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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 677

Day 4733 (V:457) - 6/16 - Considered going in

Today was so extremely hot I considered packing things up and going into the library. I think it was around 11 that I was already down to just my T-shirt, and by about 1 I kept having to stop my brain from thinking I should take that off too. I think the heat was cooking my brain thinking I should take my shirt off outside in public. (I mean, I could, but it would still be weird.)

I think the day peaked in the low 90s, and part of why I didn't go in when I noticed that around 2 was that the sky almost immediately became clouded over and a cool breeze came, making things feel cooler. It's supposed to hit 96F tomorrow, so if I notice it's passing the 80s by the time the library opens I probably will pack up my stuff and go in. I'd like to avoid it though because I have more privacy and freedom if I'm outside. But since we are hitting summer I don't want my laptop out in 85F+ weather too many days. Though the cooling shows no sign of having trouble, I'd still rather avoid it.

I guess today was good. There was no stream in the morning, so that felt odd. As mentioned it was pretty hot, and I think most of the day I had a heat headache. That might be exhaustion too, as things were pretty bright. I did have fun with my games, and the signal was strong and stable most of the day. The mask law has been relaxed in my state, but for the places I go everything is pretty much exactly like it has been. I don't know if that's because people are volunteering to be on the safe side, or if they just don't know and are following what others do near them.

But my stuff and I survived the day. And so I continue to hang on.

Day 4734 (V:458) - 6/17 - Escape the heat

Today I was considering staying outside, but by noon it had already gotten over 90F. When the library opened at 1 it was pushing 92F and I decided to go inside. There were a lot more inside than I expected only 10 minutes after opening. The seating area was almost 50%, which is I think full under the current restrictions. (They weren't stopping anyone from coming in but I do think things are still capped below normal levels.) Sadly my usual spot was taken, but with only one other person at the table I was ok with it.

It was easier to be inside than I originally thought. I was still nervous, but not super nervous. And it doesn't really hurt that it showed a peak of 100F not too long after. The connection either got upgraded or my old laptop was seemingly suffering a bad card. I think I'd only get 5-15 mpbs before, but testing today on the new laptop I showed nearly 100 mbps. So what I feared might be a slower connection than outside is actually about 2-3 times faster. Though it does still firewall block my old shooter at the library, so I will have to vpn through if I want to do that, but that's fine. I don't play it that much these days.

I pray the heat is lower Friday and Saturday. My tablet weather app shows it's supposed to be 92F and 88F, so things may be too hot the next two days since the library is closed. If it's around 90F or higher I may have to limit play to a few hours at a time and then just stick to videos or use my tablet. Though internal parts run hotter than external temperatures even in hot weather, I get nervous when it gets so hot.

But I guess not counting heat today was pretty good. Though I do have a very sore jaw and cheek muscles. It's like at the neck along my jaw, and then sort of my cheekbones towards my ears. I'm not sure why those muscles hurt so much. It's like if I clench my jaw super tight it might be those. But I guess I survived the day ok. And so I continue to hang on.

Day 4735 (V:459) - 6/18 - Blazing heat

Today is still way too hot. By late morning it was nearing 90F, and when I saw the peak before leaving it was nearing 98F. I had my laptop fan on max most of the day. The temperatures were fine. In fact, the internal temperatures showed lower when idle in the heat than they do on a cool day when gaming. I took a few extra breaks I wouldn't have normally taken to keep things cooler, but I felt ok about temperatures.

I tried buying a soup today and the food stamp money didn't cover it. So, sadly I had to pay $4.25 cash for it. For how much soup I got, that's about 50% more expensive than the name brand canned soups, so it wasn't worth the cost, even considering I can't cook the canned soups. I'll try to avoid that because I really don't have extra cash for that. If I'm going to spend extra cash I'd rather get a full meal since there are much better choices.

I guess I survived the heat and the day ok. My brain is being cooked, and things feel a bit weird because of it, but I guess I'm ok. Hopefully it will cool off very soon, but all I can do is try to continue to hang on.

Day 4736 (V:460) - 6/19 - A bit of a scare

Today started with a bit of a scare. I don't think it's anything to worry about, but it has me shaken. It took hours for my heart and system to settle, and even now nearing evening I feel shaken and worried about what little remains. I am barely holding things together and at the edge of extremely poor health already.

Since I was sad and worried about everything I didn't eat as well as normal. I did eat pretty much what I normally would, but I slowly picked at it. And with each tiny bite I just really didn't feel like eating, though I was hungry and knew I had to eat. Even now nearing evening after 'having dinner' I both feel like I want to eat a lot more and feel like I'm going to throw everything up from stress, worry, and sadness.

I suppose besides that things are ok. The day was cooler. In the morning the temperature was just over 70F, and it wasn't until afternoon that it felt warm, and not until the blinding hour that I started to feel hot. I was not worried about my system temperatures at all, so hopefully things are cooling down a bit.

I guess I made it through the day. I can't control anything. I can only try as best as I can to survive and make it through.

Day 4737 (V:461) - 6/20 - Feeling very unhealthy

Today I'm feeling very sad and unhealthy. The morning started ok. I had yummy foods and kind of felt on the way to actually sort of being happy. At least as much as I can with my sad life, as I always feel some level of sadness deep down. But things started to turn pretty quickly. I started feeling more sad than usual. I kind of lost my appetite and only wound up eating half as much as normal for lunch and dinner. And when I did eat I barely picked at it, and swallowing even the smallest bite felt like my throat could barely swallow. It pushed into my chest and felt... very bad. I was worried something bad would happen as the pains just stayed in my throat and chest, like something had stuck; maybe a heart attack or like I'd just pass out or something.

The day was pretty warm, but not a blazing heat thankfully. I think it topped at around 82F. Most of the day I had my hoodie on. And I think it wasn't until afternoon that I took off my outer long sleeve shirt.

Today I feel extra sad. I feel extra trapped and limited. Extra helpless. Extra alone in my struggle. And I feel like all that lies ahead for me is bleak and unchanging hopelessness.

Day 4738 (V:462) - 6/21 - Still closed tight

Today I still feel very sad. I just got into the library and am settled, so I'm out of the sun and outside weather. Though today it was actually chilly compared to before, at barely 75F when I moved. There aren't many here. I'd guess maybe because it's not as hot as last week. I still feel very sad overall, fearful of change, and worried things may not change. I actually feel kind of shaken now that I'm here, like I may break down and start crying due to fear and stress.

I checked over at school in the morning. I had an odd feeling they may be open. But it was still locked up tight. Even outside areas like the sportball field and outside bathrooms, which seems odd since there were some people walking around (some with dogs some without.)

I guess all I can do is try my best to hang on. Try to choose the best options from the limited choice I have. And hope I make it through ok.

Day 4739 (V:463) - 6/22 - Split Tuesday

Today I don't know what to expect other than it will again be a split day, with part outside, part inside, and the rest in my car. I hope I can start to feel safe and comforted again soon. Even 'good' change is super scary and difficult for me lately, and still I worry with so many others trying to recover if I have any real chance now.

But as always, it seems all I can do is try my best to take care of me, make what seem the best choices emotionally, and try to continue to hang on.

Week 678

Day 4740 (V:464) - 6/23 - The way the cookies crumble

Today started very poorly. The closed throat was so bad that on Monday shortly after my writing I snuck some food in the library and it was having a tough time going down, so I took a drink of water, which was easier, but that got stuck in my throat shortly after swallowing and came right back up again. Tuesday I could barely eat. And when this morning started it was about the same. I could barely take bites. I didn't really feel at all hungry. As the day went by I didn't feel any better in mood or health, but I did become a bit more hungry. So, through the day I wound up eating 3 or 4 small meals instead of the 2 normal ones, each time taking the smallest of bites.

I got some chocolate chip cookies when they were on sale Monday. The ones at the food store are baked there and pretty yummy. And when they are on sale they are cheaper than the brand named ones. I put them in a bag to carry with me because I didn't want them outside in the car in what I assumed would be 85F+ heat. Today I noticed it seemed like some had been crushed, as the bag's bottom 2" or so were all crumbs. Oddly, after moving the solid ones to a solid container, probably only 3 of the original 20 had been completely crushed. A few others were partially crushed, but half were totally fine. (I'd only eaten probably 5 to that point.) So while sad, it isn't tragic. I'm sure the crushed bits will still be yummy, and with my tummy and throat issues lately a near powdered cookie might actually be easier to eat.

I guess the day was ok. It's cooled down to around 75% for the moment, so that is nice. But I am exhausted, in the worst shape ever, fearful of death due to my health issues, and feel generally extremely depressed all the time. My games and shows do still occasionally make me smile, but there is a still constant sadness and heartbreak.

Day 4741 (V:465) - 6/24 - Still barely eating, much sad

Today I'm still barely eating. I guess I did get a bit hungrier for dinner, but I barely ate lunch, and had no desire to have a between meal snack. I am still in a high amount of tooth pain, but it can mostly be managed with the stuff I got. But I am still also very extremely depressed.

I guess I made it through the day ok though. Nothing new bad happened, just a recent level of the same amount of bad and sad.

Day 4742 (V:466) - 6/25 - Showing steel

Today has been pretty sad and disappointing. Yesterday I got help from the Gray Ghost. I was excited to think of what to get with it. The morning was given to help lift my spirits a bit and get food. I'd kind of settled into maybe pre-ordering a game I want and save the rest for food, but I waited to see if I should do something else with it. (Like maybe get some more contacts to have extra, or consider if there are any critical small needs.) The more I thought about it, the more I thought I should maybe check the tires that I know are old, especially since I planned to do them with the rumored extra money California was supposed to get. (Which I haven't seen any of that extra, so I must not qualify as the sending date is now long past.) This morning the right one was showing a strip about 2" long by 1/2" wide of steel bands, a few maybe snapped just a bit. That is basically past the super dangerous part, so I had no choice but to see if I could get some. I got the cheapest the place I got them last time had and got an appointment to do put them on Tuesday. It took everything I had been given and a touch more. In the afternoon I got a call saying they probably won't be in before my appointment time, so I had to change that to Wednesday. It should be fine. It's about 10 miles of driving between now and then total. But it was heartbreaking to be given a gift to lift my spirits, then to be forced to spend them on something necessary for something so basic.

I guess the rest of the day went pretty much as expected. Though I did accidently use about triple the amount of aftershave when I did my shave in the morning, which kind of made me have a normal after shower amount of smell, which was a nice change.

I guess there will be some stress relief knowing new tires will be on, but it still feels heartbreaking.

Day 4743 (V:467) - 6/26 - Slightly better

Today things seem slightly better. I had a good time in my MMO in the morning and got quite ahead on daily things. Though it gave me extra time to look for raids, I didn't find any. I even had a bit of fun in my old shooter, which I haven't played in what feels like a month, but probably really only has been a week or two.

I still had to take little small bites, but my throat doesn't seem as bothered lately. And though my appetite hasn't fully returned, I am a bit hungrier than the past few days. The tooth pain is less today, though would still be pretty extreme for a normal person. I put the numbing medicine on in the morning, and when I started to feel pain again it didn't really bother me to the point of feeling like it was worth putting on again. I guess I could have to keep the pain as low as possible, but pretty much I've always had a low level of jaw/tooth pain my whole life. Certainly since my mid teens on. And the number of times I've been pain free has been pretty infrequent.

I guess really today was about as good as things get for me these days. Though lately hanging on has been much more difficult emotionally and physically.

Day 4744 (V:468) - 6/27 - Cheese

Today was ok, I suppose. I played my MMO and had fun. I played my card game a bit too. I wanted to play my shooter some, but I was out of time. The day seemed to pass much more quickly than I expected. I'm not really sure why.

I didn't want to eat chicken yet again today, so I decided to just have some cheese, grapes, and a handful of chips. I fully expected it to go badly and need to do extra bathroom trips, but everything was fine and normal. I didn't need to do extra, nor did the cheese affect me badly. Which is surprising. I am still taking pretty small bites, and the cheese is extra soft, but my throat didn't have any issues today. So hopefully the closed throat phase of my stress issues is lessening. Though the stress is really increasing lately, so I guess we'll see in time.

The early part of the day was chilly. It took all day until I left my outside spot during the blinding hour before it even got up to 75F. And now in the early evening in my car it's extremely hot feeling, and I'm just in a T-shirt and shorts (took off my boots and socks.) I'm overheating and sweating even with the windows down since there seems to be no breeze.

I guess today was ok, but I still feel sad and heartbroken overall. And it's getting tougher and tougher to hang on.

Day 4745 (V:469) - 6/28 - Smaller bites

Today I had most of my regular (old) appetite, but I guess my throat is closed up a bit more again. (I do feel a general nervous shake and back tension from a scare I had about 7 hours ago.) A few bites were a bit rough going down, so I did smaller bites. I'm not super worried, but I am likely to do two smaller meals later instead of one all at once dinner.

I guess I feel ok-ish. There is a new (short run) web show to watch, so that should be fun. I'm pretty sleepy. I guess overall I feel a bit better than last week, but still very worried about me long-term. While things are starting to open back up to a new normal, we are in the last week of the Fail year, and my future looks less promising than ever before.

Day 4746 (V:470) - 6/29 - Maybe a return to showers

Today I may get a regular shower, like in the before time. While school was locked down when I checked last week, I checked online and there are half a dozen classes in the pool sport area. So hopefully the locker rooms will be open and the showers will be able to be used. It would be odd if they weren't since they have classes in classrooms as well in that area.

Hopefully everything will go ok with the tires tomorrow. I got a reminder email on Monday referencing the Tuesday date. The guy that called was supposed to change that to Wednesday, so maybe their record is separate from the web system. If there is any trouble they will be yelled at (for not having my tires in the first place, and then messing up the appointment time twice.)

I don't know what to expect for today, even the shower is just a hoped for thing right now. Nothing in my life really feels certain or guaranteed anymore. Everything feels like at-risk hopes.

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