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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 651

Day 4551 (V:275) - 12/16 - Still sore back

Today was pretty good. I didn't sleep quite as long. I think I got about 9 hours, which is still more than normal. The night before was again 10, which is crazy.

I did need to go outside for a bit to the food store and it seemed warmer outside than it was in the ex-garage. It was the same a few days ago too. I guess the ex-garage is just always a bit colder than outside. I think the only time I've known it to be warmer was in the summers when it gets really hot, and then the outside rapidly cools at night. I think that's the only time it remains hot.

I had a pretty good time today. I tried to relax. My back is again kind of killing me though. I guess softer surfaces aren't great for it. Though I did lose right around 4 hours to editing, so that was sad. Adding video versions has significantly increased the amount of work. With my 5-10 views on them so far each I'm not sure the extra average 2-3 hours is worth it, even if it is only once every 3 weeks.

But I was ok today. A bit chilly. A bit sore. But I suppose better than normal. I certainly felt a lot safer. But even in the ex-garage everything feels pretty sad and terrible still; an uncertain future. But I continue to try to hang on. And at least it was a little easier.

Day 4552 (V:276) - 12/17 - Bacon and pizza

Today was pretty good. I got to do laundry, which I thought I barely had anything to wash, but after taking off all the layers I have to wear to stay warm in these cold times it was nearly a full load just from that. I got to run that while taking a shower.

I got some yummy treats too. While I did that the ex-roomie was getting some bacon ready to put in soup, so I got to have some. I don't know how long it's been since I had any. Probably at least 7 or so years, as the only time I remember having any was spending too much money for a breakfast from a fast food place in celebration of a lot of overtime and an extra early morning shift.

I got another yummy treat too, as she got pizza. It was a thicker crust one, which I like, and I overestimated how much I would eat by getting three pieces. It was fine, as most of a piece is left for tomorrow.

I guess today was a pretty good day if still very sad because of the sad things that are always at the back of my mind.

Day 4553 (V:277) - 12/18 - Normal sleep

Today was the first day I had a 'normal' amount of sleep of 8 hours. I guess if I do ever get back into a home that seems like good news, as that means sleep may catch up in as little as a week. Though I'd still guess it would be several to fully return to a normal eating and sleeping schedule.

I shaved my hair down this morning, a sort of final step after shaving the sides off yesterday. It seems the top is even worse than I thought. The thinness now goes basically completely over the top. Only the 'back' of what once was a mohawk can still grow a normal thickness. It makes me very sad, as I feel very old thinking about it or seeing it in a reflection. I know it's likely not something others would really 'see' or care about, especially if I start fully shaving and wear hats all the time. But I can't help but picture my grandpa, or even my dad in his later years. It reminds me of my age, my mortality, and the fact that at most I probably only have 35 years left. And of those years my mental faculty and ability to control my parts to game and do daily things may only last half that long. And too, many don't even get their full life expectancy. What if I only have half? A quarter? Less? A bad end feels closer and closer all the time.

Day 4554 (V:278) - 12/19 - Vacation is over

Today my vacation time is over and I'm back to my regular homeless (during virus time) life. It was a very sad day for a great many reasons. It's also indeed starting to get colder. I don't think I saw the temperature above about 45F all day. My hands were half numb all day and night. At one point I had a hard time playing games because I couldn't feel my finger clicking the mouse button.

I guess things aren't all bad though. Yesterday there was a warning message on my phone about the area being at a very high alert status. I checked the website it referenced and saw nothing different. Checking a social feed they had for the site there was a reference hospitals are at 7% (below the 15% they want to feel safe), but it also stated 'there were plenty of beds still'.

The crowd outside the library was just as high as when it was at its lowest alert level in my area. So people are either tired of staying inside, or no longer care about the restrictions in terms of what's open or closed. I did notice more people have masks on than before (who were just walking around), and two families did not come down the building path to cross past me (whereas before families would sometimes repeatedly cross in front of me), so I guess people may not care to follow all the restrictions, but are being more careful, which may be the more important thing anyways.

But things are still very terrible for me. I suppose, so far, my health is hanging on, as poor as it's getting. And with now my most important winter bill paid, and my most recently wanted game, and two other big ones gotten on sale, I have several things to help me hang on. (At least for a couple of months until big bills start to near again.)

So I try my best to hang on. I hope the vaccine does well and we can get a swift return to normal. And hopefully I can make it to better days.

Day 4555 (V:279) - 12/20 - Fading rapidly / misfiring mouse

Today memories of my vacation are rapidly fading. It feels like a month ago when it has only been a couple of days. It was super cold again and my hands were kind of half numb up until nearly 1 when we were approaching the blinding hour. These days about 1-5 are the only hours my hands and feet aren't at least partly numb.

My mouse has started dying further than just having terrible wireless battery life. For the past almost week, mostly just when not gaming, it will misfire clicks, causing a single click to be registered as double, or double to be triple. I'm going to have to be more careful with clicking. Thankfully it doesn't seem to be affecting gaming at all yet, but my need for a replacement may come much sooner than not. I expect I already have nearly all I'll get for Xmas time, so I'll have to see if anyone sends one for a gift, as there isn't spare cash for one. While I do have probably a teeny bit of cash left from previous gift money, really I should keep the two gift cards I have and that cash for bills. They will come much faster than I'd like, no doubt.

Today seemed to pass pretty quickly. I think it was probably the cold affecting my brain function. I remember the day, what I did, how I felt, but it felt like I was running on automatic. Just doing the same pattern as before, and it was no different this time.

I guess, all in all, it wasn't a bad day. Things were about as peaceful as they could be outside the library. My back hurt a bit, and I have a bit of a headache and ringing ears, but other than that I seem ok. (Those might be due to a cold. I'm congested and a few times during the past 24 hours I've coughed up a tiny bit of yuck.) But I suppose overall my health isn't too bad, and I continue to hang on.

Day 4556 (V:280) - 12/21 - Butt towel

Today I did something different to try and keep a bit warmer. Thinking back to years ago I did this before when I was hanging out outside of school all the time. I got a smaller towel and put it under my butt, so I wasn't sitting directly on the cold concrete. It folded three times, though it was pretty thin, so I don't know how much it helped. Especially since for the first hour or so I was there my breath was making a mist due to the cold weather.

There are new rumors that a second stimulus check may finally come. It would be half of what it was before. Doing some quick planning that would basically just cover the remaining car insurance cost for the year, as well as car registration (in July). Which both of those being covered would be a big help, as those are two of the biggest bills during the year. But since it's come to a vote at least twice before and not passed, I won't hold my breath. And with everything as terrible as it is for me, I always expect I'll be excluded from such things.

I guess today was pretty ok though. But I felt weird, and still feel weird. Maybe I have a bit of a cold or fever. My ears are ringing a bit, I feel just a touch off balance, and I have what feels like a sound or image echo, but things aren't really echoing, I just have the feeling like I'm experiencing that. It's hard to explain.

But I got to play some today. Only two people walked by, so I felt pretty safe. And with no one interacting with me things felt pretty calm and quiet. So again I continue to try to hang on.

Day 4557 (V:281) - 12/22 - Xmas approaches

Today I will probably be thinking more about Xmas coming closer. I think I have all the gifts I'll get for the year. So far it is more than I hoped for in recent years, especially with how terrible things are for everyone this year.

I expect though when the holidays happen it will be very tough emotionally. I don't expect anything bad to happen outside the library, but it will be very unusual to be there. So I will probably not be there as much as normal. And with the food store's sitting area closed, once I'm not there I have nowhere to be but my car, which will be extremely unusual if I'm noticed.

But that is 2-3 days from now, and again a week later. Without really being able to plan for today, there's not much reason worrying about a few days from now. While some can look ahead to the future, I am stuck looking straight down, as I don't know when, or if, what is right in front of me will remain.

Week 652

Day 4558 (V:282) - 12/23 - Worried for future days

Today I am worried about the next week or so. The library website showed they will close pickups from tomorrow until the 3rd, so it may be very unusual for me to be outside. I expect the next two days will be empty, so I will probably stay for less time. But hopefully after that at least weekends and days will return to the normal amount until next eve and day.

I was a bit colder than usual due to a chilly breeze and a lot of gray clouds, but overall the temperature was warmer. The car was not frosted over this morning, as it had been nearly a week prior to that.

I guess it was a pretty good day, even though I was cold and did things differently than what I expected. So for now I continue to hang on. And hopefully I qualify for the second stimulus payment I heard actually passed.

Day 4559 (V:283) - 12/24 - Xmas Eve surprise

Today had a few surprises. The day started pretty cold and a bit sad. It has been cloudy and threatening rain lately, so it's gotten colder pretty quickly. My breath didn't stop misting until nearly 1.

The stream I watch had some extra silliness, so that cheered me up a bit. And in the early afternoon it sort of became a regular weekend crowd outside the library. Though that may have been due to what I discovered a few hours later when I left. The library was open for pickups. I could swear the site said it would be closed today, but I guess that doesn't start until tomorrow.

Also in the afternoon the gray ghost sent a pretty big Xmas gift, so that was a total surprise. I'll have to check things, but most likely that will go to a replacement mouse so I don't have to worry about the continuing death of my current one. Or to a backup drive, as the one I have now is too small. (Especially since the video podcast versions are 5-10 gig each. I've got about 65 gig being eaten up just on the 5 I've done so far.) I'll have to check what's what, but I'd like to not just spend it on bills. With the second stimulus coming I should be ok and be able to save enough along the way for the bills that are coming down the line.

So today had some surprises. It's not over yet, and tomorrow will be much rougher since I expect no one will be out. But we'll see. It is what it is and I can't control or influence much. But hopefully the rest of today will be ok, tomorrow will be too, and I can continue to hang on.

Day 4560 (V:284) - 12/25 - Another surprise gift

Today was better than I expected. People were wishing happy Xmas a lot on the social pages, so that seemed nice. The time at the library wasn't completely empty. Like a slower weekend day to be sure, but enough people were around that I wasn't worried about being there. It was windy an cold, but the wind stopped by about noon, and now at nearly 4 there is a light rain.

I got a pretty big cash gift from the online friend who usually sends gifts for help. So, along with the previous gift I can preorder my next most wanted game (due out in February) and get a new mouse. The one I've been using is still getting worse, but it's still ok to keep as a spare.

So far today has turned out better than expected. It's still pretty early as far as the day goes, but I don't expect any issues at this point. It seems my fears were nothing to worry about, and things worked out ok.

So with all the nice things my spirit is boosted. At least for the moment. And I continue to hang on and hope I make it to forever better days.

Day 4561 (V:285) - 12/26 - Confused

Today I am a bit confused. There were just a few people most of the day, but in the early afternoon it got much more crowded than I expected. And when I left I noticed the library lights were on. I looked closer towards the door, and sure enough they were doing pickup service. So that confused me. I thought they were supposed to be staying closed until the 3rd. I guess that must have been something else and they are doing the usual closed on the eve and day as they always have.

It's a good thing, as that means I don't really have to worry about seeming totally out of place. If they are still open for pickups during the day, then it would seem like I just came by and decided to stick around for a bit. As for the rest of the day I guess things went ok. It felt weird with the days being irregular. It didn't feel like a Saturday. The connection was a touch bad a few times, but overall fine. I was a touch warmer, but it's still really chilly. It poured rain last night and early this morning, but not after I was up and about. Now in the early evening it seems the clouds have completely disappeared.

So I guess while I am still very sad, and much colder than I'd like to be, today was pretty good. And I continue to try to hang on.

Day 4562 (V:286) - 12/27 - Chilly all day

Today I was chilly all day. My hands, feet, and brain were about 20% numb all day. I never really got warm, and certainly was nowhere near as warm as I'd have liked.

The day did go much better than expected. There was guild chat, which is unusual these days. And I did do a lot, though not as much as I'd have liked. It certainly felt a lot less than I'd planned. I was kind of forgetful too. I forgot a couple of minor things I wanted to do. (Research the price of a thing and put something into my trunk that is in the front of my car.)

All in all I suppose it wasn't a bad day, and it certainly felt easier than I expected these holiday days to go. But I still have many sads, and miss so many very basic home things. But I continue to try to hang on until better days.

Day 4563 (V:287) - 12/28 - Very cold

Today was a pretty good day, but I was very cold all day. I was shaking, clenching my jaw a lot, and my hands and feet were 1/3 numb all day. The weather app showed a high of 50F, but with a slight breeze and gray clouds it felt more like 40F, which I guess most of the day it was closer to that.

I guess that asside from the cold the day was pretty good. The connection was good enough. It died a few times in the morning for a few minutes each time. Not a major issue, but sad.

I'm still waiting for the second stimulus, but I am happy for the gifts sent so far and I got a few nice things this year. So I try to hang on through the cold weather, and hopefully I can make it to better days.

Day 4564 (V:288) - 12/29 - Probably a regular Tuesday

Today will probably be a regular Tuesday. I found where my confusion on the closure dates came from. When I log on to the network outside the library it goes to a general city web page. So the 'closed until January' date came from there, referencing things like City hall services (though their building has been closed since the start.) The library specific site still references just being closed Xmas and New Years eves and day.

Boosted by recent gifts my heart is warmed, though my body has been very cold. But I continue to try to hang on until better days.

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