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Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer
Book 13: Changed World

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 629

Day 4397 (V:121) - 7/15 - Hot under cloud cover

Today is much hotter than I expected. It was gray and rainy looking, so I hoped it would cool down some as a breeze had come in at the end of yesterday. But I guess like a thick blanket in bed, the heat was kept in and it was nearly as hot as previous days.

There really wasn't any change today. Maybe the gray clouds kept more at home than usual, as the store lot was pretty quiet. Maybe the news of increased cases over the weekend caused it. Maybe there is more panic and more are staying at home. I will probably never know.

I continue to try to hang on emotionally, physically, and financially. And hopefully we can all make it to better days.

Day 4398 (V:122) - 7/16 - Hot and cold

Today has been both hot and cold. Until about 1 the weather was very still. There is a slight grayness in the sky, but really the sun was just beating down and it got super hot. After 1 a moderate breeze started to come through, so the hot areas cooled down, and the shade started to become chilly. It's just after 2 now, but I think probably in the early evening I'll likely put on my long sleeve top and hoodie. I expect it may get pretty chilly as we get into actual evening.

There really isn't any news. Things continue on basically the same. The food store is in a paranoid cycle and has closed one side and is counting people again, but nothing else has really changed. No significant news to talk about. No new opportunities, or upcoming ones, to talk about. Really the only thing of note today is the food store had a 'buy 2 get 3 free' sale for a brand of chips and some cereal. So now I have enough chips to last probably two months. I considered getting the cereal too, as it's my old favorite, but it's a ton of sugar. With my tummy getting so unhappy when I sleep at night that would likely be a big mistake. Just last night it was so bad I started coughing and felt the acid burning up my throat a bit.

So, really no news. I still try to hang on to hope things will start to reopen soon so I can have full access online and attempt to get my life back again. But more and more it seems there is news things may stay closed all the way until next year (like how my college has already said they are doing online only until at least next year.) But I have to accept what I can't control, and try to let worries about it go. Which seems like everything these days. And hopefully we can all hang on until better days.

Too much sun.

Day 4399 (V:123) - 7/17 - Felt at risk

Today was a bit different. Though I had nothing to drop off or pick up, I felt like I would detour to the library and be outside for a bit. I got to my outside spot and felt pretty safe. I had power and a connection. I put my mask down, as I could see about 50 feet to my right, 30 feet to my front, and there was a corner to my left about 6 feet away (on a building that is completely closed.) About an hour after I'd settled I heard a weird sort of snoring noise. It happened again, and a third time. I set my stuff aside so I could get up, put my mask up, and went around the corner to investigate. There immediately after the turn was some young teen and his bike dumped to the side. And as usual for teens here, he wasn't wearing a mask. He was snorting. He didn't seem all that well. I went back around my corner and pulled my stuff as far from the plug as it would let me, moving further from that corner. I got maybe 10 or so feet total from the corner. I still didn't feel safe anymore. I kept my mask on. He left after about an hour, but I didn't feel safe like I originally had.

It was nice to have the time with my laptop, but I don't know if I gained much. I did simple things in my games. I couldn't find a group for important things. And it lagged a bit, dropping me completely twice while playing, which I forgot that connection might do.

Due to that and the random kid making me feel unsafe I may only visit every other week, or just when I have something to pick up or drop off. Sure, I am still exposed outside of the food store, technically far more so, but I also don't want to become a predictable visitor outside the library where visitors (who stick around) are unusual. (Plus there aren't close bathrooms.)

I guess today was ok. I saw a game friend online. We exchanged worried tells, and it was good to see she and her family are still ok. But thinking of that, thinking of the kid, thinking I have no safe place to be... .it feels like it doesn't matter where I am, or how much I suffer emotionally. Because I have no home. I have no safe shelter. It will happen.

Day 4400 (V:124) - 7/18 - Heat induced migraine

Today the weather was mostly too hot. The gray seems to have mostly gone. Until about 1 there was no air movement at all, so it was ridiculously hot. So much so that I had to take a bit of water and put it on my head to cool off. All day I've had a heat induced migraine. The back, middle, and forehead have been pounding. And it feels like my eyeballs are being smooshed back into my head. It's nearly 3 now and the breeze is getting pretty strong, so it's barely starting to cool off.

It was a Saturday, so no news came out about anything. The day just seemed to drag on and on. The day was emotionally very rough. I felt bad and sad all day. I miss my games. I miss the people (even though there is almost never any kind of real connection to me.) And my heart sinks every time I think about not having a job and my inability to really try for any with everything going on. I feel so out of control of everything.

But, at least so far, I have survived the day. And I guess that is something. So I continue to try to hope I stay ok. And hopefully we can all make it to better days.

Day 4401 (V:125) - 7/19 - Fleeting meeting

Today was mostly too hot. It was again ridiculously hot until the breeze came in during the afternoon, in spite of my seeing a news weather report a cold front is coming in.

I had an odd moment today. I saw someone who is a friend of a regular at the library. She said hi, invited me to sit, and introduced me to her husband. I didn't know what to say. At all. People so rarely interact with me, and now it's been more than 4 months since I've had any interaction with someone like that who I rarely see. I kind of made an excuse to hurry away. Partly because I was embarrassed at not knowing what to say, but also because she and her husband are about 85, so I worry that they are in the highest risk category. After running away I thought to ask how she was, how they are managing with all the craziness, how is her daughter who moved to a new place in NY just months before it all started.

It reminded me that I am an outsider. And I have been so for so long seemingly small things completely escape my mind. I either don't think of them at all, or how to do the thing is seemingly completely forgotten.

Today passed extremely slowly. I am again exhausted. Again I had a migraine for most of the day. I've started the cycle again of relistening to a series of hundreds of 3-4 hour podcasts because I ran through them, yet the exile continues and I have little else I can do.

But this is what I have. This is what my life is. I have the limitations that I do and all I can do is try my best to hang on; physically, emotionally, and financially. And hopefully we can all make it to better days. And maybe someday being an outsider will be the thing I have a hard time remembering.

Day 4402 (V:126) - 7/20 - Not enough sleep

Today I am complete exhausted. A few times I've nodded off to sleep. Last night when I got 'in bed' I started thinking of all the sad things I've lost that I will never get back. I didn't cry, but all day I felt like I might.

Nothing really happened today. No news. It was hot, but thankfully it seems to be cooling off a bit. Hopefully tonight I can sleep ok. And hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 4403 (V:127) - 7/21 - Trying to hope

Today I am trying to remain hopeful for good news about the stimulus money. The people are supposed to be back in session, so I'd think that should have priority since so many are suffering and need help.

I'm hoping it will continue to cool off too. I love warm to hot summers, but being outside literally all the time this is possibly killing me. It certainly isn't helping. So often my brain is so hot I can't think. And though I think getting tanned isn't really super harmful to the skin, since I never tan, I wonder how much damage my skin is suffering.

So today I try to remain hopeful. For news about the stimulus to pay bills and know what options I have for a new laptop. For news if I will get extra food money. To see if the weather continues to cool. And hopefully we can all make it through to better days.

Week 630

Day 4404 (V:128) - 7/22 - Waiting

Today there really isn't any news. I'm still pretty much just waiting. Sadly, probably due to supply and demand and changes in production, pretty much all of the laptops I'm watching have spiked in price (at the online store I buy from). More so the closer the price is to the lower price ranges, not so much in the high end. I guess it's ok as I'm still waiting for stimulus news. Though at this point I've kind of settled on the one I'll get. I think the one at $1200 with good monitor, good cooling, and fine graphics, is the best and safest choice. It leaves the most money for bills and a couple of games, should I get more stimulus. Spending 25% more for one with nicer graphics, faster monitor, and bigger hard drive would be nice (since I'd be very tempted to spend about $125 more anyways for a bigger hard drive since the $1200 one only has 512 gig), but that would probably take too much. I'll have to see how much things are when they finalize the next stimulus stuff, and wait for the prices to calm down.

Hopefully that will be soon so I can have options in life again. Everything on hold, unable to change, feels like I'm just watching everything slowly slip through my fingers, and will eventually leave me with nothing. Probably sooner rather than later.

Day 4405 (V:129) - 7/23 - Hot on one side, cold on the other

Today was the weirdest weather so far. In my car in the late morning I was getting pretty hot, so I went out to the bench outside of the store to cool off. Within about 10 minutes the hair on my arms were almost standing up from the cold. When I got up to go back to the car I tested a theory. Sure enough, standing half in and half out of the building shadow one of my arms was warm, while the other was chilly. There was that much of a difference between shaded and sunny spots.

There isn't really much to talk about today. There was no new money news. There was a game show on which showed a couple of cool games coming soon that I will watch out for. But I still need my new laptop first, so I'm still trying to stay very hopeful that happens.

But that is really it for today. I feel pretty sad that my life is so terrible. Even more so now that the virus time feels like it will never end and I really have no way to recover while tings continue as they are. I will keep looking for and hoping for a way back home. But it seems all I can do is try my best to hang on, and just try to continue to stay safe as much as I can.

Day 4406 (V:130) - 7/24 - Planned treats

Today I planned a few treats for myself. I got a food that, while not special, is something more rarely gotten. Just regular plain chicken strips, nowhere near as special as Chinese Food which people were talking about in the stream chat. I also decided to treat myself to some extra online time with my laptop by going to the library. I don't know if that really worked out at all though. I couldn't do what I wanted. It was extremely laggy, so I probably only really got 75% of the time I was there. And it limited activities to trivial things. Compared to the extra 6 hours of worry about the laptop, during which most of that time I couldn't see the car, or was nowhere near it, as well as worrying about heat in the trunk where it was, those facts really reduced the enjoyment of the couple of hours I got.

I guess that was really my day. Extra sadness lately of what has been lost, how my life has seemingly gone nowhere despite my efforts and hopes I could be more. Especially in these most recent years, feeling like what i have now is all I will ever have, and what I have is slowly being lost, and feeling very hopeless about everything becuase of everything the virus has disrupted. But I guess I have to accept it. I have what I have, and I can't control... anything.

I continue to try to hang on as best as I can. But lately it is becoming harder and harder.

Day 4407 (V:131) - 7/25 - Rested, but sleepy

Today I feel pretty rested. I'm down to about 1-1.5 sodas a day for most of the last week and I wonder if I'm sleeping deeper because of it. It's good to sleep deeper, as that is how I should sleep, but it's kind of bad in that reduces my alertness if there is any trouble I might need to be mindful of.

One of the best laptops I've had my eye on might be coming soon. It's listed on the manufacturer web site now and it wasn't before. It's a bit more pricy at $1500, but that gets a decent amount more than the good one at $1200. It's got a 99% color accurate screen, which is great for doing work on, up from 75%. It's also faster at 240Hz compared to 144Hz, which is really nice, but likely not as much of a gain as the color accuracy since most new games won't get past 85-100 FPS. It also has double the hard drive space with 1 tb included (which on the $1200 system I'd want to spend at least $85 more to double its space to 1 tb, so that really makes the price closer to $1300.) And it's a stronger GPU at about 15% more powerful (on future titles which are more demanding that might even be a higher increase due to differences in the hardware.) So that is a lot of really great upgrades for the cost. That $1500 is the amount I have in the 'what if' budget of getting a second stimulus at the same amount as the first, but that amount hasn't been confirmed yet. There is apparently still debate on how much would come. (And that budget would also still cover my year's cost for car insurance, web space, and a few other bills, plus a few games.)

It's mid-afternoon, nearly 'dinner time' for the weekend, and I'm exhausted. I'm nodding off and can barely stay awake. I was fine until now, but having been in the car for a bit now the heat is just conking me out. I'll eat a touch early and hopefully that will boost my energy to be more awake. Though I suppose that doesn't matter.

I suppose I've survived the day so far. And with my life and the world as limited as it is these days it has to be enough. I am very sad, more than in my entire life lately, and every day it feels like my heart is breaking all over again. But there are tiny moments, fleeting and brief, where I'm not quite so sad, and do feel a little bit hopeful and can look forward. So I continue on. Try to hang on. And hopefully I can make it to better days.

Day 4408 (V:132) - 7/26 - Dry tears

Today I am pretty sad. Last night as I was trying to fall asleep I thought back to my first apartment, when I was in my early 20s, when I thought my life will be a series of better jobs leading to a happier life. I thought how that not only hasn't happened, but now I am in an even worse place in life than I was then. In almost every way I have much less.

I cried for like half an hour. I cried for what has not been. I cried for what has been lost along the way. But most of all I cried for me, for how much time and life has passed where I haven't really had a chance to be happy. When I woke up in the morning after finally falling asleep I found the areas under my eyes still had dried tears I hadn't wiped away.

There was no new news today, which isn't surprising as it's the weekend. Even more so because it's a Sunday. The day has come and gone as they all have lately, with m waiting, and suffering through. But I try to hang on to hope that things will get better someday. At least just a little bit.

Day 4409 (V:133) - 7/27 - A tew inches tighter

Today I'm wearing different shorts which require a belt. I haven't worn something that requires my belt in a couple of months, as there isn't a lot of incentive to change cloths, so I can't be certain, but it feels like I'm having to put it about 2" tighter than before. I'm still curious just how much weight I've lost in these past few months.

No solid news on the stimulus money, but it seems pretty certain it will have at least the same amount as before. They are trying to get more for some, but I don't know if I'd qualify for any of those. I saw mention of a new August 7th deadline, so not this Friday but the next. Though I don't know if that means anything as they had a previous deadline of before the 4th of July weekend and that seems to have had no importance. I guess we'll see and I'll try to stay hopeful. It seems with that kind of deadline, and the delay to get out payments, I'd probably be looking at ordering the new laptop around my birthday. Which I guess is nice, but with a reminder of my age I can rapidly spiral into depression and fear thinking about things like I may only have about 36 years left. If I have all that is left to me to live.

So no real change today. More of the same really. And I continue to try to stay hopeful.

Day 4410 (V:134) - 7/28 - Hopefully a good visit

Today I am going to the library to get a TV series they have on hold for me. Hopefully the connection will be good, as I'll take my laptop to have a few hours of extra use. The last two times were not great connections, so that's 2 out of the last 3 visits that weren't all that great feeling. I may start going every other week or so either way to get a change of scenery and maybe hopefully a decent connection. I'm not sure though, as I still don't feel great about the risk of the laptop in the car, especially if the connection is poor to the point that I can't do anything 'special' with the added time.

But I hope the connection will be good today. I hope for good news about the stimulus. And I hope we all get help and opportunity for change, and we can make it to better days.

Comments and stuff Copyright E. Stryker 2008-2020
Pictures for Epic Fail are taken by me. :)
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