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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 479

Day 3347 - 8/30 - Panic, again

Yesterday went much better than expected with the download. I went over to school and there were lots of people around doing placement tests and tours, so I didn't feel odd being there. The connection was about double its fast speed and I got the game in only 3 hours. On top of that when I got to the library my regular spot was open. So I had a pretty normal day from 1 on.

Sadly my evening didn't go as well. I started thinking about classes and running out of classes to take and financial aid coming after me. And not being able to TA anymore, so I feel like nothing will last when I'm gone. And started thinking about how short my time feels, even provided I have my full 40 years left. My heart started pounding and I got chilled and cried for a short bit.

I am still shaken now. I am still very panicked and more fragile than ever thinking about my future and what I may or may not be able to do.

Today I wanted to do things other than play, but every time I stopped distracting myself I started to feel the worry and panic returning. So I again fought it off and distracted myself as quickly as I could.

I didn't really have a terrible day. I was on the verge of panic for much of it, but it is what it is. I had fun with my games, so that was super good. I am extremely tired though. My panic caused a lot of lost sleep, so by the early afternoon my eyes literally couldn't focus on anything and I had a very hard time distracting myself even with shows, which required little physical focus.

So I guess today was both bad and good. Things emotionally are very bad due to physical limitations. Yet also good because I have happy birthday game things to keep me distracted. So I try to hang on, shaky as I may be these days. And I hope for more opportunity. I try to self-comfort where and how I can. And hopefully there will be better days ahead.

Day 3348 - 8/31 - Fearful and fast

Today I was still fearful. I was much better, but at a few points I was shaken. Playing games which involve people fighting and killing may not be the best decision. But even things like story can get me. In my favorite MMO, where all lines are voice acted there was a story of an older father (though he sounded like he was around 50) who was dying and you were to collect memories for his adult children. During the story he met his wife, fell in love, and watched his wife die in his arms. And at the end, his children are brought to him, but it is too late. He is already gone. I was almost crying, as that seems similar to my life, in that my story is untold and unheard. I suppose though I am not dying, at least not to my knowledge, but there are no children to tell my story to.

But the day was pretty good other than that. My eyes did again get impossibly blurry to the point of not being able to read for a few hours right around the afternoon time again. I've always had a hard time focusing during that time I suppose.

I had fun enough during the day though and it seemed to pass quickly. I wished it had not passed so quickly. But it did. And it is another day gone. I worry so many are passing in these terrible homeless times. So much time lost. So much time I've had my life on hold due to lack of opportunity and lack of connection. But I continue to try and stay hopeful. I still have about as many years ahead as behind. And so I continue to hope I find a forever home, and that good days are still ahead.

Day 3349 - 9/1 - Hottest ever

Today was the hottest day ever. When I was starting to feel faint and tired in the library in the later afternoon it was showing it was still 106F, so it probably hit 110 or higher. The public library didn't keep up, as it got uncomfortable by 2. I hope the AC isn't broken again. If it's broken the next few days will be unbearable.

I guess it was a reasonably ok other than that. I played my games without issue most of the day, though in the later afternoon the heat levels worried me, so I backed out and did regular non-gaming stuff.

I felt sad and worried about my future, as always. But I tried to focus on the fun of my game. I tried not to worry about the sad things. And, as always, I try to stay hopeful there are better, and cooler, days ahead.

Day 3350 - 9/2 - Over 110

Today was insanely hot. It was over 110F. The library AC was still broken. Supposedly someone was there working on it, but I played little because I feared how hot my system was. Hot air in means it can't cool. By about noon even I was starting to sweat a bit. And by 3 I couldn't take it anymore and went to the food store.

The food store was cool, though I was close enough to the door every now and then I could still feel a blast of heat from outside. Now it's a couple hours past sunset and it's still over 80F.

I guess today wasn't terrible. The heat, overall, reduced my computer use greatly, and reduced what I could do overall. And with the library closed Monday I fear a similar thing then. But I suppose, physical ills, emotional ills, and money worries aside, today wasn't terrible. It still was not what I planned, and certainly not what I would have preferred, but I suppose overall that isn't really different from my other homeless days.

Day 3351 - 9/3 - Still so hot

Today it was still so very hot. The morning was spent at the food store, so I was cool there. But there was no connection in the morning or evening there, so those times, while cool, passed pretty slowly.

My time at the library was ok, but again the AC was broken. There was a sign saying they hoped to have it up by Tuesday. (They are closed tomorrow.) It was super hot there, but not quite as hot as yesterday. The temperature was mostly around 95F outside, hitting just under 100F. So inside was a bit cooler at a temperature I was just barely starting to sweat. My laptop was hotter than I'd like, hot air in doesn't do much to cool, but really only 1/3 of it was overly warm. Which isn't too much for the system, as the GPU area can get that warm even under normal cooling conditions. So I got to play and have fun just about as normal at the library. However, due to the heat, my brain was fuzzy and wibbly wobbly most of the time.

My fauxhawk is getting quite long. I've chaotically snipped it down a bit, for maybe the third or fourth time now. I won't be able to do that much longer before I need to do a serious sit down and measuring and trimming with a mirror. What I really need though is to have multiple devices and real-time chat myself an image from behind or above. Without that I don't think it will ever look anything close to good. Which is a funny thought after having hair too short to do anything but razor trimming in probably 15 years.

The evening cooled down slightly after the sun went down. It is strange because there was all of this hot air pocketed, as well as things like cars radiating heat from the day. But there was a cool breeze starting, so there was this odd hot and cold current you normally don't see unless you are on the coast.

But I suppose I hung on today. I was really too hot to think, so I passed through without the ability to worry. But still, I hope for better days ahead.

Day 3352 - 9/4 - Cool enough

Today was again super hot. Since it was a holiday and things were closed it was extra difficult. Technically it's not over yet. There are still a few hours left until I sleep, but since I am somewhere cool I thought I'd write while my mind is a bit clearer.

The day was spent split at the food store for a few hours in the morning and evening. In the middle it wasn't too hot, so I went to be outside of school. The day was overcast so I was in shadow. Because of that I was warm, but not hot. The temperature is showing in the high 80s, but my system was ok with it. So I just played.

The day was mostly ok, but needing to go here and there, being hot and sweaty, not being able to stay in a single place, not being able to shower and be cool, or doing BBQ or games with friends, was all just a reminder how different and sad my life feels. But I continue on. I try to stay as happy as I can. And I continue to hope for better days.

Day 3353 - 9/5 - A sign of me

Today has started off too warm. I don't know the temperature, but I'd guess it's already in the high 70s to low 80s. I got a shower at school, so I'm finally clean smelling and showered. Though with warmer weather that may not hold out for long. And if the library doesn't have AC, these clean cloths will be somewhat smelly in probably less than an hour. I can change to a tank top and spare the shirt at least if need be, so there is that, I suppose.

The day is starting sad. I had to shower in a lesser locker-room as the main one had no lights or power. It's already too warm. What little money I have left is rapidly dwindling. And the changes of the upcoming quarter and this really being the last school year I can hide from financial aid loans loom over my head like impending doom. But I try to just focus on today. I try to focus on being able to connect at the library and distract myself with games or shows. And I remain hopeful they will have the AC fixed and maybe my mind and body will be able to recover and I get a chance to do something more than just barely hold on to what is left of me.

Edit: Going to my usual seat at the library a little note paper is still in the place I left it. When I was last here I did some mathing comparisons for my character in my MMO. It made me think of back in the day with my desk in my room. I'd have a place for little note papers, my drink, pens, and a few knickknacks. It made me think of a room or home, perhaps an unfamiliar one to you where an elderly person had passed. It made me think about the why of my things where they were, and if a person knew me, and knew my habits, those things would tell a story. But what if no one knows your story and can't explain it? What if they don't care to hear your story, or allow themselves to be touched by you or your story? Will those things simply be put away in a box or scattered different directions when you are gone? The story left untold. I continue to hope I have enough time to find some people in my life who will care about my story and have a normal life, at least in part. I know there are some out there virtually reading who care, but it would be nice to know there are more. It would be nice to know my story and influence matter.

As always, I try to hang on to hope. And I look forward to what will hopefully be better days.

Week 480

Day 3354 - 9/6 - Cooling

Today the library seemed cooler. I don't know when exactly things turned back to normal, but by just after noon I was a hair on the chilly side and put on my long sleeve shirt over my T-shirt (but had it open with the sleeves rolled up.) So the library temperature seems back to normal.

And the outside seems to have cooled as well. Though when I checked the temperature it said it was in the low 80s, but it felt much cooler, as if it were closer to the mid 70s.

Emotions are still shaky for me. I am still worried about all the things, as the time has come that my ability to hide in school from student loans is rapidly drawing to a close, and I am seemingly no closer to a job, let alone a career.

I am still exhausted from my various stresses, and I suppose in part the heat, and lost sleep over the past few nights. So I had no extra brain power to do anything but hang on. And again I could barely function much of the day. But I did hold on. I did feel mostly ok. And these days that is something. But, as always, I hope tomorrow is a better day.

Day 3355 - 9/7 - Chilly

Today went very quickly. I'm not sure why. I had my shower start at school, which had some odd caution tape over some of the showers, but there was evidence people had showered in other areas, so I wasn't worried.

After, I had a pretty normal day at the library. The AC was back to normal and outside was likely 75-80 most of the day. So by the early afternoon with the AC going at normal levels I was pretty chilly.

Maybe the day passed quickly because I am exhausted. With loss of seep lately, extra stress from the holiday weirdness, and extra fear of death and an uncertain future, I am extremely distracted. And along with those I try and bury myself further in the escape it gives. Maybe that has added up to a faster passage of time.

I suppose all I can do is continue as I do, and try to hang on to what's left, look at just today, and hope for better days ahead.

Day 3356 - 9/8 - Spilt pills

Today was pretty good, though I don't really remember it. I know it passed much slower than I thought. I know I played and was distracted and had fun. But I don't really remember much else.

When I went to take my evening cholesterol pills I discovered the bottle had popped open in my backpack pocket. The pills were everywhere in the small pocket because the bottle was upsideown. This made me very sad. Not for cleaning it up, the pocket was clean and that only took a minute or two. But the fact that stress and sadness has caused me to need various pills. The fact that I need to keep them in my backpack or car, and that they can spill is sad. The fact that I live a life where I am wondering if I should keep them in a plastic bag 'just in case' is not a thing I should need to consider, let alone the fact that I worry when those small bags will run out because I don't have money for more.

It seems again today, while ok, was a series of reminders of how I need to live my everyday life in non-normal and not everyday ways. Basic things like needing to be on a laptop (instead of a desktop), wearing headphones (instead of listening through speakers), considering what $5 food sale item to get and it needs to last two days because that's my budget, are all just very dumb and sad things that remind me that my life, and me, are not like everyone else. Everything I do must be done differently. And that I can't control that, that I can't just go home and have everything normal again.

But I try to let it pass. I try not to let it affect me. And I hope for better days ahead.

Day 3357 - 9/9 - The reappearing doughnut

Today was another pretty regular homeless day. I supose it was neither bad nor good. It was it's usual neutral of both some bad and some good.

Yesterday I'd gotten a donught to snack on in the evening. But when it was time I couldn't find it. I had a vague memory of where it was in the morning, and figured it fell out of my backpack from where it was. But this morning I found it in its bag in the car. It was a nice surprise. Thankfully its cost isn't too big of a deal these days. It was more the disappointment that I'd thought I had a night treat waiting for me all day and discovering it was not there was very sad. I get so few things I can rely on and look forward to these days.

The rest of the day was pretty regular. I played at the library. I did forum and social site stuff. And since I had enough, I did a laundry in the evening. There wasn't really anything good in the day, and I was still overly tired and could do little that required actual thought. But I suppose nothing bad happened. And that, in itself, is basically good.

So I try and hang on. I try to stay hopeful. And I hope tomorrow is a better day.

Day 3358 - 9/10 - So hot again, canceled

Today it got super hot again. By the morning time at the food store I was already somewhat uncomfortably warm. I didn't check during the day, but at 8 at night it had only cooled back down to 90F.

My every 2 or 3 week game was canceled. A couple of the people were sick (which is nearly half the group). It's a super fun thing, but it's rare enough that missing it doesn't seem so bad. It did, however, tweak my eating plans, as I'd already gotten food before seeing it was canceled. I'd already planned to go to school to try and shower, so I decided to alter that to sneak in where the church people are and micro my food before the library opened. It worked out fine. I ate lunch there, and put dinner in a plastic container to keep it during the day.

I guess the day was ok. IT just rolled into any other homeless Sunday. I played my game and had a pretty good time, which is good because I am still exhausted physically and unable to really think mentally. But I suppose the extra new hobbies I would mostly like to try are probably more physical than mental. ... I don't know. I would still like to do more. Something that will still be there if I were suddenly not. Something that told a story of who I was. But without financial opportunity, and without the reduction in stress to think creatively to do something like writing, it seems that can't happen.

But I try to hang on. And I continue to hope tomorrow is a better day.

Day 3359 - 9/11 - 90F and rain

Today was pretty weird for weather. It was around 90F, but there were slight thunder showers. Which isn't unusual for some areas of the country, but around here... I don't even remember the last time it rained when it was hot.

Last night got crazy too. Around 3 in the morning it was so windy it sounded like trees were going to get blown over. I remember thinking in my mostly asleep state if feels like we are on our way to some kind of global weather disaster. Extreme heat waves for this quarter of the continent, flooding in Texas, horrible tornados in Florida. They all sound like the first 15 minutes of some post apocalypse disaster movie.

I guess my day overall wasn't bad. I gave some advice to people on the social page. At least my sad life and pain have allowed me perspective that maybe helps others. And I played my game and mostly had fun all day. Though being solo in my game is getting lonely again. During dinner break there were some support animals visiting the library, so I pet a nice kitty. There were some nice doggies, but I didn't want to risk petting them, as the longer hairs tend to trigger my allergies quicker.

But I suppose the day wasn't bad. And nothing got worse. I did like the rain. I always find that soothing. But hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 3360 - 9/12 - Waiting

Today is starting out less gray. Though the air feels heavy, like there is humidity. It seems unlikely it will rain again as most of the sky is blue. It seems hopeful to change back to warm weather, though I find myself wishing it would rain more to settle my emotions.

I feel like I am just waiting today. Waiting for the library to open. Waiting for school to start to continue to keep financial aid loans at bay. Waiting for an opportunity for a job or career. Waiting for my new game to release. Waiting for love or new (close) friends.

But I suppose I am ok. Waiting means I am alive. Waiting means I have hope. Waiting for something that might still happen for me. It is better than feeling like life is passing me by, ignoring me. And still I hope for better days ahead.

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

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