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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 485

Day 3389 - 10/11 - He was missed

Today was better emotionally. The morning had a bit of trouble with the connection, but because there was class it passed quickly enough. During class the teacher was explaining a particular concept, and he said he was sad the bunny wasn't there, as it was a perfect example of the concept. I said it was my bunny and I could draw him real quick, so I did. It meant a lot that the bunny was both missed and useful for teaching since I can no longer help. I was curious why he'd never taken a picture of him and he said the bunny was there for the past years, so he just had come to expect that the bunny would still be there. That was a nice surprise to hear as well in a time when I feel uncertain about if I will be there or not. People still expect to see me in my spot, and notice my presence and feel weird if I'm not there. Not friends, not interaction, but it is something to know my presence and visibility is at least some kind of touchstone for people.

In the back of my mind I was still worried about all the things. But today I was distracted enough they didn't bother me.

Tomorrow I won't be on campus though; part of my new split schedule between there and the library. So tomorrow and through the weekend keeping sad thoughts at bay will be more difficult.

But I try to hang on. I try to stay hopeful. And hopefully I will have better days.

Day 3390 - 10/12 - Disconnect

Yesterday during class we watched all the things we'd filmed the first few weeks. I knew I didn't want to see myself, but I really look nothing like I think I do in my head. My mind can ignore all of the ethnic traits I don't like. I don't think of myself from that culture, so seeing physical traits of people from that culture... is not something I would choose if I could.

Even ignoring that, I do not look as I'd expect. On the screen was this barrel chested, chubby, borderline fat guy, with super pale, almost deathly, white skin. And on top of this eggshell white egg of a head was a crazy fluff of chaotic hair.

I know people see me how they see me. I know to them how I look is normal, as I look like I look and they expect nothing else. And while my hair isn't the best (I definitely cut it too short last time) I'm sure it is accepted for what it is.

But I am very overweight from where I'd like to be. From my knees down, and on much of my arms, I feel tight. I feel lean. I don't feel fat in those parts. Yet for a while now my tummy area and chest have been big. Grabbing my gut tonight I would guess I must actually be back up to, if not over, 200. I will try and do all I can to get back down. I'd still really like to be back closer to 175. But it seems an almost impossible task due to my homeless stress, not being able to eat well, declining health because of those, and now the reality that I am closer to 50 than not.

Today it seems all I can do is try and hang on. I try to hope for better days. I try to hope I can make it out of these terrible times, and through to better days. Days when I can have a home again. When I can have my things set up and watch shows or play games as I should. When I can have traditions back like watching movies on Saturday night, or hang up decorations for various holidays. And maybe I could even have real life friends again, who come over for game nights, who I can laugh and have a good time with.

I try to hang on to hope. And maybe someday those days will come.

Day 3391 - 10/13 - Just a few

Today was kind of good. I got to be at the library and mostly the connection was strong and stable. I played a game and watched a few shows. The new season is starting, so ones I haven't seen in a while are coming back.

I tried a shower in the evening. Finally the water was hot. So that means it either finally got fixed today, or what scares me as a more likely scenario, they are starting to not have hot water on in the morning. Switching showering to the evening isn't really a big deal. It's not really convenient, but I used to shower in the evenings all the time. I guess I'll know more Monday morning. For the moment I got a nice hot shower and feel pretty ok.

I had a better time than usual today. But I am still worried about all the things. I am really extremely tired; probably from a cold, probably stress, probably depression. But emotionally today was a lot better. I was at least distracted, and enjoyed the distraction.

I kind of feel like I forgot something I was supposed to do, but I can't think of what that could be.

But today I hung on, and so I try to stay hopeful. And hopefully there will be better days ahead.

Day 3392 - 10/14 - Outsider

Today I felt like an outsider. I suppose mostly because that horrible guy is always around now. The one who smells like a sewer that threw up on another sewer. He's always at the food store and always at the library. When I see him this frequently I feel like I'm a leech, like him. I know it's not true because I would jump at the chance to be back in a home and a normal life. He seems completely oblivious and like he would never stop being a disgusting homeless person doing nothing but sleeping in public and watching his foreign shows online.

It is hard to be happy and think things will get better when I frequently see others who are homeless, in some cases much longer than I have. I suppose I could go back to spending more time at school, but without being able to help in class I doubt that would provide the connection to a normal life that I would be looking for.

In the back of my mind I felt half fixated on the sad things; bills, money running out, gas running out, the weather getting colder, my health getting poorer. And the other half was partly distracted by my game tomorrow; thinking of a normal life with other friends, other games, dinner and board games, shows and movies watched on a TV instead of my monitor.

So I suppose I hung on today. And most days that's all I can do. And for now I continue, and hope for better days ahead.

Day 3393 - 10/15 - Forgotten for a day

Today was pretty good. in the morning I only had a few hours at the food store to play before heading out to do my every other week game, which kind of has become a once a month game with how infrequently we have been meeting. Before we played I was entering my sad story. And when we played I was distracted with play. So today I was, for the first time in quite a long time, distracted enough to have forgotten my troubles and worries.

It was nice to have the thoughts out of my mind, even just for a part of the day. Now, in the evening as I'm settling, the sad thoughts are beginning to return. But for the moment I continue to hold on to hope. And hopefully there will be more better days ahead.

Day 3394 - 10/16 - Unable

Today I feel, I guess melancholy. All day, sitting in my spot at school, I felt like a subject of a time-lapse video. People walked by me as if I were invisible, as if I didn't exist at all, coming and going, doing their message checking when leaving class, moving on with their day and plans. Yet I did not.

I thought about things I could not do. I could not sleep in a bed. I could not shower whenever I chose. I could not game in amounts I chose because I had to conform to certain time windows for things like using the micro to eat. I could not eat or drink whatever I wanted. I had what I brought, and that was my choice.

I feel like I can no longer look beyond today, beyond right now. I suppose that's a good thing, as it is easier to focus on what I have, instead of what I don't or what I've lost. But I also feel a great loss of me. No one is depending on me. No one relies on me or hopes I'm there. For the most part, my thoughts and opinions are not given, nor needed, and as such not heard or appreciated.

I try to focus on the fact this is only temporary. Given the opportunity I will be strong enough to recover, given enough time. But with only being able to see today, it is harder and harder to see tomorrow through the sadness.

Day 3395 - 10/17 - Feeling sad

Today I am feeling sad about all the things. I slept very well actually. It was a bit warmer last night than usual. But in my deep sleep I had deep dreams. Dreams of sad things. Dreams of struggle and loss. And so I think I've woken up equally sad.

I think about my last emergency call for help and feel sad. The post, last I saw, 'reached' 216 people. Yet only two sent help and messages of well-wishing along with that. While I realize the population I reached out to have their own struggles and worries and are not in the best positions, I can't help but feel more like they don't care. Like people in general only care about themselves and no one else. I can't help but think how only 20 sending 10 a month would stabilize my current life. I think how little that is and I wonder why I don't know enough who can do that.

Why in all the world don't people do that to help with the bigger struggles so many have? I don't mean really big issues like cancer, though I'm sure if we stopped fighting long enough we could at least find ways to extend our lifespan overall. But medium sized issues, like hunger in general, help for those struggling with getting medicine, or other issues like that. It seems like people world-wide are so focused on themselves and doing things the way they've been told is the way to do it have gotten stuck. And we, as a world people, are becoming self-centered and holding back our potential as a species.

But in spite of how big my ponderings are I cannot even help me. I am in need of help. And so I try to survive and hang on. I do things like buy a treat for food to try and cheer myself. I look forward to a rare pre-purchase of a game releasing in a week. And I try to trust Fate and Destiny are moving me in the right directions, physically and emotionally. And I try to hang on to hope that help will come and I can hang on until opportunity for change comes. And hope I can make it to my forever better days.

Week 486

Day 3396 - 10/18 - Sad classmate

Today passed very quickly. In the morning I barely did anything before it was time to watch a show and have an early lunch before class. Class passed pretty quickly. And it felt like I'd settled into my spot after and had just played for a little bit when I discovered 1.5 hours had flown by and it was time for dinner.

After class had its break one student came back about 10 minutes late, and he was carrying himself differently than he normally does. As parts of the class was walking somewhere across campus I pointed out that he seemed different and asked if he was ok. He said he was ok, but there was some girl weirdness. We talked a bit about what was going on, I recommended he just give her time and a bit of space, and did the 'old Eric' voice and said he had plenty of time. And I recommended he maybe pass the time with some video games, so we talked about that for a bit.

Hopefully he feels less sad and a bit happier. He may not realize how rare it is for someone to notice when a person is off like that. Hopefully it helped. Probably not that much, as girl weirdness is what it is, but hopefully it helped some.

When I was leaving class there was a building with a vent on top. It looked kind of like a chimney with smoke coming out. It seemed peaceful. Which is odd, as I'm not one who's into fires. I mean they are nice, they kind of remind me of simpler times; times back in the day when there wasn't so much going on around me all the time. Certainly much easier times than these homeless days of constant stress and worry. It was a nice thought to think about having a home, having a fireplace, and having the freedom to just sit and be still and quiet for a bit.

But really nothing changed for me today. It was a better day, but all the sad things were still there. When I sleep and wake the sad rotation will refresh. And while it has almost as much potential to be a good day, I certainly don't expect it to be. But I try to hang on to hope. I try to see the little moments, like today, and look away from the sad things I can't control. And hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 3397 - 10/19 - You're welcome

Today was a better day. There was a bit of time at the food store in the morning, which passed pretty quickly. Then I spent the day at the library playing and watching shows. And I generally had fun there.

It's been quite a while since I haven't been extremely worried about all the things. Yes, now that it's night and I've left the library the worries are coming back. I've gotten no donations since the last. But I figure if dad sends money for Halloween, or I do get a moderate donation, I'll have enough to pay the November insurance and at least not worry about that. Though around the 20th of December I've got a $100 bill coming up for internet space costs for the year, which I don't think can be broken into smaller payments, so that is very worrisome.

I did feel kind of sick today. Lately my throat has been scratchy, my lungs a bit icky, and today I've had a song repeating in my head from a movie I watched last weekend. It's a nice happy song, so it's not bad, but usually repeating things in my head means fever and illness.

But today was a pretty good day despite my sad things. I had a good time. So I continue to hold on believing that help will come, and that I can hang on until it does. And hopefully tomorrow will be a better day too.

Day 3398 - 10/20 - Annoyed

Today was pretty good. I was warm enough, but a touch chilly. I played my MMO and watched a few shows. There is a special holiday thing going on in my game, so that is extra silly fun. It's extra nice since I'm unable to celebrate in any way in my real life.

Though there were two people who annoyed the crap out of me. The first showed up right when the library opened. She would eat one nut at a time and go crunch crunch crunch. Every time she did I would stare across two empty tables at her. She stopped after about a dozen times, but then maybe half an hour later she started tapping her feet and I wrinkled my forehead at her. She finally got the hint that I am sound sensitive and she was seriously bugging me. She also had a regular keyboard attached to her laptop, so the couple of hours before I started playing and had my headphones on I would constantly hear her clack clacking on the keyboard.

The next was much more difficult to ignore. From about 3 until the library closed at 6 someone was at my table. He had terrible breath that smelt like rotting eggs and diapers. The only way I managed was because it would only waft past me when he breathed deeply. I was very close to saying he needed to leave my table. It was pretty bad. The library was full at that point though, so there was nowhere for him to move to.

I suppose though no help came and there was no opportunity for change, today was ok. It passed at a good pace. I had a good connection almost all day, so I got to play my game and watch shows. And I had enough food stamp monies to have enough food. (Though it's not the best on days like today when it has to be ready to eat food.)

Today wasn't a bad day, but there is still so much about a normal life I don't have. I try to hang on. And I try to stay hopeful tomorrow is a better day.

Day 3399 - 10/21 - Maybe too scarey

Today went pretty quickly. I had a lot of fun with my main game and doing the special holiday things and working up my alt character. This is a new one, which is a copy of my main. Both are my favorite race and class. The previous one was one I made 'just in case' it was a role needed by a guild for a group. But I have no guild, and so there is really no need to be prepared, and no need to use that as the one for doing extra daily things. Better to have one I really enjoy.

I got a season of a horror show I watch from the library. I don't know if I can continue to watch horror though. Maybe I've been too close to death for too long now. A human person killed a couple of the main characters in a super brutal way and that sort of triggered my panic and fear of death. I was ok, but I am shaken up a bit.

Before my sad times, before my big attack a while ago, this kind of thing wouldn't phase me. Since my mom died when I was 13 I've had an odd relationship with death. I didn't fear it, not like I do now. Maybe it's just the 35 years that have passed have slowly change me. Maybe it was the major panic attack I had not too long ago. Maybe it's just an odd feeling in my heart because I've been off my blood pressure meds for something like over a month now. I may never know, even if I get back in a home I still may never know. Nor may I ever know if I return to the me that was. Even if all wounds heal, there is still lost time.

But I try to stay as happy as I can. I try to focus on what should still be ahead of me. And I try to stay hopeful for better days ahead.

Day 3400 - 10/22 - Survival horror

Today was pretty good. I had some time at the food store then played at the library most of the day. I got a donation from a friend the other day. It was supposed to be for fun things, but sadly it had to go to pay the car insurance. So, added to the previous donation (remains) I paid that today and am safe for another month.

I watched more of the horror series. It was more survival and dealing with things. I thought about that, and Halloween and scary times in general since my game is having an event. I think people like to be scared because they are not usually. They have comfortable safe lives and so that show or movie putting them off for a bit is fun. But they know when it's over they are safe again.

I think I got so scared because I don't have that. I am, maybe, a quarter of the way to living like in the show. I know that fear. I know that hunger and not knowing if I'll have food. And while I don't have zombies or a homicidal maniac coming after me, I am also no safer when I turn off the show. My horror and fear is all around me all the time. There is no being safe, not really. And I don't know when, or if, I can be.

But I try to hang on. I try to stay hopeful of the future. And hopefully someday I too can have a safe comfortable life again.

Day 3401 - 10/23 - Helping

Today was pretty good. It seemed to move very fast for some unknown reason. In the back of my mind I was sad and worried. Overall my health still felt meh because I'm sneezing and have a bit of a cold. But overall I felt pretty good. I played my game and had fun, though there is now some new content I don't quite have enough coin tokens for, so I'll have to wait until I get a tiny bit of spare monies to get that.

Someone asked for help from a class that isn't the professor I helped for. It was nice to be able to help someone and kind of help teach them the software. I miss helping with that. But I guess unless my professor changes where she works to somewhere that has a position she can hire me for that won't change.

But today was pretty good. My split week almost feels like two weeks. One of my old school life, and the other my homeless needing to be at the library life. I guess it's a nice balance, but it won't stay this way. And I don't know how long it will be until I finally balance back in a home.

But I try to hang on to hope. I continue to hope help comes. And I try to hang on until my forever better days.

Day 3402 - 10/24 - Feeling loss

This morning has started out sad. I have been losing a bit of sleep lately, and while I got to catch up a bit last night I probably would have slept two more hours than I did. My hair is.. bad. There is no real fixing it. I definitely cut it too short last time, and while the sides are more even more often than not it's just a mushroom like poof of craziness. I feel sniffly, congested, and confused. No doubt I have a cold. In a home I'd have chicken broth - not quite soup, not quite tea. That is my favorite resting when sick drink. There have been about a dozen beautiful girls on camps so far.

Normally these things are nothing, but today I feel loss. Losing sleep feels like it just reminds me of the lack of control I have in life in general. Not being able to sleep in or have sick foods reminds me I can do little when I do get sick. Crazy hair reminds me I can't afford a real haircut, and don't have mirrors and a stable place to take my time to try and do it myself. And while young beautiful girls would normally remind me there are always girls out there and I may find love again someday, today it seems like it just reminds me they are not for me, they will not be interested, and I have missed my chance.

Soon I'll do my morning job search, though I expect to find nothing. My forum help, though I never get thanked or rewarded for doing it. And I will chill at school, though I expect no one will want my help, since there are now so few who recognize I hang out here to help people with projects.

But today is just getting started. Hopefully very quickly the morning will pass. I will wake up a bit. I will have some foods. And I can play my game or watch shows, and hopefully in doing so find happiness in the distraction. I continue to survive, one day at a time. For the moment I am safe, warm enough, and have food. Hopefully donations will come. And hopefully I can make it to my forever better days.

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

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