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Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer
Book 14: Distant Memories

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 689

Day 4817 (V:541) - 9/8 - Not yet

Today I am sad I'm not yet excused from possible jury duty. But I'm also not super worried, as today was only really the mid-way point for the between time. There are still four more 'for sure work days' that they should be meeting and deciding things before I'm called back in again.

My heart felt nervous all day. I felt like I might have a panic attack about needing to go in when I was at the food store in the morning. So I still very much hope I do get dismissed soon so my nerves can start going back to normal.

I suppose besides that the day was about as good as could be expected. The connection at the library was a little wobbly, but mostly stable. And it was almost completely empty of people until just a few hours before I left. I'm still nervous when there are people in the library, but it's usually a reasonable number, and people usually aren't closer than about 15 feet from me (and are often double that distance.)

But as always, I can't control things. All I can do is try my best to do the best options for me that are controllable. And hopefully I can continue to hang on until better days.

Day 4818 (V:542) - 9/9 - Gray again

Today it's gray again. It was warmish in the morning, but in the late morning it started to get rainy and gray looking. Now in the early evening it's actually kind of chilly and I expect I'll change back to pants tomorrow.

I was less fixated on possible jury duty, but it was still in the back of my mind constantly. My heart has felt bad and nervous all day. I hope things aren't getting permanently worse for my health due to this extra stress. I was going to check my blood pressure, but there aren't any machines around that I know of.

I got some time with my open beta for my new MMO. It's happening for the next few days. It's still super fun, even though this is basically a re-do of stuff I've done before. And it's good I got to do it because I may be changing my mind on the weapons I'll use. I mean, sure, I expect to go back and forth even after launch, but to have a plan before launch will be helpful.

I guess, all in all, I hung on as best as I could today. Still no release for jury duty, but we are about half way through the before time, so there are still a few days left that could release me before needing to go back for on location questions. But all I can do is try my best to hang on.

Day 4819 (V:543) - 9/10 - Forgot to shave

Today I felt not great. I've been feeling pretty congested, coughing a bit, and it feels like there is a bunch of hair stuck on the back of my throat? That may be due to the mask fraying. As they get older they start to fray apart. Though it could also be nerves. There was still no dismissal, meaning technically there are only two more work days they could dismiss me before I need to go back.

I guess today was pretty good though. I apparently forgot to shave in the morning. I guess I forgot it was Friday when I was heading to my outside the library spot and didn't even think about it until I felt hairy and itchy in the afternoon. I thought about doing it after the library closed, but there are a lot of people around then. I'll just wait until the morning when the bathroom should be empty of people.

As always, all I can do is continue to hope things get better, and try to hang on until then.

Day 4820 (V:544) - 9/11 - What day is it?

Today my brain seems whacky. It forgot to shave yesterday, then today it didn't feel like Saturday. It felt more like Sunday. Though I did remember to shave in the morning, so I'm nice and smooth and not itchy.

I got enough sleep, though I'm still losing some due to stress of possible jury duty. Someone mentioned we lost more to the virus yesterday, in a single day of the pandemic, than we did in the terrorist attacks so many years ago on this day. And that's an on-going daily number.

But I guess today was ok. My game had a touch of lag early on, but most of the day it was ok. I had time with my new MMO beta, and it's good because some things have changed, so I do still want to think about this and that. And I watched a show in the evening.

I feel very tired. I think maybe because of this cold. I was sneezy a few times today, and I'm extremely hungry, both are usually signs of a cold. But, as always, all I can do is try my best to rest as well as I can, and try to hang on. And hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 4821 (V:545) - 9/12 - Feeling bad

Today I'm feeling pretty bad. I've had a pretty bad headache most of the day, I'm feeling hotter than it seems I should be, and I'm exhausted. It may be due to my cold, it may be due to the heat, or it may be due to another lost 2-3 hours of sleep last night in a long line of lost sleep nights.

I guess today was about all I could hope for. There were only a couple of people who came by, and the homeless guy that lives in the building downstairs either wasn't there, or was completely silent, so I didn't get reminded of my own homelessness. (Though that's never really fully out of my mind.) The connection was basically solid and stable all day. And today was the last day for the beta of my new MMO, which is launching in two weeks. Which is good because they made some changes since last test, so I had a chance to re-think things, and I learned a bit more about what things I want for what different roles. So I have an even better idea of what to look for once the game actually launches.

I watched some shows too. One was a few episodes of a comedy, and the other was a more serious show, so that was nice.

But I'm still very stressed about going to jury duty this week. I still hope I'm released because even the thought of being back in that small room for 8 hours a day for several weeks is freaking me out. I tried looking for a way to send the document I wrote to them, but there are only phone numbers listed. And the judge I'm with isn't even listed at all on the site. So I guess I have to still keep waiting to give them the document in person on Thursday. And try to keep hoping in the between time I get a call or email and I'm released before then, so I can go back to my normal levels of homeless stress.

Until then I try my best to relax where I can. And try to hang on until better days.

Day 4822 (V:546) - 9/13 - More lost sleep

Today I'm pretty exhausted. Last night my heart started freaking out when I 'went to bed' thinking about jury duty. I couldn't sleep for like 3 or more hours. I guess technically they shouldn't be meeting today, but I still hope I'll get dismissed as soon as possible so my life can go back to just my normal homeless worries.

Nothing really different today. There was a beautiful girl here for a bit. I think she works nearby or something. She only stays about an hour when she does visit, and it's almost always around the same time. There is a new special show posted, so that will be fun to watch. But that was really the only things different today.

I continue to try to hang on, and hopefully I'll be dismissed from duty soon.

Day 4823 (V:547) - 9/14 - Hoping for dismissal

Today I don't know what to expect. Hopefully everything will be fairly homeless normal. And hopefully maybe I will get the good news that I'm dismissed from jury duty and my stress can start to calm down again. But all I can do is try my best to hang on. And hopefully I can make it to better days.

Week 670

Day 4824 (V:548) - 9/15 - Hardship form

Today I called the court to see if I could submit the document I made about my physical and emotional condition. I was sent a form to fill out. And it was kind of upsetting / disappointing because it looks like it's a single form for financial hardship and emotional/medical hardship, meaning when the judge asked people to stay if being on the jury would "cause financial hardship, such as losing their job or being unable to pay rent or buy food," it should also have included physical and/or emotional hardship. I submitted it around 10:15 in the morning, and as of 5 I hadn't heard back. I will try to get online later tonight, and maybe quickly before I head there in the morning, but all I can do is hope I'm released at this point. My heart was racing most of the day at the thought of needing to go back and be surrounded by people. Possibly for as long as all day.

I guess my day was ok other than that, but I really can't remember much of it. So much of it was lost due to constant stress and worry.

Day 4825 (V:549) - 9/16 - Officially released

Today started pretty stressful, but became quite a relief. I got up a bit early to head to the court summon since I never heard back last night or this morning. My heart rate was somewhat calm on the drive there, as it was a pretty nice street and area for most of the drive. When I got in I started to get pretty nervous being around so many people, especially with the thought I may be there 8 hours. I counted about 60 potential jurors from what I saw waiting outside in the hall, most within arm's reach of one another. My hands were getting shaky and I was starting to feel a touch sweaty as we went into the courtroom. I guess it is bigger than it seems, as all the jurors fit with the 8 or so staff, and most were 1 or 2 spaces apart from one another. (Still far closer than the 6' they should be. They probably weren't even 3' apart.) They took roll and my heart was racing.

But my name wasn't called. At the end the judge asked if anyone was here who wasn't called. Me and about one other person raised our hands. She asked who I was first and I said my name. The bailiff asked if I had emailed yesterday and I replied yeah in the morning. As he was looking me up, the judge said she thought she remembered I asked for a dismissal. I said yes, and she said she had approved it, said I was officially dismissed, and thanked me for responding to the summons and coming in today. She seemed super nice about it. It seemed odd I had to go in to get a response though.

A small part of me felt sad about hearing I was dismissed. I think it was the part of me that always thought it might be cool to be on an important case like this. But too I think it's the part of me that wants to be picked for things; to be seen as having value, being desired, and appreciated, for doing a thing.

But the emotional and health side of me is very relieved to be dismissed. I was becoming a wreck for just the 45 minutes I was there. And now, my system is starting to relax. My heart feels calm, and slow, for the first time in probably two weeks. I can't remember the last time I felt like this. I'd been stressed so much for so long it put me out of whack. I'd guess it is maybe like dancing or doing an exercise for a prolonged time, when your heart rate is high, and you just kind of get used to it like that. It's only when it stops being like that and things that go back down to normal you notice how off it had been.

Of course not going is also good for the car. While it didn't show bad signs on the first trip, returning an hour later it did blink the oil light a few times. And I felt just the very slightest reduction in RPM when stopping a few times.

I got back basically just in time for the library opening. I think I got there about 5 minutes after. There were about 3 people total in the side I sit in that I could see (spread over a space that is likely 6x or more larger than the courtroom). I think within about 30 minutes my heart rate had mostly calmed down to how I feel now. I still think it may take a while to fully recover and go back down all the time. But the day was pretty good, though the connection was kind of garbage. I got a minimum amount of playing done, but even videos that buffer were starting to have issues playing by the afternoon.

So today I am released. I am far less stressed. Though it will probably be a bit to get back to 'homeless normal', I feel much much safer. At least as safe as I can be with being homeless these days. And hopefully I can start sleeping again. And maybe I can hang on a little bit easier again.

Day 4826 (V:550) - 9/17 - Surprise time

Today I got a bit of a surprise. I get to spend a few days in sanctuary. Which is good because the connection at the library was super terrible again. It again even had trouble playing buffered videos. Hopefully in a couple of days when I am back it will be clear and stable again.

So today I got to sort of have inside time, and a good connection, and will be able to sleep in. At least for a short bit. And I can try to relax where I can, and continue to try to hang on as best as I can.

Day 4827 (V:551) - 9/18 - Feel a bit sad

Today I feel a bit sad. I got to do a laundry and take a shower, but I'll be back on the street soon. I'm sad that I don't know when I'll be in a home again. I'm sad I don't know when I'll have a chance at a regular life again. At this point I don't even know when I'll have regular public showers or access to a microwave again.

All I can do is continue to try my best to hang on. And hopefully I can make it through.

Day 4828 (V:552) - 9/19 - Maybe recycling again

Today I was back out and homeless again. I feel pretty sad and my heart feels... weird. It may be related to a lot of congestion I'm feeling in my throat and neck (lymph nodes), but it could just be my generally poor health and extra depression.

About a few weeks ago I noticed a big vending type machine with a full sized screen at the food store. This is a huge screen, like 5' tall by 3' wide. Maybe about a week ago it became functional and appeared to be some kind of new school recycling. So I've been putting together how to do that. I tried this morning, but I guess I was missing a step. There was a lady using it on my way out, so I asked her and saw what I was missing. In theory that is set up now, so over the next few days I'll turn in what I have. (I figure since you have to put them in one at a time I'll do a bit a day until done, as once I'm caught up I can do it just once a week super easy.) It's supposed to be the same value as the place that's too far to safely drive in my car, so that is great, especially since that saves me like $3 in gas and about an hour of time.

I guess the day was just about as good as expected though. It was a bit chilly, but with the cloths I have on the weather was fine. Only two people came by all day, so I didn't feel really at risk. And though I did hear the downstairs homeless guy a few times, he was basically quiet all day. The connection was strong and stable, so I could play, watch, or do what I wanted without trouble.

I guess today was about all I could hope for lately.

Day 4829 (V:553) - 9/20 - Library without power

Today apparently the library has no power. They don't know why, and it's now a bit past noon and they still seem to be without power. They only let people in to do pickups, no one could stay or browse, so I've been outside, as I was yesterday.

I guess it's not terrible. It's a warm enough day with a slight fresh breeze. And since it's a weekday the downstairs homeless guy isn't here. There was even a worker eating lunch there a few minutes ago. The connection is stable and strong, and outside even has a less strict firewall, so I have access to actually more things than I otherwise would. (Though I can access games that are firewalled in the library through a vpn. It's just that has a limited amount of time per month without paying.) So I guess besides having to pack up to go to the bathroom some 50 feet away today will really be pretty much the same as inside.

I did do recycling this morning. Things are finally set up on that. It will take a few more days to empty the car, since there's a limit of like 50 recycled items of each type per day, but that's fine.

Oh, there was one very bad thing this morning that's put me in a sad mood. Someone mentioned a critical update was ready, so I tried updating my tablet. It didn't work wirelessly, so I tried connecting it to my laptop. It said the update was 4.6 gig, which explains why it didn't do it wireless, as my tablet is always like 98% full. The OS is like 10 gig of the 16 gig, so I barely have any room for anything. So that took about 45 minutes to download. When it was done it gave an error updating. And again. And so I had to abandon the update and restore it from scratch, which took another 45 minutes. It seems like it fully restored ok, but that was a whole lot of extra stress and sadness I didn't need.

So a lot of disappointing, heartbreaking, and sad things at the start of today. I guess I'll be outside the library today, but hopefully the rest of the day will go as any outside day would.

Day 4830 (V:554) - 9/21 - Hopefully power again

Today hopefully the library will have power and be open as normal. I don't know what to expect today, as it will be a pretty regular day. It is one week until my new MMO launches, so that is pretty exciting. But there isn't anything new or exciting this week save for all of the court ups and downs. But hopefully things will settle back down to normal today.

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