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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 483

Day 3375 - 9/27 - Touchstone

Today was better emotionally. Worry about the car insurance payment in a few days is extreme and very stressful, but I don't know what to do about that. In theory I can be a little bit late and it's ok. But if I'm much more than a week I think they may shut off my coverage, bump me from the service, and inform the DMV I'm not insured anymore, which would be very big trouble.

But much of the day I was able to keep bad thoughts at bay. I had class and it was not as bad as I thought it would be. It was actually kind of fun.

Last night my professor I used to TA help for was kind of freaking out. There are some troubling students in a class this quarter and she basically begged me to come hang out in the lab when she did class. She said she needed some kind of stability and support there; even if I couldn't help. She struggled for the words and I suggested 'like a safety blanket or touchstone for security', and she agreed that's what it was like. Plus, she said if the dean got mad that I was hanging out in the lab she'd go nuts because that would be absurd to refuse me that if I was just hanging out and not helping.

Today she was still sad I couldn't help. It's the second class for the new quarter for the basic class. We were talking about how dumb it is I can't help. And now the school is off budget and even dropping some paid TA positions, and may need to drop some classes or even professor positions if things don't pick up. So that's even more of a reason to keep and encourage helpers.

She said she found out one of the departments does have helpers, and they are getting a stipend program she was looking into. (So I guess the school and the helper gets monies for that?) So she said she will reach out to them and see how they are doing it. So maybe that can be some leverage towards getting me back into a helping position and maybe even some kind of monies.

So that is super good news. That would be super happy. I can't help but think I am still on a timer. More so from the car insurance due in a few days. But also even if I got to help, and even if I did get some kind of monies, I still have maybe 10 months before I will be out of classes completely.

But I have to try and focus on today. I have to not look at sad things, nor sad things around the corner, particularly things I can't control. I have to continue to look at the good, at what I do have. And I hope that good things do come in the future, and help comes to help me hang on until my forever better days.

Day 3376 - 9/28 - Sneezing so much

Today I was sneezing quite a lot. Maybe not as much as a big cold, but certainly a few times every hour. I would guess I do have a cold, as I'm also very tired.

Last night was kind of bad. In the night I was listening to what I've made for a spooky game soundtrack, as listening to stuff I've collected to play when I may someday have friends and DM in the future usually calms me. But last night it backfired. Due to all the worry about no money for car insurance, thoughts of losing the car becase of it, along with recent threats of being overdue on student loans, all had me quickly spiraling. I thought of losing the car, my already poor health declining further, and rapid decline and death after. I tried to shoo away the thoughts of death as quick as I could. I suppose I did. But my heart rate was elevated, and I lost about three hours of sleep.

But today I tried to shoo the thoughts and worries away. I continue to hope help for the car insurance comes. And I emailed the people and told them I am back in school and to update their records. (I don't need to make student loan payments if I'm in class.)

I had a pretty good time with my game most of the day. Though in the later afternoon my eyes and mind couldn't focus. Worry began to take over, and I had a lot less fun than I otherwise would have normally.

But I tried to hang on to hope. I got through the day. And I continue to try and stay hopeful, as tomorrow is a new day.

Day 3377 - 9/29 - Almost out... of everything

Today is extra sad. There were no donations. And while I never expect them to come and save me, I don't know how I'll manage. Gas is down to about a week. I don't have enough to cover my monthly bank account fee in my bank account. (Though there is a small pledge from a person who will come when that's due, so I should be ok.) My car insurance payment is due on Sunday. And one prescription of the three has been out for a month, with the other days away from being out. Yet I lack the $10 for an appointment to go to the doc to get refills. So it feels like everything is very rapidly running out. Yes, the root of all of these is money, easily solved if I can get some. But it seems only a couple of people are watching out for me these days. So I'm sure if they would help they would. And opportunity continues to not come. I feel alone. And it feels like I will lose what I have left.

I tried to have fun with my game. I tried to focus on the fact that, for the moment at least, my system still works and I have my games. And, thanks to birthday gifts, there is even one waiting not yet released.

But today was extra difficult emotionally. I don't know how I will manage in the coming days. But I will try to hang on. I will try to keep hoping. If I stop... what little strength I have left emotionally to hang on would be lost, and I likely would never be able to stop crying.

Day 3378 - 9/30 - Slow and worried

Today passed very slowly. I don't know why, but it felt about three times longer than normal. Maybe because help has still not come, and as such I couldn't stop worrying, or running bad what-if scenarios through my mind. Try as I might with my fun games, I couldn't find enough distraction to stop worrying.

I am still pretty sneezy and stick feeling. I don't really feel bad sick, just very extremely tired, and have difficulty focusing enough to truly care about things I otherwise would care about or otherwise enjoy.

All I can do is try to hang on. And try to hang on to hope that help will come.

Day 3379 - 10/1 - Of two and a half minds

Today I seem to be split and of different minds. The worrying side of me can't stop worrying. Today the first insurance payment is officially due, and I don't have the $40 for it, let alone the $375 to pay it all off at once. My mind spirals trying to think of what to do.

The other big part of my brain was trying to ignore things as best as I could. I tried to let things go and tried to play and have fun. And were it not for the constant back and forth war with my worry I'd have succeeded.

But there was another part. Maybe some of both sides. That part wandered; trying to think sideways between both. I thought of what if I were in a home, and how playing or show watching would be different. I thought about what if I had friends, and a home; would they be coming over for a game? Would I make snacks or pre-game dinner? How could I eat differently to try and get into better shape? Would I stretch and do my mini-workout like I used to?

I suppose today had more good than bad. I was as happy as I could be all things considered. Yet I was constantly worried. I could not stop worrying. And with the bill worries comes minor panic and fear of death. The chill of the void lapping at the back of my mind, like a distant shore, the waves crashing gently, distant.

But I tried to focus on the fun I could have. I tried to focus on the fact I know there are those out there who watch out for me, and hope more come in the future. And with that, maybe help will come and I can continue to hang on until better days.

Day 3380 - 10/2 - Sore thighs

Today my thighs were very sore. I have no idea why. It's almost as if I had done one of my more vigorous stretching mini-workouts and focused on legs. It may have something to do with stress, and my barely getting six hours of sleep most nights. More and more my body has been aching because of stress and lack of sleep. I suppose it could be because I'm walking funny. My paws got extra dry recently, and the bottoms got cracked and have owies. Since I have flat feet it's possible I'm doing something like trying to curve my feets and causing cramps from trying to create an arch to avoid the owies.

I asked for help on a social site. While my post 'has reached' a lot of people, so far only two have sent help. It's enough for a bit of gas, maybe close to two weeks if I'm very lucky, so that was more than I expected. But sadly it's not as much as I'd have hoped. I'd hoped there would be enough help for a bit of gas, but more importantly that first $40 for an insurance payment. Maybe more will come. I have to keep hoping it will.

I suppose I had fun today. Some people said hi and I played a bit. I chatted with the professor I used to do TA help for. And I played my game and tried to have fun. I helped on the forums, though I still wonder if it's worth it. It seems my MVP status gives me nothing; not even the virtual stuff I used to get in years past.

But I tried to hang on today. It was warm enough. I had a shower in the morning. I had microwaved food. And I had a stable and strong connection to do online stuff. I guess it wasn't bad, but there was still no point in the day that I stopped worrying.

But still I try. I try to have fun. I try to hang on by doing so, and I try to hang on to hope that help will come and I will make it to a better day.

Day 3381 - 10/3 - Still sneezing

Today I am still sneezy and sniffly. It's not bad, just a bit every hour. But I still worry about it since I can do very little to recover from colds.

I had a terrible time sleeping last night and this morning. I didn't have nightmares, but they were bad and stressful dreams. Most likely from stress leaking through from my conscious mind.

I have been able to relax at least a little lately. I am having fun in my games. And lately I have written about six pages of background for a character. So it's good to know I'm not so worried and stressed I can't enjoy things at least a little.

But worry does consume me to my core these days. It is almost impossible to not constantly worry about everything. So much would just take a little bit of money, yet only a few are helping and things are getting much tougher, and are now becoming impossible, without that help.

But I try to hold on to hope. And I continue to try to hang on until help comes.

Week 484

Day 3382 - 10/4 - Surreal

Today was ok emotionally. Though I was unable to keep thoughts and worries about my overdue insurance from my mind, I did have some fun with my game, and was distracted by class.

Class had a very surreal experience. We were down in the soundstage and after being up in the control room and hearing all the things while having a headset on for about 10 cycles, when I finally had my turn to be the person in front of the camera it was very surreal. It was super dark with just the outline of the six or so people on set. I heard no voices. And though I knew a certain camera on meant there would be music, I heard none. In a weird way it was almost like I was in my own space, similar I suppose to when I do podcasting. But knowing there were people watching me, without speaking, was quite odd.

Again I thought I am very afraid of death. The chills and worries are not subsiding. I know my death is not close, and I hope nothing happens to make it so, but everything feels weird. Everything feels far too basic, like everything is a waste of time. I suppose it's because I don't have the big things. I don't have that family, however large or small, around me. I don't have a sweetie or little ones who I would live on through if I were suddenly gone. And though there is a small number of people I see on a semi-regular basis, none are close friends who would truly mourn my loss. Though there may be a few stories they keep with them.

I suppose with few to no opportunities I am just a voice in the dark, or I am just passing time until better times come. And I don't know if I will ever have the bigger things.

But for the moment I continue on. I try to hang on to hope. I try to ignore death, like everyone else. And I try to stay hopeful that better days are still ahead.

Day 3383 - 10/5 - Food goes flop

Today was odd. I got an extra shower at school and hung out for a bit. By the time the few hours had passed and I was off to the library it already felt like an extra day had passed. Not in terms of my energy level, which was extra odd. I was fine there, but it felt... long.

I almost had barely any food today. I had put everything into a bag at the store. I was also carrying something. I put the bag on the roof, then opened the door and trunk (the trunk lock stopped working a while ago, so I have to pull the lever). I placed the thing in the trunk, and then grabbed something to move into the car from the trunk. For some reason (maybe because I was holding the thing) I completely forgot about the food bag. And somehow I failed to see it while getting in the car, despite it being right there at eye level. I was driving away when I heard a flop of a paper bag and looked in my mirror and saw my food. Had my window not been down that 1/4" I never would have heard the bag fall and I'd have kept going. But I backed up, opened my door, and grabbed the bag.

It was very odd. I don't really forget stuff like that. I think, because of how my life is so unsettled, yet I cling to the routines I can, I have somewhat lost the capacity to easily remember things outside of my usual pattern. In a home you'd remember those odd differences in routine. There would be a reason for change. The five million things I'm currently constantly worrying about wouldnt be an issue, so unusual things would stand out. It was... odd.

Speaking of constant worry; the person who has helped me so much has again sent big help. So, tomorrow I'll pay the overdue month. And as soon as I can (it may not be an option for a few weeks) I'll pay November as well. Hopefully I can hang on enough to do so. He sent enough for, in theory, two months, a laundry, and a bit over one week of gas. So, depending when I pay it, I may or may not have enough for that second month. Though when I do I'll be totally tapped again and whatever gas I have will be it. So hopefully help will continue to come until things are better.

I had fun with my game today. Though I played my online game quite a lot, and there are a lot of people you need to kill. By the early afternoon I was starting to feel sad and again started somewhat fearing and worrying about my own death. I may need to play other things where I'm not killing people more often. Though pretty much every game I have but one is killing people in some form. (And at this point I play that game less than about an hour a week.)

But today I got a lot of help. And I hung on emotionally. Which these days seems to be about all I can do. So I continue to hope tomorrow is a better day.

Day 3384 - 10/6 - Forgetting myself

Today was ok emotionally, though I tried to pay the car insurance and the site was down. That better not be an issue because I really don't have phone money to call them.

In the evening things were a bit sad. I had some extra time, so I decided to just meander in a store next to the food store. There were Halloween decorations. Some spooky, some silly, but it reminded me I used to look at Halloween displays at many stores in the past. Seeing the fun would always cheer me up. I suppose tonight it did too. I left smiling.

But I pretty quickly became sad. Not so much because I couldn't buy any decorations. Not because I have no home to put them in. But because I have been in such a bad position for so long in my life that I forgot. I completely forgot it was a thing. I completely forgot that was a part of who I was. I am forgetting... me.

I still hope once I am in a home and back to some form of normalish life I will remember these traditions. I hope I remember me. I think the thing that scares me almost more than death is that when I do come out I may not be me. I may be forever scared and changed. I may be... someone else.

Day 3385 - 10/7 - Movie

Today was pretty good. At the moment I don't remember much. I spent one of the two free movie tickets I had to go see a movie that, in some ways, I've been waiting 30 years for.

I guess today was ok. I tried again to make a payment, and again the site as still broken. I may see if I can connect with my phone to the school internet and do the free calling to get that done. It seems like they can't get it together and fix their site.

So today was ok. I was distracted for most of the day from my sad thoughts. There are always things I miss, ways I'd have preferred things be done. But that is not my life, at least not for the moment. I have to try and accept that, and look at what I do have. And hopefully help continues to come and I can hang on until my forever better days.

Day 3386 - 10/8 - Don't remember it

Today was ok, I guess. I don't really remember it. I know I was at the food store in the morning. And I played and watched a show at the library. And I suppose I do remember the day, but it doesn't really stand out.

The odd thing is there is one thing that stands out about the day. There was a commercial during the show, I have no idea what for, and the person was a baker. He was setting up cookie dough balls to be baked later in the day. I think it stood out because I have no idea when I last did that. In recent years before I was homeless I'd just bought the pre-made dough. It's probably been close to 15 years or so since I made them from scratch.

I suppose it's just one of those times my mind feels like it's lost a part of me; something I've forgotten that I may never get to do again.

But I had a decent day. There were no new donations, and the library was chilly. But I played, watched a show, had enough food, and have enough to do laundry. And looking at just today that is pretty good. And I continue to hope tomorrow is a better day.

Day 3387 - 10/9 - Minimum

Today things were pretty good. There was a bit of weirdness with the connection with some slowness and disconnections a few times, but hopefully that was just a hiccup and the connection will be normal after today.

I used the wireless on my phone to make a call to pay the insurance. They only gave me the option of paying all of it at $375, or a single payment at $42. So, obviously, I went with the onetime payment. Which I guess was for the best, as about $45 is all I have left total in my account after that payment. Which would be... unsafe to spend on the next payment as my account would be almost completely empty after.

I had a pretty good time today though. I talked to a few people about things. I played my game. And I watched a show. I even laughed a bit here and there.

I am still very worried. I had sad almost nightmares most of last night. I still don't know how I'll manage. But I kept the sad thoughts at bay. They did not overwhelm me today.

So for today I hung on emotionally. And I try to hang on to the money which is left, as it is very close to enough for the next payment due in three weeks. And I hope tomorrow is a better day.

Day 3388 - 10/10 - Hopeful, but tired

Today I am hopeful, but very tired. I had to get up about 45 minutes early, and on top of that I tried to get a shower because they were ice cold yesterday and they were still ice cold. I hope they fix that soon. While I can get parts mostly clean, doing extra things like shaving and brushing my teeth and stuff is difficult to impossible when it's not at least warm. I think of all the things that would help put me in a much better position, and I think a warm to hot shower with (at least semi) private space to do maintenance things would make me feel a lot better.

But I am settled at school now. It is warm and comfy. (At least as comfy as sitting on the floor can be.) I have micro foods, and will hopefully have a strong and stable connection. And I try to hang on to hope more help will come soon and I can hang on to what I have left. Mostly I hope my sad thoughts don't dominate my mind, and I hope there are better days ahead.

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

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