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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 515

Day 3599 - 5/9 - Odd time

Today felt odd. Time felt disconnected and disjointed. Often I didn't know what time it was, and sometimes even what day it was. I felt very confused, and indeed in a sea of endless days.

I guess it wasn't really bad though. I played my games and had fun. I watched a few shows. I checked for jobs. I had enough food. It was even warm enough for shorts in the morning, and I almost regretted wearing pants, but by the early afternoon it balanced out to chilly again and I was fine.

I did get an unusual and unexpected message from someone. I posted a creative thing in a group and someone asked if there was a template I'd used for it and if she could get a copy. So that was super nice to hear something I'd created was both appreciated and led to her doing something creative. It's good to know I can spark that.

I am still terribly worried about my bill things though. There is still an overdue bill, and now I am again almost completely out of gas and needing to consider not moving the car to save gas. I have only a tiny bit of recycling I can do, and I fear if I were to do it (which I really have no choice) with how much I would use I would empty my tank and only get about $6 after replacing that, not really enough for even a full week.

I guess, as always, all I can do is try to hang on emotionally, try to focus on what fun I can still have, and hope that help comes. And hopefully I can make it to better days.

Day 3600 - 5/10 - Do you live here?

Today was sad for a few reasons. It started with sneezing. I think the first few hours I was awake I was sneezing once to three times every five minutes. It wasn't until the later afternoon that settled down.

Right about when I was recovering from that an older lady with a suitcase bag went wheeling bag and looked at me with a smile and said, "Do you live here?" And, since I had my headphones on I quirked an eyebrow and pretended not to have heard her clearly, even though I had no sound preventing me from hearing. She continued, "I always see you here." She was still in range and I think she expected a response, but I gave none, as the question seemed extremely rude. Looking at my situation it's rude for obvious reasons. Let's say I did have a home, but I was avoiding it due to an abusive environment. Again, the question would be rude. Let's assume I had a glorious home, yet lack transportation for some reason. Maybe then it wouldn't be rude, but it would still be hurtful. I am probably just overly sensitive for a number of reasons, but I'll never find the 'I'm poking fun at you' method of interaction endearing in any sense.

And the evening too was sad. In the live broadcast of the pen and paper game I watch the DM was describing a death of a monster. I again thought of my own death, which with difficulties with my health lately has been on my mind, and the thought of a similar accidental death caused a minor panic attack. I started panic breathing and shed a few tears. I tried to calm myself down, as outside of driving accidents there is really no reason that kind of death would happen to me, and I should still hopefully have my remaining 40 years. Maybe even more if medicine or other scientific breakthroughs make a leap forward during that time.

Even though worries of gas and bills were always in the back of my mind I guess the day wasn't all bad. I had fun in my MMO, and it's new content is coming in about 1.5 weeks. And I had a bit of fun with the new expansion in my shooter game. Though the core of the quest line and leveling was done within the first three hours, which is probably not going to redeem them in the eyes of mainstream players. It's like I've spent more than three hours just looking at previews for the new content in my MMO, and if it's like previous expansions that will be about 20-30 hours just to do the quest line. Anyways... I had fun with my shows and games and I suppose that is something these days.

As always it seems all I can do is hope help comes. With only a few days of gas left, recycling on the weekend likely won't even get me enough for a full week, so things seem very bad and sad. But I try to hang on hope that help comes. And hopefully I can hang on until it does.

Day 3601 - 5/11 - Elitist

Today was pretty good emotionally, though no help came so I was still extremely worried financially. I guess I had a pretty good time playing my MMO and watching shows. I didn't play my shooter because, sadly, it already feels like I've seen everything and it's just a grind ahead of me, after only about six to eight hours played (in the new expansion area.) I'll probably play super casual a few times a week for a few hours each time, but sadly I expect I'll just fully stop again soon.

There was an elitist ass in the game. He was max max - one of those people max level and max alternate advancement. He was trying to kick someone from the dungeon group before it'd even started because "He didn't want to carry him." Then they refused to do anything but sit there because they didn't want to 'spend 30 minutes' (instead of probably what would otherwise be 20-30). So... what... because you don't want to spend that 'extra' time you are just going to refuse to do it and force people to kick you to avoid the re-queue timer? It boggles my mind because with the time they spent trying to kick and complaining we could have easily finished 1/4 of the dungeon or more already.

I guess it just serves as a reminder of why I stopped doing random groups. The elitism is just completely unnecessary in a PvE environment, and rude and pointless overall since our group was plenty capable of doing the content. I may just go back to not grouping for dungeons and just sticking to the other content. I really have nothing at all to gain from 98% of the dungeons. I can just as easily get experience elsewhere.

So, overall today was ok; fun on the surface, but sad and worried underneath. I survived another day, and I just have to keep hoping help comes in time. And hopefully I can hang on until it does.

Day 3602 - 5/12 - Took half

Today I actually feel pretty good emotionally despite things being super bad. In the order the things happened... I had to do recycling. There wasn't enough gas left for it to be an option. With what it cost to get there and back I spent half of what I'd gained. If I'm very lucky I'll have gas for next week. But unless help comes that will be gone quickly. By the time I'd gotten to the recycle place my car had a stronger than normal smell of oil, and was pushing about 75% of 'normal' max temperature. So it still has issues cooling, I even think I heard the fan over revving in an odd way at one point. So not going over the hill to the professor's place is indeed the smarter choice. Being now two oil changes overdue that doesn't help the already older engine. Pushing it in terms of work would be worse.

By the early afternoon the connection was getting pretty bad and slow, but I managed to do my normal things, both in game and in general. Though late in the afternoon I got a reminder email about my overdue car insurance. I didn't look at it, as that would have been stressful, but I'm sure it's just a 'hey we noticed' one. They seem to do that after a bit. I do expect I'll only have a few days before things go critical. The 15th will probably be when that happens.

But yesterday and today both were genuine shorts weather days. It was nice and sunny and warm all day, even into the evening. On Monday I'll change to short and hopefully be able to remain in shorts until September. I guess we'll see.

No donations came, and nothing has changed, so I am still terribly worried. Yet due to the warm weather I feel a bit more hopeful for the future. So I continue to hang on to hope that help will come. And hopefully I can make it to better days.

Day 3603 - 5/13 - Connecton dropped

Today started pretty good with a solid connection and no trouble grouping, but in the early afternoon that flipped to being so bad I couldn't even connect to games at all. I spent a few hours offline when I was otherwise planning on doing online stuff. I guess it wasn't terrible. There are always offline games or other things I can do. But it's not like years ago where I kind of expected to spend my day offline. I guess today was ok though. Things could have been worse.

So I try to focus on the good. And I try to continue to hope help comes in time to pay the overdue bill and get gas. And I hope that I can continue to hang on until then.

Day 3604 - 5/14 - Feeling abandoned

Today was pretty sad. I even left campus a bit early and avoided the professor. Today, all day, my overdue car insurance has been on my mind. Tomorrow will be the 15th, and though nothing has been said yet, I think things will turn very bad very quickly. As part of that I guess I've been feeling pretty abandoned, mostly by my professor. When I started doing my unpaid TA thing I was still working, so no pay wasn't a big deal, but for the last 2 years of that, and the time since, she's known I've been unemployed and making no money at all. She basically promised help for money with classes on the first week of the quarter, and that never happened. (And with financial aid that's only $50 for general fees and an additional $1 per class.) And she said she would "totally find enough for me to do" to get the $180 minimum I need a month to maintain everything. Which again she's given me zero and said nothing since that talk about a month ago now. (I still think that getting a job where I help/tutor film and screenwriting students would be one of the best ones for me.)

I don't know... I guess I should try to not be upset (by that). I've known she was kind of flaky on stuff and I seem to just be a 'fringe friend' to her, not one people "really" worry about, but still. To go from thinking my critical things would be covered to nothing at all... that I wasn't expecting. I figured she'd probably not follow through with as much and I'd just get enough for gas each week, but now not even that...

So all day I kept thinking how little gas is left, how I will be overdue 15 days in the morning, and without help from others I can't take care of any of that. And I don't know if help will come, or if I ever will get a decent opportunity for a job.

There was even a chance meeting about a week ago with someone I haven't seen for a few years. She is in town for a bit and said she would message me for a time to meet, hang out, and I could do laundry. But that too seems to have fallen through and been forgotten.

Today I again feel like I don't belong. I felt old and super out of shape; the opposite of the students around me. I had no class to attend today, or other days, so I felt like I had no purpose there, and that I didn't belong there. Even in my game I tried to share knowledge and tips with someone about stuff I've been analyzing lately and they didn't seem to care, so I felt helpless and turned away there.

Today may end in tears, as it feels like I have no control of anything. But for the moment I am ok and holding on.

But I tried to have fun in my game. I tried to do activities that would be fun for me. And like a squirrel in winter, I was farming up resources to save up for the expansion next week. So I tried to focus on that, tried to forget my worries, hope that help will come in time, and try to hang on to hope that I will make it to better days.

Day 3605 - 5/15 - Hanging on

Today I got a confirmation. I suppose 'good' bill news, in that my car insurance is indeed just past mid July, and a bit lower than I expected it to be (with no smog required.) I did think the other day that if I ever was unsure I could just look at my bumper sticker, as it says the month, so I'd kind of already confirmed that.

The reason it's good is that, added to what I'll owe for car insurance during that time, that means that in the next 'month' (next four weeks) I just need $100, and then in the following four weeks $100 more, not counting gas costs, and I would have enough to cover both. Which, while at the higher end of help I've gotten, isn't impossible or completely out of the realm of possibility. Though with the car insurance already overdue, that will get bigger sooner as that continues to be unpaid.

It's even possible one of the two I'll see tonight who previously promised help will give some help, but at this point I won't count on either since it's been about a month and neither have said anything further on helping.

The weather, much like last week, has turned back to cold, and even had a few sprinkles on my car in the morning, after its previously warm weekend. Again the shorts only lasted a day and now I'm back to dirty pants. Though they don't smell terrible yet, so at least there is that.

I'm extremely congested though, and sneezing like crazy. There seem to be the only symptoms though, so maybe it's just super crazy allergies and will calm down pretty quickly (now that I'm on campus with filtered air). If I remember, maybe I'll check the health center for allergy pills when I go to micro lunch.

For the moment I remain hopeful help will come in time. And as sad and as sick as I feel, I try to keep my bunny hop, and try to hang on.

Week 516

Day 3606 - 5/16 - No doom today, maybe doom tomorrow

Today I felt a bit better emotionally. One of the two (I know 'in real life') who promised help surprised me last night by giving me some help. It wasn't a ton, and it will be difficult to not just use it on gas in the next coming weeks, but I have a very small start on the overdue car insurance.

Speaking of that, the 15th has come and gone and I have not yet been doomed. Looking back at their last reminder email it looks like they might not care as long as I make this and the next payment by the first (of June). For the last couple of months I've bumped that back by a month by paying just the overdue one, so it seems as long as I can keep doing at least that, or pay both by the time one is just about to be a month overdue, I'll be ok. While that is a bit of a relief, getting both payments within the next two weeks will be very challenging, so I will just have to continue to hope for enough for one, and bounce the other back as soon as I can.

The Internet went completely dead for a bit today. Not too long, just 10-15 minutes, but still. It worries me as school is the fastest (and unblocked) access I have. Despite that things were ok emotionally today. Though I did have this very odd feeling I'd forgotten something. Like I had a live show to watch, or some kind of meeting I'd arranged that I totally forgot about. But I had a good time in my MMO, and even played my shooter a bit. (Though it's recent expansion doesn't really fix the issues they said they would fix.) I never stopped worrying about my overdue bill or gas, but I suppose in a way hope won and I managed to stay feeling positive today.

So, as always, I try to continue to hope help comes in time. And I try to continue to hope I hang on until then.

Day 3607 - 5/17 - On the way

Today I am a bit better emotionally. I played my game and had a pretty good time. Also, my bunny day present has finally officially shipped and is set to arrive at the ex-house sometime Monday. Depending what time it gets there I may or may not play Monday. While waiting until Tuesday morning would be sad, I wouldn't want to burn a ton of gas trying to fight through evening rush hour traffic (or I suppose lunch rush) just to play a few hours on Monday. So, we'll see. Seems like Tuesday I can play the new content at the latest for sure.

I also recorded, edited, and posted my podcast. Which is pretty rare these days with barely enough to talk about once every three weeks. With really no money for games and needing to rely on gifts I don't get nearly as much as I'd like to talk about. Though I still really have no idea if anyone listens. Since the likes on my social page have been the same for basically the entire time I've had it, and posts are typically viewed by 3-10 people on average, I have my doubts more than half a dozen listen, which is sad.

No donations came, but nothing bad happened either. It was pretty warm today, but also pretty cold at night. There were a few beautiful girls around, but as always none really talked to me, just a few people doing hello passer-bys.

But I guess I hung on ok today. And sometimes that has to be enough. I continue to check for jobs, hope for donations, and try to hang on until better days.

Day 3608 - 5/18 - Still hanging on

Today I am still just trying to hang on. Last night I guess I was too excited about my game expansion coming that I couldn't get to sleep until after 2 AM. So I'm running on less sleep than I otherwise would be. There were no jobs to be found, and no donations, so I tried to be ok with things and tried to focus on my game and shows to distract me.

I guess today was ok. It was kind of medium. It was an ok temperature. It was sort of quiet and sort of not. Sort of calm and sort of not. And I tried my best to maintain what aspects of normal I could, while trying to not let the sad things get me down too much.

I am grateful to have survived another day, as it is another chance for change tomorrow, though I feel little agency to affect change myself. But I guess the day was ok, and I try to continue to hope help comes in time, and that tomorrow is a better day.

Day 3609 - 5/19 - Here, not here

Today was a pretty sleepy day. Some stuff kept me up for a bit last night, so I lost a bit of sleep. It was warm, but I think I was deceived, as when I got into the library there was a slight burning smell, and the air was still, an indication the AC was probably broken. I was comfortably warm, which is unusual for there, and they didn't seem to actually start cooling things until mid-afternoon.

I checked in on my game delivery and noticed it was in the local area already. I messaged the company to see if I could get it today or tomorrow, but sadly the shipping center is closed (at least to customers) during the weekend, so I have to wait. So it's both here and not here. It should definitely get to my ex-house Monday, but I don't know if it would be early enough to make the extra trip. I guess we'll see.

I guess I had an ok time today. I did a few groups and two went well, and with the third there was someone being an elitist ass, so I just abandoned the group. I may continue to do it once a day for the (leveling) experience, but since there really isn't any loot to be gained I'll probably stop doing it soon. Plus, I'm basically set for at least the next month as I'll be very busy doing all the new quest and story things in the expansion area, which is what I enjoy doing most.

I feel exhausted. I am still very worried about the bill stuff. But things are still seemingly out of my control. So I try to hang on to hope that help will come. And I try to hang on until better days.

Day 3610 - 5/20 - The cold and the cold

Today I feel pretty sure my light sneezing has turned into more sneezing, more congestion, and gotten into my lungs and throat. There is a sleepiness, and a slight dizziness and nausea. I'm sure I'll be ok, but I would really liked to have had a warm chicken soup and fresh bread instead of cold wet salad that kind of tastes like feet.

So, in addition to a cold, the weather seems to have also turned cold. It has been threatening rain all day with gray clouds overhead and the sun barely peeking through very briefly now and then. It seems, for the moment, summer has again been put on hold.

I suppose the day wasn't all bad. My ex-roomie sent word on a possibility for a single day of work on election day at the voting places. I don't know if I'll get it, but it would be a good boost if so. It would require longer than a 12 hour work day, and a touch of the day before. And thinking about it now that's less than $10 an hour income when all is said and done, but it would be a huge help for the overdue car insurance and maybe part of the car registration. Though without my phone active I don't know if they will try contacting me by email if they find the call doesn't go through.

But I made it through the day. Maybe not as planned with my dizziness and illness altering my plans, and my dinner tasting yucky, but things were ok. I have things to look forward to tomorrow, so I try to continue to hang onto that. And hopefully it will be a better day.

Day 3611 - 5/21 - Waiting all day

Today was ok. My game didn't come. All day it showed 'out for delivery', but even in the evening it still showed as just out and not delivered. I hope it will be there when I check in a few hours, otherwise I'll be sad and upset.

I guess the day was ok other than that. I did 'old' content with the game, and a tiny bit of material gathering for the new content, so it was an ok day overall. I'm very tired though and I guess I'm sicker than I thought as I've been very cold and have been most of the day. I may bring an extra undershirt for tomorrow if I'm cold again.

It was a pretty regular day though. No donations and no job offers. So I continue to try to hold on to hope that help will come and that tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 3612 - 5/22 - Reminders

Today will likely be extremely quiet. There is only really one main classroom that I'm next to that has people (on Tuesday and Thursday), and those classes are canceled today. There likely won't be many around me passing by. I suppose that's ok though, as I've been losing a lot of sleep lately. It's probably due to stress and worry about bills, but also my cold, which might actually be a result of those sad stresses and worries.

I peeked in to my game expansion very briefly, as there was something I wanted to start on as soon as I could, as it's real world time based. I noticed I didn't seem to get the in-game pre-order bonuses that were offered. I don't know if that's limited to the pre-orders done through the game creator's store or not. It seems so. If it is that will be very sad. As long as I am playing and see that in-game item I'll be reminded that I had no real choice in the version of the game I got. It's silly really, as an in-game collectable item shouldnt matter, and honestly it doesn't really bother me I suppose. But the reminder that it is that way because of my limited options in life... that will be an otherwise sad reminder. At least for a while. Maybe one day it will just be another fact of a road not taken, one of many in a single series of roads not taken in life, but for the moment it seems a sad reminder.

But I have my new game content to look forward to. Though exhausted physically, today should be a calm and quiet day. Maybe opportunity will come. Maybe help in donations will come. Only time will tell, and I will try to continue to hang on to hope. And hopefully today and tomorrow will be better days.

Bunny day; finally here.

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

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