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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 489

Day 3417 - 11/8 - Special event

Today was pretty good. Class was almost all shooting stuff, so that was pretty fun. In my game there is a special event happening, so a lot of areas have different public events going on and I can get some extra loot, so that is pretty fun too.

Emotionally I guess I feel pretty good. The day passed quickly and I had some interaction and some laughs. And I had some time to watch a show and play my games, so that is always good.

No help came though. And I was almost totally out of gas, so I had to put what little I had into gas. So I'm very worried about that. I hate being on the edge all the time. Especially lately since more and more things are coming due.

But I try to hold on to hope that help will come. And I try to stay hopeful that I will make it to being back in a home and better days again.

Day 3418 - 11/9 - Out for strangeness

Today has ended sadly. There is a weirdness in my regular nighttime spot, and so I can't go to settle and sleep when I should. I am actually writing this the next morning, and I was out and lost what would otherwise have been nearly 5 hours of sleep and time to do things.

But other than that the day was good. I had fun playing my games most of the day. I had shows to watch. And I even got a big donation, which was almost enough to cover the web costs. (The donation place takes about 3% of what's sent to me, so I was put short just a tiny bit.) But hopefully dad will send monies for turkey weekend or I'll get other donations, and that can be taken care of very soon. That is my current biggest worry, as I won't know if that can be paid late or in parts.

But the day was pretty good outside of the bad ending. Friday and Saturday will be extra tough with the library being closed. I'll have to be outside of school. Hopefully that will work out ok. It's been very cold and starting to rain.

But, as always, I try to hang on. And hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 3419 - 11/10 - Would have been fine

Today was ok. I parked in a shopping center instead of the school lot because it would have felt weird to be at school. But there were a dozen cars there when I came in, and about the same when I left. All day there were people here and there in my area, despite it being cold and rainy during part of the day. It probably would have been fine to park in a school space. Tomorrow they have Saturday classes (at least until noon or whenever they go until) so I probably won't feel weird parking on campus.

I did a chicken on sale because it's cheap and will basically last me until tomorrow, but there is something about these chickens. My tummy is almost always upset by them and gurgly. I think it's because they leave all the fat and grease. Which, granted, makes them taste better, but all that gunk is bleh, and it's likely what upsets my tummy.

But the day itself was pretty good. I got to chill and play games and watch a show. Things were pretty cold, it's winter after all. And I was sad and lonely. But being able to play and have fun is something, so I suppose I wasn't too sad.

But, as always, I hope it is warmer tomorrow. I hope my tummy feels better. I hope this weather doesn't make my cold worse y needing to be outside these two days. And I hope tomorrow is a better day.

Day 3420 - 11/11 - Squirrel's home

Today was surprisingly good for a day I expected to go pretty badly. I started with an extra trip to the library to drop off some due movies. Normally I'd be there anyways on Friday and Saturday (and most Sundays) but since it was closed for the holiday I had to make a special trip. I suppose it wasn't too far, just about a mile, but still.

Since that meant I'd be on the side of school that has the showers I thought I'd check in there. It looked like there was some kind of aquasize class, so things were open and I got a warmish shower.

After that I went to the other side of campus where I spent the rest of the day. There were only a few people, but campus was pretty calm and quiet.

As expected the connection was strong and stable and I got to have fun with my games and shows all day. My food was bleh, my back was killing me for sitting on the floor, and I was pretty cold most of the day. But it was tolerable and I had fun. I certainly had more fun than I expected with needing to be outside all day.

There was one unusual thing. There are quite a lot of super cute squirrels on campus. I saw a few hopping around on my way in and offered to share some grapes I had with a few. One I noticed hopped off a railing and dashed into some not bushes, as that is yet another bush area butchered and pulled out for no reason. But I noticed a small tunnel. And the squirrel peeked back out of his nice tunnel home after settling in and feeling safe. I thought that it looked like a very nice cozy home for such chilly times. But I thought of the recent rains and worried. With the bushes and trees in that area being torn out what will happen to the squirrel home if it heavily rains? It rained for about an hour yesterday. The squirrel home seemed ok, but could it be flooded? Will the squirrel be ok if it is?

Again it's just one of those thoughts that I worry about because I have been out of a home for so long myself. I recently have been having a lot of very bad dreams of being displaced, and even a few lately about the laptop and its power sustain issues.

But overall my day was better than expected. Those online wouldn't have seen my sads in my posts. And even if someone saw me in person there is little to no evidence by looking at me. (As horrifying as my teeth are, over the years I've gotten used to not moving my top lip, which thankfully hides most of the damage. )

But I survived another day. And it wasn't as bad as I expected. With each day I survive, I can start again in the morning. And I continue to hope tomorrow is a better day.

Day 3421 - 11/12 - Two cute, tiny ants

Today was good and bad. It started at the food store where I had a pretty amazing connection for there. I played my new game a couple of hours with no lag or connection issues at all.

During the bulk of the day was the every other week game, which if my records are correct we haven't actually met since late August. I'm not sure if that's right because it seems like it was much more recently than that. But one person's little one was there, who is I'd guess, around 8. So that altered what we did and when it wasn't combat it was all farting and not knowing what to do. On top of that we were put into a not so quiet area, so there was a lot of loud talking, and I could hardly hear.

There was a nice surprise though. There was the super cute girl who works there. I offered her cookies as I walked in and she was smiley and happy. And when I left there was another super cute girl working as well. She made my heart go pitter patter too. When I was microing my dinner I said to the guy I know that works there, "All the girls who work here are suuuper cute." He smiled and replied, "You're welcome." And we laughed.

One thing did worry and make me sad during the day though. My tummy was getting too upset from the Friday chicken, so I had to throw some away. I felt very sad because that was an entire living creature once upon a time. I think I am going to try very hard again to eat a lot less meat. Though normally I don't eat much since I micro my food.

And too there were some tiny ants on my foods when I left the store. Hopefully I got them all off my stuff. I shook things out when I got back to the normal area. So if there were any still on the bag or my recycle cans, hopefully they shook off out onto the grass. I would feel terrible if their already short lives were made shorter. Thinking of being alone and stuck in a recycle box until death makes me very sad.

But I suppose my day was ok other than that. It was surprisingly warm, which was nice. I took off both my under shirt and long underwear. I don't know if it will stay warm, but it's night now, I don't have my hoodie on, and I'm not chilly. Were this last night and I like this I'd have been shivering.

So I guess overall today was pretty good. I will probably have more good memories than bad. But, as always, I hope tomorrow is a better day.

Day 3422 - 11/13 - Sick feeling and sprinkled on

Today was really good, but also a bit bad. I had a lot of fun with my games and shows today. I was feeling kind of down about the bills coming due though, so I maybe played a bit more than I otherwise would have.

I was feeling a bit sick today too. Since the morning I've had some sneezing and a bit of a headache. And a couple of times during the day, seemingly for no reason, I felt a bit dizzy and a tiny bit nauseous. I will try to take it extra easy tomorrow, but today I just rested peacefully, as I expect to, well, all the time. So hopefully that is enough (physically) to recover.

When I left campus it sprinkled heavily on my head. Nothing too bad, certainly not enough to worry about stopping and getting out my umbrella (which I've carried in my backpack ever since summer ended.) But I worry because my backpack again has huge tears in it and needs to be replaced. I'm sure they would replace it again free, but from what I recall it was $10-15 to ship it to them to do that, which right now other things have higher priority (like getting an appointment to get my meds for blood pressure and stuff again.)

So for now I try and relax. I try to be restful and recover. And I hope tomorrow is a better day.

Day 3423 - 11/14 - Feeling meh

Today I am feeling meh. I seem hyper aware of everything wrong. My hair is bad and out of control. I didn't shower today. I have the same clothes on. I feel and look fatter in my tummy and chest than ever before (though my arms and from the upper knee down still feel leaner than they ever have.) My heart feels as if it's congested all the time, which it may be as I might have had a cold for quite a while. Though it's more likely due to missing meds which I lack even the $10 to make an appointment to get the prescriptions renewed. I am awake and moving out in public when I have nowhere to be. And there are rain clouds, threatening the electronic stuff in my backpack, which also could easily be fixed if I had a spare $10-15. I need food stamps to even have any kind of food. I'm at school, and it feels like there is opportunity for my future, yet so much of everything I've done and learned has led to no opportunity out in 'the real world'. And there are all the upcoming bill worries.

Maybe I am just tired. Maybe it is the upcoming holidays which always seem extra lonely and a time for reflection upon the recent years past. Once upon a time it was a time of reflection and hope for the coming days, as it should be. But lately it seems a time for reflection on things lost, and what little there is left that yet still may be lost.

But today is just today. It has barely started and I don't know what will come. It will hopefully turn out to be good. And tomorrow and the day after are the days after, and have yet to happen, so hopefully they will be better.

Week 490

Day 3424 - 11/15 - Fireplace

Today was ok, but it passed very quickly. I hardly got to do anything besides a very quick forum helping and a small amount of play and one show. I guess it was good though. Most of the day was taken up with class, which is kind of normal for a Wednesday. The happiness of class and being social was balanced by the sad of all the things going on in my head.

I'm settled for right now. I can smell several peoples' fireplace fires, and it's raining just a little. It's kind of what I would say is a perfect winter night for me. Chilly, but not so cold to need extra cloths. Rainy, but more visual than anything else, as it can barely be heard. And the smell of fires, reminding me people are safe and in comfortable homes.

At least those not me. For me mostly it is just a reminder of those things, as my experience currently does not match to the memories. The memories of nights when I was in my room playing, with my window blinds drawn so I could see the rain. And I would not have a fireplace, but I would have some tea light candles, and it would be warm enough to open the window just a pinch to smell the fresh air and hear the rain.

So I have not that life, just a memory of it. But, as always, I hope it can be that way again someday. And I hope tomorrow is a better day.

Day 3425 - 11/16 - So beautiful

Today was pretty good. I was in the lab and played and watched shows pretty much all day. I suppose it's an odd day in that I wanted to play more than I did. I suppose the biggest reason for that is worry was always in the back of my mind. Either it was those two hours in the middle of the day where my power was dropping to low every 10 minutes, or because of things like my mind worrying about bills, or paying for next quarter since I discovered I could sign up already. There was no time my mind wasn't worried.

There was something unexpected though. In the evening when I was back out in the hall, after they'd closed the lab, a screenwriting class was on break. The cute girl from the last time I TAed walked by and waved, which was nice. But a few minutes after another girl walked by, one I'd never seen before. She was blonde, with a short skirt-shirt kind of thing (one piece). She was sooooo beautiful. I was tempted to go over to her and ask for my heart back because I think she stole it. But I didn't, because I am a lot older, and bad at life, so why would she be interested? Especially since she doesn't know me, and that would be scary / creepy to do because of those things.

I did try to do something different with my new game too. There is a raid, and single people couldn't do it because there was no matchmaking, but there is now. I guess Tuesday would be the day to do it though. I assumed it would take 4 hours, so I tried going into the queue at 2. After 20 minutes with an 'unknown' amount of time to wait I quit waiting. I did my regular single player stuff and peeked back at the queue at like 2:45, 3, 3:15, 3:30, and for the last time at 4. Each time it said unknown or 45 minutes wait for the estimate, which is too much time to waste with my life being what it is. I think when I checked Tuesday night it was like 20 minutes, but I didn't remember to check until about 5 my time, which if it does take more than 1-2 hours would have been too late. So it was super disappointing to not be able to try the special something, especially since I checked yesterday after class and it was a similar 45 minute wait.

I'm trying to hold on to the donation money to pay for my web space for the year, but with gas and needing to do laundry a chunk has already slipped through my fingers quickly. I hope more donations come and dad sends money on turkey weekend, or my chance to pay for that may be gone entirely.

But I guess overall the day was pretty good. I suppose long-term my mind will remember more good than bad, and that is something. So I continue to hold on to hope that things will get better, and I can hang on until they do, and hope that tomorrow is a better day.

Day 3426 - 11/17 - Windows

Today was actually pretty good. I had a super fun time with my new game (since I decided to be on campus Friday so I could play) and I watched a few shows. (As usual there were no jobs and there were no 'thank yous' for helping on the forums.) It was nice to hear on a social page that a few posts I made cheered some people up, so it was nice to hear at least there are some people out there who are happier because of me.

In the back of my mind I was sad though, as I was continually thinking about windows. My window to get up. My window to shower and get a good parking space. My window pre-lunch, for having lunch, for after lunch, for dinner, etc. etc. For some reason today felt like each thing I was doing was a reminder I was that much closer to the next thing and the end of the day when I'd need to pack up and go.

Maybe it's because I had mentally set aside 4 hours to try and do the special in-game thing again. And again when I checked every half hour or so (until giving up around 2) it kept saying no estimate for time. So, in a way, I guess that just reminded me of days in a home. Days where I could go ahead and set the game to wait, even if it did take an hour, or I could simply wait to find a match later in the day when people got home from work, and play until the wee hours if I had to. Or I could simply wait until the weekend. Times when I could play and no worry about a lunch or dinner time and just do what I want when I wanted. Or if I did care about a window, it was for much higher quality of life things than I have now, like spending 30 minutes to cook, then casually eating at whatever pace I wanted while having dinner on a plate and watching a show or movie.

I guess windows aren't really the issue, as my entire life has been windows and time management. I guess the issue is that they are fixed. They are rigid. They are set because of factors I can't control. And so they don't feel so much like windows and appointments, more like I'm being pushed down a plank and having to jump through a hoop (before it runs into me.)

But hopefully this will pass in time. Hopefully all my mind will remember is that I had a good time. And hopefully I will sleep ok, and being homesick won't cause me further stress. And, as always, hopefully I can be in a home someday, and I can continue to hang on, and there will be better days until then.

Day 3427 - 11/18 - Beset by wolves

Today was pretty sad. Last night was bad because I got some mail at the ex-house. The mail was a note from my student loan people complaining that I'm late on payments and threatening me. Hopefully I can find a way to calm them down and keep them at bay. I guess one class isn't enough (though they've never complained about that before), and I need 6 or more units. I can do that in January, provided I get the $50 to sign up (which I can do now, so those classes are at risk of filling up.) And the other sad thing was that the food stamp people will call in early December to do the yearly check and they want to see my bank records. Which means I'll need to spend another $10 to keep my phone active during that time, and last night I was horribly worried they would see my donations on my statement and be mad. I'm way under my $1300 a month 'income', so I really shouldn't worry, but I do. (I found out later the most recent statement only shows $35 in donations and about a $125 total average balance.) But last night those worries kept me awake until nearly 2 AM, causing several hours of lost sleep, in addition to bad dreams.

Though I am trying to feel better. I got some cheese to make nachos which I haven't had in probably four months or longer. And I got some cookies to help cheer me up. Having salad for my main food makes it a no meat day, which makes me feel a bit better too.

I got to play and watch shows, though the library firewall blocks my new game, and there was lag in the afternoon so I couldnt really play anything. I'm doing a bigger wash, so more things will be clean, so that's good. So overall it was a pretty good day. But there are still many sad things in the back of my mind that I miss, and I wonder if I ever really will make it back to forever better days.

Day 3428 - 11/19 - Maybe turkey

Today was very sad. It started good by having fun with my new game for a bit. But wanting to play more, and knowing the library blocks it, and having to having to play from the food store or library, rapidly put me into a sad place. Much like other recent days it seemed to just remind me my life is not normal, and there is so much I can't control.

So the rest of the day I was pretty sad. I did not normal things for the rest of the day. Productive-ish things, sure, but I barely played (partly due to my knowing it was laggy yesterday and there were even more there today), and I only watched a couple of shows.

In good news someone posted on a gaming social page they were doing an open invite for turkey day. I'm not sure if they will actually go through with it though. Last time they suggested a meet up no one replied, so they wound up not doing it. So we'll see if anyone actually replies and it actually happens.

So for now I am pretty sad. I am worried about all the things rapidly coming up this month that were unexpected and how I can't possibly pay for them. I still have a bit more than half of the donation left, but at this point I'd need at least half of a bigger amount from dad to even pay just that one big bill off. So I am very worried, as his is the only money I am expecting. And he doesn't always send a big amount.

But outside of what will hopefully be a very short group meeting for class tomorrow, the day should be open and free to play or watch shows. And I should certainly be plenty warm, and hopefully I can get enough good micro food to make tummy happy. So I try to focus on that, and hope tomorrow is indeed a better day.

Day 3429 - 11/20 - Sneezing, sore butt

Today I have a pretty bad cold. I's not bad compared to a normal scale, as it takes quite a lot to affect me since I'm only affected about half of normal. But I've been sneezing every 15 minutes and my nose has been a bit runny all day. I suppose I've had a headache most of the day, but that is pretty normal these days.

My butt and back have hurt a bit too. It's like I've been sitting on the floor extra days when I really haven't been.

I suppose it was an ok day other than that in that I got to play and watch shows. All of my background sad things were still there; no jobs to be found, bills I don't know how I'll pay, worries of day-to-day things like gas and my health. But I suppose it is not worse than any day before. So I try to look ahead. I try to focus on what was good. And hope tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 3430 - 11/21 - Still sick

Today I am still feeling pretty sick. My tummy feels a bit icky and my nose feels congested and runny. My eyes hurt too, but not too much. Outside of a bit of time to check for jobs or help on the forums I should be able to rest, relax, try and recover, and have whatever calming game playing or show watching I want to do. I should also be sitting at a desk proper in the lab soon, so there is that. Hopefully I can recover very quickly, as the outside time on turkey day and Friday will do a lot of damage to a lowered immune system.

I am pretty worried about my bill things coming up in the next few weeks. I still don't know how I'll get enough help to cover them all. I thank the gods it didn't worry me too much last night. I've lost a lot of sleep lately because of it. But last night I actually slept well.

All I can do is try and hang on and recover physically as best I can and hope enough money help is sent to pay at least the most critical things, though upon reflection that's pretty much all of the things that have come up. But I try to stay hopeful, and with the day still ahead of me, I try to hope today is a better day.

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

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