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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 505

Day 3529 - 2/28 - Just short

Today felt weird. I got a shower, which was nice. The rain was gone and it was just a hair warmer, which was nice. But I felt weird all day. I felt kind of like I was supposed to be somewhere, but didn't know where that was. Or maybe like I was supposed to try and go somewhere, but I was a spin toy which just randomly bumped here and there and didn't actually go anywhere intended.

Maybe it's because after all my mathing I can't find a way to complete the fix it ticket process. Since there was the unexpected 20, that seriously crippled me. And apparently there are no free options at my bank to make a check, and not having any means at least $2 more to print some, plus $3 more after that if I want to send it certified to be sure. Mean there is no way around the fact that I'm $5-10 short.

I don't know what to think about my day and my life. Maybe too it was because someone was in my sitting spot in the morning, so that threw me off. Additionally he was Asian, overweight, and vastly out of shape (he was wheezing just sitting there laying still.) In many ways he looked a lot like how I feel when I see myself in the mirror. He laid out, blocking most of the hallway, and looked like an ugly beached whale. I wondered if that's how I look to others. I certainly hope not, as I at least try to take care of my clothing appearance. It started my day off feeling very unhappy about myself physically; an unnecessary reminder as I often feel that way.

So I felt very sad today, both financially and physically, which made me extra depressed emotionally. But all I can do is try to manage as best as I can with what I have, continue to hope more help comes, and that I can make it to better days.

Day 3530 - 3/1 - Back again

Today I still feel weird. I think maybe because I am sick and my tummy is upset more than any other reason. I don't feel out of place, but I do feel lost, alone, and maybe a bit heartbroken. All day I see people talking about gaming with others, or who are looking for games, and I am sad I can't be in either o those categories due to my sad life.

The rain came back last night. It rained most of the night and most of the morning. When I was last out while making dinner it as down to a very light sprinkle. I'm still in a building at school, so I don't know if it's raining again or not.

My headphones are apparently waiting at the ex-house. So it's good to finally know regular gaming headphones will be back. I'm glad I have this emergency old pair that mostly work. It's why I keep all mostly working things I replace. But that seems to be my life now, replacing broken things with less broken things, no longer new and better things like I did once upon a time.

But I try to hang on. I try to hold together emotionally. I continue to hope help comes to help pay for all the things. And hopefully I can make it to forever better days.

Day 3531 - 3/2 - AM scare

Today I was pretty sick. The cold is still beating me down and so I wanted to do nothing but sit and try to rest. I went to the lecture part of class, but I skipped the lab hours. The thought of being around 10 people talking loudly and doing the same thing with lights yet again just really did not appeal to me at all. In fact, if I had a home I likely would have just stayed bundled in covers all day.

I was feeling very low and sad last night too. I'm down to a quarter tank of gas, likely less than a week's worth, and just about 10 short on paying the parking ticket (maybe 5 if I really push things down to the very edges.) So, I was super depressed and again thought of death and dying. There were only a few tears though. I managed to mostly keep it together.

But then in the wee morning hours, somewhere around 4-5 AM, there was a tremendously loud BOOF BOOF. My heart raced and I was instantly awake. I knew the sound was at least 100 feet away, but I couldn't help but think what if it was a gun? What if a stray bullet had hit me and I was bleeding out? In my 10% still asleep state in that brief instant I was somehow ok with it, saying to myself, 'well, it is the end, not how or when I wanted, but my end was inevitable.' And in that moment, the fear, sadness, and worry I normally have considering my end was not there, only a feeling of acceptance and peace.

I was, of course, not hurt. And so in that moment, it was not my end. But my mind played the sound over and over, fearing what it was, and being afraid at its sudden and unexpected happening. I tried to calm myself down as my heart raced, saying it was not a gun, and I was safe. After all, guns are far more of a pop than a bang or boom. They often don't really sound like they do in TV or movies. But I was afraid. Terrified. As I commonly am at the thought of death. I lost an hour of sleep, but I did eventually get back to sleep.

Tonight it is pouring rain, which I suppose is good, as that (theoretically) offers me more cover. But I can't help but worry that I am down to less than a week of gas again. And while I try to hang on as much as I can, with all of these extra costs my money has come up just short of taking care of the fix it ticket, still keeping that over my head, and out of reach.

But I try to hold on to hope that more help will come. That I might be able to take care of all the things. And hopefully someday make it back into a forever home and better days.

Day 3532 - 3/3 - Rainy and cold

Today was mostly rainy and cold. Thankfully it was not raining on my way to the library or coming out back to my car. Though I have an umbrella I always seem to get at least a little wet. And with things as cold as they are it takes forever to dry. I'm already sick enough.

Bandwidth at the library was pretty bad. I could barely play, and shows were taking about three times as long during commercials and rarely got above medium visual quality.

There were no donations or well wishing, so I am still very worried how low I am getting on gas. And still I'm very depressed I'm shot for getting the fix it ticket finished after being so close. Though I feel I should blame myself for getting the hamburger my friend said to get with part of his money, or for getting two weeks of gas to start. I can't help but feel if I hadn't that would be cleared now and no longer a concern. But I suppose it isn't really my fault, since I wasn't expecting $25-30 in additional fees and gas trying to take care of it, since no one warned me about those costs.

But I will try to keep my chin up. I will try to continue to hope. And hopefully more help will come, and I can continue to hang on.

Day 3533 - 3/4 - Missing

Today I am very sad. The morning was ok-ish in that the food store connection was strong enough to play a bit. The door has still been stuck open, so even though I am in the corner I was still freezing.

I did leave the food store earlier than necessary and sat in my car to get warmed up though. I kind of fell asleep after my lunch before the library opened. I guess it was good, as I've been super sick, and was super dizzy in the morning, but I usually don't like to nap as it can throw off my sleeping routine.

The library again had zero bandwidth. I could barely do anything. And with my depression being unable to finish the fix it ticket, along with other things like having gas, I was not in a good enough mood to think about, or do, much of anything.

I've been missing an old MMO I played way back in the day. Their next expansion is coming out in September and lately I've been thinking it might be nice to play again. But I both lack the money to get the current expansion and the monthly subscription fee. Though I wonder if I really miss the game, or if I miss what my life was when playing it. And too I wonder if I miss how I played when I was financially able to do so. When I last played I was in the earlier days of being homeless. I talked about it quite a bit I think. But back then at least the expansions and $15 a month weren't that big of a concern. I had... enough... things like that or paying for gas, going to a movie, or getting a hamburger, wasn't something to worry about. So I think again, as it happens quite a bit lately, I'm really more just homesick than anything else. Which is extra sad since I have no home to return to.

I miss a home. I miss the options that being in a home brings. I miss being able to truly be me, instead of a stripped down limited version of me. But all it seems I can do is try to do my best to manage, as it seems mostly or completely out of my hands. And I try to continue to have hope and hang on. And hopefully I can make it through enough days to be ok again.

Day 3534 - 3/5 - The lost day

Today seemed strange. I suppose it was because I was woken up an hour earlier than I would have due to some pretty extreme cold. The temperature is very cold lately and it's really messed me up. I was sleepy and my brain just didn't function for most of the day. It wasn't until the sun had gone down that I actually started to feel anything close to awake.

There were a lot of beautiful girls around, so that was nice. But, as usual, no one talked to me and I felt very alone. Tomorrow my food money cycles, so at least I have that. Maybe I'll get a special small something to cheer myself up, as I am still worried about all the things I can't control.

But I try to hang on. I try to continue to hope help comes. And I try to stay hopeful I can make it to better days.

Day 3535 - 3/6 - A day

Today has just started. So far it is a day like any other, no better, no worse, and I continue to live. I am very depressed I didn't get to take care of the fix it ticket. By all math I should have easily had enough, reserving nearly double what I needed, but due to unforeseen red tape I didn't. I hope to hang on to what is left, so I am still very close, but I don't know how I'll get the rest. And now the next quarter classes are posted, something I should sign up for to keep financial aid at bay. So I am very worried about all these otherwise small costs to a normal life which feel overwhelming to me.

But my food money cycled, so I got some chips that were on sale, and some cookies I haven't had in forever, and a nice lunch choice. The day is very slightly warmer, so I hope the weather will turn warm soon. (I'm still sneezing and congested, so my cold continues to hang on and not improve during this cold weather.)

But I continue to hope people consider donating and that help comes and I can continue to hang on. And hopefully with financial help I can hold on to the emotional strength to hang on until better days.

Week 506

Day 3536 - 3/7 - So much pizza

Today turned out better than expected. I was set to help someone on a school project from 11 AM to 7 PM. Of all that time they only did half of what they originally intended. But I wasn't bored, the people were nice, and we had a good time. I wasn't really expecting that. And, it was sad I'd already spent $4 to get micro food for the day, as there was pizza and snacks. So I had way too much yummy pizza. Because I had to also eat the regular foods I'd gotten (since they were frozen and I had no bags to save pizza in) I got suuuuper full. But, I guess that's a good thing as I'm still really super sick. I don't feel bad in negative or painful ways, I'm just very congested, extremely completely exhausted all the time, and want nothing more than to have a peace and quiet to rest. I'm even considering skipping my Friday class completely. (Which I've not missed a class in over a year, back on that day when I was throwing up and extremely dizzy.)

The pizza was super yummy. I can't remember the last time I had some. It was weird to hear people talking about big amounts of money like it was nothing. The guy was like, 'oh yeah these are super cheap, like $10 each' and we talked about how regular pizza places would charge double for that. And he got three to have plenty and that $30 was no big deal for him for one day of food. And he was asking someone else if she'd ordered this camera that was on sale because it was now "only" $2000. And I couldn't help but think that would cover all of my sad homeless life costs for an entire year, which includes a couple of new games and extra gas to do pen and paper gaming.

Sadly because I lost several hours of the day I only had about three hours total for everything outside of that shoot, so I barely got to play or watch anything.

I got a donation yesterday, so I can finally say for sure I can take care of the stupid fix it ticket. (Once I get a chance to go to the bank when it's open to get the checks.) I still have that stupid membership fee for car insurance at the end of the month, the next car insurance payment, and school's next quarter, so there are still several things over my head. But I will try to focus on one thing at a time. Though with all of those being in the next few weeks I've no clue how I'll manage.

But for the moment my spirit is boosted in a few ways, so I try to look at just today, and focus on what is good. And hopefully I can make it to better days ahead.

Day 3537 - 3/8 - Button and yuck

Today seemed extra sad. I felt ok emotionally, but overall I was depressed. Everything seemed the same, and even though I was free to play all day, my heart just wasn't in it.

I also felt pretty embarrassed and disgusting all day. Before the afternoon I noticed there was yuck in my underwear. I knew they were dirty, and I can't remember the last time I could afford to change every day, but there being yuck totally made me feel extra dirty. I felt unclean overall. And though I could always take a shower, I know I would just be putting on dirty cloths back on my clean parts. No one would have seen or known anything was unusual, and I just put some paper towels between the (dry) yuck and me, but... in my natural conditions I am super clean, always wear clean cloths, and shower at least once a day, sometimes twice. So to know there was yuck, and that I'm forced to live in conditions where I am not clean... made me feel very sad.

On my way to dinner a button on my pants popped off. Not a big deal, I can sew it back on again, but it just seemed like a reminder that everything is falling apart.

But I tried to not let things get me too down. I tried to focus on the fact that I can go to the ex-garage and fix these things. And I try to remember tomorrow is a new day, and perhaps it will be better.

Day 3538 - 3/9 - Surprises

Today I feel better than I expected I would. There were a few unexpected surprises.

The first was in the morning. For the past maybe six months someone has been throwing away lottery tickets of various kinds in the tiny trash near the machines at the food store. Since it's usually just paper stuff in there I've been collecting them. Apparently this person doesn't know that you can enter them online into a "second chances" drawing. Some of these go as high as 20k or even 50k. Today when I was entering them one gave an error that it is a winner or has already been submitted. The scratching part hadn't been removed, and uncovering that I discovered this ticket was a $15 winner. So thanks lottery trasher person. Hopefully that isn't the only boon I'll get for those discarded tickets. (Lately I've been submitting 50-100 a month. They trash a ton of tickets.)

The next surprise was that the lab for class wasn't too bad. I still feel pretty terrible, so I was considering skipping it again. But I decided to go, and it was actually kind of fun for a change. I didn't really learn anything that I didn't already know, but I did help suggest some things and operated a control panel (which is not a thing taught in that class), so I felt helpful.

Unfortunately though I was dumb when putting something away and my paw got pretty badly pinched. My right 'ring finger' from on the pad all the way to the tip of the finger had a dark blue crack under the surface, and nature's air bag pretty quickly swelled up the area a bit. It wasn't too bad. I was in pain, and I'm sure a normal person would have been screaming and crying, but I managed and no one knew anything had happened. Within about 15 minutes the swelling stopped and it was just a bit still and difficult to make a fist, with that finger stopping about 90% of the way. Within the next 1.5 hours it was already regaining motion and feeling was returning to normal. Now, about six hours later the dark blue lines have turned to red with flakes of purple, the swelling is almost completely gone, and there is only a thin line that still has damaged nerves. (Much like my immune system reacting to colds faster than normal, I also tend to heal from general injuries faster.) I expect I'll be mostly fine in a day or two, a very lucky outcome all things considered.

When I was getting dinner I noticed (in the almost completely empty cafeteria) an abandoned muffin, still sealed in its wrap, next to an empty coffee. I expect it was a free muffin, as apparently late on Fridays they sometimes give stuff like that away to students who come by instead of letting it sit over the weekend (and go bad). So, after my dinner finished cooking I grabbed it since it certainly seemed abandoned. (The building was going to close in less than 30 minutes.)

Before I left (campus) for the night I got word on the social page from someone who'd hoped my day had at least a few nice things. It was very nice to hear someone was worried and sent me well wishes. It surprised me to hear that she liked my podcasts. I'd thought that no one listened to them. I haven't heard anyone comment on them in probably years.

So, physical wound aside, today had more good than bad. Though I still have between $100-150 hanging over my head coming due in the next few weeks, those nice surprises today helped keep my depression at bay. So I try to hang on. I try to stay hopeful, and hopefully tomorrow (too) will be a better day.

Day 3539 - 3/10 - Slower and slower

Today I was pretty sad. Nothing new happened to add to my stress, so it was the same. But I am worried about all the things all the time.

I got to play a bit today, but as the day went on the connection got worse and worse. By early afternoon it was extremely disruptive to my game. By late afternoon I couldn't play anymore at all and could barely do anything at all. I hope it's ok tomorrow. Usually I'm too sad to be able to think creatively, so offline time is often just lost time.

My finger is still pretty hurt, but feeling better. Mostly it just feels a bit sick, like when you have a cold and you can feel your lymph nodes being messed up and full of yuck. Hopefully I'll be all healed up soon.

I tried my best to feel ok, but I am so very sad and worried about bill things, that makes me worry that I am closer to death than not. But I try to hang on. And I try to hope more help comes. And hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 3540 - 3/11 - Warm day

Today it was actually pretty warm. I guess the weather app said it was 75F. Though it is supposed to be back to the 60s by about Thursday, so this warm seems to be temporary.

I tried again to find places to mail the stupid fix it ticket, but again couldn't find any. It occurred to me today to see if I could pay for it and do a label online, and it seems I could. Though I guess again I was told the wrong thing, as it was more than double the cost I was expecting. But I'd rather that than continue to burn extra gas, or in the morning burn extra time just to go to the post office. But in theory it will finally be done and I can stop worrying about it in a few days.

There was no connection at the food store in the morning, and the connection quickly got crappy at the library. I barely got to do anything today. I guess it was ok, as I did some offline stuff I've been needing to do.

I'm pretty exhausted, likely due to the time change. I didn't sleep super great either. I remember I had bad dreams, so that didn't help. I'm still sneezing and a bit dizzy, but I'm slowly getting over my cold. My paw is getting better too, though parts are still a bit numb. Hopefully as the red and blue discoloration heals, feeling will return to normal. Though that may be a week or two. It doesn't impair anything. I'm fine. It's just, sad, as it reminds me what I already know; that I am very fragile and one little mistake can cause lasing loss.

But the day was warm. I continued to live another day, so I try to hang on to hope. And hopefully there will be better days ahead.

Day 3541 - 3/12 - Surprise rain

Today I felt pretty good. As I was leaving school for the night I even felt noticeably less stressed, what with the weight of the stupid fix it ticket finally lifted off my shoulders. Of course some of that weight immediately came back on since I noticed I have about 1.5 weeks of gas and I'm out of money again. Not to mention the $60 for the stupid car insurance monthly fee and $40 for the actual insurance, both due in about two weeks.

I was colder than expected all day, clinching my jaw just a bit. I'd taken off one of my two tank tops and the long underwear layer since it was 75F yesterday. I don't know what it was today in terms of temperature, but it was much colder than the app predicted. And sometime in the mid-afternoon it started raining, which the app said it wouldn't do until Thursday. So it rained and got cold much sooner than expected. So now I've put those layers back on.

I guess today was ok though. There were a few very beautiful girls around which is always nice. I played and watched a few shows, so that was nice. But I was exhausted. From the sleep change, from my cold, and after a few hours of being in front of my laptop my eyes just refused to focus, so that was going on all day. I really need to remember to keep looking up and around so they don't 'lock' like that.

Overall today was ok-ish. I am alive, and though not in the best of health, that is something. So I continue to hope help comes. And I continue to hope I have better days ahead.

Day 3542 - 3/13 - Pouring rain

Last night and this morning so far it's been pouring rain. I actually like rain. I think it's my favorite non clear weather, especially if I happen to be near or under trees.

I'm still sniffling and sneezing. This rain may increase my cold, so that's not good. I also lost a few hours sleep last night, not sure why. My paw is actually hurting more than it has been lately. I would guess because it's healing and what I am feeling is the yuck being carried away and healthy bits rebuilding themselves. I'm very sensitive to change in my body. That's why I don't enjoy drinking. I can feel the poison running through my veins.

But it is early. I am just settling in at school. I'm starting to warm up and dry off and hopefully today will be a good day.

Comments and stuff Copyright E. Stryker 2008-2018
Pictures for Epic Fail are taken by me. :)

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