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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 481

Day 3361 - 9/13 - Almost tears

Today seems extra sad. I got a shower and got nice and clean, so that was good. But it reminded me how I don't get to do that like a normal person. And even if I wanted to do it every day, currently that would be an extra $1.50 in gas a week, which I really can't afford, which is ridiculously sad.

I played my game pretty much all day, as again I was too exhausted and my brain didn't work well enough to really do much else. Playing as much as I did became extremely difficult. There are a lot of people killing innocent NPCs in the game, which is super violent visually and in how it sounds. (It gives the highest drop rate for a cosmetic thing to drop.) So whenever I was in a town, people dying and being killed is always on the back of my mind.

And there are very poor beggars in town. At one point in the evening when I was feeling particularly sad I heard in the distance one of the cat people speaking to another NPC saying, 'Please. I need to buy food.' And I almost cried. So often I feel like that, and even though I have enough food now I still feel that way. And I still remember my many days in this sad journey when I only had a single small soup for a day and that was all the food I had.

And in the evening checking the mail was no better. I got my car insurance notice and it is not only due on the 1st of October, which I remember it being later in the month, but it is also close to $400, when I remember it being closer to $275. On top of that, if I pay monthly there is almost an additional $9 added every month basically for nothing, which over the course of the year would be more than $100 in additional costs. So that seems really depressing. I might try looking around again at options, but the last time I tried looking everything was about 50% more expensive than even that.

It seems as always I have to pray that help comes, and does so soon. I only have a teeny bit of money left, and that will be gone very soon.

But I try to not be sad. I try to hang on emotionally. I try to continue to hope that enough help comes and I make it another day. As long as I keep making it one day at a time there is still a chance things can change for the better. So I continue to hope tomorrow is a better day.

Day 3362 - 9/14 - Still sad

Today I am still very sad. Though I am recovering from recent panics about death, thoughts of it still loom in my mind. I suppose partly because my games reminded me of it. But also too I think because there is far more bad than good in my life now. And so many things in the game remind me of it as well, either physically, emotionally, or financially. In my real life it seems my future holds far more kinds of death than that which the game remind me of.

But I suppose I held together today. I didn't feel quite as bad or sad as I have been lately. Though nothing has changed, so that is a day to day struggle. I did even manage to laugh a little bit at a few shows I watched. For me that is something, particularly lately with all the additional financial worry.

But I try to hang on. And I try to stay hopeful.

Day 3363 - 9/15 - Dizzy

Today I must be paying a high toll for my exhaustion, particularly since I only got about 5 hours of sleep last night. Since I woke up I've been slightly dizzy. Not enough to impair me to any real degree, just enough that if I were in a home I'd have just lied back down and kept sleeping until I felt better. Hopefully I will catch up and things will be fine, but I guess if it doesn't, in about 1.5 weeks I can sleep in the parking lot at school. Or at least try to.

My back has been hurting too. I guess it's maybe mid-back, just below my shoulder blades. There is a pain. A pinching of my ribs. Slight difficulty breathing. But like the dizziness, not really enough to impair function. At least not yet.

There were some 'how are you doing' social page posts, to which I replied 'sad life is sad'. There was some well-wishing which was nice. I guess I don't really expect any real response to that, so I guess that's something.

I didn't really do much today. I played my game and tried to have fun and be helpful. I watched a few shows, but that was it. I suppose it's good nothing bad happened. I always worry about that.

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

Day 3364 - 9/16 - Itchy paws

Today was ok, I suppose. Nothing good new happened, but nothing bad either. I guess I had fun playing my game. I mean, I did, but it was stuff I've pretty much done before, and I was alone all day, so it was pretty lonely. But I am still glad I have my laptop and my games. I can't imagine how terrible things would be if I couldnt play.

The day passed quicker than I'd have liked, but not being in a home, not having real life friends to game with, either at their place or mine, the day passing slowly or quickly doesn't matter.

The bottoms of my feet have been itchy lately. Not so bad as to bother me during the day, but I am slightly aware of it. I miss being able to have bare feet all the time. Since I have flat feet it's really best they not be in shoes or boots. I suppose I could take them off in the library, many do, but I don't know. That seems rude.

I guess today was ok, but my mind wandered to what it would have been in a home. How my game would at least be on speakers, not headphones. How I'd have controlled the temperature and brightness of the room. That I wouldn't have to wear shoes. How I'd have played just a few hours, then done something else for a bit, perhaps even done so in a different room. How maybe real life friends would have come over for dinner and a game.

But my life is not those things. Not anymore. At least not for the moment. So I try to be happy with what it is, and what I do have, and hope tomorrow is a better day.

Day 3365 - 9/17 - Maybe sick

Today I was a bit sneezy and my eyes are itchy. I wonder if the dizziness the other day was the onset of a minor cold. I can no longer tell when I'm sick from colds and when I'm sick from stress.

Today went very quickly. It was over before I knew what happened. I suppose it was partly because it didn't really start until noon, which is always super late. I guess I held on ok though. I got a shower. I played and watched some shows.

Nothing really changed. Emotionally I am still a wreck. Financially I still have no idea how I will pay for stuff I need to pay for at the end of the month. Let alone more things like more contacts, or the yearly web cost at the end of the year. And things like gas continue to drain as I do my very minimal life things. But I try to hang on and hope for better days ahead. It's about all I can do.

Day 3366 - 9/18 - More sneezes

Today I am even more sneezy. I'm also quite chilly and put on an undershirt. (Though the temperature outside has dropped to below the mid 70s.) I'm pretty sure I have a cold. I'm just a teeny bit dizzy, though not enough to be a bother.

I guess today was ok. I played and had fun, and I had a show to watch too. In the back of my mind I was still sad about the terrible money issues rapidly coming up, but I can't control that. All I can do is hope help will come and hang on until there are better days.

Day 3367 - 9/19 - Ear rain

Last night was rough. Because of stress and worry I've lost a lot of sleep lately and become exhausted. I've lost a few hours each night. I got so stressed last night I started to panic and my tummy freaked out and I started coughing and gagging. It felt like I was being strangled. I had so much acid in my tummy some came up and it felt like I was immediately going to die a horrific science fiction death coughing up my insides being burnt by the tummy acid. I calmed down pretty quickly, but there were several tears down my face.

Though I am still very worried about money, as even the minimum $40 for car insurance rapidly approaches (along with regular costs like a little for gas and my bank account). But I feel ok. In the shower in the morning I put it on extra warm, and when I turned away from the head the drops hit my ears, and I closed my eyes and listened to the ear rain and tried to calm down a bit. I feel hopeful maybe opportunity will come soon, or someone will send help. At the very least I will hopefully have my games and maybe a show to watch, while having a solid connection online. I will try to rest and recover as much as I can. And I will hope for better days ahead. It's all I can do.

Week 482

Day 3368 - 9/20 - Haircut-ish

Today I remembered that I should try to cut my hair while I still have time at school with the bathrooms empty. It was extremely difficult to try and do in the mirror. I gave up trying and basically just did it without, using the mirror after the fact to look for parts that were extremely uneven and fix what I could. Sadly, I again took too much off, but I guess that's better than too little. At a certain length it bugs me, and I think the length I reduced it to should give me a month or maybe two before I should need to worry about it again. Hopefully someday I can be in a home and set up stuff to do it via devices talking to each other and avoid the confusing in the mirror effect.

I guess today was ok. I played my games most of today. At one point I was playing and out of nowhere this kid appeared literally one foot from my screen and probably also one foot from my head, WAY too close to me. He was inches from my desk edge. At his height he had to be at least 8-10 years old, if not older. (He was probably about 4' tall.) I looked at him and then at his mom with a look like 'what the crap is your kid doing in my face' look. I don't know if she was already packing up or saw that and was rapidly changing her mind about sitting in the area near me. I purposely sit in the corner of the library like I do because at the angle I put my laptop there is literally only about a 10 foot space directly behind me (where there is 1.5 sitting spots) where people can see my screen for this very reason. I guess it's ok overall, as it's been a very long time since that happened, but still.

I guess despite my extreme worry about bills, and near emotional panic and breakdown because of it, I actually felt a bit better today. I spent a few hours not playing and doing other things, which is rare lately as I'm usually too exhausted or stressed to even consider doing other things.

So I guess for another day I hang on. And I continue to try and hope that help will come, and that there are better days ahead.

Day 3369 - 9/21 - Winter-ish

Today it was very cold and like winter. The sky was gray and cloudy and I thought it would rain. Such a strange and sudden shift from the 100 degree weather of about a week ago.

Today was extra sad as the last of my money went to gas and reserving some for a last laundry. I have maybe two weeks of gas, if I'm lucky. And, after the wash, there will be a similar two weeks of clothing. If I'm very careful. I only plan to be at school maybe three days during the week, so I shouldn't need to change my outer layers all that much during this coming winter quarter. But, of course, I always hope things will go back to some kind of normal and I can change every day and not worry about the $5 a week for laundry. It seems like forever since that hasn't been a concern.

Besides worry of the last of my money, I guess today was ok. There was news of a special event going on during the weekend in my favorite MMO, so maybe I will get a happy surprise there. Though my one month membership I got for my birthday has run out, so it's sad to lose the special benefits for that.

I was warm enough today and had a show to watch in the evening. And overall I was in pretty good spirits, despite my worry about no money for car insurance and my now two week timers running on everything else as well.

But I held on emotionally. (Though I was near a panic attack of fear of death for a brief moment in the afternoon.) And hopefully opportunity for change will come, and I can find help to hang on until then. And hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 3370 - 9/22 - Sneezy

Today was pretty good. I am very sniffly and sneezy though. My eyes are a bit itchy as well. I don't know if I mentioned it, but a few days ago I noticed the inside of my right forearm was a bit itchy. The itching has gone, but there was a bruise there as well. The bruise is fading, but it seems very odd I was bruised and didn't know why. I have no idea when, or how, I got it.

I haven't gotten any donation help, so I am extremely worried about all the things. I'm sure my weeks will close rapidly.

But I stayed pretty occupied today. I know I would have to occupy myself and stay as happy as I could or the stress would crush me. I've been losing 2-3 hours of sleep a night due to stress and worry. (Which is extra bad since I already don't have a base normal amount to work with.) But I did manage to distract myself. And I stayed reasonably happy. So I pass another day and feel mostly ok.

But still I hope things will get better. I hope help comes. And I hope I can make it to better days ahead.

Day 3371 - 9/23 - Shivering

Today was kind of bad physically. I don't know if it's just my cold getting worse, cold-like symptoms due to lack of sleep or stress, but I'm sneezing quite a bit more. My eyes sort of hurt and are itchy, and the mild constant dizziness is back. And from about 2 on, even with my hoodie on, I was shivering from how cold I felt in the library.

I guess emotionally things weren't as terrible. I had a decent time playing, though pretty quickly after the library opened the place got so full it started getting laggy in game. So that was sad.

The day passed quickly, yet at the same time I both wished I could have been in a home where I could have laid down to rest my sick self, and I wished friends were coming over in the evening to play things with. Neither of these were an option, which is sad. But I suppose things were not terrible, and I hung on ok all things considered. I continue to hope help comes soon, and that tomorrow is a better day.

Day 3372 - 9/24 - Other characters

Today was pretty fun. It started slow at the food store, but I did forum checks and go to play a bit. Most of the day I was doing my every two to three week game. We had a super good time and did a one shot game since one person was out. We were different characters, so that was different.

The evening was a pretty common Sunday evening back at the food store. I played for a little bit more and that was about it. There were lots of super cute girls around, which was odd for it being early night time. But, besides the reminder they are out there; none even glanced at me, and almost all were with other people or boyfriends.

Tomorrow I will be at school. Really just for the shower and micro, so that will be strange. I'll have to see how that goes not being able to be a TA helper person. There isn't much for me on campus if that is the case, so I'll have to see how that feels. I expect I'll only be there Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, with Wednesday being the only required day since it's the only one I have class. I guess we'll see what is what with that as time goes on.

So for now I try to relax. I try not to freak out over money worries which are rapidly gaining on me. I try to hope help comes and that I can hang on until better days.

Day 3373 - 9/25 - Not too weird

Today as my first day back on campus. I can't say back at school because, while I am here, I don't have class until Wednesday. Things are weird being here without class when I can't help, but so far it isn't too weird. I guess I'll see if that changes in time.

Some people said hi. The professor who's room I sit next too said he was glad to see me. So I would assume he remembers at last part of my sad story. I saw maybe half a dozen student people who said hi too.

There are lots of cute girls around. Which is good in that it helps me stay hopeful that I will eventually find someone, but sad as I know there is no reason for any of them to interact with me anymore. (And thus part of why things may get weirder in time, as I may feel more out of place as fewer know me and thus fewer interact with me.)

But I guess the day passed ok. The internet seems fixed, so that was solid and ridiculously fast all day. (Still not quite as fast as on a landline in a home, but nearly 10x what I need for the things I do.) Though needing to pay car insurance in now less than a week has me a bit panicked since I have no idea if help will come. But I suppose I made it through my day ok. And I hang on to hope for tomorrow.

Day 3374 - 9/26 - Worries

Today I am very worried. I lost about two hours of sleep last night worrying about my due car insurance in less than a week. I don't know how I'll pay for the month, let alone the year. I did look around a bit yesterday for online quotes, and the insurance I have is cheaper than the others (some by as much as 50%.) So it's the best option, yet I have nothing for it. I continue to hope $40 in help comes in the next few days, but help is extremely rare these days.

Sitting here trying to write and relax, it is extremely difficult. My mind is so stressed from worry if it's not distracted I can't think or focus. And when it is, obviously it is not thinking. And while I couldn't sleep last night, when I did I had bad worrisome dreams.

I try to hope today will be a good day with fun games and maybe people saying hi, but there is so much stress and worry. I hope help comes. And I continue to hope I can hang on until better days come.

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

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