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Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer
Book 10: Wisp of Hope

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 471

Day 3291 - 7/5 - Beginning again

Today the new quarter really began. It seems like there are an ok bunch of people for the class I TA help in. There is one super tall girl, never seen someone as tall as her. She's got to be like 6'3", as she's a full head taller than me at 5'8", but she's sized proportionally for how tall she is. There was one super cute gamer girl too. But no one really stood out. They were all pretty quiet during class, which isn't surprising on the first day.

I had a pretty good time during that, but the times when I was not helping in class I was pretty sad. Things seem extra hard lately emotionally with people moving on to their next phase in life, yet looking at myself I seem to just see things that are falling apart. My hoody is falling apart. My backpack is falling apart (which has lifetime coverage and I already replaced it around last Xmas, which looks like I'll have to get them to do it again this year.). Boots will need replacing again soon. And my biggest worry is the game I'm looking forward to in October, and even more so one a year after, probably won't run on my laptop because it's quite behind at this point. So lately it feels like I can no longer keep up with my baseline break even point in my homeless life, let alone build towards recovery.

I felt so sad today, and have recently struggled so much due to being out of food money, that while watching a stream of people who had pizza for dinner I had to put the video in the background so I couldn't see it because I felt so sad. I don't remember when I last had real pizza, or even more so when I had real food that I'd cooked. It seems dumb to be made sad by such a simple thing, but I do. It makes me feel like when you are very young, and not getting the simplest things makes you cry, and no one understands why you are crying.

But I try to focus on the day being over. I am exhausted and can barely keep my eyes open. So I try to focus on now; hoping I can get sleep tonight, planning what to get in the morning when my food money cycles again. And I try to stay hopeful that tomorrow is a new day, and with it I try to have hope it will be a better day than today.

Day 3292 - 7/6 - Worried

Today I am worried about gas again. I have less than I thought with just a tiny bit over a quarter tank. That's really only one week's worth of gas. I guess I'm very glad I don't have to worry about registration. The car won't be taken away from me, but with no gas things become extremely difficult. And with only needing about $7-8 a week if I'm careful, it seems sad that I'm always on the edge. I would consider taking cans in for recycle, but I'd be surprised if I profited even one week's worth of gas with how far it is. I don't really have any cans to take to really be worth it.

Tomorrow is the first Friday at the library day. I suppose it will be no different than a Saturday. But it will be strange fully transitioning to a summer schedule. I just hope things go ok with food, as that also begins my transition to fewer microed meals per week.

But I try to stay hopeful that help will come soon. Each day is another day help can come and people can see I am suffering. Even just a small amount of help would be a large amount emotionally. So I try to hang on. And I hope to make it to better days ahead.

Day 3293 - 7/7 - Unfocused

Today I couldn't focus at all. I was totally spaced out. When playing my game I would narrow in on certain things and become totally oblivious to others.

I'm not actually sure I'll continue either of the games I've been playing lately. One is the free to play PvP game. I'm just not into PvP. I think I've been into it lately because it's like a group dungeon. You make a group, you have set roles, you do the thing. But it's PvP, team vs. team, so there is always someone raging. And just about every game people start fights and I have to put at least one person on ignore. So I am not sure it's worth what distraction it brings. The other, the new old game, is still the exact same as I remember it being five years ago. Though I am just now starting to get close to where I left off. But it's really just a solo game. I never see anyone else. There was maybe one person in the two hours I played. So it's like, do I keep going to try and hope I see people there? And if so, is it worth it if there is so little content? If I've already seen the content, what's the point of grinding alone to the end game if nothing will change? I really don't know. I'll probably continue and see the new stories because they are good and interesting, but drop it after. I already have a single player focused MMO that I like a lot that isn't completely empty (of players) all the time.

I suppose today was ok. I had enough food. I got through it ok. Though I am very worried about gas again. I've got maybe a week and that's it. Even if I did recycling I'd actually be at risk of losing money as I have so little to recycle.

So I have to try to continue to hope. I have to see what makes me the most happy with what I have, and hope that help comes in time to take care of the rest. And I try to hang on until better days come.

Day 3294 - 7/8 - Another fast day

Today was another fast day. It felt like I just got up. I remember it, mostly. But I didn't really do much, certainly not a few of the things I was thinking I might. I basically just played games. Again I wonder why I'm playing those. I think it's because I'm sad and as such they are easy to play. So they distract me just enough from being sad.

While registration is taken care of and not a worry, I'm feeling a bit defeated again. There are always things to worry about. There is always the next thing down the line. And it seems the number of people who are helping or care remains close to zero. There are a few who do, but that number doesn't seem to change. I reach out. I try different social groups. Yet no one new seems to come. No one new ever seems to care enough to follow my page, even if they remained silent in the background.

But I try to hang on. I try to look at what is good in my life. I try to at least have a tiny treat now and then to try and cheer myself. And hopefully I can make it to better days.

Day 3295 - 7/9 - Distracted

Today I was pretty well distracted from my sads. I played a bit online at the food store, which surprisingly had a decent connection both in the morning and at night. And then in the afternoon to early evening I had my once every 2-3 week game.

The game store was super crowded. There were like double the normal number of people or more. There was even a very beautiful gamer girl nearby. She was behind me though, so I didn't get to see her except when she was walking by. I think she was with someone though, which is not at all surprising.

It was suuuuper hot today. Everyone everywhere as in shorts and t-shirt like tops. I was a comfy warm, so it was probably in the 80s. It would have been a nice day to go for a swim and have friends over for a BBQ and gaming. I guess though I did get to do gaming, though it was in a super loud and crowded place.

I was mostly distracted from my sad things, so I guess that is the most important thing. There are so many sad things lately, so it is good to have days where I was at least distracted from thinking about them if I can't change them. So I made it through the day ok. And I continue to hope for better days ahead.

Day 3296 - 7/10 - So exhausted

Today I am so exhausted I can't think straight. Which I guess is fine, as there was no one around all day. It was really just me on the floor until about 5 when a few started to show up for the 6:00 class which is across the hall from where I sit.

I played a couple of quick games today, and watched a couple of shows, but that was really it. Because I was so exhausted I couldnt focus on anything for more than five minutes at a time. If this exhaustion continues I'll be forced to nap at school or on weekends before the library is open. I guess its stress related, but I'm jumpy at everything and not sleeping for hours while I'm laying there trying to sleep.

I guess besides my exhaustion, besides worry about my being nearly out of gas, today wasn't too terrible. And still, I try to remain hopeful for the future.

Day 3297 - 7/11 - Super sad changes

Today it seems there must be super sad changes. I got word from the nice professor I TA for that some ware still grumping at her that I help. Two quarters ago they got all mad and bumped the unpaid TA helper people like me. But because I'm so very super helpful my professor kept me around on the low-down. Every quarter several tell me how helpful I was, and last quarter someone told me his reading my tips page every week, and seeing me walking around and being a generally helpful and friendly guy was the only way he managed to keep his anxiety low enough to get through the class and do his assignments.

So it seems I am being pushed out of my happy place. And while I am not currently a student I can't push back in any way. If I had classes I could at least say I had a right to be on the floor if I wanted. So I don't know how the rest of my day will go. The next few hours will be chaotic as I test different places on campus for possible places to be and what permission levels the connections have. (It seems though a quick test in the writing labs different areas might be set differently.) I may have to find a new place to be. That probably would be the public library if I can't be somewhere at school. The good news there is that it's the same distance from my sleeping spot if I go directly there. Maybe even very very slightly closer. So gas would not change. But my habit and life would. There would be no micro at the public library. There would be no showers. There would be no students to help, and as such no purpose greater than me to serve. And I suppose the worst thing is I feel without that greater purpose I may no longer have possible career paths, nor any direct contacts to finding them.

But I suppose what must be done must be done. I have little to no choice today as it is already in motion, and the dust will need to settle before new patterns take place. So it seems this week ends on a sadder note. I have my normal sad life things such as gas and other bills to worry about, all other sad things that come with no home; and now too I have, at least temporarily, lost my greatest happiness and purpose in life greater than me. And while I feel ok right now I have a feeling I may very soon be feeling more alone and lost than I have in many years, possibly than ever before.

I still live. I still have some food. I still have a few things. So, for the moment, I try to hang on to hope.

Week 472

Day 3298 - 7/12 - Worried about me

Today was the first of a long string of days at the public library. I've been pondering what to do about my forced schedule change. When I was testing the school library connection it seemed to have the same permissions, so that was fine, but it was actually a bit slow. Not so slow I couldn't do anything, but slow enough that I worried if more people than the dozen that were there showed up it would become too slow to do anything.

So I thought about that and if it would be worth the couple of microed meals a day to cripple my connection. And I thought too about how I'd feel being there since I, at least for the moment, have no classes, nor connections to classes. And I think it would feel weird to stick around. I will still shower and micro an early lunch, but I think I'll not stick around after that. Tomorrow I'll need to stick around for a bit to get the lend copy of the class book back to the professor, but I'll go after that.

I will miss many things. As I was leaving on Tuesday I saw a beautiful blonde girl coming in. I'd seen her pass by me before on Monday when I was sitting in my spot. She had a bit of pink in her hair I didn't notice before. It made me sad I won't see girls like that. And in a way it feels like by not seeing them I will never find love again. I know that isn't really true. They will still be around. And really my odds of finding a sweetie likely won't increase at all at school. But it feels like that. And it makes me sad.

The bigger thing is I don't get to help. I don't get to see people that I've helped improve and learn stuff and get better based on suggestions. And without that I feel I have no purpose. I am living just for me. And I would like to be more. I would like what I do to matter to some. Again, this may only be temporary, and I am only out this quarter, which is four more weeks. If it is temporary, I guess that's not much. But still.

So I worry about me. I am worried I will be sad emotionally. I am worried I will feel lost again. I am worried when I am on campus I will feel out of place and unwelcome. And I am worried just living and hanging on one day at a time will begin to feel like a prison sentence, and that I am just passing time until I'm up for parole.

But it's all I can do. The few dollars of gas I have in the car is what it is. My options on where to be are what they are. My options for relationships are as they have been.

All I can do is look at what is positive about my options. I try to consider how much I should still have ahead. And I try to hold on until I have the opportunity to get through.

Day 3299 - 7/13 - The bunny is gone

Today was a bit more sad than I originally thought it would be. I started the morning at school. I needed a shower and figured I'd micro and stay a bit since I said I'd get the book back to my professor. It was kind of funny that I ran into someone who was also visiting. She begged us to stay and visit for a bit. So I did.

It was strange to be in class, hiding among the fewer than 20 students. I could tell many had already forgotten who I was. I don't blame them. They only saw me twice and those were the first days. One did say he was surprised he hadn't seen me, as he got the impression I was a paid TA. I said 'sadly it is the opposite. I am both unpaid and the dean of the department has been pushing people like me out.'

It was sad being there. I didn't really say any comments to help. It would have felt wrong. I don't need to prove to them I am helpful. I know I am. It's the dean who doesn't want me. So I felt it was better not to confuse them since I wouldnt be there in the future.

The bunny is gone. I draw a cute bunny on the board in the corner in classrooms I help in. And over the past three years the teachers know I'll just redraw it if they erase him. Lately a new teacher has been in the room erasing him. When I thought to look he was indeed gone. Like I am not there. And it made me sad. It made me wonder if I would be remembered if I can't help. Or if I didn't make it, and was gone from the world.

In the time I was there in the cafeteria it felt ok to be there. I felt like I could have gone back, or could be there in the future. But at the same time it felt wrong. Like I could be there, but there is nowhere I belong.

I went to the public library in the early afternoon. And I will likely just be there all the time, save for a shower and single micro meal twice a week. I suppose it's better than school in that it's fairly empty these days, the connection is in general better than the school cafeteria and library were. And I suppose, realistically, it really doesn't change my odds of finding love or friends, as those at school have only been friends when they saw me there. I've never been invited to hang out or do things.

I don't really feel like playing. Yet oddly I want to have a new game to do new things and have new distractions. Checking the new old game it actually only has the same content as when I left five years ago. So I've actually basically stopped playing that and don't know if it's worth playing since everything I'd see I've already seen. My favorite MMO has a new expansion I haven't been able to afford. And there is another expansion to a favorite single player game just after my birthday in late August. And the game I'd love to play in October. So maybe one of those will be a nice birthday present. And hopefully my system will be able to run them ok if I do manage to get one.

So today was extra sad. My professor obviously doesn't want to lose me, and she struggles to let go. So that is sad for both of us. My gas continues to dwindle and run low. And very soon I may be forced to walk. And my tummy is still very sad that simple thoughts of things like Chinese food or pizza seem like distant memories that I can't recall when I could last afford them.

But I try to hang on. I try to play my games that seem ok to play and watch the shows my brain wants to watch. And I try to stay distracted and hope for better days ahead.

Day 3300 - 7/14 - OKish

Today was an okish day. I started at the food store and did most of my forum and social site stuff for the day. The connection was decent, so I'm glad I got the extra time for that. The bulk of the day was spent at the library. I wanted to play games for a bit, so that was something in that I felt in a good enough mood to do that. I did spend more than half the day watching shows though. And after leaving the library and going back to the food store I watched a few more.

So overall the day was ok. It had nothing new that was sad, but my current sad feelings and worries about things like as and bills just around the corner worried me. But overall I felt ok. Nothing dragged me down too far.

So I try to hang on to the happy things. I try to think if I can do more to be happy, or at least at peace with the sad things that I can't control. And I try to remain hopeful for better days ahead.

Day 3301 - 7/15 - Not terrible

Today was emotionally not terrible. I was in the library most of the day. And when I was not and was at the food store there was a good connection. I mostly watched my shows. As always I helped on forums for a bit. I even felt ok enough to play games. Though again I'm not really sure why I'm playing the two I'm playing. I'll probably try to go back to my old MMO, though with noone I group with and no access to the newest content I'm afraid that would just feel sad.

Nothing bad happened, but I also didn't get any help or donations. So I am still extremely worried about all the short term, and slightly longer term, things.

But I survived the day emotionally, and I didn't lose any of the few things I have left, so it seems like it was not a terrible day. All I can do is try to get decent sleep and hope tomorrow is a better day.

Day 3302 - 7/16 - Super hot

Today was super hot. When I was going to the food store at 9 in the morning it was already too hot. I think I heard from someone that around 8 PM it was barely cooled down to the low 80s.

I guess thankfully I was in the cool library most of the day. I mean, sure, it was the best place to be, but if I had a regular life maybe I could have gone to a pool, or invited people over for BBQ and gaming.

I did play my old MMO for just a teeny bit today, and I may play again in the coming days. But mostly I felt too sad to play. I am extremely low on gas. I have a party and game next weekend, but at the rate things are going I may be out of gas mid-week. And it seems unlikely with as few cans as I have in the car doing recycle would be more than just emergency gas, and the car would have to remain parked and I'd be on foot from then on. So I am very worried again. And very stressed about all the things. And there is no money for laundry, so I worry that I can't go much longer before I'm out of clean cloths. And there are always bigger things looming just a few months down the road.

But I try to hang on until help comes. And I try to look at what I do have left. And I try to stay hopeful and as positive as I can. It's all I can do.

Day 3303 - 7/17 - Card from dad

Today was pretty quiet. I showered and got my parts clean and shaved at school. I got a micro lunch. Things there were very quiet. Even more so later as the library was extra quiet.

I think I pulled or pinched something when I was showering though. I've had this odd occasional tingling at the top of my head where a line back from my eye and over from my ear would cross. Kind of where the edge of my faux-hawk is (though there are no pictures so that doesn't help, heh.) It's almost like the hairs are poking my head, but they aren't. It's like under the skin just a little bit. But it's not there all the time. It's hard to describe.

I finally heard back from dad. I guess he isn't sure if he'll have anything for my birthday in a month so he sent word he sent monies already, which is super good as I've gotten critical lately. It's a decent amount for my life, so I've though and thought and thought. I think, because I don't want it to just be wasted on gas and emergency food, I'll spare a bit of it and get myself an actual present - one of the game expansions I've been looking forward to. It actually will come out I think a week after my birthday, so that's good timing there.

After that part is gone I'll pay a bit of money to the phone, as they've been threatening to suspend my pay as I go phone account if I don't pay something soon. I guess they have a point in that it's probably been inactive and shut off for about 6 months since I haven't had spare to charge it at all. I'll also spare a bit for at least doing the critical needs of laundry. And then a little bit for the bank account monthly fee, and then the rest is about two weeks of gas. Which, while not amazing, should be enough to last until I get more to recycle (though that will probably only be a week of gas), in addition to any help that may come.

I guess today was ok. I felt very sad, I guess melancholy. My eyes had a hard time focusing again. It's almost like something is preventing them from focusing. I don't know if it's just physical exhaustion, or maybe the air conditioners constant fffffffffff that's putting me into a sleep-like state. This sort of inability to focus only happens when I start my day at the library, and only when I'm there several days in a row. My eye doc did say I was at a point where I could use reading glasses, like a quarter step up from my normal prescription, so maybe that's it. But this seems like something deeper in the back of my mind. When it happens it feels like the whole back 1/3 of my brain is being forced to sleep and the rest struggles not to succumb to that sleep. Maybe it's just extreme depression combined with my exhaustion, as my mind may know if there is nothing that could be interesting, why try to stay alert.

I guess besides all my usual sadness things were ok. I tried to focus on the good things I have. I tried to focus on my upcoming b-day, and how tomorrow I will get to watch other people preview the game I want to get in October. (Though this is the console version, as the PC version doesn't happen until August, which I'd be able to get in to.) So I try to stay positive. And I try to hang on until help comes, and make it to better days.

Day 3304 - 7/18 - Tingles on my head

Today is a bit cooler. I'm outside the library in the morning and have my hoodie on because I'm a bit chilly. The past couple of days it's been so hot at this time I was practically sweating in just a T-shirt and had to leave my car, so it seems to be cooling off a bit, at least for the moment.

The funny tingling feeling on my head is either growing is scope or just more noticeable today. It's still right on top, but seems connected to the tendon and jaw muscles which control ear twitching. So I definitely must have tweaked a neck or shoulder muscle in the shower. It seems weird because I don't remember any odd moment.

I guess today will be a fairly regular sad day. Outside of dad's money settling in to my account I don't expect there to be anything different about today. I always hope for help though, maybe news of an opportunity, maybe even start down a path of new friendship or love. But the odds of those seem slight. I suppose I've always been a dreamer though and a romantic, so I will always hope those odds turn out. I guess today ends the week on a hopeful note, as I am not quite in as much of a panic. But until things are permanently better there will always be dangers ahead. And what I hold in my hands slowly crumbles to nothing. But I just have to keep trying to be as happy as I can in the moment, as we never know how long we have.

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

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