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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 495

Day 3459 - 12/20 - More sadness

Today there was more sadness. I am so depressed I don't even really feel like writing. There is still so much I can't cover and I'm worried about. And still I reach out for help and it seems no one cares. On top of everything I already have that's sad, I got pulled over because apparently one of my brake lights has gone out. I don't even have the $5-10 for a light let alone what the officer said would be about $25 to clear. (Though he did say it wasn't due until mid February, so that is something at least if I need to delay things.)

The only part of the day that seems good is that some packages arrived at the ex-house. So, though I haven't opened the shipping boxes yet, it seems like I will at least have something for Xmas.

But today, and it seems more and more lately, I am on my own. It seems, I suppose all my life, extremely few have ever cared about me at all. I guess these times aren't any different. It makes me feel lately like I just went offline completely and stopped trying to reach out or help others that it would make no difference at all because I don't seem to matter to others.

But I will try and look upon my presents, and in some cases hug them, and try to remember there are a few out there who do care. And that is something. And if I can hold onto hope and stay strong, maybe it will be enough.

Day 3460 - 12/21 - Chilled to the bone

Today I was still pretty depressed. I didn't get to play my new game much, as expected, and I also wasn't really in the mood to play much at the library. Due to my limitations, the things I am still worried about if I'll get money or not, and the new sad stress of the tail light, has me very depressed.

It also doesn't help that at no point in the day would I have considered myself to be truly warm. I can't remember a time in recent years I've walked in from the cold and been so warm I do the happy sigh and toss layers onto a nearby couch. I was chilled to my bone as the saying goes, I could feel the cold all the way through my muscle, and I barely got warm, yet never warm enough to stop feeling that chill.

But I try to hang on. And I try to stay hopeful that tomorrow is a better day.

Day 3461 - 12/22 - So very cold

Today was ok. It was still cold all the time. I think I only took my hoodie off for about four hours all day.

I got a few Xmas money presents, so I have enough to do a something. Certainly not everything though. And it probably won't be more than one important thing, like the stupid ticket, but it also gets me some for a bit of gas and washing clothes, which are pretty critical things.

My parts are getting numb pretty quickly writing this. So I'll hurry. I will probably have to start writing in the afternoon instead of evening. Evenings are just getting too cold. While it doesn't snow here more days than not lately the car has been frosted over in the morning. A sign this winter will be extra cold.

But with the Xmas gifts my heart is warmed. And so I hope that is enough to drown out the sad thoughts in my head, which constantly worries. So I try to stay warm enough. And I try to hang on long enough. And hopefully I can make it through.

Day 3462 - 12/23 - Eve's eve

Today was pretty cold again. Even in the library I took off my hoodie for only maybe two hours. I have been very worried about all the things. So despite what I'd like to do with my Xmas monies I have to take care of the break light and ticket first. So far things weren't too bad with the light being just $6 for two, so hopefully that's the issue. The officer said the ticket was about $25 though, so those two things will be about half of everything I have.

I guess today was ok though. There are currently much colder places in the world, and I still could be in a worse position. So I continue to try and stay hopeful. And I try to keep some holiday cheer with me. And I continue to hope I can hang on until better days.

Day 3463 - 12/24 - Eve

Today feels a lot more positive for the moment. In the morning I played at the food store, and it went ok, but it was very cold there. I spent the day at the library, which was quiet and calm, but again very cold. But why things feel positive is I am doing laundry. The cloths I had were very stinky and that makes me stressed and sad. And, since I got the break light bulbs yesterday I decided to see what it would take to swap it out. The instructions literally said to pull back the carpet, which I'd already discovered I could do, and then turn the light to pop out the housing. At first the change was super stressful, since after replacing it and testing it the bulb did not light up. But since I know sometimes electronics have positive and negative yet can go in either way, I flipped it around and tried again. And, phew, it lit up bright and happy. So hopefully the officer was right and it will be $25, or hopefully less, and I can get that checked off maybe Tuesday.

So hopefully after my clothes are done I will feel a bit more normal again. I also got to shave in the sink at school in the morning, so my hair and face feel a lot more normal. So that too is something. Hopefully soon all the very terrible recent sad things will be cleared and I can be back to my regular sadness. I still don't know how I'll pay for parking next quarter, or how I'll pay car insurance, as the Xmas monies I have left will be gas for a week or two and not enough to do much more.

But I hope to continue on. If I want to see better days I have to make it through the bad ones. So hopefully help continues to come. And hopefully I can hang on long enough to make it to better days.

Day 3464 - 12/25 - Perfect fit

Today is a very sad day. The holidays, particularly this one, are filled with everyone caring for others. With gifts and kindness. And with thankfulness that people are in people's lives. But I have little of that. Mostly I am reminded of the things I'm missing, or have lost. Especially without a home; a place to be out of the cold, with friends and family, and everything I do on holidays like this remind me I don't have that.

But what I do have, what there is to be thankful for and celebrate is kind of perfect. The pants I was gifted fit perfectly. The laptop power plug I was gifted seemed strong and stable for the short time I played, and when turned to angles known to be problematic showed no sign of issues. And upon trying the boots on that I got they fit perfect. No poking or pinching spots. And my heels felt supported and solid under my step.

The old plug and boots will be set aside, just in case. It is always good to have old somethings that will still work in a pinch. But I am grateful there should be no more worries of power drops, or damage caused by that. And there will be no worry of my boots soon getting holes in the bottoms of the souls.

Sadly the money I was gifted had to be used for school. And what I still have for the moment will be more than half gone after paying the break light ticket. So worry will soon return about all the things. But these nice things will hopefully help me remain hopeful for the future. And I can continue to hang on until forever better days come.

Day 3465 - 12/26 - The grinch

Today has started off badly. I got up extra early to get to the court house and when I did there was a long line already. Half an hour later, when I got through the line I showed the lady the ticket and said I was here to pay it and get the light checked off. She complained that I didn't have a mailed form and didn't have it checked off by an officer already. I told her, 'no, I assumed they could do that here.' She flipped out and went into a rage and started complaining that I needed to wait up to 60 days for the form and I had to go to the police station to get the proof. I get that she felt I may have been wasting her time or whatever, but she shouldn't have gotten upset and raged at me when I was told incorrect information. I tried to explain to her that I was told I had until that date to take care of things, and there was no mention of a mailed form or needing to wait, and that the courthouse should be sure the officers give the right information. She just kept pushing me out and started insulting me.

I guess this affected me so much that I in turn raged at someone else. I was near the library where there is a big crosswalk and a guy and his dog were starting to cross without really looking, so I continue going past to get clear of his path. When he's 6 feet from my side (the street there is 2.5 lanes wide) he spreads his arms out, in a 'hey what the hell' kind of blaming me way. I slam on the breaks and he and I get into an argument. He was claiming I wasn't watching out for kids, and that I went through a stop sign. I wave my arms around at the nothing as far as the eye can see and say there are no kids anywhere right now, and that's not a stop sign, it's a yield for kids. After a bit, I would guess with the intent of de-escalation he says, 'hey, Merry Xmas.' I realize then that I'm raging about nothing. At this point we are close together and he puts out his hand and apologizes, and his dog starts hopping on me. I almost immediately start crying. As I am writing I am crying at how sensitive and fragile I am at everything, and how broken my life and emotions have become. We said we were sorry, and I explained my bad day, and he said he was sorry I was having a bad day. The doggy was super sweet and hopping on me and trying to play the whole time I'd been close enough, even when I was mad.

I hope someday things are normal again. And I am no longer broken into a million pieces all the time like I am now.

Week 496

Day 3466 - 12/27 - Sad and cold

Today I am feeling very sad and cold. I got an Xmas present I thought I could use to pay for stuff, but it's a gift card and can't be. So now I am feeling very sad about all the things I can't pay for and will come crashing in on me very quickly.

I was so sad I didn't feel like playing my games. It also doesn't help that the food store connection has been completely dead, so I have to go freeze outside of school if I want to play my newest game.

I was very cold today, and I've even put on an extra winter layer, and yet still I'm too cold. I feel very sad, and very tired. And I wish more than anything I could go to bed early and when I wake up everything is fine again, as it was all just a bad dream... but I can't.

Day 3467 - 12/28 - Itchy

Today there was too much itchy. Sadly when I checked campus yesterday the locker-room shower area was closed. I couldn't take the itch in all my places anymore and had to try and shave my parts in the food store bathroom. It was... ok... ish. The critical parts are done and I shouldn't be itchy again for a while. Hopefully it will last long enough that I don't really need to do that again, as I expect the pool showers will be open after New Year's on Tuesday. So if I can hold out for not quite a week that would be best.

In super good news today I decided again to look around for a VPN and see if I could find a free one. I found one that seems genuinely free. The bandwidth cap is somewhat low. It seems like it would run out after maybe 20 hours in a month. But, that is plenty to play a few hours a day on the weekends, as it gets my new favorite shooting game through the library firewall. That makes me super happy, as it also means after break I could still play then if I want/need to on weekends. Right now this is especially important since the food store connection is still completely dead. (Those three places are the only real connection points around that I've found.)

My eyes hurt today. Behind them, in a migraine fashion. My ears are ringing. I did have a headache for a bit. And I was a little dizzy for a bit. I probably have a cold since most days these days I'm up and about while things are still frosted. This morning my breath was making cold poofs.

But despite all my worries, despite my not knowing how I'll pay for all or even some of the important things, I try to hang on. And I try to continue to hope tomorrow is a better day.

Day 3468 - 12/29 - Surprises

Today had a few surprises. In the morning it started with a surprise present. Being past Xmas I didn't expect anything else. But monies came, and it was quite a bit. Enough that I don't have to worry about the car insurance payment. I am considering a small amount for a present with part of it, so I have a play item, as all the money so far has had to go to essential needs.

The next surprise was a bit of a bad one. Not in any real dangerous way though. Around 2:30 I kept dropping out of my game. At first I thought it was the VPN, as I know that can cause instability in games. But then I remembered that the library can have times of little to no connectivity. And for the next two hours that was the case. So that was very sad.

In the evening when I was leaving the library I decided to take a chance on the school showers. To my surprise it was open. Not just the pool gate, but the showers as well. So while it was a somewhat rushed shower, I got a chance to shave my overgrown itchy areas and I got to clean all my parts. So now I am super clean and soft again. At least for the next few days.

So today had good and bad. And I suppose in a way, for the moment at least, I will be back to normal levels of homeless worry. Sure, in just a few weeks I'll be back to worry about the February car insurance payment, as I'll probably only have half of it, if that much, but for now the immediate things are all taken care of.

For the moment at least I can somewhat try and relax. And as always continue to hope for the future. And hopefully I can make it to my forever better days.

Day 3469 - 12/30 - Good day, quick day

Today was actually a pretty good day by all accounts. It started with being able to sleep in a bit. Being the weekend and winter, and a holiday too, not many people are out and about early, so it's safe to sleep in a bit. Even at sleeping in an hour longer my car was still very chilled here and there and not entirely done defrosting from the night. It seems this winter is going to be insanely cold once I have to start getting up early again.

There were fewer people in the library, hitting a cap of about 85% full, so my connection was strong and stable all day. I mostly played my new game and I've almost gotten to a holiday goal I didn't think I'd have a chance to really do due to the extremely limited time I would normally have. Finding a way through the library firewall has been a huge boon emotionally.

I also decided to spend $5 of my Xmas monies on a month subscription to watch some special shows, so that is super good. And I spent $10 on a role playing game thing. Oh, and I also paid the stupid car insurance, so I don't have to worry about that until closer to the end of next month. Though with not enough money to pay the next I'll likely worry much sooner.

But for the moment I feel ok and it was a good day. With the New Years coming things may get a bit rough again, especially if I'm forced to be outside in the cold due to things being closed, but I guess we'll see. But for now I try to stay hopeful. And hopefully tomorrow will be a good day too.

Day 3470 - 12/31 - Almost out

Today started with a bit of sad news. I went to buy food and my card was declined, several times. Checking, I apparently only have $4 and some change. I guess I've spent a bit too much since I can't have my cheap micro foods. That has to last me five days, so that will certainly run out. I should be ok though, as I still have a bit on a gift card, and I have the restaurant gift card as well. (Though I'm unsure how much gas that would use to get there.)

Today went too quickly. I had settled in during the morning at school and POOF it was time to go to the library. The library had shorter hours than normal, so POOF, in a blink that was over too.

Hopefully tonight will be ok. It is still earlier than people will be out celebrating, so hopefully I can be settled and stealthed and go unnoticed.

As always I try to hang on. And hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 3471 - 1/1/18 - Changed plans

Today was a lot easier than expected. In the morning I was going to spend a few hours at the food store doing I didn't really know what, as I didn't want to spend too much time outside at school due to the cold, though I knew I'd have to be there at least a short while. But that's not what happened. The food store connection was working again. So I played my game and had fun. By the time I got hungry enough to eat it was early afternoon. I changed my plan of going to school and just stayed in my car a few hours, then went back in to the food store.

It was a nice and warm day. It certainly was not what I'd say was genuinely warm, but it was much warmer than it has been. And in my car mid-day it was warm enough I took off my hoodie, which was something.

So for a short while the chill was gone from my bones. I played and had fun. And the day passed quicker and better than expected. And I hope tomorrow is also a better day.

Day 3472 - 1/2 - Not

Today has started a bit differently. I decided to take a chance and see if the school showers were open instead of spending my morning time at the food store. Sadly, it was not. So with the extra time I went to a store on my way to the library to pick up paper for the fail writing, and they were out of the cheap paper. I'm not paying $4-5 for 100ish sheets of different paper.

So the morning has been different than expected, but not bad. With the extra time before the library opens I'll likely just read my new role playing thing I got for Xmas time.

It's still a touch warmer, but the skies look angry, like rain. I guess we'll see. But today seems ok so far, and hopefully it will be a good day.

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

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