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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 493

Day 3445 - 12/6 - Feeling overly full

Today was pretty good. I played for a teeny tiny bit and then had the test for class. It was just about as I expected, so I'm sure I did totally fine for the overall grade.

After that I spent much of the rest of my day playing my new expansion in my new game. I did get in the queue to do the special raid thing too while I watched some shows. And after 1.5 hours of waiting I gave up and just did solo stuff. I would guess it was a combination of being too early (1-3 PM my time) and most people probably just starting with the expansion or doing the new raid. I will probably try again tomorrow around the same time.

I got some chips at the store. With my regular amount of food, I now feel overly full. Which is good, as I usually feel not quite full. So it is a rare feeling. I'm sure the feeling will pass quickly enough though.

It's getting very cold. The temperature says it's still warmer than it has been, but again this morning my window was a bit frosted. And there is still no word or card from dad. So I am in an extremely bad spot, as without that money I can't pay any of the bills I was hoping to. I don't know what I can do. I put out a lesser call for help and not only did just 8 people see the post so far, but no help has come.

I guess all I can do is try to let it go. Try to not worry since I have no control over these things. And try to keep hoping help comes in time.

Day 3446 - 12/7 - Surprising news

Today was quite the mix. It started with an email from someone. I don't really want to talk about it. It was just a reader, so nothing bad in a threatening way. But I lost about 45 minutes reading it and replying back. And it upset me to the point it took the next nearly 12 hours to shake off the extra depression, sad feelings, and general dampening of my spirit.

During lunch I decided to detour to the health center. I've been feeling extra fat lately what with the extra big tummy and considering if I need to track my food again. Though really there is very little I can do to lose weight in terms of food since so much of it is pre-packaged. But, according to the desk person this scale was correct, I am only right around 200. Which is much less than what I would have guessed at around 240 since my tummy seems bigger than ever before. I guess maybe my feelings were true, and parts of my legs and arms are thinner and leaner. So with that, adding on an extra big tummy and a fat feeling face, the weight has maybe shifted around more than overall being lighter or heavier. (My highest in recent times was 220.) Though I would still like to get back down to, ideally, 175, but I'd settle for 185.

Another surprise came in the late afternoon. My dad sent an email. While there was no mention of turkey day, he said he sent a Xmas card yesterday and it has a check. So I will know very soon how much I have from him in total for this holiday time. Hopefully it's a bigger size, as that would at least pay the web/email bill and I would have my biggest worry cleared. I won't really expect more than that, as I don't know how I'd manage if it's not. And anxiety will be high enough without adding to it.

So today had a number of surprises; one bad, which set me greatly off balance, but two good, which will hopefully allow me greater balance in the coming days. So as I try to shake off the cold of tonight, I hope for better days ahead.

Day 3447 - 12/8 - Long, but fast

Today was odd. At the end of the day, and while the day was passing, it felt very fast. Yet at the same time, moment-to-moment, the day felt very slow. Almost as if it were twice the amount of time. I suppose that is in great part due to my working on a project until noon. My entire regular morning plans were put aside. It was fine. It was something I wanted to do. Certainly not as high of a quality or as much detail as I'd have liked, but I don't think anyone cares or listens anyways.

The day was fine, though my tummy was pretty upset. I got some easy lunchmeat for the next day as well, and microed it all at once, so I don't have to worry about meals for the next days. But tummy has issue with so many meats lately. Not from being sad about it once being a living creature, just my constitution is nowhere near what it once was.

I find myself very much looking forward to my green salad with a touch of salt and pepper and cheese I've started making a habit of on weekends. It will be harder to do from April on, but for the moment the car is a fridge at night. And with where I sit at the library I can put the foods on an AC vent. Which also effectively chills them like a fridge. (Hopefully someday they will flip that and it will be heat, as it's getting very cold lately.)

Emotionally I guess I was ok. I certainly could have been better. But I endure far more now than I ever would have before. The combination of enduring continuing emotional pain and loss, having lost so much has caused my tolerance for such things to be very far from what it once was.

No card from dad in the mail, but I did get word on food stamp monies being renewed through 2018, so there is that. For the moment I keep hoping. And hopefully tomorrow will be a good day.

Day 3448 - 12/9 - Something

Today was mostly ok. The morning started at the food store, then the bulk of the day was at the library. They actually had the heat on. The vent felt slightly warm in the morning, but by late afternoon when the place was packed it was slightly cold again. The connection was mostly ok, but in the later afternoon it turned pretty bad. The last two hours I was there was spent trying to watch a single 45 minute show. But I suppose some connection is better than no connection at all.

I got my card from dad, and... it's something. On the one hand it's a big amount, so that's great, but on the other it's a single gift size big amount. Which is half of what I had sort of mentally budgeted and hoped to be sent from him. So... I should maybe probably have just barely enough to pay the most important bill. But it will leave me with absolutely zero for anything else. I'll have the tiny bit in my wallet, which would have been laundry, which now must be gas for a week.

I will have to keep hoping donations come so I can cover the overdue car insurance and school costs. Which hopefully will happen. I know there are a few out there who watch out for me and send help from time to time. So hopefully that help will come and I can pay the remaining things.

But for now my future seems more uncertain than ever. And I struggle to hold on physically and emotionally. But I still hope help will come, and tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 3449 - 12/10 - One down, trim time

Today was okish. The food store connection was completely down, which was super sad as I didn't want to be out in the cold outside of school. When I got to school and settled in the concrete was indeed nearly as cold as ice. My butt was kind of numb while I was there. I guess it's ok though, as it allowed me to do some stuff I wouldn't have had the bandwidth for otherwise.

At noon I headed to the library. It's connection was still pretty slow. I'd forgotten it was so bad yesterday. It wasn't quite as bad, but it did alter what activities I could do due to lower bandwidth.

I paid my big internet/web space bill. Phew. So that's secure for another year (not counting the domain names in like May), and I won't have to worry about losing access to my email, which is tied to everything, including my resumes.

After paying the bill I only had a tiny bit left. I even had to put $1 back of what I had in my wallet to pay for the bill. The remaining $5 had to go into gas. There was no choice with the tank showing just about empty. I've got maybe a week's of gas if I'm lucky.

My hair was bugging me today. Well, most days it bugs me in that it looks like a flat mushroom instead of being flipped back all cool. It doesn't like to cooperate. But today was the kind of bugging me in that it's 'tail' was too long and poking me in the back of my neck. I guess it's grown about an inch since the last time I cut it, which if I recall was sometime in spring. The top is evening out now, and it's actually gotten too wide. It's less of a faux-hawk and more most of the top of my head. I'll have to see if I can find a way to narrow it this week before I lose shower access for winter break.

But despite my now only having barely a quarter tank of gas, and about $0.18 in my bank account, I guess today was ok. For now I try to hang on. And I continue to hope extra help will come for the holidays and I can continue hanging on until my forever better days.

Day 3450 - 12/11 - Miss it

Today was ok I suppose. Lately I've felt very weird. I feel very hyper aware of my body, where I am in space and time, and feel very much like a separate entity, disconnected and completely separate. I suppose I always have been, but it's the kind of physical and emotional detachment you feel when you are leaving somewhere and you've said all your goodbyes. I guess maybe it's just the quarter closing out and further distancing from everything I've known in recent times since my future feels so uncertain.

I suppose too it could be because more and more lately there is stuff I'm missing going on with the professor I used to help. All these projects I see the class working on and know they have as assignments, yet I can't see anymore. I miss helping and feeling useful, helpful, and like what I do and say matters, and has helped someone in a way that will last for the future.

I suppose too because, if even only temporarily, it meant I had people who were friendly around me. Without it, I have little to no interaction with anyone, and I feel extra alone.

But I suppose things could be worse, and may still be. But they aren't yet, and so I have hope that they won't be. I continue to hope help comes and try to hang on. And I continue to hope tomorrow is a better day.

Day 3451 - 12/12 - Quiet so far

Today is very quiet so far. I am one of only probably two people on the floor. Things seem very calm, yet I'm sure soon people will be anxiously buzzing around for their final.

I feel ok emotionally, and congested and sneezy physically. Though I am very worried about all the things, and that my laptop power now tends to drop about three times an hour if it's on my lap, and about once an hour or two if it's settled on a desk. It thankfully still seems mostly a very isolated incident, but I likely only have a few more months before it becomes a real problem.

But now settled at school I am warming up again. I will soon have foods and quiet my tummy grumbling. And I try to stay hopeful help will come and all the things will be ok and I can continue to hang on.

Week 494

Day 3452 - 12/13 - Donation, hair, double

Today was a mix of things. Yesterday I got a donation, so this means I was able to pay the overdue car insurance. The online thing showed $81 due on the 1st. There was no option to pay just the overdue amount. I sent them a message asking if I can do that online, but I got no reply. I may have to find an old bill and do it old school by check.

Before that though my day started with a cold shower, which is terrible. There was a sign that they are woking on them until Tuesday as well, so hopefully that issue will get fixed. But after I tried using gel in my hair. It cooperated, mostly, but I probably lack the thickness to have it fluff all the way should for what I want. And at the rate it is starting to thin on top, even if it did I probably coudln't hold onto it for more than a few more years. Maybe I'm wrong and it's just too uneven and still needs to grow out, as the top grows slower than the back. But it was very depressing to think I can't do that. I've never been known for my hair, but I feel without it there really is no denying my ethnicity or that I don't look how I picture myself.

In good news it seems the school will be open regular hours Friday, even though probably everyone will be gone by two. But it's nice to know I can have my regular Friday.

Oh, and yesterday was the last day of the quarter for the professor I used to help. So she certainly is not going to surprise me with help for signing up with classes since nothing was mentioned.

I guess that was really everything of interest today. A bigger donation which will eek me by the overdue payment. Sadness at not knowing how I will cover gas, or the coming school quarter, which I need to do or financial aid loans will come after me. Sadness about my hair. But overall things remain relatively balanced, as nothing really got worse. So, for now, I continue to try to hold on and hope for better days.

Day 3453 - 12/14 - Check in

Today was mostly the same as other days; basically no jobs, and of the ones being sent by my searches more and more are way out of my area. And I spent most of the day playing games or watching shows, hoping all the while the fear and worry about bills in the back of my mind would quiet down, if even just for a little bit.

There was one big difference, which probably won't lead to anything, but who knows. The person who, back in the day, I did a few editing jobs for checked in. She said what classes she is taking next quarter, and asked how I was doing and if I was still there (at school) and would be taking any classes next quarter. I probably haven't talked to her in about a year, but she considers me a friend and so she was concerned. Well, I was honest and told her these are probably the worst days of my life now, and I was hoping to take classes but lack the $70 to sign up. And I told her about the car insurance money trouble right around the corner. There was no reply, but that's not a huge surprise. Like I said it's been a year since we talked, and she was never a fast replier. But she has sent gift money in the past, so who knows, maybe he will send something.

I'm still very happy tomorrow is a regular day at school. It will sadly be a last hurrah for my new game in a way. After tomorrow I'll be limited to a few hours here and there at the food store if it has a strong connection. And even at its strongest what I can do in game would be limited due to bandwidth and time. And some other games are blocked at the library as well. But the library will limit me to basically my mmo and my card game. And, of course, single player offline games that don't require a connection.

But once I send the overdue payment in, which I guess I'll try and do over the phone tomorrow, I will have nothing in my account and barely any gas. But things will be current. So I will try to enjoy my last day on campus. I will try to stay hopeful help will come. And I will continue to hope I can hang on long enough to someday make it to my forever better days.

Day 3454 - 12/15 - For the moment

Today I had to call my car insurance people. They never replied back about just paying the part I owed. I guess it is indeed a thing that I'll have to call if I want to pay just the late part (if it happens again). So, I did that, and for the moment I am current again. There was no threat, and when the phone person looked at the account she sounded like everything was fine and no threat was up-coming. So I would guess due to the age of my account (like 25 years) they won't take action until I'm maybe a couple of months past. Hopefully I'll not ever have to find out where that line is.

I may have a donation tomorrow, I'm not sure yet. It's a maybe kind of thing. If so that would be a couple weeks of gas. If not I've got maybe one left, plus what little remains already.

Being current is great, but I can't help but worry how I will manage the $70 for next quarter and parking, the weekly gas, and the 'spare' $10 amounts for laundry, getting back on my meds, and things like sending my backpack in to exchange it for one that's not ripped and falling apart. It seems there are so many things spiraling out of control. Yet they are all super tiny easy to cover things compared to normal people's lives.

But all I can do for the moment is hope it is enough. And hope that I can hang on until more help comes.

Day 3455 - 12/16 - Forgotten

Today was a mix of things. It started at the food store, which had a pretty good connection for once. I left from there to go to the library. I was tempted to just stay there since I would be leaving in a few hours, but it is so much quieter and peaceful overall.

In the early afternoon I had my every other week game, which is turning more into once a month or less. I went because I was promised help on gas. I originally said I wouldn't have enough and might need to permanently leave the game since things are getting so bad. But there was the promise, so I went. It took me a lot longer to get there than usual. First there was an accident, and when I got past that the freeway was cut to half its width due to alleged construction, which I saw no evidence of. So what should have been 20 minutes was about 20 just during those 2 miles or so, and then there was the normal 20 minutes on top of that. So I barely made it on time.

When I settled in no money was offered or mentioned. I would guess because people wanted to start right away it was set aside. But as the game went on I couldn't help but worry more and more and it was all I could think of. Yes, I had a super fun time and we laughed a lot at my being silly, but inside I was hurting quite a lot emotionally. I felt uncared for and forgotten.

I hope that was not the case though. I hope, since I won't be online until the morning there are already apologies sent for forgetting, and questions on how to send the offered help.

If the promised help doesn't come I'll be pretty seriously screwed for gas. What would have almost been two weeks, after today's trip, has put me back down to a couple of days. If that, or other help, doesn't come I'll be forced to do what little recycling I have on Monday or Tuesday. Which I know will probably not even be a week's worth of gas, and it will burn up a ton doing it on a weekday because traffic would be insane. (It already takes about $3 or more even when I can drive super fast on the weekend due to distance.)

So, the day overall was good. But I feel very sad and worried and forgotten. But I try to hang on to hope the promise money will happen. And I hope other help comes too. Because if I continue to lose hope the tears I am holding back will never stop.

Day 3456 - 12/17 - Friend leaf

Today I had a friend leaf on the car. I noticed the leaf about 1/3 the way from the side to the middle, basically right in front of the driver's area. It wasn't being held on by the wiper, as I tried moving that. It never left all day. It was there in the morning, stayed during my time at the food store in spite of it being super windy all day, stayed all day at the library, and was still there just now when I settled in for the night.

I don't know why it seemed important. It just did. It probably has to do with not getting the promised monies. That has kind of wrecked me. I can't stop thinking about how I've gone from what I should have had (if I hadn't gone) which was about 1.5 weeks to now a few days at most. I told them I couldn't afford to go to the game. They promised to cover it. Now not having that back... I would just say a something and it probably wouldn't be an issue. But I don't feel like it's my place to. I don't feel like it was a mistake and maybe it was intentional and I shouldn't ask.

I guess the leaf just felt like a friendly reminder from Fate and nature. A note to just hang in there, as the leaf did, and to keep hoping. To know I am not alone in the world, and that I'm seen and acknowledged. I don't know...

I suppose with all things I just have to wait and see what happens. And to keep hoping for positive outcomes.

Day 3457 - 12/18 - Had to call

Today was pretty sad. I got to play my game just a tiny bit in the morning at the food store, which was good. After, I tried to do an old school shave. It worked in that my scruffy bear parts are shaved, but the razor is all gummed up. I had set up a rinsing bowl of water, but that really didn't get it clean since it's one of the tiny multi-blade types. Those need a lot of force to clean the blade.

I tried to wait and see about the monies that were promised, but I couldn't stop thinking about it. I had maybe a couple of days left, maybe even just today, and with the recycle trip costing $3, I have my doubts with what I have that I'd profit more than about 2 gallons of gas. So in the early afternoon I asked if monies were coming. The person was very grumpy about it because I'd said 'I couldn't promise extra wouldn't be used for regular gas,' so he hadn't planned on giving it to me. But I said, and had said in the posting thread, that I wasn't otherwise planning to come because I didn't have enough, and I might need to permanently drop, and with how things were worded I expected at least the gas I spent to come back. So now there is a weirdness. I mean I know none of that gaming group (4 others) consider me a close friend, so sure, it's weird whenever non-close friends bring up money, but still. It seems weird he started with 'oh sure we can help, dropping $50 on figures or books isn't a big deal to us, so $10-15 to help is easy', and then when I said I might need the extra for regular gas things he no longer seemed willing to help... I don't know. I don't understand that. If I knew someone in my gaming group needed help, if things were reversed, I'd be happy to give a little help. Especially since the game is turning more to once a month or less frequently.

I don't know... today, as quite often lately, since really all of this month so far, I feel more and more like things are falling apart. I guess nothing has really changed, more just an overwhelming feeling of not being appreciated is just pressing down on me. I'm still spending an average of 15-60 minutes a day on forums helping out that company that still doesn't acknowledge me anymore, let alone send me anything, but then I suppose they never really did. My professor not saying she misses my help or asks for my opinion on class things anymore. I mean, sure, she should do it on her own and not need help; but with three years helping in sometimes three classes a quarter, sort of being a therapist at times in some ways when she felt troubled, and now I need help and none is offered. And just still not finding new friends to do regular things with, let alone closer friends or a sweetie.

I don't know... it all just feels like I am not seen as having any value to anyone. And it feels like I no longer belong anywhere. I feel welcome, maybe like a breeze passing through somewhere, but no longer a part, no longer physically connected, or a thing with value or worth.

I guess in spite of my feelings of people abandoning me, and feeling unappreciated and uncared for, I still try to hang on to hope. I don't want much in life, and what I want is taken for granted by so very many people in the world who already have it, but it seems like opportunity is completely out of my control or grasp. But I try to hang on.

Day 3458 - 12/19 - Sneeze and yuck

Today has been super cold. I've been sneezing a lot lately. This morning when I sneezed there was a yuck I had to spit out. Checking the weather app it looks like it's going to get even colder and stay colder.

My games are doing special holiday events. The one I want to play most is firewall blocked by the library, as expected, so I'll probably have to spend extra time at the food store if I want to play. I guess it's not terrible though, as it's been pretty stable when I've played lately.

As usual for the holidays things seem extra sad for me. Everyone is doing special things and celebrating, while I have even more limitations with things being closed. I try to remain hopeful things will get better, and maybe someday I will be back to a normal life. Until then I try to stay hopeful help will come and I can continue to hang on until then.

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

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