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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 563

Day 3935 - 4/10 - Probably no help

Today seemed extremely long. There were a few classes, but mostly the floor seemed empty. I didn't feel much like playing, but I did play a few hours. But I also just felt super depressed and wasted several hours doing effectively nothing.

Since I've not gotten donations in a while I let my professor know I'm uncertain of my schedule. This weekend I'll be both out of gas and my parking permit will expire. (Each quarter they give a grace period where they are good during whatever between break and the first week of the next quarter.) The entire day went by and she sent no message back. I am really beginning to question if she actually cares at all about my fate and well being. She certainly doesn't seem to. And with putting in an average of 500 hours a year volunteering, that's not a small number. And that's just the in-class time. There is another 24-36 hours a week I'm around on campus and could help outside of that class time.

I still really don't get it. The other professor I like has one full time TA and another who is around for half the classes. So that is basically 1.5 TAs at 15 an hour for those same about 500 hours a year. And just yesterday I was talking to someone I knew who has fallen on hard times lately and he said his professor (for animation) instantly offered him a lab TA position, again for probably that same 15 an hour 500 hours a year. Yet my professor doesn't have a paid TA position? And she hasn't offered me even a fraction of that compensation after like 5 years of doing it? If we took even just 2 an hour, which if that came out of her salary would, according to a site that references average monthly salary, be probably less than 3% of what she makes an hour, would cover my gas, monthly car insurance, and parking sticker each quarter. Certainly not everything I need in a homeless life, but at least that would be a huge gesture towards saying thank you in some kind of compensation. I don't know. I really think if she doesn't offer something other than 'that sucks', or as in the past simply says nothing about it... I don't know. I certainly will stop caring and be doing it just for the students. I know there is already one who is freaking out and only remaining calm because she knows I'm around and can help her when she needs.

So I guess today overall was kind of bad. Certainly very sad. And the future seems more uncertain than ever.

Day 3936 - 4/11 - Tasty snack

Today I got a tasty snack. Someone had some nuggets and fries and had 'extra' they didn't want, so I got to eat about six fries and three nuggets. It wasn't much, probably half a regular meal amount for me, but it was a super tasty snack. I can't remember the last time I had those. I think it's been most of a year since I last had a burger and fries from the cafeteria.

I'm sure it will be a surprise to no one when I say my professor said nothing about how extremely desperate things are getting. Zero sorry. Zero 'let me help'. Zero 'I value and appreciate you'. Nothing. I know what I said in all three classes today was super helpful, and in some cases encouraging or stress reducing to students, so I will take that as my reward/validation. But if the professor has given up trying to get me official compensation, and apparently has no serious desire to offer me help when she has recently mentioned she's 'doing well enough she doesn't have to worry about money'... I really enjoy helping the students, but I certainly don't know how much I could call her a friend anymore. She certainly seems to think I'll just always be there and I don't have any needs of my own, even though I point them out to her and I know she doesn't ever really forget I have extreme troubles.

But maybe I shouldn't be so harsh. Maybe it's just not in her nature to care or be observant of other's feelings. Again, apparently I was the only one she could ask to watch her cats, which is saying a lot. It's not like I can look harder for jobs, as everything is automatic, but I don't know. I will certainly have to give up any hope of her getting me help into a career or finding me job offers. It will be what it is on the surface, and nothing more.

Thankfully it matters a bit less, as my friend person who watches out for me sent help today. So that big help will take care of the overdue car insurance, get a parking permit for the quarter, and leave a couple of weeks of gas, which hopefully will last until more help comes. It looks like a few weeks will be bunny day, so hopefully dad will maybe send some cash help then and maybe I can clear the next car insurance payment due on May 1st with that.

But today, while it is sad to surrender the idea of ever getting reward or opportunity from helping, at least I can rest at least a little easier because of the big help. And hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 3937 - 4/12 - Had, now gone

Today is pretty sad. My donation money got to my bank this morning, and so I immediately had to use nearly all of it to pay the overdue insurance and get a parking sticker for the quarter (which was even more than expected ), leaving just a couple of weeks gas and that's it. Having no money, and needing to immediately pay bills and it's gone when I do get some is much too stressful and a horrible way to live.

I got angry at the girl who asked to borrow $4 a while back. I'm sitting in my spot, eating dinner, headphones on, obviously watching something, and she comes up near me and starts blabbing away. I get really angry when people do that. It's like I can't hear you at all, and now you've not only interrupted me, but done so in a demanding way. When I rewind, pause, set down my food, then take my headphones off, and say 'what?', she asks what I'm eating. While this may sound like a normal and reasonable question to ask, my brain was like 'WTF?!?! Seriously?!?' I had a clear plastic container of white ruffly chips, and my microwave food box I'd eaten literally right at her feet, even half turned towards her view angle because of how I'd set it down. Sure, I get smelling something yummy and being curious what it is, but, hello, the answer to your question, which you interrupted all my things to ask, is literally right in front of you. You literally could have looked for 3 seconds, without interrupting me at all, and answered the question before even asking. I'm probably just overly cranky because of all my sads, particularly these days, but still, it seemed mind boggling.

So today was good in that things that needed to be paid were paid, but I'm still very on the edge, and for that I am extremely sad and stressed all the time. But hopefully it is enough. I survived the day. And sometimes all you can do is keep surviving until better days.

Day 3938 - 4/13 - Sad beginning, sad throughout

Today had an extra sad start. There was some stuff that happened in the morning I don't want to talk about that made me extra sad, worried, and scared. And then I didn't notice that gas is now 20% more expensive than it was the last time until I'd hit my max amount I wanted to spend. (And looking around at other places it's still the same 10% cheaper than those that it normally is.)

During the time at the library there was a lady that smelt like a mix of maybe sandalwood and black pepper. I was almost sneezing from her smell. She had this constant running dialogue with herself, as if she were in a movie or show and that was the only way the writers could explain what the character's motivations were. I had to keep my headphones on just to try and drown her out, even if I wasn't playing anything. On top of that she did this really disgusting snort noise every 30 minutes or so. And the library could barely connect at all. It was disconnecting me from even the lowest bandwidth activities all day.

All day today, and even now in the evening, I've felt like my homelessness is new again and I'm going to start crying and I won't be able to stop.

Day 3939 - 4/14 - Shaking like a bunny / core risk change

Today I have still been shaking like a bunny all day; terrified and uncertain. I've felt in part like I'm going to throw up, and that I will start uncontrollably crying. The event yesterday morning was a discovery of what could be a change to a core element of my homeless life that alters my routine a little to reduce that, but in doing so would introduce new risk, uncertainty, and perceived fundamental difference. Not to mention my homeless activities, especially new homeless routines, greatly increases sadness, fear, worry, instability, and depression.

It might actually all be in my mind and nothing to really worry about. Only time passing and observation of change, or lack of change, will verify if the risk and uncertainty is actually changed, or if it is basically the same.

I hate being in my position, especially since it seems like all that has happened is loss. It certainly seems so with the truly important things. Yeah, I've replaced my car when lost, and upgraded my laptop twice over the years, but while my job went from minimum hours per week to the maximum that was lost shortly after. And while my homeless routine has seemed safer at times, in times like this it seems more at risk and uncertain than ever.

But, as always, I really have no control. I have to try and stay as calm and safe as I can. I have to take things one day at a time and see what happens. And hopefully I can hang on to enough stability and sanity to make it through.

Day 3940 - 4/15 - You cut your hair

Today I was extremely nervous, and also very sad. I tried to play one game, but it disconnected so I gave up trying. The school is still seemingly having a lot of issues with the connection. I played my MMO for a bit, mostly messing around with anniversary event things. Though mostly due to extreme sadness I just watched junk videos most of the day. I still felt overly stressed and worried about the changes to my core evening routine.

I suppose the high point was a few animation students were hanging out near the door, which is near my spot, and one said, "oh, you cut your hair," as if she'd been silently wondering why I looked different than she remembered. She wasn't someone I knew, so I assume I was just a touchstone who was someone she regularly saw. I explained the story of the receding hairline and my attempt to shave it completely bald, but it felt too weird, and that's how I've arrived at the now super short faux-hawk. She said it 'looked good on me' and 'suited me' which is about as much as I can hope for since it can no longer be as cool as I'd want.

It was cold most of the day and lightly rained for a bit. My tummy was upset at my food choices, but I had what I had, so there was not an option to have anything different. But I suppose I survived the day, and in these darkest times of extra struggle and uncertainty that has to be enough.

Day 3941 - 4/16 - Uncertain day

Today I am still very nervous. I lost half the time I could have slept being nervous and unable to settle. So much of my life these days is so close to the edge so much of the time that it's becoming harder and harder to calm myself. So often I'm nervous like a scared bunny, sometimes literally shaking, jumping at the slightest unexpected sound, and so fearful of death and dying that it's almost constantly on my mind, and many times during the day thoughts or shows will trigger minor panic attacks.

But all I can do is hope donations, help, and opportunity come, and that things settle once more, if even just a little. And hopefully I can continue to survive long enough to make it to better days.

Week 564

Day 3942 - 4/17 - Nervous all day

Today I was sad, extremely tired, and very nervous all day. I still don't know the extent of risk change to my evenings, if any, and that might not be discovered for a while. I'm trying as best as I can to rest and settle at night, but I'm still on edge all the time, causing me to be nervous and jittery all the time, both from nervousness and from inability to sleep well.

The connection at school is still bad. Every now and then it just pauses the connection for 15-30 seconds. I may have to mention it to the tech people if it continues, as it completely cripples my gaming before early afternoon.

I guess overall the day wasn't completely terrible. Though I felt nervous and exhausted all day. I played a bit, but with all my sad problems and everything else it is difficult to be cheered up. Someone posted a super cute bunny video on my social page, which did help a lot. But I continue to try and hang on to hope that help, donations, and opportunity come. And hopefully I can continue on until better days.

Day 3943 - 4/18 - One day at a time

Today I am exhausted. Again I only got about half of what sleep I could have last night. Evenings are still uncertain if I'm ok or not, but so far no true evidence of things being bad has come, so I will continue to hope they are at least down to normal and soon I can at least calm down a little at night. I'm currently so scared all the time if I put out my hand to check if it's shaking it is and not very steady.

For the moment I try to continue to hang on to hope that, though I can't perceive it, things are going to be ok, and that I can hang on until better days.

Day 3944 - 4/19 - Poke in the eye

Today it felt like I've been poked in the eye. My right eye has had the upper and lower eyelid a touch swollen all day. And it's felt like something is scratching when I try and clear out tears. The odd thing is that it feels like salt, like in some kind of weird way my eyes are tearing and it's suddenly drying out to leave the salt and that causes irritation.

Everything is still pretty bad and sad and I'm very worried. I suppose things are ok in that nothing got worse though. I did get a surprise of an early bunny day game that I had on a wish list, so that will be super fun to play. I will probably wind up playing that most of my time Sunday, as I'll be at the food store and I expect it won't have much, if any, bandwidth.

But today is what it is, and it was a day where all I could really do was hang on and not let the sad things get me too down. And hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 3945 - 4/20 - Pop, snap, smoke, but expected

Today was a sad day. Almost immediately after I'd settled into the library there was a pop and smell of smoke from my power supply cable. This was actually kind of expected. I noticed a few days ago that at certain angles the removable plug that goes from the power supply to the outlet would short at certain angles and not allow power to the unit. I contact the company a few days ago and asked if they could send a new cable. They said they didn't have any, which seems extremely confusing since people sell those on the online store for about $7. But they have sent me a brand new entire unit (worth like $60?). Oooook. That works for me. And I'll have an extra, theoretically, fully functional power supply.

But I couldn't find a new angle it would work at and hold power. It would just again pop, smoke, and only power the unit for one second. I put my system into sleep mode. I immediately felt super nervous and like I was going to throw up, even though I knew a new supply was already on the way. I had to go back to the ex-house (about a five minute drive from the library) because the battery would only last a few hours, and the library would be open about three times that long. It was terrible burning an extra day of gas (about $1), but I know I would not be able to settle down until I knew the extent of the power issue. When I got back to the library and checked the new cord the old power supply seemed to work just fine and held charge the rest of the night without issue.

For a fleeting moment when I was out things felt good. It was warm and a nice day. Maybe because of the slight sulfur smell from the pop my mind thought of hot dogs and BBQ with friends on days like this. But the feeling was gone quickly and replaced with what-ifs of going back to the ex-garage in the middle of the day, what if the cables don't work, what if using a day of gas ends badly since only about one week total is left. It all just felt like a series of reminders of the failure of my life that it has become these days.

But with the new cable the power supply seemed ok again. I can't control the results of things I can't control, so I have to try to let them go. All I can do is try my best to be restful. Try to hang on to hope that things will continue to be more ok than not. Hope donations and help come. And hope I can continue to hang on.

Day 3946 - 4/21 - Bunny day

Today was, I suppose, about the most I could have hoped for. (At least so far. The evening and night are still uncertain.) The food store had a decent enough connection most of the day. In the morning I played my MMO. And in the afternoon through the early evening I just watched stuff online. I did play my special bunny day game for about an hour, but since I had an ok connection I wanted to take advantage of that, as it's an unknown quantity at the food store.

There were a lot of very cute and beautiful girls there. But seeing them, seeing happy couples, and the occasional family, actually made me a bit sad as I thought how I am unattractive to most, and simply unknown or not even considered by so many more. And I wonder if I will ever have real life friends again, even more so love and a family.

My eye is still being bugged. I don't know if it's fighting off an infection or what. In the morning I was rinsing it every hour and that seemed to help, but in the afternoon I thought maybe the latest is just too bad, after all it does have the tiny crescent moon tear on its edge. I switched it out to an older contact. There was a little burning at first, but now about an hour or so later that seems to have settled and maybe this would be a better one than the most recent. I'll see how it goes over the remaining hours during my evening.

But I suppose the saddest thing for bunny day was when I was considering what food to get and I'd realized I have lost so much of my traditions and given up on doing so many of them just for me, that I had no bunny day candy. I even had to struggle for a bit just to remember what my favorite one was. I got a little something, just a single small chocolate bunny, just so I at least had a little something for the holiday. Because I knew if I had forgotten and then not gotten something once I remembered I probably would cry later. I may still, because everything is terrible and not at all what it should be. But hopefully I can hold it together and continue on.

So far I made it through the day. It wasn't terrible and I suppose it was as good as I could expect in my homeless life, but I very much miss a regular life. I miss... me.

Day 3947 - 4/22 - Oddly exhausted

Today I've been oddly exhausted. All day I've felt like I didn't sleep last night. I must be fighting off a cold or something because my skin has felt chilly, I've sneezed every hour, and have a few times I've smelt people's food and instantly become starving and wanted to eat that thing. Of course that might be due to not being able to afford to eat cafeteria food in probably a year, so it might just be my body missing that food. I think more though if it's a cold those foods probably have something my body wants/craves, probably fresh vegetables which is something I don't normally get with micro food.

Nothing positive happened today. Though I was at school, so that I suppose is something. But I was very sad about all the sad things in life today, especially lack of sleep, and my contacts, since I'm now back to four month old ones since the three month old ones don't seem to be working.

But all I can really do is try to rest when I can, try to relax when I'm able, and hang on until better days.

Day 3948 - 4/23 - Back to a burning timer

Today it seems I'm back to my burning contact timer. It's not a completely intolerable burning, but it definitely takes my eyes a while to adjust after putting in the contacts. I don't know what to do. I don't have the $40 to be current on car insurance, nor the probably $200 for registration and smog due in 2.5 months, nor the probably $50 to even try to get some contacts and do an exam appointment. This pair and my two others are all super old, and the only ones I have.

I guess all I can do is try to hang on as best as I can. And hopefully help and opportunity will come in time.

Comments and stuff Copyright E. Stryker 2008-2019
Pictures for Epic Fail are taken by me. :)

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