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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 491

Day 3431 - 11/22 - Turkey for sure

Today was pretty good, certainly better than expected. Class was fun, as usual, and we left early. I didn't get to try the special thing in my game again because I wound up losing time that I needed for that. But it's ok as I got lots of good gain in what I did do, and there is a special PvP thing going on. Normally I really hate PvP, but this is tolerable. And despite the potential for everyone to be on mics and talking poop, I have yet to hear anyone on mic in PvP (out of maybe 25 games so far.)

Also, the person confirmed I should go over tomorrow for visiting for turkey day. And she said she would give me some monies, which will cover gas for tomorrow and about a week after that. So hopefully tomorrow will be good, and not awkward because they are pretty much strangers on what is normally a super special family day.

Today is the last pill. I've been out of my blood pressure meds since mid-August, and now the last of the other has run out. I'll be ok if I can't get more. Maybe not the best, nor the safest in terms of heart attack risk, but I won't immediately die or anything. I'd still like to spend the $10 to get an appointment with the doc to get them refilled since they are free for me due to my coverage, but there are so many other important things ahead of that $10.

Oh, speaking of that, when I got back to my car there was an envelope with a $25 gift card to a restaurant. I am pretty sure I know who left it, since there are really only two people it may have been. I think I will save it until later in December. At that point, closer to Xmas, I'd have not been able to micro foods for a while and it will be more important. I think the break between quarters is like three weeks, presuming I get the $50 to sign up for next quarter.

So fun with my game, a few laughs in class, even though there are sad things in the back of my mind, today was a pretty good day. But, as always, I hope tomorrow is too.

Day 3432 - 11/23 - Three more than zero

Today was a lot better than I expected. The morning started at the food store. I could actually sit and stay and the connection was decent. In previous years a staffer had it blocked off with 'reserved' signs, so I was expecting to need to leave to go to connect outside of school.

Oddly thought when I got to the friendly person's house I was greeted by friendly and shy cats. Not one, not two, but three, which is very dangerous for my allergies. I did actually remember to ask if there were pets, or if anyone smoked, and she did reply 'no smokers, three cats,' so I find it odd I remembered seeing that said zero cats. I guess it worked out ok because we loaded me up with meds pretty quickly and settled my allergies down and I was ok to stay for foods.

We chatted a bit and did stuff and it was a pretty good time. Due to their distance and my allergies I don't expect to really see them again until spring or summer when they said they would do a BBQ. (Or they will try to. When they tried last year I was the only one who replied, so it fell through.)

So today was pretty good emotionally. I am still very worried about bills, but all I can do is try to hang on and hope dad money and other help comes along and try to get by. As always, I try to hang on until forever better days.

Day 3433 - 11/24 - Anti-BBQ

Today was better than expected, save for discovering for some reason the web bill is $130, not $100 as I thought. I should have enough to pay it provided dad sent a lot for turkey day. So far I haven't seen anything at all at the ex-house, so I am very worried about that.

I did have to hand wash and dry (with a drier sheet) my shirts I wore yesterday. They had too much BBQ smell for some reason. It was about $0.50 for the gas to get there and drier, so it was fine. And now they smell more like regular me, so they should be fine to last the 1-2 weeks it will be before a proper laundry.

The day was easier than expected. I went straight to school in the morning and parked across the street since I figured it would be weird to park on campus. The weather was warm enough with all my layers on, only a dozen people were there in my area through the day, and I saw no campus security at all.

So the day passed smoothly, quickly, and I had fun playing games and watching a few shows. The bills have me very worried and scared, and I still have my cold, but I try to recover and relax as best I can. And, as always, I try to look at what went right with the day, what was good. And I try to look forward to the day I am back in a home and have better days.

Day 3434 - 11/25 - So very sad

Today I was extremely depressed. My mind couldn't stop thinking about all the sad bills coming up and how I don't know how I'll pay for all the things. I tried to calm myself though. I tried to consider that if dad sends a big amount for turkey day and for Xmas time it would cover it (adding on what I still have from the last big donation.) But I can't help but think that is very tough for him these days, and I haven't gotten anything for turkey day yet, nor heard any promise of anything he's sent late.

So I hardly played, and didn't watch too many shows. Mostly I did things of little to no consequence and tried to distract myself.

When I could push away my sad thoughts I did have fun with my new game, though my time was limited (due to the firewall at the library where I'd spend most of my day) and what I could do was limited (due to the lack of bandwidth later in the day)

So for now I try to hang on. I keep hoping to be back in a home and have a regular life again someday, with much fewer restrictions and limitations. I keep hoping to find friendship and maybe even love. And I keep hoping I have people who send help, and with that I can continue to hang on physically, and emotionally.

Day 3435 - 11/26 - Cold and rainy

Today it was cold and rainy. It didn't rain a lot so far, just a heavy sprinkle. But it was enough to remind me sadder days are on the way. Sad, at least, as long as I remain homeless. In a home such weather would actually be nice, and welcome.

My worries about my bills remained in the back of my mind, particularly since I'm counting on big help from dad to get by and there is still no word if that will come. At this point he would have had to not mailed it before turkey day, which I suppose is possible, or he sent it to the wrong address, which he's done before. But since both of these seem like low odds, it is likely he won't send anything, and I will have no way to pay the bills I need to pay. Or even some of them. But I suppose tomorrow is another day, and so I try to remain hopeful.

I was super sad again today because of that. I distracted myself with small nothings more than I actually played or watched shows. Which I suppose is fine, both things are distracting. But I was limited and could only do a small amount of what I actually wanted to do.

So I try to stay hopeful for tomorrow. And hopefully it is a better day.

Day 3436 - 11/27 - One last one

Today I found a cholesterol pill, so I took it. I guess I wasn't quite completely out like I thought. I passed by the blood pressure machine, so I checked. As expected it was pretty terrible at 150/90, a far cry from the like 125/85 it would average closer to when I had my meds. My heart rate was around 65, so I guess that is good. I seem to recall that being closer to around 80 though (a few years ago). I may have to look that up tomorrow to see if that's good or not. It is also possible it didn't read correctly. If I recall in times I've used that machine before I had to do it three times and take an average to get an accurate reading.

Still no money or word from dad, so that is extremely worrisome. I again mentioned class to my professor I used to TA for (I think she asked me if I'd signed up yet) and said it doesn't matter if the classes I wanted were full or not because I don't have money either way. She again said 'meeeeeh' in a way that implied she would pay for it. But she has yet to actually say that, nor has she handed me $50 in cash, so I can't count on it happening.

I worried and worried about the bills all day. I had fun in my new game and even managed to do the super fancy thing I had been wanting to try. But with all the worry and stress about bills that enjoyment was watered down. And there were other thing I wanted to do, but the depression prevented me from doing.

Hopefully I can try and let some of the worry go tomorrow. I'll be sitting proper at a desk, and the fancy thing will be re-set (it does every week), so I can try again to do the fancier things if I want.

But tomorrow is tomorrow. I won't know what it brings, or does not bring, until it happens. Until I see, I try to hope it's outcome will be good, and that it will be a better day.

Day 3437 - 11/28 - Very cold

Today has started very cold. Last night and this morning I was woken up by the cold. I guess it's time to change things to their winter setup to stay warmer.

Someone asked for my opinion on a flyer he made, which was nice to feel wanted and appreciated. It's been a while since I've done graphic design, but since UI elements and design exist in all games I'm always thinking about how this or that is or isn't clear, or could be improved. And relaying information is very common in posting and everyday writing, so that has been a constant in my life for a while as well.

I suppose today feels ok so far. I woke up cold, coughing, and congested. I hope that is just the weather and not a cold. I do have a bit of a wheeze too, which is unusual. I did get extra food though, so hopefully if I do have a cold that will help me fight it.

But the day has yet to reveal what it will be. And so I try to focus on the good things, like being somewhere warm enough, having micro foods to eat, and (in theory) whatever games or shows I have that I want to try and distract myself with from my sad things. And I hope today is a better day. For everyone.

Week 492

Day 3438 - 11/29 - Seems impossible

Today was pretty good. Class was a bit disorganized, but we got through things ok. There were a lot of laughs and people had a good time, so that is always nice.

I played and watched a few shows after, but I didn't get as much time as I'd have liked for that. Which I guess, was to be expected what with my limitations.

Speaking of that, paying for the things I need to seems impossible. Dad picked up his e-card I sent and hasn't sent word a card is on its way to me. Since there was not one at the ex-house at this point I have to assume there is not one coming. Which makes me feel like I won't be able to pay of all the things I need to.

I still have some of the last donation I got, which I was hoping to add to a bigger dad gift (of $100) and have the web bill covered. But in addition to that there is the $42 for the car insurance coming due Friday, and there is $50 for signing up for classes, $20 for parking, and then roughly $7 a week for gas if I can spare it to avoid walking (and hurting myself.) Without dad's money for Thanksgiving, and it being bigger gift, I don't see how I'll even meet the minimum of $150 I need to pay just the two bills due in the next week. Let alone enough to cover all the things. If a big dad check had come for turkey day, and then again at Xmas, I may have gotten enough. But with what seems like zero coming... I don't know how I'll keep my email and web space, pay car insurance, or be able to keep financial aid off my back.

I need a lot of help. And each time I've reached out a few have helped, but it seems no one is sticking around after to keep tabs on me after that.

There are a few out there looking for me. And I pray to the gods they see I am yet again at an extreme level of need. But it is very hard to keep my head up these days. It seems this may finally be the year help does not come and I begin to lose what little is left.

Day 3439 - 11/30 - Very worried

Today there is still no word from dad on if he sent anything for turkey day, and still no card. At this point I should probably stop checking every day and just assume nothing is coming. This greatly throws me off my hoped for budget for the holidays. While I still have about a week and a half to worry about my web space and email, the car insurance will technically be due in the morning. Meaning I really need basically $150 more than I currently have to pay for both of those. I don't see how I will get that. Maybe if some people reading were planning on getting me a something for Xmas and sent cash now instead I could make it, but really there are probably only about three I can think of who might. And of those three I think only one sometimes reads and the others don't. So again I feel like meeting the goal will be impossible. Unlike others who are recently homeless, I have nothing of value. There is nothing I could sell anyone would want, as it's all too old to have any value. I still wonder if my stuff in storage has even survived this long. I have no idea what may have become damaged or ruined by being in storage for so many years.

But I try to distract myself. I try to have fun with my game and shows and try to stay happy and not focus on the sad things I can't control. And to some degree I can. I did have fun with my game today. I even did the special thing. Which is ok. There are some things I could get with it, but I still question if it's worth the effort since it needs six people and as a single person I have to sit in a queue for 45 minutes. And this morning I did extra help on the forums and such, so I felt extra productive. I even helped some students with a few things they needed help with.

So I try to continue to hope help comes. I don't need much, but with no income things seem impossible. And so I try to stay hopeful. I try to hang on. And I hope tomorrow is a better day.

Day 3440 - 12/1 - Maybe hopeful

Today seems to have gone better than expected. First, the morning phone interview about my food stamp money happened on time, only took about 15 minutes, and the guy was super nice and understanding and skipped all of the questions I'd have just said 'no change' or 'zero' to. He also said he hadn't received the stuff I mailed. Which when I mailed it would have been eight business days ago, about four times what it normally would take to cross the county to get to him. So that, I think, subconsciously has given me renewed hope that something from dad is on the way and maybe it's just greatly delayed. If I still have nothing by mid-week I'll likely feel sad again and give up hope for that.

I had fun with my new game but I didn't get to do what I expected. The servers were down for six hours for a patch. I thought it was for the new expansion, but the game didn't patch when it was up and I connected, and I saw nothing new anywhere. Looking around it seems the expansion doesn't release until Tuesday. So what I was expecting to be a play session with new content wound up being just the same stuff as before. Which is fine. I had a super fun time and I got to build up tokens I will need in the new expansion. It's been so long since I played the first game I'd forgotten about saving resources instead of turning all the tokens in. Better to wait and see if I can get something new by hanging on to them over the weekend.

So I guess today I felt a bit better. With news of the mail delay my hope is revived that something is still on the way from dad. And since things are still ok with my laptop (baring the power still being weird about two or three times an hour for one or two seconds), I played and watched shows. I even had an unexpected meeting and helped guide some people on a few points for about half an hour. I really do miss being able to officially help people. (I suppose I still do help on the forums, but no one I help ever tanks me, and it's been more than two years since the company I help gave any kind of recognition at all.) So overall today was a better day. If not a day of true change, at least one of a bit of revived hope for the future.

Day 3441 - 12/2 - Not my gifts

Today I feel a bit extra sad. Still nothing has changed with money from dad or donations. Now being past due on the car insurance payment it is ever-present on my mind, along with the rapidly approaching web space bill.

Plus there is a secret Santa thing going on with a social page I am on. While they did not require you to do a thing to get a thing I didn't say I would like to get a thing. It's very nice to see all the thoughtful gifts people will make use of in the future, or maybe more so the super cute huggable critters some have received. But I see that and feel a bit sad. I feel like no one knows or cares that I'm hurting so much. But since I am in such a bad place and have nothing to offer in return I feel unworthy of such a gift. I would like a cute critter. An so I am sad that no one acknowledges that pain ad says they would like to send me a nice thing.

And too it makes me sad that no one seems to be checking in with me. It seems no one is aware of the now past due car insurance payment, or the extreme upcoming threat to my web space and email hosting since that's another bill I can't pay.

It also doesn't help the library connection went to garbage and was barely moving by the time it was just barely past noon. It was so bad I was considering leaving, but I did not want to be out in the cold gray day.

So today I feel extra alone. I feel extra uncared for. And I am extremely worried things will rapidly come crashing down since I don't know if any help will come to pay for the things.

But I try to hang on. I try to stay hopeful. And maybe I can make it to better days.

Day 3442 - 12/3 - Trees

Today I saw a tree lot. When I was young we used to do that. I have a vague memory of thinking a bigger tree meant it could hide more presents. But it was only when I was young, when we were a family. As I grew into my teens and my parents argued more the tree became artificial. And soon after my mom died.

When I was out on my own I started having small trees, maybe one foot tall. I think only twice in my 20s did I get something that was closer to five foot tall. And I think those were gifted to me. Mostly I got very small branches, often just a shaving from someone else's tree. Or in recent years, I've gotten nothing at all.

More and more I am abandoning traditions. Once upon a time, even in some of these homeless years, I would look at Halloween decorations, or Xmas ones, or at tree lots. But in these very recent years I have done nothing. I don't know if it's because I know few to no one is looking at me, or if it's because I feel so alone and abandoned and do not want to look out for fear of discovering there is no one left who cares or worries about me.

I suppose it's all just because how hard my struggle has become. How I only have a couple of bills coming up very soon, or are just past due, and I have no way to pay them. It seems more and more this will be the (Fail) year I lose what little is left.

But I have felt that way before, especially in recent years. And it has seemed so before due to how few watch out for me. But I have continued on. And so I keep hoping things will turn around again. I know there are those out there who care. And hopefully help will come.

Day 3443 - 12/4 - Lights

Today I thought a bit about death again. Thankfully not to the point of having panic attacks, but almost a few times. I think it's because without being a helper anymore I have few to no big distractions. There is nothing to track or pay attention to relating to future dates. I have little to no reason to look beyond just my life and what is happening with me right now. As such, all I can see is sadness and pain. And on top of that my games, while super fun, include struggle, conflict, and a lot of death. Maybe I'll try to play my card game more to reduce that, but I have to stay distracted, or I will completely and totally dwell on only the sad things in life. At least with my game there is still a sense of accomplishment and forward progression, even if it is only virtual.

There was still no card from dad, nor any word of such coming. And while I chatted with the professor I used to help, there was no mention of helping me pay for classes. I didn't think that would be a thing, as she implied such before and never followed through with helping, so it seeming to be nothing more doesn't surprise me.

There was one literal light at the end of my day. As I was leaving campus out in the in-between area on the road there were Xmas lights. It was nice to see, even though such things really just remind me of what is missing in life.

But I still try to look past the sadness and loss and try to choose to see what is positive and hopeful. And as long as I have days I try to remember that with each one positive change can come. So while it is a struggle lately, I continue to try to hold on to hope that tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 3444 - 12/5 - Back to cold

Today seems better. In the morning my car was not frosted over, as it has been in the mornings for about a week. So it seems the weather is slightly warmer and back to regular cold for this time of year instead of closer to a January kind of cold.

My food money was barely enough, with 0.10 left after getting food, so that was good I didn't go over. It turns over in the morning tomorrow, so it's fine. So I have enough food, while not great choices, and I am settled in school and warming up.

And I even saw three very beautiful girls on the way in, which is unusual. And while I know the 20 somethings would never be interested in me, it does give me hope that there are always new girls out there I haven't met, even if the ones of appropriate age aren't seen.

I don't know what the day will bring. I have an expansion in my new game when the update is done (around 2 PST), and another on Thursday. Though that one is for my card game, which I can't afford to pay money for new things, so I'll barely have any with the in game monies I have.

I expect over time today I will be back to sad and start to obsess on the sad things. I can't escape that lately, especially with an overdue car payment and a rapidly approaching web/email bill. But since the day is just starting I am trying to hold on to hope someting good will happen, as each day has the potential for good and bad. Hopefully today will be a day help comes, because I don't know how I'd continue to make it without people's help.

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

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