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Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer
Book 12: Unknown Beyond

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.

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These include the Table of Contents, Glossary and links, all weeks, all pictures, and index.

Week 579

Day 4047 - 7/31 - Early presents

Today was ok in the day. My back is freeing up a bit. It does still cramp when bending. If I settle and keep still it's fine. But it is only cramping a little now when I bend. I remembered to try and stretch out when I got up to pee a few times, and in less than a minute my back was not hurting. So while it probably will still be a few weeks for full range of motion without pain, I should be fine.

I checked the ex-house for the DMV stickers and was greeted with a surprise. There were two small packages. I figured they were for my birthday, so I probably shouldn't have opened them. But I wasn't sure, as I did order a shirt recently. One was most definitely on my wish list, as it is a gift card for food. Yay for nice food. I can use that on my birthday and for a few other meals if I'm careful with it. There was also a small box. I guessed there was a 50/50 chance it was razors or a movie. I again thought maybe I shouldnt open it yet, but I was so very curious and if it was razors I would start using one in the morning. And if so, that is extra important as I'll probably only shower once a week during August and September (as the college isn't on the way to the library and that would take an extra $0.50 per day to detour.) I opened it and was right. Yay for shaved soft and smooth (and probably healthy as the old razors really never get cleaned and are probably four months old each, if not longer.)

So, while the day was pretty regular and meh, the evening ended with some nice unexpected surprises. I don't know if more gifts will come in a few weeks closer to the actual day, but it is very nice to know there are still some people out there who watch out for me and who do care. So while I am still very worried about the bills, I am feeling a bit happier and more hopeful lately. And hopefully I can continue until better days.

So nice the early birthday presents.

Day 4048 - 8/1 - Not like sandpaper

Today my parts didn't feel like sandpaper. For the first time in maybe two years I am shaved soft and smooth. While I do have some disposable razors I could use, they are too rough and rip me up pretty badly, so I normally avoid them and just use my old good brand ones. New ones of my regular brand have made me super soft. In fact, when first using the razor it felt like I was using a feather. It didn't pull, rip, or tear at all. I'll assume these will be the only ones I get and use them for two months per blade before changing. That should last about 1.5 years. And maybe after a bit I'll try to clean them too. I have alcohol stuff to clean them with, it's just in the ex-garage and not easy to get to like the shower stuff in the car.

The last day of school was pretty ok. There were some oddities with the connection. It was... wiggly. But overall it was ok. I had a good time with my game, listening to some shows in the background, and I even had a fancy raid with the guild which did not run late.

I guess I'm in an ok mood today and feel slightly better. But there are still bills ahead. So I continue to hope help and donations come and try to hang on in the meantime.

Day 4049 - 8/2 - Quick day

Today felt like a quick day. I did my podcast editing in the morning, so that took a bit of time. I played my game and in the background some stuff from a convention was running that I was listening to. So the day seemed to pass pretty quickly.

My contacts seem to have settled. It's the same pair that was flipping out before, so I guess changing the liquid more often is greatly helping. Like everything else in my life it isn't going to get better, but knowing it seems to be in less decline is good.

My keyboard is worse. It's at the point where I'm carrying my little wireless keyboard with me. I tried using it, but it was weird for my brain to see the full sized keyboard and then the 75% sized one below that. It was like, 'wait, which one am I supposed to use?' So, I'll try to continue to hold off if I can, or try switching for brief periods, but it's going to take some getting used to.

There was a beeeaaautiful girl at the library who was suuuper attractive. It's very rare for me to see someone like that. It's a nice reminder that, as much as my brain thinks I am far from love and won't ever find it, my heart can still feel that way. Though I still wonder if I will ever really find someone who feels something for me.

But today I feel a bit better, though I still worry about all the bills. So I continue to try to hang on to hope that help will come. And that I can continue on and make it to better days.

Day 4050 - 8/3 - Have sticker

Today I put my car sticker on. So, phew. It's paid and now the sticker is on the car, so no more worries about that. I guess I probably wasn't really ever in danger of getting a ticket. I'm sure I was clear in the system, and likely they don't even check those until half way through the month to avoid running into people who have paid but just not gotten the sticker yet. But still, I worried.

My bank is still slowly getting better. It only really hurt a few times today. I'm sneezing a lot lately. For, I guess, three days now I've been sneezing a few times every hour. I might have caught something those last few days at school, though I don't see how as there was barely anyone there.

I had fun in my game, though the connection started to get really problematic from 1 on. I could still mostly do solo things, so I struggled through a few group activities then was solo, and got out of the game around 4. I tried to watch a show after, but there was so much lag and pausing I probably only barely watched an hour in two hours time. I'm really hoping the library is empty during the week. If kids are still out and it's still this bad during the week that would be terrible.

No donations or gift money today, so overall things were unchanged in terms of stress. But I continue to hang on to hope that help will come. And I try to continue to hang on until it does.

Day 4051 - 8/4 - Other worlds

Today, and really a lot lately, I've been thinking of other worlds. There is a new version of a pen and paper game that seems really great. This past weekend there was a gaming convention being streamed and there were several panels about it. And in the past few weeks there have been a lot of interviews. It would be cool to get the new book in .pdf as it's only $15, so I would probably get it if more birthday money comes.

But I don't know. I think the idea of a new system and new worlds, and fun times playing with people, likely won't happen. I think back to, I think it was three years ago now, when the last new version of a game system for a different game launched. I had money to try and play with people and that didn't really work out. I mean, sure, it was ok at the time. But here were no long-lasting bonds formed. Apparently none of the people I'd met ever really cared about me. In fact many in the social group for the area were outright mean to me. And none looked at my social page to find their way to my sad story. And when I said I didn't have enough money to continue playing because I lacked the $5 in gas to get there, neither of the two groups I was in offered any kind of help.

I suppose that is more the people I found, and nothing to do with the game or a desire to play with others. And it's very unlikely to be that they didn't have fun playing with me, as they would have shown some kind of indication of that when we were playing.

I guess, like all things in my life, I have to hang on to the dreams. I have to hang on to the hopes that I will find what I am looking for. That I will have what so many others seem to have and find for themselves. And hopefully help will come and I can manage to keep hanging on financially. And maybe someday I'll have the better days I am hoping to find.

Day 4052 - 8/5 - Over an hour late

Today was ok, but ended extremely stressful. I again tried a raid with my guild and it ended more than an hour late. What was supposed to only take an hour took 2.5 hours. This will sound elitist, but if they keep taking much longer than the allotted time I may have to stop going. (They are scheduled for 5-7 PST. The last two times they didn't even gather and start until close to 6, and then they are taking 1.5-2x as long as normal to complete it.)

I guess besides that the day was ok. Bandwidth held, though we are still in full summer with tons of extra teens around. That may be the case through next week as well. I guess it was ok though, as things didn't really get unplayable at any point. It was not the best in the afternoon, but it cleared up a bit later.

I got my super cute T-shirt yesterday. The bag is the cutest ever. So that is very nice. So, getting two gifts for myself, and two from a new friend person, is a pretty happy birthday so far. (And the Gray Ghost and dad helped make that happen too.)

Though I am still a bit stressed from leaving more than an hour late (down from extremely as it was happening), and I got no help or donations to take care of any bills, today was kind of a better day. So I try to hang on to hope and hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 4053 - 8/6 - The long good night

Today I am a mix of well rested and super tired. The night started with getting to sleep early. When I first woke up to peep I wondered how close it was to day, as I'd felt like I got a deep full night's rest. But it was extremely dark, so it had to still be deep in the night. I again had deep sleep and dreams, and when I woke up a second time I again felt like an entire night's rest had passed. It felt like it was an entire second night of sleep, and still was dark out.

Sadly the third time I woke up because of a scare. There was a loud crash close by and kitties yowling and growling. My heart slowly calmed down from the scare, as did the yowling. However, I never got back to sleep. Checking the time I had been woken up about two hours before my alarm. Sad, as that would have been about 9 hours of sleep if it weren't interrupted. And, at a depth and comfort level I'd not had since I was last in my room more than 11 years ago. I guess it's ok though, as it was 6-7 hours total to that point, my usual for these homeless times.

It still barely qualifies for morning now. And the sun, while up, isn't really out. The weather app said it would be mid 70s and low 80s all week, but with the current amount of gray this morning and yesterday I'd guess that rain isn't too far off.

As always, I have what I have. And I am very thankful these homeless days it is more than what I had in the early homeless days. But I am still very far from covering basics. And still the lowest in my life ever.

But I try to hang on. I try to stay hopeful help will come. And hopefully I can hang on until better days.

Bunny pew pew pew.

Week 580

Day 4054 - 8/7 - A little upset

Today my tummy has been a little upset. Last night too. So it is probably from the hot dogs I ate yesterday. I did them all Monday, so the ones on Tuesday probably didn't last very well over night. It's always a risk in my homeless life to keep meat overnight when it's not winter. I'll have to try to be more careful since I'm only at the start of two months without cooked food. (Not counting gifted monies for meals.)

The connection at the library upset me a bit too. These weekdays have been like weekends due to the load. By 2 I'd lost bandwidth to do group things. And by 4 I couldn't even stay connected at all anymore. I'd just either lag for several minutes or drop entirely. By 4:30 I'd been completely dead for more than 15 minutes, so I just gave up trying to connect after that.

I guess it wasn't a terrible day. I got to game most of the time I wanted. I had food. I found a new TV series to watch. And my day was relatively private. Though a heavy smoker sat next to me half the day, so I was coughing and wheezy. And the library was freezing cold, so by noon I had to have all three shirt layers on and was even considering getting my hoodie from the car.

Though there was no help or donations I try to continue to hang on to hope. And hopefully I can make it to better days.

Day 4055 - 8/8 - Feeling sad in the end

Today was ok in the morning. But again the library bandwidth was crippled by about 1, and by 2 I was lagging and disconnecting. I had to stop playing early due to the lag being frustrating. It remained bad though the rest of my time there. I couldn't even watch my Thursday evening show really at all.

I pretty rapidly became sad as the bandwidth crumbled. It reminded me of what basic things I'm missing in life. I was freezing, even with all three shirt layers on. I couldn't stay stable long enough to play or watch my show. I had to get food that was a 'better choice' for eating (which wasn't really better at all) because I could not only not cook lunch, but couldn't cook dinner either. I suppose it really started in the morning, as I was driving to school to shower, then away to the library, as I considered how much time and life I was losing for that detour for the simple act of showering. Twenty to thirty minutes and half a day of gas, just for what is normally a one minute detour to shower in a home.

I feel very sad and melancholy for what I have lost, and many times feel like I will never have again. And while I do continue to hope I recover, I will always mourn the loss of me. For I can never again be who I was.

Day 4056 - 8/9 - Painful

Today was painful in several ways. The first was in my eye. It was unfocused and blurry in one corner. It was in a way I know there is something up with the eye preventing the contact from settling. But pretty quickly, maybe after an hour of wearing it, that turned to a light burning that is going on even now. I prey clean solution overnight clears up whatever is going on.

The next pain was the connection. Almost immediately it started going bad, dropping me from the game and pausing video every 5-10 minutes. That cleared a little in the afternoon, but it seemed as a strong reminder I don't have a decent connection, like everyone else does.

And the library was again freezing. By noon I had all three shirt layers on, my hoodie, and I was still so cold I had been clenching my jaw most of the day. It was so bad I was thinking of leaving and going to school so I wouldn't be freezing.

Really though I suppose the physical just reminded me of the emotional pain. Not having a home. Not having a way to cook regular food. Not being able to take care of contacts, or just change to new ones. Not having a decent connection, or a keyboard without half a dozen keys that are flipping out or missing entirely. And the constant reminder that this is it. This is my last contact pair. The laptop probably won't be able to be replaced. And if something happens to my car... there are a lot more terrible things that could happen.

But I know these things are not permanent. Though these timers cannot be stopped, the physical things can be replaced. And a home, a place to belong, all the things, are possible to have again. If things just turn around. So I try to stay hopeful. And I try to hang on.

Day 4057 - 8/10 - Blurred

Today my contact was blurred. It didn't burn at all, so that's good. But it may also be done. This blurred state may be all I get. I would consider rinsing it between my fingers to clean it, but with its advanced age I think that could be a great risk of tearing it. I'll just have to keep hoping the issue is something with my eye and it clears and things are fine until I can get both enough money for an appointment and enough money for new contacts.

Today was a bad and sad day. Almost immediately after lunch the connection started lagging. It cleared a tiny bit, but basically I was almost constantly lagging and dropping all day. That put me in a bad and sad mood. I lost about half my playable day to lag and drops.

Things like this are the toughest days. If anything is off; bandwidth, temperature, food, lights or sound, it just feels like someone punching me in the face. And with each punch an insult reminding me what I have lost because I am homeless and have no control over anything.

I try to stay hopeful. I try to hang on. But with each day getting harder, each day I feel more and more like I will lose what little is left, and all that will remain are tears.

Day 4058 - 8/11 - Maybe contact help

Today my contact was hurting again. And the other a bit. This has been pretty bad pain when it's in for a few days now, so it's most certainly because the contact is dying, even though it shows no visible damage to the naked eye. I posted my picture of my contact box on both social pages. Someone I've known since high school said she might be able to help. Her sister in-law might be able to help get me some. She has to check. The amount of messages implies that help may come sooner rather than later, which I hope is the case, as I'm not sure the contacts can last much longer, even if I can continue to bear the pain.

I guess the day was ok other than that. The connection was bad, but not totally unusable. In fact, I completed another gear set I was looking for. I kind of don't like it though. I can't see when the special effect of the set happens, and I prefer the look of my old set. Plus the stats of the old one make me feel better emotionally, even though logically the new set should be better in many situations. But, as with all game things, better gear is better gear, and sometimes you just have to accept a look you don't really like until you change again.

I got some fruit again. It was probably better than a meat thing. At least my body, in general, feels healthier. But I don't know, on these days where I only eat fruit my tummy is a bit grumpy, and I seem to remain hungry. (And it's about 20% more than I should spend on food for the day.) I feel full when I eat, but like now I ate dinner about 1.5 hours ago and my tummy feels like I ate nothing. I'd prefer salad on the weekend for a non-meat meal, but the bag is two days of food, and in the heat of summer it can't survive the night.

But I guess it was an ok day. One with maybe a hopeful end. So, I just have to continue on, suffer where I must, and hopefully there will be better days ahead.

Day 4059 - 8/12 - Ended with a happy surprise

Today was mostly sad. In the morning I got a shower at school, which was actually good as the sportball team were starting practices for next year. Which means they should be open for my showering though most of the rest of summer.

At the library things started nice, but rapidly declined. My game friend had sent me the new DLC for my MMO which was super happy. It was a super nice early birthday surprise. I played in the new dungeons a few times and actually got most of a new set I want to try out. But by noon the bandwidth was going and I was starting to lag. By two it had gotten so bad I was locked probably 30% of the time and dropping from my game every 5-10 minutes. Which mean I wasn't going to stay for any more tries for the new gear, and it would be impossible to do the special raid with the guild in the evening, which I'd been looking forward to all week.

So for most of the late morning and afternoon I was sad in my game. And I got news the friend who maybe could help with contacts only does glasses. While I may be forced to see if that's an option someday that isn't great for me, as my motion sickness is constantly triggered by the 'warp zones' around the lenses.

But my sadness was turned around in the evening. I went by the ex-garage and there were some packages for me. One is a small box, maybe 8" big and could be anything. The other is an odd shape, as it's maybe two feet long and about 6"x6". I have no idea what that could be. I don't know of anything on my list that would be that shape. At first I thought maybe it is my replacement backpack in an odd box, as I sent that off a week ago. But the box has markings of the online store, so it couldn't be.

Part of me wants to leave the boxes alone and not open them. But the more I consider that the more I think that is a bad idea. In the ex-garage they could easily be mistaken for any other box, and easily moved, meaning I might never see them again. And with as sad as I've been lately it's possible they would be forgotten entirely. So, I think that's not safe. I will open them early. If they are wrapped then I will keep them wrapped in the garage. That, I think, would be safe. But a generic box, among dozens of similar generic boxes, feels like a risk. I guess I could open them now while I'm writing.... after all my birthday is just a day, like any other day that passes. The celebration is whenever, especially since I'm on my own.

The things are wrapped. I'm sure wrapped things will be fine in the ex-garage. The large one I now have a very strong guess what it is. The others are two small ones, about the size of my palm, and soft. I would guess bunnies? If so I look forward to hugging them. Though I always worry these days my bunnies would be moved and lost. They are mostly in a bag, but some are just wrapped up in my trench coat on top of the bag. Which, if moved, could easily fall out and be lost. And then there would be much crying, as they are my only source of comfort I can count on these days.

So what was an otherwise bad day, filled with pain in my eye, sadness and depression over the lack of connection and focusing on the sadness and loss in my life because of it, is filled with hope in the evening. There are people who care. There are those who watch out for me. And though I may not get everything I need to recover, or even to stop my suffering, at least I seem able to have enough support to alleviate it in the worst of times.

And so I try to hang on to hope. I try to hang on. And hopefully I can make it to better days.

Day 4060 - 8/13 - Mysterious present

Today is just starting. I don't know what the day will hold, but I will try to not get my hopes or expectations up. I expect the library will be losing bandwidth and crawl to a halt just after noon. My eyes are still not great. My time left with these last ones is rapidly running out. I may need to stop wearing at least the one during parts of the day. I don't know when I'll be able to get more.

One of my presents is a total mystery. I hope it's... ok. My only way to describe it is it feels like a small soft ball which pinches down to a 0.5" size, then expands out to a soft triangle? The other feels like it's possibly a bunny. So if the mystery one is also a critter it doesn't feel right. I'm worried it might be hurt in some way, but I have to trust it's ok because it doesn't seem like the outer package is hurt.

For now I have to try to hang on to what's left. Hope what is failing or lost can be replaced. And hopefully better days will come.

Three nice presents.

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

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