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Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer
Book 10: Wisp of Hope / 11: It Goes to Eleven

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 521

Day 3641 - 6/20 - A missing piece

Today was a bit sad, as there were still empty job searches, no paid survey calls, and no donations. The professor also seemingly came in, avoided going past me, and then left without saying goodbye. (This is her last class for the week.) I still don't know if she is avoiding me on purpose or what, but I'm done worrying about it until she comes to me. She seems to have made it pretty clear over the years, and more so recently, that she doesn't really want to find a way to help me.

Other than that I guess the day was ok emotionally. I am sad I can't change cloths very often, or make my hair better, but I had a pretty fun time with my game. I got a piece for a set I've been trying to get for like a month, so that is super happy. I've got tons to do in the game, so that can keep me distracted.

Late last week the firewall went a bit weird. I'd guess due to the secure site changes, so to get to the social and video pages I had to use my VPN. Today it looks like they fixed that and it's back to normal. Not a huge thing to celebrate, but it's nice when your routine is not disrupted.

A few different people stopped by to visit me yesterday. I think it was an informal goodbye because there aren't really classes in summer for our department (and most don't take them anyways.) Even though it was not a formal goodbye or a thank you for helping them (as I was helping out when they took those classes) it was nice to know I was thought of. It seems strange to find out so many recognize me, some finding comfort that I am a stable element in their lives, yet the majority of them never bother to find out who I am, or find out my story.

But I survived the day, even though there were many sad thoughts. But I continue to hope help comes, especially with the registry coming up so rapidly, and that I can hang on until better days.

Day 3642 - 6/21 - Blink of an eye

Today went by super fast I did my regular job check, then played a bit and listened to shows in the background. And before I knew it it was already 4:30. I guess it doesn't matter really. It just seems odd that what felt like just past noon was already almost evening.

Nothing changed today. Though I did remember I am past due on car insurance. So thar will go critical in a week. And, of course, there is registration right after in a month. So I'm super worried about both of those.

But I tried to stay hopeful. I tried to focus on fun things, as I can't control the others. And hopefully help will come in time, and I can hang on until better days.

Day 3643 - 6/22 - Another bill

Today was pretty good. I was pretty much alone all day emotionally and physically. I felt lonely. And I think due to the summer coming up and things winding down at school I am again reminded that I don't have friends to spend time off with, or to do fun things with.

I did get to play my game though, so that was good. And with hardly anyone on campus I had a solid connection, so I listened to a few videos in the background while playing.

The day was super warm, even borderline hot. Even down in the basement level I was pretty comfortable and wished I had shorts. But the day flew by, which I suppose is good as the worries of bills and lonely feelings about everything I'm missing in life was constantly on my mind.

In the evening I got yet another bill. I have to renew my license ID this year and I guess along with that there is a $35 fee. I guess I'm approved to do it online, so there's that. But I have less than two months to pay that. So in addition to my $40 for car insurance already overdue, the $150 for car registration in less than a month, there is now $35 more a month after that. These bills feel crushing and insurmountable.

There was again no word on jobs, or even paid surveys, so I have no idea how I'll get money for anything. All I can do is continue to hope that donations come in time. And hopefully I can hang on until they do.

Day 3644 - 6/23 - Face melting

Today was super hot. Even by the get up and move around morning time it was already warm. Now, after the library has closed, I've moved my car out of the shade and in a manner of minutes I'm almost sweating.

Not much to say about today. The library connection was mostly ok. It started to fail around three, but I basically spent the day playing my game and having fun. Though with the super warm day this would have been a nice day to have friends over to play stuff and do a BBQ. But... that's not an option for me. And I don't know if it ever will be again.

I worried about the bills in the back of my mind, but tried to relax and not worry about them. I continue to hope help comes in time, though that seems to be rapidly ticking away, and that I make it to better days ahead.

Day 3645 - 6/24 - Second day meat

Today was ok. It was still warm, but much cooler compared to yesterday. It was strange to not buy food in the morning. They are doing maintenance on the food stamp server, so that service is down for everyone today. I bought all of yesterday and today's food yesterday. I got salami as it typically seems to be ok overnight. In the summer lunchmeat is more risky, but it was cool in the evening, and near to the AC in the library it is almost in low level fridge conditions, so it wasn't as bad as I feared.

The connection was ok and I played my game most of the day. I did feel a bit extra lonely, so I ran videos of game news in the background. Maybe I am just still affected by a bad dream a few nights ago. In it I was driving my car somewhere and suddenly there was a fzzot kerclunk and it shut down and the steering locked up (it's power assist), and I slowly arced into a streetlamp-like pole. I wasn't going too fast in the dream, but the feeling of not being able to fix the damages, and what would be a law suit for the damage since I'm not covered for that by my insurance, was pretty scary.

Thankfully it was just a bad dream, and like all dreams it was over in the morning. Each day is an opportunity for something good to change. So I continue to hope for that. I continue to hope help comes to pay the bills. And I hope I can hang on until better days.

Day 3646 - 6/25 - Plugged for days

Today I've been super congested and sneezy. My right ear has been a bit plugged for more than 24 hours now. It's not painful or a bad pressure or anything, really it just blocks a bit of sound and alters tonal range, which is super annoying.

My day started pretty sad. I had finished my shower and knew I was using a dirty towel. They have all been dirty a few weeks now. But when I was drying myself I caught a whiff of it and it smelled like butt. The little bit of nice smell from the shower was being replaced with butt. I stopped drying at only about 25% dried and then just sat there a few minutes to air dry the rest of the way. I've replaced it with another dirty one so that hopefully won't happen again. It's not clean, but it's not as dirty.

Still no calls for paid surveys or donations, so I am still extremely worried about the overdue car insurance, the bank fee in about a week (still ridiculous they charge you if you have less than $1500 in the account), and of course the car registration in about three weeks. I don't know how I'll pay for any of it. Plus, I'll be out of gas in less than a week, which means even if I do get a paid survey I'd have no gas to get there.

But I try to hope some find my sad story and send help. I hope donations come in time. I hope opportunity comes. And I hope I can hang on until better days.

Day 3647 - 6/26 - International spy

Today I am still super congested. My right ear is still plugged, and my right eye feels a bit puffy too. I grabbed some allergy meds from the school medical center, but I don't know if it's helping.

I slept pretty good, but I'm pretty tired. I had a strange dream that someone wanted to take me to a secret place. The place had a trap door that went to a small floating boat with a few chairs on it, which turned into a water ride. Along a pretty far path we picked up a few others and eventually arrived at a tropical island. This was a secret base for an international organization of spies and I was going to join them. A bit later in the dream I was in love with a super cute French spy and we were very snuggly. The funny part of the dream is that the tropical base had no roofs in the living areas, so one day I had gone to see her and we were snuggling and it started raining on everything.

Anyways... the morning is just starting. No one is at school. I think there are a total of three other people on the entire floor. I haven't started my system yet, so I don't know if there are any donations yet. But I try to stay hopeful help will come in time. And I try to hang on until better days.

Week 522

Day 3648 - 6/27 - No goodbye

Today was weird. I'm still super sick, or allergic to everything, or whatever. My ear has finally cleared, I think. After days plugged I don't know if it's fully clear or just clear enough it sounds much better. I'm still sneezing a ton and super congested. I still feel like I'm forgetting about a show or something. Like there is something on Wednesday nights I'm supposed to be watching or doing, but I can't think of what it could possibly be.

Yesterday someone was looking for the professor. They came over to me and said, 'you are her TA, right?' And just for a moment I felt glad. I felt valued and recognized, like back in the old days. I said 'yes', because the real answer is too complex, and helped them as best as I could. Because that's how I am. But tonight, her last night on campus until next September, while she did smile and wave at me two different times during the evening, that was it. No goodbye. No checking in. No offer or gift of help. No statement of feeling sorry for promising to help and then not helping. Maybe she simply expects to see me next year and knows she can get a hold of me if need be, and if so that brings me comfort. But it is unlikely, and I feel greatly hurt.

When I was working part time, helping out and not getting anything but a bit of recognition was fine. In the last few recent years after I'd lost that job, continuing with the promise that she was fighting to get me some kind of compensation or pay was enough. But after the year the dean said they couldn't have helpers anymore, and her seeming less and less caring these past two years, and now with these unfulfilled promises this last quarter... In a way I feel betrayed, like I was led on and taken advantage of. And in a way I feel like I let myself down. But I tried to stay put and safe and comfortable when I can. With many things in my life I've done similar things (like with still being an MVP for a company that gives me basically nothing.) It's odd because part of me feels I should break off connections like that. And part of me feels like connections like that are all I have that are even close to 'leads' or 'connections' to possible employment in jobs like the ones being done.

I've been having odd feelings in my game lately too. For the past few months I've been trying to beef up my gear for dungeons and hard raids. Yet I have really little to no desire to get a guild or do super hard stressful content like that. So it seems strange that I'm grinding for this gear in ways that often aren't fun, just to prepare for things I don't expect I'll do. The only thing I can figure is going on there is I like to be very good and flexible, and have the gear I need and be ready for all the things.

I suppose that was the same with the TA stuff. When there was the chance I could get paid for it, those were the best years ever (in terms of a job), so I still wanted to be ready for that. Though the odds of it happening now seem astronomical.

There were no donations today. I filled out a form for a paid survey coming up in a few weeks, so maybe it will pan out, maybe not. As always, all I can do is hope help comes, and that I can hang on until better days.

Day 3649 - 6/28 - Probably still plugged

Today I showered and had a cleaner towel. A nice smell actually hung on for a bit. It was fighting with the old smell of the pants and shirts, but the bad smell and clean smell were both subtle enough they basically canceled each other out after a few hours.

I think I'm still sick. My nose is still congested. During the night it often gets plugged on one side and the other side is super runny. And I think my ear is still a bit plugged. Maybe only about 5% because it's really subtle, but it still feels off.

I guess I had an ok day. I played my game and watched some shows. There were some other games I watched news of that I'd like to play, but I guess I had a pretty good time.

I'm getting super worried about bills. There was still no call for any of the paid surveys, and there were still no donations. I feel super sad all the time being an outsider and missing out on so many things. But I try to stay hopeful help will come. And I try to hang on emotionally until then.

Day 3650 - 6/29 - Final final

Today was the final final on campus. There was only one class on the floor and that was it all day. As always there were a few others doing stuff, so I was mostly alone, but not completely.

Even though this is, I guess, now the fourth summer where I'm unemployed it feels very different. (I guess fifth if we count the summer I had unemployment.) Before it felt like I would return. I felt my professor would miss me and look forward to seeing me back in September. I felt confident I'd have the money to be back. It all feels so uncertain now. I am behind on things to the point I don't even know if I'll still be able to have a car by the end of Summer, let alone the $75 to sign up for classes and get a parking sticker in September. And if I did there are pretty much only one or two classes I could do within my department. I'd have to change my major again to something else to continue with more.

I guess it was an ok day. I felt pretty lonely but a few stopped by to say bye. And I tried to have fun with my game and shows. It was quiet and restful, though I'm still very sneezy and my eyes have trouble staying open and focusing on anything.

But I try to stay hopeful. I try to continue to hope help will come. I try to stay hopeful enough help will come to cover what I need to cover. And I try to stay hopeful somewhere out there I still have a future.

Day 3651 - 6/30 - First of many

Today was the first of many days in the library. At the very least it will be three months, barring any unexpected and unknown change. I guess it was ok. The connection was better than it has been for a weekend in a while, so that was good.

But all day there has been a very long list of sads in the back of my mind. I am a few days from being totally out of gas, and that is after recycling this morning. Food money is nearly out, so things will be tight for a week until they cycle. I will be more than a month overdue on my car insurance tomorrow. I have nothing saved towards the car registration in less than three weeks. And today is the last day of the tenth year of being homeless. And these are just the immediate things. That doesn't list all of the things I feel I'm missing out on, especially with it being a season where most celebrate friends and have extra fun with games and such.

But I try to think that even though the list is long, it is actually pretty small in amount. And I guess I had an ok time and am distracted a bit from the sad things. So I continue to try to hope help comes in time. And I continue to hope I can make it to better days.

Year 11

Day 3652 - 7/1 - Goes to 11

Today is the first official day of year 11. I guess it was ok. I played longer than normal for a Sunday, but I didn't feel like I even did the normal amount of stuff, as there was a decent amount still left to do when it was time to leave the library.

The day was a lot colder. I'd heard yesterday that it was in the 90s, but with how the car felt, as well as the ambient temperature, I'd guess it was only in the high 70s to mid 80s today. And inside the library it was actually really cold. For a few hours I was clinching my jaw from the chill. I guess wearing shorts was a mistake inside the library.

Emotionally I guess the day was ok. There were no donations or any job stuff, but I had fun in my game and got a couple of fun new items to use, so that's good. I am already pretty critical on gas, and constantly worry about the bills, but I can't control those.

But I try to stay hopeful that help will come. And I try to continue to hope I make it to better days.

Day 3653 - 7/2 - Change

Today I am still pretty sick feeling. My ears are a touch plugged, so I'm a touch dizzy. I'm super congested and still sneezy. I feel pretty bad when I pay attention to how I feel.

There was a guild call in game today. I decided to look at their site. They seem ok. This was one of the only times in more than three years I've asked if they had a website with more info and they actually did. I sent a message saying I was unsure about joining because of my sad life, but if someone with limitations would be ok I would try. I was in the guild maybe fifteen minutes before the library closed. It was very chatty and busy, maybe more than I'd like. It was like walking in to a very active party where you don't know anyone. Which I suppose is good, and I have been feeling lonely lately so that's why I thought I'd try. But... it may be too much. I'll stay a while and see. I don't know that being single in a crowded room full of strangers would be better.

Today was almost the last day of gas. I hopefully will have enough for tomorrow, but after that I will be totally out. I'll get a teeny bit more on Friday or Saturday, but that will only be a few days more; emergency only gas. So really, until help comes, starting Wednesday I'll be walking everywhere. Which will be terrible for a number of reasons.

Basically out of gas, over a month past due on car insurance, car registration only a couple of weeks away, and more... this is the worst start to a Fail year yet. And while there is the tiniest of sparks of hope still within me, it feels like all I see before me is doom, and the blackness of the void of oblivion.

Day 3654 - 7/3 - Like October

Today is starting weird. I feel very sad and tired, probably a bit defeated. What was 90F a few days ago has suddenly shifted to October weather. It was maybe in the 70s yesterday, and both yesterday and today seem like gray rain clouds will be more common than not.

I feel very sad. There are still no donations, and now being Tuesday it seems unlikely I'll get a call for a paid Survey that is set to happen this weekend. And there was a reminder email about my overdue insurance this morning. Thankfully they say they only want the $40, but with that and another month due soon (unless that happens to be the last), and with car registration just around the corner, I feel very sad, and alone in my struggles.

Things seem extra low too because it is a holiday time where people celebrate with others, doing fun things, playing fun games, celebrating with food. I can do none of those, and my life is at the lowest it has been yet.

I try to hold on to hope, but I feel very alone, very sad, and again seem to have lost sight of any possible future.

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

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