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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 511

Day 3571 - 4/11 - Twisting path

Today was pretty sad. I was completely exhausted most of the day, feeling like it was three hours later than it was almost all day. I feel like if I were to close my eyes I would immediately pass out.

I got a bigger donation from the person who keeps helping. I don't know how I'd still be here if it weren't for their help. Unfortunately with so much going on my options are still extremely limited. I might be able to get school and parking if I spent every single penny I had. But that would likely not be best. While it would be the best medium term choice, that would leave me vulnerable since I'm already past due for insurance. So I really should take care of that first. But the question is, can I? Since I have to call, and I have no phone time, would my phone let me do a wifi call? It seems doubtful. If I charge the phone that's $10 minimum, leaving probably not enough for anything after car insurance. But I fear we are rapidly reaching a bad late point with it already being the 11th.

My professor which sort of promised help has said nothing the past two days, and given no help. And now I won't see her until Monday, as she is only on campus Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. With even just a little there would not be such a struggle to decide an order to things. But since nothing has been said I should probably go back to acting like nothing was said, and not consider anything will come of it. I will have to pay for insurance first, leaving enough for a couple of weeks of gas and no parking sticker, or getting a parking sticker and probably having only enough after for less than a week of gas.

So I guess I have no choice, and few options. And the only option tonight is to sleep, and try to remain hopeful. In the morning I can see if the donation transferred in, and if I can make a call on wifi, and decide what to do from there. But for now, all I can do is hope. And hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 3572 - 4/12 - Thoughts of death, again

Today was pretty sad. It again started being completely totally exhausted. I think it was last night, maybe the night before, that just as I'd fallen asleep my brain thought it heard someone say my name from a direction and location that a person could not have been. It was odd enough, both in that it was my name, and an impossible location, that it didn't scare me awake, but slooowwwly caused my mind to pull out of sleep, and then very slowly escalate to just a little bit scared, as I didn't know if it was real or a dream.

I had considered napping in the car this morning when I got to campus, and upon reflection maybe I should have, as tomorrow could possibly be my last chance for that. The donation must be used for overdue insurance, and if parking can be done too, I'd have nothing left for gas. The school replied to an email and said it should be the same $15 as other quarters, but it very clearly shows $30 when I check. I still am not getting a clear answer if that's because I'm not signed up for classes or another reason. I don't recall needing to be signed up in previous quarters to have it be the lower amount.

There is still no word from my professor on if she is helping. As I said yesterday, at this point I'm going to pretend she said nothing, as she's promised and not followed through before.

Possibly because of my fears and worries about money I was feeling sad and worried all day. On top of that at a few points in the day I thought of various deaths and being gone and again had very minor panic attacks about it. But with no money, sometimes I can't help spiraling and falling into a place of fear and worry that all there will be for me is nothing, then death.

But I try to hang on to hope. I try to remember the things I watched that made me laugh today. I tried to focus on some voice work I did for some people. (Just for funsies. It would be extremely unlikely to lead to anything.) And I continue to try to hope help will come in time, and that tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 3573 - 4/13 - Bank in the morning, bank in the evening

Today felt super long, like I'd done tons of stuff. But I didn't really do that much. The day started with a detour to the bank to get cash, then to the car insurance office. I did indeed just pay the one month, and probably only paid an extra $3 in gas getting there and back compared to what would have been $10 to recharge the phone. Looking at what I have in my account I even have enough for a full price parking permit and most of a week of gas. Though I did decide to make an extra trip in the evening to deposit what I'd not used that I'd withdrawn in the morning.

The rest of the day I was mostly online in my spot watching shows or playing. I felt pretty sad and down from being so behind on paying bills that I did more passive show watching than playing.

There were a few who stopped in and said hi though, so it was nice to see people I knew and chatted with. Though my professor stopped by unexpectedly, she made no mention of the monies she had said she'd help with. So while I hold on to hope I'll know more after her meeting on the weekend, I will proceed as if she never mentioned it.

But I guess today was ok. And I continue to try to hang on to hope that help will come and I can make it to better days.

Day 3574 - 4/14 - Bunny cookies

Today was both bad and good actually. Bad in that I had to spend all of my cash getting the parking permit and had $5 left for gas. If I go to Wednesday and hear nothing from my professor that's pretty much it. I'll have to leave my car where it is and only move maybe once a week for emergencies. Since it takes so little for gas I'm hoping help will come, but I am prepared for the worst.

Today started good emotionally because I found some super yummy cookies on sale. They were, I guess, left over from bunny weekend. They are bunny shaped, chick coming out of an egg, and egg shaped. I found a box not so old, dated around the end of last month. (Some dated all the way back to a month ago.) They are about 4" big and came in a pretty big box, for $3. I'd guess there were maybe 20-25 in there in total. I'd never had them before, and due to their age, I asked for a sample before buying them. They are supper yummy (light) sugar cookies, so I like them very much.

Someone sent some well wishing in the early afternoon, and offered a place with her and her husband a few times a week if needed. Bu they are a few states away, so I'll hold off until an emergency. I'm pretty sure my benefits are location based, so I want to hang on to my food monies and healthcare coverage as long as I can.

I tried to have fun and play my game today. Though worry of my bills were always on my mind, and more than once I thought of pain and loss and the inevitability of death, so that was very sad.

But I hung on ok in general. And so I continue to hope help comes. And that I can hang on until it does. And that I can make it to better days.


Yummy bunny cookie.
Large

Day 3575 - 4/15 - Almost warm, then rain

Today was ok, I suppose. In the morning and early afternoon it was nice and warm. It was almost even shorts weather after the past couple of days. But in the later afternoon it turned super cold, and now as I write this it's starting to rain.

I guess there isn't much to say about the day. Really the only thing was a lady sat across from me with horrible breath. When she sighed, which she did about every 15 minutes the last couple of hours she was there, I could smell her breath, which smelt like a fish someone had left out and then scrambled eggs were rotting on top of it.

The day was not too terrible. I didn't dwell on my bills, though they were always in the back of my mind. But thankfully thoughts of death stayed away. But with spending all my money yesterday and only having about $0.25 left things feel pretty terrible.

All I can do is continue to hope help comes and that I can make it to better days.

Day 3576 - 4/16 - Extended event

Today emotionally was pretty good. In the morning I rushed directly to my MMO to do what should have been the last of a special event. It turns out it has been extended for a week, so I get to do extra event stuff I haven't finished yet.

Other god news was found in an email in the early afternoon. I'd mentioned to the school I had to pay full price because my parking sticker is now officially run out. They said they adjusted the price and will refund the difference to my card within one business week. So that is a bit more than a week of gas when it comes back.

The other parts of the day were meh. There were no jobs to apply for and no donations. And though I only was talking with the professor for about five minutes total, nothing was said about getting me help or any discovered plans from her visit over the weekend (to the people she's getting extra work from). At this point I must certainly proceed assuming she is not going to follow through on that.

But I guess emotionally it was a decent enough day. I got through, and there were a few nice surprises. Though there is still all the stress of the rapidly approaching bills. But I try to hang on to hope. And hopefully help will come and I can hang on until better days.

Day 3577 - 4/17 - Up too early

Today I woke up too early. I suppose it was the cold weather, as it was super cold and wintery. I guess it's ok though because even though it was 1.5 hours early I still got about 7 hours sleep, which is pretty much average for me.

My nose has been super itchy lately, with quite a bit of sneezing, so I must still have a bit of a cold or some allergies going on.

I'm very tired physically, but not really sleepy. It's warming up, but there are still many rain clouds overhead. The day is just starting, so hopefully it will turn out ok, if not financially at least emotionally. All I can do is continue to hope help comes, and hang on until better days.

Week 512

Day 3578 - 4/18 - Help, no help

Today I had the last of the cute bunny cookies. I'm considering getting more, but I have to be super careful with my monies. I do like yummy snacks, and they are half as much as a mixed bag of chips, so we'll see.

Last night I saw someone I hadn't seen in a while. She is the one I did some editing work for a few years ago. She asked what classes I was taking and how I am doing and I replied, 'everything is still terrible, and I'm not taking any classes because I can't afford them.' She gave me some monies, and said she would have her son (who is also attending the college) get more to me. So I could hopefully sign up for classes. I didn't see him or get word from her today, so I don't know if that will happen or if she will miss my window.

Today was the last day the professor was on campus this week. We hung out for maybe 10 minutes and there was still no mention of work for me or getting me help. I know I keep saying it, but I will have to try and forget she said help would happen, as at this point it seems like it certainly won't.

It was a touch warmer in the early day, but at night it turned cold and I even felt a light sprinkle, so I would guess we'll see more April showers before they are gone for good.

I guess today was ok, despite still being at threat of upcoming bills. But I try to hang on to hope. I try to stay hopeful help will come. And hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 3579 - 4/19 - The leaver

Today was kind of sad emotionally. I'm still accepting the reality of neither of the two who promised help for classes (which I know 'in real life') are seemingly not going to follow through. Sure, technically Saturday is the last day to add, but at this point I will have now missed two sessions (weeks) of the one class that would count towards my degree. Most professors are like 'if you are going to add you must be there for all sessions.' So it seems impossible I could convince the professor of that class to add me now having missed the first two weeks. I guess it should be ok though, as I missed this quarter last year and things are still ok. It just feels... problematic.

There is a weird girl who has asked me to watch her stuff several days now. I don't know her at all. I helped her on the first day of the quarter since she couldn't add a class and mentioned she'd dropped it twice, and I explained usually when you have attempted or taken a class before like that you have to do a bunch of pain in the butt paperwork to try again and get admissions and the professor to sign off on it. But I guess she trusts a stranger sitting in the hall who helped her more than other students in her class she sees twice a week or more. It's wierd. If she were cute I wouldn't mind, but she's not really my type at all, and of course less than half my age anyways. I'd guess it's probably more because I remind her of her dad or an older brother than it is that I seem trustworthy in general. But I don't know... As I explained to her, I don't know her, I'm not in classes with her, I'm not even technically in her department (since she's animation and I'm film), and there is an animation lab just down the hall about 50 feet away where animation students hang out, so it's weird. And this is not a short period of time either. She says she's going to the cafeteria to eat, but there have been a few times where she's gone more than three hours. She should at least offer to buy me fries or something if she's going to do that because it's weird and borderline not ok to put the responsibility of her stuff on me.

So today I was sneezy, very tired, cold, felt down, and with promises of help seemingly falling through feel like I am again looking ahead and see no future. But, as always, it seems all I can do is try and hang on to hope. Try to hang on emotionally. And hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 3580 - 4/20 - Felt like home

Today started out pretty sneezy. Because it is a Friday and hardly anyone is going to school on Fridays I took a more casual drive in. (As there wouldn't be a need to rush immediately over to get parking.) I did get there a lot later than normal, so it was a bit brighter. I sat in my car for a bit and just stared out the window. It was warm, bright, and happy. Though there were few on campus, I could hear people being active at the sport place across the street, and distant cars or buses going by.

For some strange reason it felt like I was in a home looking out a house window. And, I suppose, in a way I was, as my car is the only private space I have. But it felt like time off, like I had no stress or worry for the moment, and while others were out being busy I had a few moments until my time to be busy would come, and so I was just passing the time listening to life happening around me.

But that is not my life. Neither was I in a home, nor was my time and opportunity to be busy coming. And I don't know when, or if, it will.

I ran out of yummy cookies a few days ago, so I'd decided to get more. When I was at the store in the morning I noticed the sign was gone. I saw people coming with a new sign, so I asked if the sale was over. They said today was the last day, then they would throw them away. And as part of that they were halving the already half off price, so they were now $1.50. So I got myself two yummy cookie things instead of one. And now I have about 50 yummy bunny day cookies. That is a ton to think about having at once, but that should last two or three weeks. They are all bagged in about four different bags, so that should be fine.

I guess the day was ok other than that. It felt kind of like spring, but when I was in my space at school I felt kind of meh, and kind of sad. Though even now in the evening the feeling that I was home lingers, and so I try to hold onto that. I try to hold on to hope help will come, and hopefully I can continue to hang on until it does.

Day 3581 - 4/21 - No laundry disappointment

Today ended with some pretty bad disappointment, but I suppose it's for the best. Yesterday I had a thought about the web bill coming up. I thought that it might be possible to cut out a couple of 'extras' I have on it to reduce the fees. With what I have left from a previous donation and what I was given on Tuesday, if more didn't come in to cover classes, it's possible I'd have enough to take care of that. I checked this morning and this is indeed an option.

So, I thought I had enough for both laundry (though it would be a smaller one) and paying the web bill. When I got to the laundry place and got quarters I double checked my wallet and had $10 less than I thought I did. (I'd forgotten that I spent some cash to get a week's worth of gas.) It then became one or the other. There would not be enough for both. I put all the money back in my wallet save for one quarter, enough to do yet another 'air dry'.

Not only was that super disappointing, but upon reflection it's possible that even putting all my money together, due to tax on the bill, I may still be literally a couple of dollars short. Tomorrow I'll have to put everything into the bank that I can and see if it's possible. Right now I am unsure.

So today ends in terrible disappointment, and again seemingly only reminders that my life is beyond my control and there is little I can do to maintain what little is left of my life. I am again seemingly pushed into more and more choices of sacrifice between fewer and fewer things.

But I try not to worry. I try to focus on what remains. Hopefully I will be able to spend everything I have to cover the bill, as it's a once a year bill. And hopefully help will come, and tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 3582 - 4/22 - Still short

Today was warm. I wore shorts and the weather was nice. It was, as expected, stupid cold in the evening.

I checked all the money things today; added and double checked. I'm about $2 short on getting the bill paid without the extra security options, so that's very sad. I could further split costs if need be though. It's actually two things, one part due early next month, the other a couple of weeks later. So I may need to pay it in two parts. Though both need to be paid.

I'm hoping though, even though the window has been missed, that either or both of the two who promised help with paying for classes will actually come through. If so, paying the bill and doing laundry would both be a non-issue. But I guess we'll see. Both have been flaky before.

But with the warm weather I have a bit more hope than usual. Hopefully things will stay warm and we'll get a proper spring soon. Hopefully financial donation help will come and I can pay the critical things. And hopefully I can hang on until better days.

Day 3583 - 4/23 - Warm day, long day

Today felt pretty warm. When I got into my spot on campus, up until about lunch, I did not need to have my outer shirt on. And I have shorts on, the single clean piece of clothing I'm wearing.

I played and had a pretty good time, though I couldn't help but feel sad about all the things. For some reason, probably because I was very tired, the day seemed extremely long.

When my professor got in she asked how I was and had a very concerned expression. Before I could answer someone who'd been sitting nearby started talking to her. Which was fine, as I expect if she had any news or money help to offer she'd have done so, and I don't feel proper directly asking individual people for it. And because she made such a heartfelt promise and then missed the window and has said nothing since, there is an odd weirdness when we are together that I feel. I mean she still 'feels' and 'reads' and acts normal, but there is a weirdness inside me I have to let go of. If she truly wants and means to help she will. I can't influence that, and bringing it up doesn't seem proper.

All I can do is try to hang on to what I have left. Try to hang on to the happy moments that I can. And hope that help comes and I can make it to better days.

Day 3584 - 4/24 - Literal half

Today I am physically exhausted. I'm light-headed and a bit sick feeling. There was weirdness last night that kept me out of my usual spot for a while, as well as putting me off in terms of feeling safe after I was settled. I likely got half of the sleep I normally would be. Hopefully I can catch back up and things will be normal soon. I'm very glad I still have my car and things are ok with that. If I needed to be on foot, any change in routine like that would destroy me.

Lately I've had a lot of fear and panic about death. There was a minor trigger last evening and again this morning. Very minor, little more than a yikes and small shiver. But it seems more and more lately I can't escape seeing it, seeing something that reminds me of it, or feeling like it is all I have ahead of me after the few remaining things I have are lost.

It seems gray and rainy outside. Maybe shorts weather is already gone. I guess we'll see later in the day. But I try to hang on to hope for good things today. I try to continue to hope help comes. I hope I can settle in tonight and get my normal amount of homeless sleep. Hopefully help will come tonight, either with the two who previously promised help, or from others out there who watch over me and send a donation. And hopefully I can continue to hang on until better days come.

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

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