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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 585

Day 4089 - 9/11 - Mysterious past

Today something odd happened. I was at the food store and someone probably in their later 20s came up to me and asked me how I was doing and shook my hand. I said hey with a questioning tone and he realized I didn't recognize him. He did look somewhat familiar though. He talked about the college and a Linux class we had together, which I'd almost completely forgotten about. I haven't been in programming classes for 7-8 years if not longer. I recall he was in a couple of my classes and an at school friend, but I have no really clear memory of those times. There is one friend I remember from those days who I had like 6 classes with over the course of a couple of years, but I know that wasn't him.

It was weird to talk to him, as it is with anyone who knew me years ago. I can tell by the tone in their voice they are ready to hear a success story, to hear I'm no longer homeless and hear about my regular life things. But I couldn't really say anything but that things were 'about the same'.

I guess my time at the library was mostly the same as any other homeless day. I played my MMO in the morning. Hardly anyone in the guild was on. I think maybe six people were on. I had a quick lunch. And testing the bandwidth at 12:30 after lunch it was super strong. I risked it and played my birthday game online. It actually did pretty well. One game I played until I got an odd bug where it wouldn't let my gun reload, so I had to abandon the game. I played another where someone was walking in circles. His name looked like a streamer name so I looked him up and indeed he had a stream running (with zero viewers). Though through that I could ask where he was trying to go or do. He said he was looking for a specific event. I knew where it should be, but we ran into a boss that gave us trouble. We tried to beat it for a while then he had to go.

I suppose it was a pretty good day all things considered. There were many sad things I'd have preferred not be sad, but my life is what it is. I try to hang on to what's left. I try to continue to hope help and donations come. And hopefully I can make it to better days.

Day 4090 - 9/12 - Probably a cold

Today I probably have a cold. My frequency of sneezing and congestion is worse. I'm pretty tired too, though lately I've been losing sleep because I just can't seem to get to sleep.

I guess today was ok though. I played my MMO a bit though no one was around. It was pretty empty for some reason. The bandwidth seemed ok so I played my birthday game a bit online. It was ok. I'd rather play with people I know, like the new friend, as strangers are... weird. Two of the four games I connected to people were just standing, maybe AFK or something, I don't even know what.

So while I was still very sad overall, I suppose today was an ok day. I had enough to eat, though it wasn't even micro food. And I was warm enough, though I again had three layers and my hoodie on. But I had fun with my games and shows, so I suppose that's something. So I continue to try to hang on to hope. And hopefully I can hang on until better days.

Day 4091 - 9/13 - Not chicken

Today was "$5 Friday" at the food store, which means they had their eight piece chicken deal. I hesitated and looked for alternate food options, even considering the $5 calzone that disappointed me before. I grabbed a chicken pack and took a few steps away from the stand, holding the chicken. I thought of holding it in my arms, counted the parts, what holding them live would be like, and I almost started crying at the thought of the three to four chickens it would take to feed me for just the two days that would last. I put the chicken back and got some cheese.

It's days like this I miss being in a home the most. Where I'd have the option to make spaghetti, or a soup with just a very tiny amount of meat, or just a little meat with vegetables and rice or potatoes. I find it most sad that things which hurt me emotionally while homeless are often things I really can't control, or are a forced choice between two evils. At least there is only one more week and then school. At least then I can micro foods again, and I can have options that aren't as dramatic.

I guess it was an ok day other than that. I played my MMO briefly. Again there was really no one around. I played online in my birthday game, but I don't know how much I'll do that with strangers. I feel no connection or care about their goals and triumphs like I would someone I know. Maybe when communication is easier and I can talk to people I'd be more interested in playing with strangers.

So again today was just another homeless day in a long line. One where I tried to continue to hang on to hope. Where I continue to hope my car and laptop don't fail and die. And I try to hang on until better days.

Day 4092 - 9/14 - Legacy

Today was ok for the most part. Though all day there were a couple of people a few tables away who talked almost constantly all day. If I see them again I'll be like 'hell no, take it to the talking room'. (Yes, there is a room in the library where they allow talking at regular volume.) And in the last few hours, in addition to noise on that side, I've had someone behind me on the other side watching videos on a mobile device without headphones. By the end of the night I was almost crying from all the noise and disturbance.

I also got some disappointing news. I recently had the screenshot feature stop working with my graphic card drivers. I checked and it said there was a critical driver update I needed to download, but according to all the sources I'm on the most recent drivers. I sent tech support a message about it and they confirmed, as of March, my laptop GPU is now considered a legacy device and won't be supported. For those who don't know what that means, that's not the end of the world. However, it does mean that new games coming out have a higher and higher chance as time goes on that something won't work right, or in more rare cases won't run at all. It makes sense, as my GPU is vastly underpowered compared to more recent ones. Even lower-end chips rate around 400% more powerful, and high-end laptop chips are about 600-700% more powerful. Everything I am currently playing runs ok, but newer stuff may have issues. Though I already knew I'm on the verge of my system being completely unable to run new games. There have been a few these past couple of years where I've struggled to even get it to 20 frames per second to run at a moderate speed.

I guess overall the day was ok though. I got salad, so there was no sadness over meat. I was warm enough. The connection was almost complete garbage, but I played my games and watched a few shows and things were ok. As always things could have been much better. So I continue to try to hang on physically and emotionally. And hopefully I can make it to better days.

Day 4093 - 9/15 - Feeling weird

Today I feel kind of weird. Maybe it's because of my cold. I feel a touch dizzy, maybe a touch feverish, maybe a touch of headache. I've been sneezy and pretty congested. Mostly I feel generally out of it. I slept really deeply and had decently happy dreams, and so I kind of feel like I've woken up into a different world, not quite pulled out of the dream.

I guess it was an ok day though. There was no one talking in the guild chat, so I just did my daily things then went offline. It felt weird to just go in and out so quickly, but unless I get into a raid I have little to nothing to gain. I tried playing my birthday game online, but it found zero matches. That hasn't been an issue before. I would guess maybe that's a combination of it being Sunday as well as another game releasing at the end of last week that people are playing. Probably many have moved to that since they would be distracted by its newness.

I feel weird, tired, sad, about so many things. But I continue to try and hang on. And I continue to hope help and opportunity come, and that I can make it to better days.

Day 4094 - 9/16 - Raining

Today started with rain. It was pretty hot a few days ago, but I guess that has passed, as it is now cold and raining. It only really rained in the morning, but there were gray clouds all day.

For being a 'smart building' the library continues to be very dumb about temperature. All day I was freezing cold with three layers and my hoodie on top of that. There were even parts of the day I could feel a breeze of warm air, likely pushed towards me due to the AC air on my window side creating a current.

I didn't feel like playing much today. I played a minimum amount in my MMO, and while I played my birthday game online for a bit, within about 45 minutes I'd had enough of people being weird and dumb. I played solo for maybe just an hour more.

I guess overall the day was tolerable. I felt ok, not too sad, but not really much towards happy. Just felt kind of bleh neutral. Which I guess these days is better than depressed sad. But I continue to try to hang on. And hopefully I can make it to better days.

Day 4095 - 9/17 - Feeling out of place

Today I feel out of place, like I don't really belong where I am, nor am needed or desired. It's likely just subconscious worries about school. I'm having to retreat out of film, since I've basically done nearly every class there is, going back to graphic arts where it all started. The new path I tried to forge has landed in a dead end for the moment, seemingly as all paths have. I guess I feel more abandoned than anything else. Sure, previous school also hasn't led me to a career, but this time I thought I had a support system. I had a professor who I thought was behind me. I had students I helped and guided, who I thought might get ahead of me, then return the favor. But it feels like those paths have ended, like those I thought I was connected to moved on and forgot about me, having never really cared to begin with. While I do have another friend professor I'll follow who I know is behind me, his field is a lot more independent, and a lot more difficult to make connections and get into.

I suppose this homeless day is really like any other. I have little to no momentum. So all I can do is try to hang on and hope that help, donations, and opportunity come, and that things pick up. And hopefully I can hang on long enough to make it to better days.

Week 586

Day 4096 - 9/18 - Clean at last

Today I did laundry in the morning. I was considering doing it closer to when I got the money just after my birthday nearly a month ago, but I figured I was ok smelling enough to not need to. Now, with school next week it's time to refresh things. It cost more than I'd hoped, but less than I was worried it might.

Overall I guess today was ok. The connection was fine all day, but lately I've not felt like playing a whole lot. I did my dailies in my MMO, played my shooter for maybe an hour, then actually played a card game (online) for about an hour. The rest of the time I meandered about with random videos and shows. I don't think I feel super depressed. I just don't feel balanced and safe enough to feel happy, especially since after I pay my October car insurance my money will effectively be gone.

So today I guess I managed ok. But no new help or opportunity came, so I simply tried my best to continue to hang on physically and emotionally.

Day 4097 - 9/19 - Light play

Today I again felt pretty sad, and again didn't feel like playing a whole lot. I did though. I did my daily things in my MMO, but then pretty immediately left. I played my birthday shooter for about an hour. I played a CCG I'm sort of getting back into for about an hour.

But I wasn't super excited for any. It wasn't anything wrong with the games, or anything new that was sad. I guess I just feel very sad. I'm sad about all the forced windows and times and limitations. I can't raid in my MMO really, as they do nights and my schedule isn't really open at those times. I can't really do a lot of my birthday game online because the times people are playing really aren't times I can play. (Though that will change when school starts.) And just life in general. When I have dinner and unwind with a show is thrown into chaos because I really need to be leaving the places and hiding for the night.

I guess, more than anything I just miss being free. Having the opportunity to do what I want without worrying about what window in time is coming up and constantly worrying about if I do or don't have access to this or that during that time. And because of that, though I know I can never really be the old me again, it feels like a possible new me is caged, in prison, never allowed to become more.

I guess overall the day wasn't terrible. Just another in a long line of sad homeless days. I just wish I had... more.

Day 4098 - 9/20 - Keep or mulligan

Today I felt pretty sad. Things felt slow and I felt lost. But I basically did my normal routine. I did daily things in my MMO, then left. I played my birthday game briefly. It's not really a thing you can do a ton as it has a limited number of things to gain or collect. At nearly 150 hours played there isn't much left for me to gain, though it's still super fun to play. I played the CCG a few hours though. It has a new 'season' coming up late next week so I'm building up in-game currency to try and have a little something saved for when that launches. I have a feeling it might be tough to get new cards though (as a free player.) I guess we'll see. This one seems pretty generous with getting free cards.

There may be some different stuff to talk about tomorrow, but I'll leave that until then. Today was today and I managed well enough. Tomorrow is tomorrow, and that is not today. So I will try to continue to stay hopeful. And hopefully donations and help will come, and I can continue to hang on until better days.

Day 4099 - 9/21 - A specific kind of odd

Today was a specific kind of odd in the afternoon and evening. I went back to the ex-house to help the ex-roomie with a thing, then hang out for a bit. It's always strange to be back where I lived for so long, especially since so little has changed since I left. I got to wash 'bed things', which it's probably been more than a year since I last had 'spare' money to do that. And she cooked a healthy dinner for us, so I got to eat super yummy healthy foods.

There wasn't much else to the day. The morning and early afternoon was regular time at the library. The bandwidth wasn't enough to play in my MMO, so I tried playing my CCG (which takes almost no bandwidth). It held mostly ok for that, though it started to become pretty unstable by the time I left.

The day was pretty good, but as always I am still in the same sad homeless life I was the day before. So I try to continue to hang on physically and emotionally. And hopefully I can make it to better days.

Day 4100 - 9/22 - Sad reflections

Today I still feel pretty sad. I guess it's mostly because of sad life reflection on what I don't have - where my brain thought I'd be at this point in my life. I don't think I feel so sad that I'm not married with kids. I mean, sure, probably, but I'm ok with that not being the way my life went. But just overall. Wanting at least an apartment with enough space and privacy, a kitchen, clean cloths, new contacts all the time, friends to do stuff with. I really only have a very tiny fragment of the regular things I thought I would, at any point in my life, let alone now 'as an adult.'

Tomorrow I should be distracted, though I don't have class. I guess the Monday/Wednesday class is a 'hybrid' class that only meets Wednesdays. So Monday and Friday would just be chill on campus days. At least I can get micro food, and in theory have a very solid and stable connection all day. I guess we'll see if it is or not because it was pretty crazy last quarter. (Though I still wonder if it's something related to my laptop's age.)

But tomorrow will be what it is. I can only see today. And I suppose I made it through ok. So I try to hang on and hope help and donations come. And I continue to hang on until better days.

Day 4101 - 9/23 - Officially in

Today I am officially signed up for one of my two classes I was waitlisted for. I mean, it's a guaranteed thing that I'd get in, but now financial aid people can see I'm in a class, and tomorrow I'll be in the 6+ units they require to fend them off.

It seems the school is still avoiding night classes. I think there was only one night class on the floor from what I could tell. So basically after 4 the floor was effectively empty. I don't know how the other days will go, but that would be weird if it were that dead every evening. Two people said hi to me, and two professors too, so that was nice.

I mostly took the day off. My brain was adjusting to being back on campus. I played a game much of the day and my brain was actually having a pretty fun time. It wasn't just to keep occupied until something better happened. It was actually playing to have fun, think differently, solve puzzles, and relax. Maybe that was just because it was happy because I was back somewhere where I don't have as many time windows to worry about. I was sneezing and congested, so I guess my cold is still hanging on.

But overall today was pretty ok. I was genuinely warm, so I took off my tank top and I've gotten shorts ready for tomorrow instead of pants. Deep down I was still sad. There are many things, and may ways of doing things that are that way because I'm homeless. So there will always be sadness because of that. But I try to hang on physically and emotionally, and hopefully I can make it to better days.

Day 4102 - 9/24 - Sniffly sneezy

Today I am sick. Well, a bit. My occasional sneeze has become more frequent, I'm a bit feverish, a touch dizzy, wheezy, and super congested in my nose and lungs I will hopefully recover in the filtered warm school air. I can be restful all day at least, so that's good.

I don't know what the day will bring. I have class in about 30 minutes, so there is that. Then I have the rest of the day to chill. Maybe something new will happen.

Besides my cold I feel hopeful. I try to hang on and hope donations and help come, and that I can make it to better days.

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

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