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Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer
Book 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 523

Day 3655 - 7/4 - Out with the new, in with the old

Today was a lot of nothing, but that was kind of expected. Unfortunately it was even more nothing than I'd hoped for. I was hoping the food store would have enough connectivity to at least do solo stuff in my MMO, but nearly all day it wasn't connecting at all. I barely got enough bandwidth to get my daily quests. I didn't actually get a chance to do them.

There were many sads today, as it was the first day of walking. Even though I probably only walked about half a mile each way, my feet and legs were very tired after the walk. And then there is the emotional pain of walking. The stink of the cars. The yucky smell of warm streets. And too there is the fact that everyone is going somewhere (quickly) and you are basically not going anywhere. Plus the noise.

Thankfully shortly after getting to the food store I checked my email and there was a donation waiting. So, when that cycles into my account I'll have enough for what is overdue on car insurance and a little bit for gas. So I can postpone walking for a little bit, maybe a week. Hopefully it will be long enough to get a paid survey or more donations come. So with that I had a small spark of hope for the day.

But mostly I did nothing all day. I had no real choice. At least not what I'd hoped or planned. There was basically no bandwidth at all so I had to play my offline game. Which isn't terrible, but still.

I guess I did see a lot of beautiful girls, so that was something at least. None were really 'age appropriate' being that they were pretty much all in their 20s. I'd guess most others already got what they needed for the day or will be doing BBQs on the weekend. But it was pretty sad to see people coming to get foods to go to a party all day when I have none.

I've also lost a contact. The past couple of days I've been testing, as one was kind of burning and feeling bad. Today I swapped it out completely for one of my old 'emergency' contacts that I'd saved. The old one feels a touch off, maybe a touch blurry or something, but it doesn't hurt like the new one did. (Which I'd only been wearing about two weeks.) I'm not sure what is wrong with the new one, as I see no marks or tears when examining it. But I guess I'll have to use this old one as I only have one new pair left and I want to hang on to that for as long as I can.

But while there are still a few hours left in the day, and all the evening, I have basically made it through today. The rough part is over and I should be ok. I guess we'll see. Things won't really be back to normal for people until the weekend is over, so there is always a bit of increased risk. But with the donation I feel a lot better. I'm hopeful more will come. I can keep mobile a bit longer. And I can be back at the library tomorrow. So hopefully I can continue to hang on until better days.

Day 3656 - 7/5 - Catching up, rush rush

Today was good in the morning as the money already showed pending, so I went ahead and paid the overdue insurance. I guess it wasn't the last payment, but very close, as there was a 'pay in full' option for sixty something. So next payment looks like it will be a touch over half of a normal payment and then I'm clear until October. Which I'm sure will only be a short breath away.

No jobs and no calls for paid surveys over the weekend. It seems extremely unlikely that will happen at this point.

My gaming day was fun, but super stressful. The bulk of it was spent basically doing double my normal morning stuff, as I had just enough bandwidth to get the quests yesterday, not enough to do them. And after, I decided to try and do a harder dungeon to try and get special set piece. That turned out badly. It was like 1.5 hours effectively wasted because the random people just weren't good enough to get through it. (The piece comes from the last boss.) I guess I'll have to wait until that comes up in the daily rotation for people who know it to be interested in doing it. If it's not a special daily it seems no one cares to do them. And the chances people have done them before is extremely low. I guess I just have to take a deep breath and remember to focus on what I do enjoy. Preparing for things that won't happen, extremely stressful things, are not worth my time.

But I guess the day was ok. I was restful, though I'm still super sick. I'm beginning to wonder if my dirty clothes are carrying something that's triggering these allergies. But I have a bit of hope again, and so I try to hang on until better days.

Day 3657 - 7/6 - Supposedly grey to hot

Today supposedly changed from the grey of what it was in the morning until just peeking into the 90s. I didn't notice anything unusual in the library and my car was in a shaded spot all day, so there was no remaining evidence of it being hot by the time the evening came.

There was no call about the paid survey, so that is another window come and gone. And, as usual, no jobs to apply for or anyone contacting me.

I guess I had an ok time in my game though. I got an unexpected thing, so that was good. And I purposely tried to do more relaxed things that I knew I would enjoy. And the day went pretty good. For the most part anyways. There were a few parts where the bandwidth got pretty bad, but other than that it was ok.

I'm unsure of this guild. They seem ok, but they really aren't talking at all. They aren't really interacting outside of special events they do a couple of times a week. And outside of all choosing the same character race, there really doesn't seem to be anything connecting them. It's only slightly less lonely than the overall server. I have no cause to leave them yet, but with my limitations on bandwidth and play times I also have been given no reason to stick around. I guess we'll see how things go over a week or two.

But I guess today was better. I feel a bit more hopeful, yet the clock is still rapidly ticking down on my car registration. I am very concerned about how I will cover that. But I try to continue to hope help comes in time. And I try to do my best to hang on until better days.

Day 3658 - 7/7 - Over before it began

Today felt like it was over before it had really begun. It's probably mostly because I'm running on about five hours of sleep, but maybe too my perception is off from this sneezy cold. It's also odd because while it feels like it's just past noon, I remember the whole day. I remember getting hungry for lunch. I remember having a snack. I remember taking a break. I remember everything I did and roughly how much time passed for each thing. It's just, as the sun sets, seems strange.

I'm still very concerned about the bills. I put in what I could of the money for gas and I've got maybe a week. (And now about $0.10 left in my account.) Which again means really only half a week, as I need to stop moving and save a little bit for emergency moving. Which again is the worst when homeless. You can't not move the car. At least not in the middle of a city like I am.

But all I can do is try to hang on. I play games and try to distract myself and have fun. And I try to hang on to the hope that help and donations will come in time. And hopefully I can hang on until it does, and that I can make it to better days.

Day 3659 - 7/8 - Maybe a wild bunny

Today was ok. I am suuuper tired though. And my hairy parts are really starting to drive me crazy. I tried to shave a few days ago, but I couldn't shave everything. And because the razor got messed up from not being rinsed as I did it, it barely got shaved at all. Tomorrow may be my only shower for a while though. I will be so short on gas again I'll have to stop driving probably after Tuesday. Which means detouring to school will be too far out of the way. School, the library, and where I park the car at night, are all about 1.5 miles from each other. A tiny distance by car, maybe five minutes for each without too many lights stopping you. But by foot, for me, that's about one and a half hours each journey. So to detour to school to shower, then go to the library, would be a two to three hour trip. In a car it's nothing for time, again about five minutes, and an extra $0.25 in gas to detour to shower.

I guess I had a good time today. Again I wonder if struggling for equipment is worth it compared to doing other things in the game. I'll likely struggle less and spend more time with the things I know I'll enjoy.

Last night during my sad night time I saw something very nice and very surprising. Near to an apartment complex gate I saw a bit of white fur. Then I noticed it appeared to be hopping. I got out of my car and carefully approached to say hi. It was indeed a bunny. She was super cute. She was almost all white, not dirty, and had medium length ears, and a black stripe on her haunches and ears. I'm not sure if she was a wild bunny or someone's pet out for a stroll. (A bad idea at night around here since there are raccoons.) She seemed super clean, maybe too clean for a wild bunny. She made me smile very much. I think the only other time I've seen other wild bunnies was maybe during the drive through the desert when I was young and my family was doing the long drive to my grandparents place. Not too long after that I also saw two kitties.

I am still horribly worried about bills. There have been no donations since the last, and I have two weeks until the car registration is due. I have no idea how I will cover that. And again, I don't even know how I'll cover the $7 in gas each week, and may be out of gas in a few days.

But I try to continue to hope help will come. And hopefully it will come in time. And hopefully I can continue to hang on until it does, and I can make it to better days.

Day 3660 - 7/9 - Parking permit reqired

Today was bad in a few ways. It started good in that I got a shower. But it was weird because I couldnt just park on a school lot. I had assumed I could just park nearby on the street, but I guess not. All along that side of school every street and lot had signs that said parking permit required. I guess to prevent students from parking there. I had to park pretty far away on what I thought was a church lot. But when I was done with my shower and heading back to the car, there were all these senior citizens walking in to the building and middle age people in medical looking clothing with badges. I looked again at the sign and made the connection to the name, St. Jude, which made sense. I didn't recall that saint name without seeing the elderly. So I guess what I thought was a church is some kind of elderly center, and I won't be able to park there either. So, if I do get gas for future shower visits at school, I'll have to look around on the other side of campus for spots, which means a several minute walk across campus before and after the shower at a minimum. (The sticker to park on campus is only $2 per visit, or $15 for the whole time until the next quarter in September.)

The bulk of my day was an ok time in my game. But for some reason I felt super out of it all day. I wasn't reading chat, things would happen that I almost entirely missed, and I just couldn't follow along. But near the end I kind of broke my rule. At almost an hour before I was going to go offline there was a call for one of the super tough dungeons where there is a set piece I need. I decided to give it a chance. Slowly more and more it wound up being something I regretted. At the end when I gave up I'd been there two hours (normal dungeons take 20-30 minutes), and it was more than an hour past when I was actually going to leave. So again I try to remind myself to focus on what's fun, focus on what I know and trust to be something I will enjoy and not push those limits.

I also sprained something on my back in the morning walking to and from the shower, or just the overwhelming stress is getting to me. It's been hurting and half sprained limiting my movement all day. I have been more and more worried about the car registration and my fee for my I.D. It is now less than two weeks away for registration. I have no idea how I'll pay it.

But I try to continue to hope help comes in time. It's all I can really do. And I try to hang on emotionally and physically as best as I can. And hopefully I'll make it to better days.

Day 3661 - 7/10 - Day of mystery

Today is really the first Fail Tuesday at the library for the summer. Last week didn't really count, as there was the 4th right after, so there was expected weirdness.

The day is staring troubling and ok. It's ok in that there is a connection at the food store, so I can probably do my pre-library online stuff. Troubling in that my other new contact is freaking out a bit. Hopefully it's just a morning issue and calms down soon because I don't know if the other emergency contact is any good. Also, there are no donations waiting for me, so that makes me extra worried about gas and the car registration due in less than two weeks.

But I suppose the day will be different me, not anyone else. And with that I continue to hope help comes in time. And that I can continue to hang on until it does.

Week 524

Day 3662 - 7/11 - Out of gas / Out with the new, part 2

Today was very very sad. I decided to risk driving because I feel pretty terrible physically. My sniffly sneezy cold is worse. Today I am dizzy and feel a bit on the way towards throwing up, and have... not chills, but my skin feels wrong.

I don't know how I'll make it through the coming days though, as I'm out of gas. I have a tiny bit reserved to move the car as needed, but from tomorrow on it must remain as still as possible, which is super terrible as that then becomes a huge arrow towards my being homeless. When I can move it there is the perception that I'm a student, or an odd worker with a backpack, and upon return it's never in the same spot on the street, just like a normal person living in the area. But unmoving the car will call attention to itself, and it will rapidly be flagged for towing.

There is also the physical strain of walking. My feet are not made for walkign and even just a few hundred feet can cause pain. Even just a short walk can cause me to start limping, particularly on my foot which has bent toes. So that 1.5 mile walk each way to the food store then the library will be hell. Likely doubly so since I've been feeling so sick lately.

I also pretty much lost my other new contact today. The past few days it's been exhibiting the same kind of blurry torn feeling that the other did. To a lesser degree, sure, but the same. I swapped it out for my other emergency one that I had and that one does not have those symptoms. This old pair has a slight blur from age, so I have no clue how long they will last. Maybe a couple of weeks, if I'm lucky. But I doubt more than a month. So I would guess these have been the emergency pair probably for six months or so, because they were worn less than the newer ones.

I also got a second notice about food benefits now being limited. I don't know if that starts in September, or if they end in September, or if I am exempt because I'm homeless. But I'm trying not to worry about it as I'd have no way to eat without that.

It seems very soon I may be without a car, and without food money. But I can't think about those things. I would be a total wreck. I have to just focus on right now, just today, and hope help for the $150 car registration comes, $7 a week for gas, and $40 for car insurance (the sent another notice and it's full price), and not to look beyond this month, as there are even more bills. Just focus on now. Though I can't control what I get. I have to pray and hope donations and help comes. Hopefully they will, and I can hang on. And hopefully I can hang on long enough to make it to better days.

Day 3663 - 7/12 - Opposite of a shower

Today was the opposite of a shower. If I had gas, especially if I had a parking permit, today would have been a day I'd have done a shower and gotten a microwaved meal. Instead, I had bread and grapes for my only food. (Mostly because I'm feeling super sick.) And I had to walk to the food store, walk to the library, and both ways I was sweating. On the way back my clothes were so bad I decided to leave them out to dry all night and all tomorrow and not use them again. I'll even just use a tank top when walking and sweating and change to a different shirt after I've cooled off. So I not only didn't get a shower, I made things smell worse.

I suppose I made good time though with both trips 'only' being about an hour. So I 'only' lost about 2.5 hours compared to what would have been less than 15 minutes by car. In likely just a few days my feet and legs will be in so much pain that I'll be up to 1.5 hours for each way, then losing 3 hours of life just walking compared to 15 minutes by car.

I guess it might be good for my overall health in terms of blood pressure and such, but who knows what damage it will cause to my ability to walk long-term. And while I would likely spend that time gaming, or sleeping, or resting, I feel like my life is just bleeding away beat by beat, step by step.

And above all, it makes me worried about the bills. If I don't have $7 in help for gas for the week, how will I get $150 for the registration to keep my car? And if I don't have my car where will I sleep? How will I get to a job? Or even temporary paying things like the paid surveys? Or have a safe place to stay at night (as 'safe' as being homeless in a car at night is.)

All I can say about the day really is - I survived. I did not have a heart attack. I did not get run over. I was not in too much pain to continue going. But who knows about tomorrow, or the next day. Each day I am walking is a terrible risk, as it is so very bad for me in so many ways, and it leaves the car in a position where it becomes a bigger and bigger target.

But all I can do is continue to hope help and donations come. And that I can hang on until they do.

Day 3664 - 7/13 - The walking shirt

Today was my first day of having a walking shirt, and boy was I glad of it. I was sweating and noticed an ick even for me. Subtle to others, I'm sure, but to me it is some of the heaviest sweating I've done. And this will happen every time, both ways. I had shirts that didn't stink tucked away in my backpack. So, after I'd cooled down from the walk (about a 45 minute process) I took the regular shirt in to the bathroom with me, toweled off with paper towels and a bit of whatever hand soap is in there. It's kind of the worst. I truly feel homeless now. But I don't have much choice if I want to not smell like I'm in gym workout cloths all day.

My feet and calves are in a constant state of pain now. After the morning walk they did not recover in all the time I was at the library. Since that is a longer period of time than I will be here in the night area, recovery over night seems unlikely. It means this is likely the start of constant pain, and I will only degenerate further from here on.

For two to three hours a day now I cannot escape my depressed feelings and what feels like doom. I see people going to work, eating with friends or family, having lights on at night when they are home, and whizzing by me in their cars, not at all noticing or caring about me. With no gas it seems unlikely I'll get help. And without help I can't pay the registration, which is now only a week away.

So it very much feels like with these walks this is the end of me. Like I am going to now be this way forever. And what little I have left will be lost.

But I survive for another day.

And with each day I have to hang on. Help may yet come. I may yet be able to get enough help to pay registration, to pay the insurance, to pay my I.D. renewal, to pay for gas. It seems like so much, yet all in total that's only about $250. A huge sum to be sure, but small in the grand scheme of things. (Though gas is an ongoing $30 a month.) So a seemingly impossible figure for me, but not an impossible figure for those with regular lives who could send help.

So, for the moment, there is still a spark of hope that help will come. And the hope that I matter to enough people to be considered worth saving and worth helping.

Day 3665 - 7/14 - Limp, hobble, limp, hobble

Today was not a good day for walking. I've reached my almost final phase of damage where I'm starting to limp and hobble when I walk, and my pace is starting to slow significantly. If I hit my final stage I may be unable to walk more than 50 feet at any given time and it would take weeks to recover. I don't know how long I'll have in this stage before I hit that point, but things are going badly.

And again that is not counting the constant emotional damage or repercussions of the unpaid bills.

There isn't much else to say about the day. While I tried to play my game and relax and enjoy myself, the damage I am suffering, and the emotional suffering as my walk leaves me alone with sad thoughts, is taking quite a toll. While I periodically could stay focused on future things and distracting games, with so much pain and suffering much of my down time is now consumed by sad thoughts.

But still I try to focus on the good. I try to smile at the little snail on the walk, and the odd tiny plants that look like they are plastic rave lights, or the walk sign I press super fast to make say 'w-w-w-walk walk w-w-w-w-walk'.

While there is still a bit of light left before my day comes to a close I hope the rest of it will go ok. And I try to remember I have survived another day, which means there is another day tomorrow, and hopefully with that help and donations will come in time to pay all the things. And hopefully a bit more so I can return to driving and recover from my pain. And hopefully I can make it to better days.

Day 3666 - 7/15 - Almost crying

Today was again extremely sad. Both in my walk to, and my walk from, the library, I thought about my mortality. What if I feel over on the walk and died or needed help? No one would know it even happened for probably 12-24 hours. And I almost cried. I don't want to go. Even more so I don't want to go afraid, alone, and uncared for.

At no point really can I stop thinking about my physical and emotional pain. I'm always reminded. And if I start to forget, I get up to pee and am quickly reminded. My time walking is now effectively 20% of the time from when I get up until I'm hiding and still for the night. The sad thoughts during that time seep into everything else.

The registration and other bills are just around the corner. I have until the end of the week for that, and others very quickly after. It's beginning to feel like those who normally watch over me won't be able to help. I can't ask if help is coming, that wouldn't be proper. And if they said no, that would just make things worse compared to it just not coming and hearing nothing. All I can do is hope, and try to hang on until help comes.

And so in the brief moments I can manage to put the pain aside, that is what I try to do. I try to stay hopeful for the future. I try to stay hopeful help will come. And I try to hang on until it does.

Day 3667 - 7/16 - Crying on the inside, all the time

Today was pretty bad. Physically I recovered a little better than I did yesterday, but I was still limping and hobbling all day. This could take weeks to recover from. Emotionally was worse. For pretty much all day and all evening I felt like I was constantly crying and shaking on the inside, throwing up, having chills, hollow, and alone and forgotten. On the outside I likely looked like my usual self. But I barely held it together. For much of the day I felt like I was going to lose it and the outside me would match the inside me. Without help to pay for things and a bit of time to re-balance to homeless normal I may not be able to hang on much longer.

But I have to. All I can even seemingly try and control is me, however fragile that control may be. I can't control job opportunities. I can't control job offers. I can't control my surroundings in light, sound, or temperature. All I can do is try to keep control of me.

And so I continue to try to hang on to control. I continue to try to hang on to hope. And hopefully help and donations will come soon. And hopefully I can hang on until better days.

Day 3668 - 7/17 - All the stops

Today my walk was pretty bad. I am nearing the final phase of pain and discomfort with my feet and ankles. I had to make all the stops on the way to the library, probably about once every 1/8th mile.

I did remember to get some tiny cookies at the store. They make me smile. One of the few things that seemingly can these days.

There were no donations this morning, so things seem terrible and doomed. But I try to hang on to hope. I try to focus on the fact that at any point things could get better and I could get the help I need. So I try to stay hopeful. I try to continue to hope help comes in time. And hopefully I can make it to better days.

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

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