and spend the day there. I wasn't in a mood to do the homework I wanted to. I was still too sad. The money is gone. I feared what I feared about the future, and so it was spent how it was spent. And I may regret it for years to come.

But I have to accept my sad things. I have to accept what I can't change. I have to accept the attempt I made to find new friends will likely not progress further than it already has. And I have to accept that attempt at change is likely what drained the most money.

So I try again to focus on what I do have. I continue to hope for donations and other help and I can keep going until opportunity comes and things get better. And I keep hoping soon I will return to my forever better days and I find my forever home.

Day 3177 - 3/13 - Stupid savings time

Today was ok I suppose, but overall I felt jumpy and grumpy. I got my usual amount of sleep, but I'd guess due to the change my homeostasis is thrown off. Things that normally wouldn't bother me either bothered me or made me extra sad.

The day was nice and warm though, actually almost summer-like. I had just a single layer on for about half of the day, but needed to transition to full winter layers when in the lab because it's still not regulating it's temperature correctly and it was between 65F-68F, which is way too cold.

Even though I was on edge and grumpy I did manage to get another homework writing done, so now there is only one left that I need to do by Thursday around noonish. I didn't get a chance to play, as Mondays are pretty busy what with the evening pen and paper game, but I did watch some shows and tried to relax.

It is still difficult to not feel sad about the money. It still feels like one of the checks didn't actually get deposited. So much seems unaccounted for. Yet I know from checking before it was a bunch of small things, compounded by the fact that I never had my full amount in the bank, as I had to keep the total low just in case the food stamp people surveyed it. (Though they haven't requested records since starting the account.)

But I try to focus on what I do have. I try to stay positive. And I continue to hope better days will come.

Day 3178 - 3/14 - Brain in space

Today I am pretty tired. I had a lot of trouble getting to sleep, probably again still from the time change. My day is just starting really. I just settled in at school and havent even turned on my laptop yet.

Hopefully today will be ok. There are a couple of big groups doing stuff in the directing class I TA for, so seeing some stuff is cool because different groups direct and plan the same scene differently.

I am still sad about all the things. But it continues to get warmer, so that is something. When it is nice and warm and I'm not cold all the time it seems easier to forget the sad things. For now I try to hang on as best as I can until better days come.

Comments and stuff Copyright E. Stryker 2008-2017
Pictures for Epic Fail are taken by me. :)

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