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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 467

Day 3263 - 6/7 - The gathering storm

Today the weather and my emotions seemed the same. In the morning it was clear-ish and I felt reasonably ok. There were again beautiful girls around, a bit older than the college average, but still too young to be interested in lil old me.

By the afternoon things were turning gray, and I started to feel lonely and sad. As we near the last few weeks of the quarter more and more are talking about graduation, acceptance to four-year schools, cities they are moving to, and in some cases other states they are moving to. Again I feel stuck. I feel that even though I too may have accomplishments worth celebrating, I can't collect on it, as I'd then need to start paying off the huge student loan debt. And because I have nothing, I couldn't move on to other things.

As things turned to evening the skies grew ever darker, and black clouds started to appear along with the gray and the few remaining white. Even though the weather is supposed to be clear and in the low 70s for the rest of the week, it seems like it will get darker and rain will come.

But I try to stay positive. I try to look at things others are accomplishing and feel good that they seem to have a future. And that is something. I continue to hope I too will someday have a future, and in the meantime my presence in the places I help genuinely do help, and that I make a difference to some.

But I may never see a future. And I may never know the impact of my presence. But I try to hang on. I continue to hope that I do matter. And I hope someday my change will come too, and I can again look forward to my future.

Day 3264 - 6/8 - The cute nurse

Today I was completely out of it. Again my brain is so exhausted it could barely function. Again I felt like I'd pass out at pretty much any point in the day.

The morning was a little different. When I was at the food store and trying to explain something to the store person I felt a friendly flirty touch between my shoulder blades and looked over. There as a very attractive girl who said hi to me as she passed by. I managed a confused hi back because I recognized her, but couldn't place her. Due to my exhaustion it completely derailed what I was saying and it probably took me 10 seconds to recover enough to continue what I was saying.

For hours it bugged me. I knew I thought she was attractive when I'd seen her before, but I couldn't remember if she knew that. I knew it'd been years since I'd seen her, but I couldn't remember what class she'd passed through. And I knew it couldn't have been more than three years, as I think my hair has only been like it is for about two years, so more than that and she wouldn't have recognized me as easily.

It was about three hours of it being in the back of my mind that I finally remembered that it was the cute nurse who used to be at school. I only saw her a few times a year, and the staff almost completely changed a couple of years ago, and I've not seen her since. So that matches the timeline. I don't specifically recall flirting at her directly, but I think I had subtly done so a few times. She's one of only about four in my entire life I've met where I felt a strong chemical attraction to. That type where if I know she's near all I want to do is be right next to her and snuggle, or at least be close enough to. But, remembering who it was, I know she's married and has a little one. I saw them at the library once. But I suppose it reminds me there are still people who do that, and maybe someday I'll find a girl who does and she will be single and feel the same.

But the rest of my day was a mix of pain and sheer exhaustion. My side and back hurt a lot. Again it feels like soon my lower back and hip might squeeze me so bad I'll snap in two. And it feels like at any moment I'll just fall over and pass out from exhaustion. I still can't get much more than six hours of sleep these days, and I'm losing between one and three more hours I could be sleeping.

But again I hope I can continue on. I hope I can pass through this trial. And I hold on to hope that better days will come.

Day 3265 - 6/9 - Exhausted and sad

Today I feel exhausted. Again I barely kept my eyes open and could barely focus on anything. I may be forced to try and get extra rest at school during the day if this keeps up. But I hate doing that as it messes up my sleep cycle. But then, if I'm not falling asleep when I can then the cycle is already messed up.

Today I am extremely sad. Another day has passed. Normally one day is not a big deal. But now, in this time, so many extra sad reminders are happening with the passing of a day. It's one more day my clothes are stinky. It's one closer to the smog and registration being due which I don't have enough for. It is one day closer to the end of the month; the anniversary both of the end of the ninth fail year, and the third year of unemployment.

I posted in sort of a social support group .And it's strange, others have posted about medicine or struggles they have and get an outpouring of support and 'me too' type posts. And though I didn't specifically mention my issues, no one asked what was going on, or if there was anything they could do. One person said 'as long as you make it out of bed there is hope', to which I replied, 'not having a bed is part of the issue.' I think people don't know what to do with that. I think, in general, people don't know what to do with the 'middle homeless' I have, where I'm not a completely destitute person (who are often lacking medication or have a physical disability which makes it impossible for them to work), and I am not a recently hopeless, who just needs a couch for a bit. I think people don't know how to help a person in such a situation.

Yet I think the answer is pretty simple - balance. Paying the things to keep moving, physically and emotionally. And beyond that, just having a teeny bit more to continue a hobby or two, to at least some degree, in order to keep spirits up. Then, it's just a matter of hanging on.

So I continue to hope help comes. I continue to hope I can once again achieve at least some homeless balance. And with that, I hope I can hang on until better days come.

Day 3266 - 6/10 - The mystery of the medicine

Today had a weird start. I was out of my cholesterol medicine, so I went to refill it. The guy was confused as it appeared it was refilled a month ago, but said it had a 90 day supply. I was then confused, as there is no way I took three times what I should have. A five or ten percent variance, sure, but three times? No. We couldnt figure out what was off, but he went ahead and gave me 60 more even though he technically shouldn't. (It's not like there's a black market for cholesterol pills, so I don't see why someone would lie about such a thing.) The guy I got them from that time was not the usual person, he's like a once every few months guy, so my guess is he put only 30 in and didn't notice it said 90.

The rest of my day was pretty sad, particularly with news of Adam West's passing. Since I don't really get along with my dad, it was his Batman and the classic series Captain Kirk and Spock who I considered my dads as I grew up, and whose lessons I've followed.

My day was also sad because I was extremely tired. I again could barely keep my eyes open. And, stress in my lower back and hips are hitting an all time high and it's actually becoming difficult to move normally. Hopefully this passes soon as it really does feel like it's going to become seriously impairing soon.

But with the recent big donation I at least have enough to do some laundry, so I am getting current on cloths, as well as critical 'bedding' items. Hopefully that will help clear up whatever is causing me to be so itchy. Which hopefully will let me sleep better, hopefully leading to not being so exhausted and maybe even relax my back muscles.

I got a movie from the library to (hopefully) watch tonight. And with my big donation I'll go ahead and get a smaller cooked meal tonight too. So at least for one night things should be ok and as close to homeless normal as I get these days.

And hopefully with that I can get a little happiness. And I will try to remain hopeful for more help, and hopefully I can hang on until better days come.

Day 3267 - 6/11 - A new world

Today I am still very sad, not really in the mood for much game playing or show watching. I slept slightly better last night, though still only got about six hours of sleep.

There was a bit of super exciting news though. A new game was announced by one of my favorite companies and it looks like it may be perfect for me. More than any game before. With how beautiful it looks though there is really no way my current laptop could handle it, but it's set to launch in Fall of 2018. So I guess that is good news, as that gives me a year and a few months to get ready. Hopefully I can be back to a normal life and in a home by then, but with how my life has been going all I hope is I have a new laptop by then and can still be somewhere to connect to play.

Life continues to be a struggle and challenge to stay positive. But I try to stay hopeful. I try to look at what I do have, and look forward to things I may have. And hopefully I can hang on until better days come.

Day 3268 - 6/12 - That guy

Today was pretty sad. Thankfully I got a reasonable amount of sleep last night, so my back isn't as bad as it has been lately. But emotionally I still feel very sad. Though no one would be able to guess, as on the surface I seem fine or maybe even a bit happier than normal lately. But at a deeper level, where people cannot see, I am still very sad, wounded, and worried; more than I have ever been in my life.

Today after class I was going to prepare my micro food and the lab smelt like fries. Besides the ones I got recently, last week maybe(?), I can't remember when I last had them. When things were closing a touch later I checked the sealed container I saw in the trash. I've become that guy. Things are so bad and sad for me emotionally I'm seeing if foods I can't afford and miss have been put in sealed containers in the trash.

I don't want to be that guy. I don't want to glance into the trash, let alone check 'safe' food containers. I don't want to be stinky. I don't want to have to wear cloths several times a week because I can't afford laundry. I don't want my day filled with thoughts of what I don't have or what I miss in life every minute of every day.

I try to mentally hug myself. I try to pick myself up. I try to focus on the things I do have which hold that line between being ok and being that guy. I hope that help comes. And I try to hold on to hope long enough to make it through to better days.

Day 3269 - 6/13 - Sun is shining

Today seems pretty ok so far. I actually was able to get some sleep last night, maybe seven or eight hours, which is unusual these days.

My back pain is finally going away. It started months ago with feeling like the side of my leg was kind of asleep. A few weeks ago that cleared up and it started feeling like it was waking up again. Now it's just a strange sprain type pain near the top of the back of my hip bone at its highest point. I have a vague memory of moving wrong one day a long time ago and my leg kind of getting weak under me. Maybe that was it. As it starts to get better maybe I'll find time during the day to stretch (as that's the only time I have room).

The stress in my back isn't quite so bad, but it's still pretty bad, as the worry and fear causing it is still there.

The gray rain clouds are gone and it's still pretty chilly. But the sun is shining, and with that comes the promise of warmth returning and it being a bright happy day. So I try to hang on. I continue to hope help comes and that I can make it another day. And hopefully I can hang on long enough to make it to better days.

Week 468

Day 3270 - 6/14 - Tears in the morning

Today was ok in the morning, but then turned sad in the evening. The morning probably planted the seeds of sadness that came later. After my shower I parked and decided to rest, just a few minutes, as often if I shower then head right in I get tired and start heating up quite a bit for some reason. There was one ridiculously beautiful girl walking around. And that made me feel sad because it made me wonder if I've missed my chance for love. For going to college when I should have and getting into a career. For getting a house when I should have. And for so many other things. Is it too late now? And so I shed a few tears.

After that I was relatively ok. I was somewhat alert and didn't feel too sad. I even got a big donation. And with that I will probably do the smog on Friday. Hopefully I'll be ok and pass because I've long since run out of money for repairs if not. I'll still have just under half left of what I need for the registration as well. (Provided that isn't used up over time by little costs before I get the rest. ) If I can pass that then a huge weight will be lifted, as registration then is just a matter of money, not a matter of 'what if I don't pass.'

It's evening now though. And for several hours I've been extremely tired again, and with that a lack of focus, and even an extreme crankiness because people in the lab spent nearly two hours talking loudly non-stop. It was just their group in there, so I couldn't tell them to shut up or leave (as I otherwise would have if there were others there.) Even leaving the lab after the first hour and sitting outside at my hall spot I could still hear them.

But I try to let things go. I try to focus on the help I got today and being closer to being safe for car registration. I try to remember tomorrow is another new day, another chance. And I try to hang on.

Day 3271 - 6/15 - Hopeful for tomorrow

Today was ok, I guess. I was really extremely tired again today from the afternoon on. I had a bit of a hard time sleeping last night, so I didn't get as much sleep as I'd have liked.

I am hopeful tomorrow morning will go ok. In researching the smog cost I'm seeing references as high as double or more the cost as I remember, which is dumb. In the morning I'll go get it at hopefully a very close place, but I have two other places ready if they quote me some stupid price. Clearing smog would be a huge weight off my shoulders, as that is the greatest fear. With no extra money I can't fix anything else if something were required. (And there is still the question on if the computer is bad or not. So that's more than the car is worth.)

But I try to rest easy now. I try to stay calm and be as restful as I can. And hopefully I can get more sleep tonight. And in the morning hopefully all will be well and I'll have good news and finally a lot of my sadness will go away. For now I try to stay hopeful.

Day 3272 - 6/16 - Passed, phew

Today passed a bit oddly. I started by going to get my smog done. The first place couldn't do it because they are phasing out the machine. The next place said they could, but their guy was on vacation for another week. But the third place was great. (It's one of those places run by mechanics that have been there forever.) Even though it seemed like forever it was probably only about 20 minutes before they were done. And, while some places I'd seen online had high prices, it was very reasonably priced. The guy said I passed and everything was fine. I asked if it got hot, and he did mention it got a bit warm, so he put a house fan on it. He said the readout being off and it running a bit hot isn't unusual for older cars, nor surprising since I said the computer may not be totally working right.

It's evening time now, but the day isn't over. Today is the student film show, so there are things to see that students made. So that should be fun.

But today, at long last, the huge worry of if I'd pass smog or not has passed, and that isn't a worry anymore. Now I just have to worry about if I can get the $50 more I need for registration before it's due in a month.

Tonight hopefully I can rest easy for the first time in a long while. Hopefully I can get more sleep. Things seem more hopeful for the future. And I try to hang on until better days.

Day 3273 - 6/17 - Truly hot

Today was truly hot. But since I have to be out in public places I was in air conditioned places. Which I guess is a blessing. It certainly is to have a laptop that can play the games I want, watch shows (though TV shows are all off season), and have a normal homeless life.

I guess the day was pretty good for a homeless day. I had enough food. I was inside. I had comforts. Nothing bad happened that was new. But I suppose nothing good that was new happened either.

I had a coupon for a free soup at the place I haven't gone in probably more than three years since I can't afford it. The chef who had taken over just before I stopped going (from being an assistant) was there. And as I passed by I did the eyebrow up and nod 'hey what's up, how's it going' gesture. He smiled and nodded. It was strange that he was still there. I didn't expect that. But I suppose it was nice to be recognized and acknowledged. And, I suppose in a way it felt comforting to see he was still there, maybe he's happy. Maybe things are going ok for him.

But things seem ok, so I try to hang on to hope. I try to stay positive and see what I still have that is happy. And I try to hang on to better days.

Day 3274 - 6/18 - Way too hot

Today it was way too hot. If I were to guess I'd say it was between 95-100F. I guess that would be good for those doing things like dad's day BBQs or other gathering type activities, but foooo it was hot even for me. Thankfully much of the day I was inside in air conditioned places, but being an every other week game day I did have to drive through the super hot weather both ways for about 30 minutes.

I guess really there isn't much to say about the day other than that. For the brief time I was at the food store I saw a few beautiful girls in shorts and super warm weather cloths, so that was nice. The food store actually had a connection, so I could do basic online things. But other than that there really wasn't much to my day. I would have been happier in a home, where I could relax and watch movies, and cook fresh food, but overall things didn't seem overly sad.

I suppose, as always, I was thankful to get through the day, have the nice things I do still have, however few those are. And I try to remain hopeful and hang on until better days come.

Day 3275 - 6/19 - Hopeful, yet homesick

Today I feel mixed feelings. Most of the morning and the day I felt hopeful. With the worry of smog behind me my body begins to relax and try and let go of the worry and stress. (Though with still needing about $50 for registration which is due in a month, as that date gets closer stress may return.) There were also lots of beautiful girls around who were happy because it was super warm out, so that was nice.

But as the day went on into evening I felt more homesick. I wanted to eat things for lunch or dinner I couldn't. I wanted to sit in a nice chair. I was really itchy, so it would have been nice to stay naked, wash my cloths extra times, and put anti-itch cream on whenever I needed without worry cloths would wipe it away. And above all it would have been nice to have peace and quiet to do whatever I wanted, and to go to sleep in a bed as early as I felt I needed to get past this exhaustion I feel.

So today I feel hopeful, yet sad about the basic things I am missing. But today was ok, so I try to hang on to hope. I hope help continues to come. And I hope I can hang on until I make it to better days.

Day 3276 - 6/20 - Dreams

Today is super hot, and it's only the morning. It's hot to the point that I'm genuinely hot feeling, and if I were outside I might even feel slightly sweaty.

Last night I again had trouble sleeping, but I had some very vivid dreams closer to the morning. I dreamt I was down in L.A. and was starting to be a producer. There were two big named stars we were trying to get to the set and sending out drivers who knew where they lived to go get them. I had to pee (for real) but there were no bathrooms on the set, so I had to go find a corner and pee in a bucket with rags. I was still struggling in the dream, not just because I had to pee and there wasn't a proper place, but becasue no one really paid attention to me. I was just the guy with the money and no one cared about me as a person.

I do hope someday I will win enough money to follow such a non-traditional path in life, but I do hope that part doesn't turn out to be true. Since I would be necessary for the creation of a project, not playing a creative part by nature of the position, it's entirely possible no one would care about me, want me, or respect my thoughts or opinions. And that would be sad if true.

But today seems like it will be ok, so I try to hang on to hope. I try to hang on until help comes. And I try to stay as happy 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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