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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 509

Day 3557 - 3/28 - Truly empty

Today felt weird. The building was almost totally empty. I think only about four classes met all day, totaling probably fewer than 100 coming onto the floor, probably seeing only 1/4 of that many people cross by my area. I guess it was fine, as it left me in a peaceful and quite space, physically and emotionally.

Someone checked in with me to see how I was doing. I didn't really know what to say as my sad story is still so sad and terrible. I'm just trying to hang on continue doing so.

I played a PvP game most of the day. I didn't have much else to do since there are so few job postings to check, and a lot of shows seem to be in the off season. I guess I had an ok time. It was kind of lame that someone said my character needed to be nerfed. I replied, 'yeah, it's not at all possible people like me are actually good with her.' I get 'medals' consistently at about double the rate of other characters I play, and show stats like percentage of fights I'm in as higher. But if everyone else who played her were like me and constantly 20-30% better than their other characters that would be an indication that something is off and needs to be changed. If it's a small number of players, which I'm sure it is, then that just means that character is a good fit for me. I understand the rage though. She's an easy to understand character in terms of abilities, but what most don't understand is you not only have to think like someone who is support, and someone who is a tank, and someone who is a dps, all at the same time, but that she is reactionary. You don't simply spam abilities like you do with many other characters. You have to time things, wait, position, and predict what others will do. Anyways...

I'm having an ok time in that game, and it is helping to distract me. But it's odd to think there is no gain. I mean, sure, even in my MMO there wouldn't really be a gain even if I get a new crafting thing. But with this one there is none at all. Well... it is, I suppose, helping me to feel less sad, and that helps creativity and attention for other things.

So, at least for the moment I continue to hang on. Though thoughts of my sad things continue constantly in the back of my mind. I just hope help comes and I can continue to pay the things I need to pay. And I can hang on financially, and emotionally, until better days come.

Day 3558 - 3/29 - Odd feelings

Today the building was super empty. I was getting worried no one would be there and they would close early, as no one was really there at all between about 10 and 4. It turns out they stayed open normal hours and everything was fine.

It was actually a genuinely warm day. I've taken off my long underwear, and tomorrow I'll try going without undershirts. We'll see if things hold up though, as the forecast app showed rain and cold weather coming back in about a week.

I guess the day was ok. I again played most of the day and tried to relax. There is a holiday event in my MMO for bunny day weekend, so I peeked in there. Some people who I haven't seen in forever were on which was super nice. I've forgotten so much of how to play and what to do. Though it doesn't seem like it was that long ago that the free peek was available for the new content, which is when I last saw them.

In the evening there was my live streamed show. Things were normal up until the very end of my time when a couple of odd things happened. The first was a flash of being in another place and time. Somewhere the screen was like 70" and I was on a couch, and there was a very strong smell of a wood fire, as if the screen were over the fireplace and I'd started a bit of a fire. But almost immediately after, as I was closing things up, it felt as if that were it. Like I wouldn't get to see the second half. (It runs for 3-4 hours, and due to the building closing I have to stop during the half-way break.) And, worse, like I'd never get to see it again.

I don't know why I felt either of those. Maybe it's just the added stress of the quarter ending and my not having money to sign up for next quarter. Maybe it's just the general chaos of my life and of not knowing where I'm going. Maybe it was just an extra touch of homesickness, since the cast (of the show) are all good friends with one another and they have a good time, and I have neither a home for friends like that, and I may not ever have either. I don't know.

But the day was warm. There were pretty girls out and about, helping me stay hopeful that maybe someday I can find love again. And the warm weather made me feel hopeful that maybe soon I will stop being cold all the time, at least for a short while. So I try to focus on the positive things. And I try to stay hopeful for better days ahead.

Day 3559 - 3/30 - Final final

Today was pretty good, despite sad things happening. Being the last day of the quarter there were my sad feelings about that, in addition to the bills I can't pay, and the way that there are no monies for next quarter in 1.25 weeks.

Also, in the evening one of my more important back teeth cracked. Which I suppose was expected. It's had damage on the side for a while, so it was only a matter of time before the structure got weak. It feels odd too, as it may have been one that already had a filling years ago, and now that surface is exposed and rough. So that's now maybe 40% left which seem fine on the surface, with maybe 15% completely corrupt or all the way gone. But I try not to think of it, though I've been conscious of my bad teeth every minute of every day for more than 10 years now.

But I guess I had a pretty good time. I played my PvP game and my MMO. It's strange remembering the MMO things. It feels like it's been a lot longer since I played than I probably have. Though there is still a sadness being there as I am two smaller expansions behind ($10-20 each) and a bigger one coming up (around $40). I will probably go back to playing a bit more, as there isn't really anything to gain in my PvP game. It's all just cosmetic stuff. I don't gain levels, or loot, or anything like that. And it's just the same dozen maps over and over. There are lots of places I haven't gone in my MMO.

But most laughed at my final when it was shown (it was a comedy so that's good), and a few said goodbye on their way out and wished me a good break, so I suppose that is something. (Though it will start very roughly Sunday as the better places to be are closed. I will have the food store and that's really it.) But I try to hang on to my happy memories. And I try to hang on and continue to stay happy until better days come.

Day 3560 - 3/31 - Pained

Today was ok emotionally. Though I am still very sad and worried about all the things. And I still feel as if an end is coming and there is nothing I can do to stop it. So I guess it was a worse day emotionally, and I have just again dropped a notch in terms of what I expect in my life and accept the terribleness.

Maybe part of that was the tooth pain I've been having. For most, I'm sure, on a scale of 1-10 it would be seven or eight, but for me, with all the pain over my life, and having pain of some kind all the time, I'd say this is a two or three. I suppose that contributed to my sad feelings.

Internet at the library was pretty bad. I did play stuff, it was just lagging, and so that not only limited my choices, but caused disruption overall. But I did play. I did have a bit of fun. Though things were not as expected or hoped.

I suppose though as much as I want to join others in a normal life and have a BBQ with friends, watch a movie, or play games, I am ok not doing those things at the moment. And hopefully someday that will be an option again. And that I can hang on financially and emotionally until then.

Day 3561 - 4/1 - Not so terrible

Today is mostly over. The bulk of the day has come and gone and the sun is almost setting. It wasn't as terrible as I'd imagined it could be. I went to school figuring the church groups probably wouldn't meet, but it was actually the opposite. They had their biggest turnout that I've seen there, and had a bounce house set up for younglings. There was even some event outside of one of the buildings with a bunch of tents set up, and what sounded like their own bounce house. So my car was among many others, and I had no fear of seeming out of place. For some reason though there was a lag in my games. The speed was showing 40 mbps, which is insane (most public locations are about 10% of that), so it had plenty of speed, so I have no clue why games were performing poorly. I guess it's just due to the connections not being designed for a small number of users and expecting there to be thousands.

I spent a few hours at the food store and it was similarly not a great connection, so I just watched some shows on a DVD I checked out at the library.

I've had preferred a nice breakfast and dinner, and bunny day silliness in the morning, maybe play with friends during the day, but that is not my life. I did spend time with silly holiday things in my MMO, and got some silly hats, so that is at least something that will last to remember the day. So I guess it wasn't completely terrible. And so I try to remember the happy times. And I try to hang on financially and emotionally until better days come.

Day 3562 - 4/2 - Not too bad

Today was pretty good. It started at school. I figured there would be sportball people and I was right. I did have to shave and shower in a side locker room, but it was mostly empty, so I got a long shower and finally got to shave all my parts. It seemed like twice as long as it actually has been for some reason. Maybe it's just because I'm using super dull razors and I'm getting more sensitive to hairs bothering me.

But then I spent the rest of the time at the library. The bandwidth was pretty good, but my PvP game had enough lag I couldn't play at my best, so I didn't play that. I expect I won't play (that game) much while I'm at the library this week as it takes pretty solid connectivity. I did watch some shows and played my MMO a bit though.

Oh, speaking of that, there was a nice surprise bunny day gift. Sadly my dad did not send cash monies that I could have used for school, but he did send a bigger amount. It was at an electronics store which thankfully sells video games. (It's not the same online place he sent Xmas monies for, or I'd have just piled them together for a special edition of a game. The one I'm waiting for has been delayed to next year, but I know it will be pricier.) So I pre-ordered the big expansion that is coming for my MMO. So while I will still be missing the smaller ones that are currently out, I will have the core of the next, and I'll have access to that main new area at the end of May when it comes out.

But that was it. Nothing changed in terms of getting signed up for classes that start next week. My next car insurance is now officially overdue. And there is one medium sized bill in May and a medium/big one in June. So I still feel very sad and like catching up is extremely difficult to impossible.

But I try to hang on to the happy things while I can. I try to continue to hope that help comes. And I try to hang on until it does and I make it to better days.

Day 3563 - 4/3 - Different writing day

Today is just starting. It feels very different being at the food store and then the library for the day. Hopefully today will turn out ok again. It's started ok, as there is a beauuutiful girl at the coffee shop in the food store that the sitting area is in. She must be new, as the other person is training her. I know the cute mom left almost a year ago, as that was her second little one. And the cute girl who is the main person here apparently has been wanting to cut way back on hours to focus on school for a while now.

I'm sniffly and sneezy a lot lately. The cold weather is keeping my cold, and with the warm weather there are flowers blooming everywhere, so my allergies are starting to go a bit crazy.

But hopefully today will be ok. Hopefully nothing bad will happen and I can hang on to the few happy things I have and make it to better days.

Week 510

Day 3564 - 4/4 - Cheese sandwiches for days

Today was emotionally good and bad. Though physically it has been pretty terrible. A few days ago my cold turned and I've been sneezing, congested, and had a rough throat. In a home with rest and warm soup this would be gone in a couple of days, but homeless, restricted to cold food since it's school break, things may take weeks to clear up.

This was the second day of cheese sandwiches. Which is not great, because, well, it's not great to begin with, but also because I'm lactose intolerant and shouldn't do more than one in a week. But I'm getting low on money again, so it was a good option. I need to get through tomorrow, but then Friday morning the money cycles again and I will be ok. Though I'll still be without a microwave until Monday.

I am very sad about unpaid things, most importantly the next quarter for school. Which by the time you read this will have already started. I am still hoping help comes before next week in time to sign up for stuff, but that seems unlikely.

I did have fun with in game friends. I played my MMO most of the day. There is another event going on. And we did some stuff together. I had a pretty good time, though the connection was pretty questionable at a few points during the day.

Job searches are at an all time low. Most places I look now only have a few entries for a day in all areas, if any. And my search engines are mostly sending jobs outside of my area. When this sad journey started there were enough to put out at least a few resumes a week. Now I'm lucky if there are even a few postings a week of things I might be even close to properly qualified for.

But I try to remember to focus on the fun I had today. And I try to stay positive and hopeful help will come and I can pay for the things I need to pay. And hopefully I can hang on emotionally until it does.

Day 3565 - 4/5 - Hand wash only

Today was pretty sad. It started with a rushed shower. There were some people working in the women's shower, and the guy's door was propped open as well, so I was worried they might move into the guy's area. I did have enough time to do shower stuff, so that was fine.

I did, however, also do a very sad thing in the shower. I don't have money for laundry, and haven't in a very long time, even though it's only $5 if done regularly. So I took things a step further than air drying and took two sets of socks and underwear, as well as one set of pants, and took them with me into the shower. I very lightly washed them. Squeezing out the socks a lot of dirt came out, which is both good and super terribly sad that I had to hand wash them. I put to dryer sheets in with them and spent $0.50 to dry. Which wasn't quite enough, but they dried ok during the rest of the day in the car. I think they mostly smell ok, though the pants were relatively unaffected. Thankfully they didn't smell bad before, but they certainly don't smell freshly washed.

So today was a pretty terrible day emotionally. This is a new low, and even though I know I will be ok, it makes me very sad. And, of course, with not having the $5-10 to spare for laundry, the weekly gas, and even smaller bills like $40 for car insurance and $50 for school for the quarter, seem insurmountable bills. So today was a very sad day.

But I try to continue to hang on to hope. I try to continue to hope donation help will come. And I hope tomorrow is a better day.

Day 3566 - 4/6 - Feel poorly

Today I still feel pretty sick. There is a ringing in my ears and a bit of imbalance. My nose is still sneezy and super congested. My throat and eyes feel just a touch better though. Overall I'd still prefer if I could just spend most of the day sleeping in bed.

I did get some nice well wishing though. Someone sent a message saying they have been reading my sad story for a while and found it comforting and helpful when reflecting upon her life and sad times. So I'm glad people are still finding my sad story at least a little comforting or helpful in their lives. It's been quite a long time since people contacted me and said they were helped.

I spent much of the day playing. I guess it was a pretty good time. Though today it was more of a distraction than genuine fun. Not that I had a bad time, more like it was the thing to do between other things.

But I am still worried about all the bills. And I had a lot of various pains. But I try to focus on the happier things. And I try to stay hopeful better days will come.

Day 3567 - 4/7 - Sad and minimal

Today has been a sad day. I was just about empty on gas, so I had to do a recycle trip. I had hardly any to do, so subtracting what it took to get there I only profited about $7. Added to the dollar or so I had in my wallet, that is enough for maybe one week. If I'm very careful. And if I'm lucky.

But I can't spend it all. Once part of it is gone I have to stop driving and only move the car for emergencies. Which being that it's used for both sleeping and keeping me safe, as well as getting me around places, makes that pretty risky, and it's essential that it keeps moving. Not o mention more than a small amount of walking and I start to feel physical pain.

But it is what it is. I just have to hang on and hope that help comes. I really have nothing of value to consider selling, so that isn't really an option.

But I guess I had an ok time at the library. I was distracted somewhat and time passed, so I wasn't too sad on the surface. So I try to hang on to the happy moments of the day. And I try to continue to hang on to hope that help will come and that I can continue on to better days ahead.

Day 3568 - 4/8 - New hours

Today was more bad than good, but nothing bad that was new happened. I spent the morning at the food store, as usual, but went over to the library about half an hour before they were open. I was eating food and waiting when it struck me odd that no one was waiting outside. So I started keeping track of the door. Then, about 10 minutes before open, I saw the doors open and close. I did see them putting new stickers on the hours on Friday, but I had forgotten to check if anything was different. I just assumed since they were all half broken letters they were just replacing the sticker. Indeed something is. They are now open two hours earlier on Sundays, matching the Saturday hours. I rushed in and I did still manage to get my spot, as only half a dozen were on the floor before me.

I suppose it didn't matter much. While the library connection is far stronger than the food store, with days like today where it's bad, I was dropped like half a dozen times from my game, and it was almost completely unplayable for about four hours.

I suppose I had a good time playing, and I was super helpful and nice to a couple of new players.

But overall I was pretty sad, as tomorrow the quarter starts and I have no money for classes. I will probably still visit, as it's the best connection and there is access to showers and a microwave. But I will also be out of gas in a few days, making it impossible for me to get to the showers with all my showering stuff, as well as making me a lot more stinky a lot quicker if I do need to be walking everywhere. And there is the obvious of not being at all good to leave the car unmoving.

So today was a very rough day. And it seems all I can do is continue to try and hang on to the hope that people will send donations and that help will come, and that I can hang on long enough.

Day 3569 - 4/9 - Maybe a something

Today was maybe good. I say maybe because the outcome isn't entirely known yet and may not be until sometime next week. The professor I used to TA for had a chat with me about a sort of crazy explosion of possible work she got offered over the break. Some of that work might be something she can offload onto other people, as well as other personal work she has that needs to be done. She as actually super surprised when I told her that maintaining my sad life, including a few nice things like a real meal now and then, would only be about $225 a month. She didn't seem to know how much stuff she'd have to offload for me to do, but it seemed like she was pretty interested and able to help.

But I don't know what is what, and she seemed like she wanted me to do most of it at her place, which is 30 or so miles over some hills, which with my car being super old and stuff I worry about that. And she has kind of implied intent to help me on occasion before and not, so I won't get my hopes up too much. I guess time will tell, but knowing I'm not signed up for classes, she may move to action sooner rather than later.

Apparently too in somewhat related news the dean who took away the teacher's helpers is retiring at the end of the quarter. So there's a chance those could be reinstated next year if someone goes into power who is favorable.

So, possible changes ahead. Less directly impacting me, but possibly affecting my life a little bit. And maybe help will come soon.

But I will pretend as if nothing has changed, because promises are just promises. But I will hope for positive outcome, and that tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 3570 - 4/10 - Sneezy bloom

Today I feel pretty good. I slept well and hardly woke up during the night. All the flowers are in bloom though, so in addition to my cold sneezing I have allergy sneezing.

I don't have anything planned for today, so I expect it will just be the usual job search then play or show watching. A new event starts in one game today, so hopefully that will be fun. I don't know if I will get any donations or monies to sign up for classes, but I remain hopeful. It's getting warmer and closer to shorts weather, so that seems nice too.

I have no promises, and things are outside of my control, but I remain hopeful help will come today and that it 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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