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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 643

Day 4495 (V:219) - 10/21 - Half on, half off

Today is the second day I've had cold cloths on, then off. In the morning and evening it's been cold. From about 11 to 5 it's still been pretty summer time warm. It's like the weather can't make up its mind.

I'm sneezing quite a bit. And I'm oh sooooo tired. I'm a bit extra hungry too. My allergy/cold seems to be going crazy again.

I guess today was ok. It seemed to pass incredibly quickly. Though it's not over, now at my writing time, it feels like it's barely approaching noon (more than three hours past.) I don't know if that's because I had fun, so my mind was occupied, because of my cold, because of my exhaustion, or what.

Nothing else to say really. My mind is very occupied with what I don't have still. Doubly so since I expected we would get a second stimulus by now. So not only is it thinking of what is missing from a normal life, but what is being altered by not getting more stimulus yet. (There is still time to be ok on bills without it, probably, but plans will quickly need to change if things don't go as expected in the next months.)

But I can't control what I can't control. And lately it feels like I can't control anything. But I must continue and try my best. It's all I can do.

Day 4496 (V:220) - 10/22 - Very sad, very tired

Today I am extremely tried and extremely sad. Lately on the social pages I've posted stuff I'm excited for and no one seems to care at all. There is one I've been a part of probably 3-4 years now, and though I don't post frequently I can count the number of times people have replied on one hand. Just this morning I posted about a game I'm super excited for and someone replied, 'haven't seen anything that makes me care about that game, don't care, never will.' And another person hadn't ever heard of it (despite it being 'a AAA title'.)

About a week ago in another one I was trying to help troubleshoot some tech issues someone was having and a moderator was like, 'nope, you're wrong, it's not that. Stop trying to tell them to test this and that and push them different directions.'

And, sure, I get it. On the one page 95% of stuff they talk about are games or shows I would never play or watch, so sure it's not a match there, so why would they care about what I post, so maybe I should stop bother trying there. And with the other group, again, mostly they aren't interested in the same things.

But this morning someone replied to something and was like 'oh that's cool. That's like so-n-so's famous art style.' And they were interested and hadn't heard of it before.

So I don't know. On the one hand it really doesn't look like I'll ever 'find friends' in either of those places. It's been 3+ years basically that I've been there and I haven't really found any yet. But on the other hand it is really my only social connection these days. And on extremely rare occasion I do talk about something someone hasn't heard of and I introduce them to a new thing.

I guess I'm just rambling because I'm tired. And if I had a normal life with shelter, food, and games, I probably would just shrug it off and not care. But with nothing, with my sad life what it is, it just seems like validation that no one cares about me, I won't ever find new friends, and nothing I do, am passionate about, or say, is worth anything to anyone.

Day 4497 (V:221) - 10/23 - Maybe a small sign of hope

Today there is maybe a small sign of hope. I had a TV series to pick up from the library, and instead of not letting people in at all, the front entrance area is now open. So I went in to collect my own item instead of a librarian doing it remotely. Now, it may not really be as much of a sign of reopening as it is to protect themselves by reducing the number of workers. Like this, I'd say they could cut staff by half from what they had previously. With them doing all the work before they had two people scanning cards, 2-4 around the side delivering to drive-up people, and 2-4 inside gathering for walk-up people, whereas now it looked like there was one at the door, then 2-3 watching general people activity, and 1-2 others for help specifically with additional non-hold pickups. I still don't expect they will open until next year, or maybe even 6-8 months from now, unless there is real sign of a vaccine progress. But I try to stay hopeful.

My parts hurt. Various things on me feel sprained, sore for seemingly no reason, or straight up hurt. I also have a headache and my ears are ringing slightly. It doesn't feel like allergies. It's probably maybe lack of vitamins. I guess I should take one of the pills I have.

I guess today was good. I spent until almost noon doing some video editing. As long as I expected, but sadly not less as I'd hoped. After, I got to play a bit. Not as much as I'd like, as the sun was basically burning into my area because I lost track of time. And I should still be able to play an hour or two later tonight as well, so that is something.

I'm sore, tired, hungry, still allergy affected, and sad about so many things. But I try my best to continue to hang on.

Day 4498 (V:222) - 10/24 - The reflection

Today I decided not to go around the corner when the sun started to encroach on my spot outside the library. I did pack up my laptop and change to just my tablet though. As the sun got on my feet and then legs, I felt warm for the first time all day. I hadn't taken any layers off yet, nor did I during the rest of the day after. It was nice to be at least a little warm for a bit.

But as the sun glared more and more into my area it also reflected more and more onto my screen. I only stayed about 30 minutes extra before it was too bright. But as it passed onto my screen, the reflective nature came out and I saw an old man there. Sunken eyes with bags, wrinkles under the cheekbones, and a bit of skin loose under the neck. Is this me now? Is this tired ghastly sight what I've become?

I don't think I'm always like that. The dark circles and puffiness I can supposedly change. And I don't remember seeing the sagging on my cheeks before. I hear elasticity of skin has to do with diet as well. So maybe that can change in time when I'm not in this awful position.

But this ghast reflected back might be me for now. I don't know when I'll get a chance to sleep enough to remove the bags from under my eyes. And I don't know when I will have good enough diet again to recover and reduce my loose skin.

So today I yet again wonder... even if I do ever get back to a home, can I ever be me again? Or has this journey forever taken too much of a toll?

Day 4499 (V:223) - 10/25 - Very tired

Today I feel very tired. I don't know if it's a mix of missing vitamins due to diet, allergies, general exhaustion from stress, or what. But I feel very very tired. Not necessarily sleepy, which is strange, but just overall tiredness. And I still feel like I've recently been walking way way way too much, as if I've walked several miles.

I was outside the library again today. It was quiet, but not as eerily quiet as it was last week. There weren't many around, and pretty much my only constant companion was the 'keeka thwumpuh' of the voting box being opened and closed 25' from me just around the building's corner. There was an occasional walker or parent with youngling in the lawn area, but they were very few.

So far my days not at the library have evolved into Monday and Thursday not there, to give the illusion during the week I'm not there all the time. But really the past two weeks have kind of shown that might not be necessary. Yes, there are one or two regular walkers past my area during the week, but that's really it. The rest are very rare, or don't notice me (since I'm to the side of a walking path, half-hidden by bushes and a half-fence.) And I only saw the gardener who doesn't like me maybe two days during the week, and he was far enough from me he wouldn't have been able to see me.

So I may increase my visits, or keep them to this schedule, I'm not sure. The big problem is it doesnt have a bathroom. Which while it doesn't limit my food choices too much, is a bit of a limit. But more-so the weather will be the big limiting factor. Unlike the previous months it is rapidly starting to get cold. Today I haven't yet taken any layers off, and my knees were so cold they felt chilled. So the cold may very rapidly become an issue more than anything else.

So I guess, as always, I really have no control, and really can only pick the least bad of several bad options. And I won't know what the future will hold. All I can do is continue to hope my options improve... in time.

Day 4500 (V:224) - 10/26 - Way too cold

Today started out way too cold. I knew it was getting too cold lately, so I've added my final winter layer of long underwear over my regular underwear. I was very tempted to go to be outside of the library, but I didn't. I continued my plan of not being there all the time. In a way I'm glad I did. With the extreme cold, and what felt like a strong icy breeze, it was way too cold to stay out in the morning. So I just went back to my car after only watching about one hour of my stream I watch. I guess my exhaustion hit me too, as I almost immediately fell asleep for about an hour. At about 11:30 it was warm enough to be outside to watch the rest of the stream, though even then it was still chilly.

I may just go outside the library all the time during the bulk of my days though. It is really too sad to not now that it is so cold. It wouldn't be if it were still warmer. It is the same cold outside no matter where I am, so there is that, but I could do whatever with my laptop, which hopefully would help me to not feel so sad. At least until it gets too cold to be out at all. Then I don't know what I'll do. And November, December, and January are going to be really freezing. Possibly two months past that if it's a cold year.

I would worry about gas though, as that puts my gas cost back up to about $7-8 a week compared to what that probably is for a month of me not going. Donations have almost completely stopped lately, save for the two scheduled per month, and those really don't even quite cover car insurance. If dad sends his regular amount over the holiday I'll be ok through the end of the year on bills. But things like if I go to school next year, or my bills after the end of the year, I'd have no money for.

Today I saw extra sad reminders about Halloween. A few times I saw people walking buy with spooky things from a craft shop in the shopping center. I can't remember the last time I bought decorations, let alone when I could put them up. I miss that terribly, and this is yet another year that's come and gone that I won't be able to. With other holidays rapidly approaching that I won't be really celebrating because of my sad life.

But it seems I can control nothing, especially now with everything going on, adding even more limitations to my life. All I can do is try my best to hang on. One day at a time.

Day 4501 (V:225) - 10/27 - Cold Tuesday

Today I expect it will be very cold. It still seems so weird that we've dropped from mid 90s weather to low 70s in just a couple of weeks. I mean, sure, this is when it's supposed to be cold, but such a sudden dip seems weird.

I hope I can continue to hang on. Limitations of where I can connect or get power, let alone both, are limited enough with everything going on. Adding on a possibly plummeting temperature and I don't know how I'll manage to stay warm and healthy enough to hang on emotionally. I guess all I can do these days is continue to try my best to hang on, one day at a time.

Week 644

Day 4502 (V:226) - 10/28 - Slightly warmer

Today, and actually yesterday too, it has been slightly warmer. I don't know if it's genuinely a bit warmer, or if it's because that freezing wind isn't around, so it just seems warmer. Either way, for the moment I am not so cold. I still have my full winter layers on though, and at no point in the day am I taking any off, so it's still on its way to getting very cold. The time shift this weekend may actually help with not being so cold in the morning, but I'm sure overall the weather will be extremely cold all the time.

My most anticipated game has been delayed by a month. It's still coming pretty soon, but not as soon as expected. I'm actually considering getting something else first that comes in a couple of weeks, since the other could likely be gotten with gift money that will come through the holidays. I'm still very worried about the bills. With still seeing no second stimulus in sight, I'll have to be extremely careful with any money I have since there is still a bigger critical unpaid bill, and the mystery of if school will reopen at the start of the year or not. (Which would require an additional $75.)

I had an ok time in my game and chatting with people in the stream. I guess for what the day can be, today (so far) wasn't that bad. Of course it wasn't in a home. It wasn't even in a building at all, but it was more than nothing in my car. But I'm still so very sad. I still miss so many things. And every year end seems to be getting worse, and each feels like the odds it will be my end become greater and greater.

Day 4503 (V:227) - 10/29 - Otherwise good day turned bad

Today was an otherwise good day turned bad. In the morning I decided to go outside the library while it's still 'warm enough' to do that, as I spiral into great depression if I don't. (And even if I do it's difficult to not be so sad.) I was pulled over and given a ticket for brake lights being out. Apparently the top one works, but the back two don't. I tried changing the fuse, but there was no change. So now I have to spend nearly all of what I have to get lights in the hopes that fixes the problem. And on top of that I'll have to go through the whole ordeal of going somewhere to pay them like $40 to check that off that I did it. (The person swears their local station can do it, but I very distinctly remember checking everywhere and the closest one was like 30 minutes away.) Which I not only don't have money for the lights, I definitely don't have a spare $40 or more for the ticket.

And so all day I've been nervous and feeling like I'm going to throw up. It's going to take all the money I have for gas to try to get lights. I'll be left with one normal week of gas and that's it. But the greater fear is; what if the lights don't fix the issue? I suppose the fact that the third works indicate it should, but it seems odd that both side ones are out. What if it's an issue on the line? Or the computer, which I've been told is on the fritz? I have to sell the car? It's worth nothing due to all its issues.

I guess I'll know more in maybe a bit when I go get the lights. But I may not be able to verify if they seem to be working until at least several hours from now when it's dark. And even if it's the 'best case scenario' and that does fix the issue, that's still about $50, or more, to fix, and I have no money.

Today it seems like a reminder I am not in control. Things I am blamed for which are not my fault, yet I am made to suffer the consequences. And even trying to do stuff to alleviate my sadness and depression can lead to more suffering because my not normal life forces me into these choices.

Day 4504 (V:228) - 10/30 - Fixed, and dead signal

Today I feel a bit better. Yesterday the change of the lights did seem to work, both seem to be working as they should. So that is... dealt with. It's not "taken care of" though as I still have to get the ticket in the mail, do whatever to get it checked off, and pay a fee of around $40, which I don't have money for.

The bad news yesterday continued in the evening as my signal went completely dead while watching things. As I feared, since the store I sit in front of closed all their locations, they also shut down their wireless. I was really hoping that was connected to the mall building and that wouldn't happen. So now I not only have to use a different store signal, which are all worse in that area, but I have to sit somewhere else, which will both be in a 'higher traffic area' as well as being a worse signal.

Today outside the library I tested defying the sun, as the time change will shift it to a pretty early time. I put up an umbrella to shield things. While it shielded electronics ok, it didn't shield me much. The glare and squinting my eyes made it difficult to see, and my chest and head were very hot. I guess really there isn't much choice and I'll have to go around the corner or go to my car. I guess it's fine, even after the time change it would only be 2 hours of my time.

So today I feel a bit less worried about the ticket, though this stress will remain until it's clear. But the thought of needing more money, and the total of what I need for that, for the web space bill, gas, and if I do go to school next quarter, just to get me through to the end of January, feels like an overwhelming sum. Thankfully I suppose it's only about $100 over what I expect to have if dad sends his yearly amounts, but that is a huge amount these days. And that may not happen since he had heart issues lately and had to get a pace maker. This doesn't even count the two games I'd really like to get during that time, which even just the base versions would be another $125. Without them, I'll have nothing at all for the Xmas and holiday time.

But all I can try to do is adjust to change I need to adjust to. And hopefully help and gifts will come in time. And hopefully I can continue to hang on, physically, and hopefully the more difficult task of hanging on emotionally.

Day 4505 (V:229) - 10/31 - Sad holiday

Today is a very sad holiday. Normally it would be pretty ok, even more so one of the better holidays if I were in a home. But I'm not. So all I have to celebrate are a couple of movies I got from the library to watch alone.

I'm extremely low on food too. Counting out what I have things may get very rough in the next few days. I'm not sure where the money went. I don't remember eating too much more than normal. I was really hungry a few days due to this cold, and I did eat a bit more, but with how short I am things seem way off. Well, I have what I have and that's it. Thankfully I have a gift card for a food store, so that helps, and I'll get a special food thing to have at least a little celebration tonight. But it will still be tight. And then nearly all of the gift card money will be gone. Which, granted that's what it's for, but I'd rather save it for special occasion use more than 'every day food needs'.

I suppose other than extra sad feelings about the holiday the day wasn't too bad. I had a good connection, though with my sad feelings and limitations I just did pretty basic things online. But I suppose I survived the day so far, and hopefully I can continue. Hopefully I can hang on. And maybe someday I can have a regular Halloween time again.

Day 4506 (V:230) - 11/1 - Different patterns

Today I extended my time outside the library. I hid from the sun behind my umbrella again. Of the 2 hour window of sun about half of that didn't need shielding. It was gray and overcast enough that it diffused the light to the point of being just a light overall glow. The latter half did get overly hot on my chest and face. To be safe I even took of my headphones during that time and put them in the shade so they wouldnt get hot.

I still worry about being there every day though. No one saw me today really. There was an old man that came by, and a couple of others started around the corner of the building, but turned around upon seeing me. None of those people would be likely to remember me. Really it is still just one regular lady who wanders by during the week that is the only regular. Even the gardener who doesn't seem to like me who was regular seems to show less than once a week these days, and often in places he wouldn't see me.

I guess being there more is ok, especially since the bulk of the foot traffic will likely be almost zero after the election box is taken away. And I suppose I should enjoy it while I can. While gray skies may become more common, making it easier to avoid the sun during those hours, I'm sure I only really have two months, at most, before it becomes really too cold to be outside at all. Things will rapidly become worse once that happens.

But my life continues to be terrible. And really there are just reminders that these days I have no control. And in the coming months I suppose I will have even less. All I can do is try my best to adapt how I can. Try to continue to distract myself how I can. And try to hang on to what little happiness and health remain.

Day 4507 (V:231) - 11/2 - Heartbroken and worried

Today I am feeling heartbroken and worried. I got a gift card from dad for Halloween. Which while great, isn't something I can use for bills, so that has thrown off my estimate of what I could get from him for paying bills. While it's not impossible to get enough cash to pay the bills, it seems much less likely. So I am worried I may not have enough to pay the critical bills that are coming due very soon.

Additionally, without what I expected, it seems unlikely I'll be able to have enough to get any of the games I was hoping to get. Even just getting one seems like it may be impossible to get at this point. And in a week the first of the three will launch.

I was worried in the morning, as I heard a pop when I plugged in my laptop. There was no power to the laptop or tablet. Thankfully the plugs out there are made like indoor ones, and pushing the reset button on the circuit fixed things. But it made me very fearful, as that is really the only spot I can use for both power and a signal. While I may be able to get a signal outside of the food store, without power my laptop can only game for 2 hours at the most. And now with the preferred spot being in a dead zone that forces me into a high traffic high risk area; to both my laptop and my health.

But I suppose all in all today was ok. When the sun came I was warmed for a few hours, a rare thing these days. But as the spot fell into shade I got chilled again. I worry it will get very cold very soon. The weather app showed it would have a high of 55F on Friday for some reason. Today it showed 75F, so something seems off that it would drop that fast by Friday.

But still, now at the close of the day, while it was a better day, I feel more heartbroken than ever about my chances of having enough to pay the bills. And the biggest is only 1.5 months away. And that I may have no new holiday games at all this year.

Day 4508 (V:232) - 11/3 - Hopefully ok Tuesday

Today will hopefully be ok. I hope it will not be too cold. I hope the spot I go to is ok. I hope what little gas I have left continues to hang on. I hope help for the bills comes soon. And above all I hope we can all continue to hang on.

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