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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 697

Day 4873 (V:597) - 11/3 - Lucky I'm honest

Today has been weird weather. The morning started chilly, with a deep fog you typically see in the city. I could only see about 50 feet in the thick parts, maybe 100 in the thinner parts. But by about 11 it had completely cleared.

I again saw no sign of the bird today after not seeing them yesterday. I think they were reunited with their bird family Monday night, because neither yesterday nor today was there any sign of them or their family on the trees outside.

Yesterday someone was very lucky I am an honest guy. In the late morning, not quite noon, I got up to pee and noticed a check and an envelope on the chair behind me. There was an older guy sitting there maybe half an hour or an hour before, and he must have left it. I assumed the envelop might be some kind of contract that went along with the check, as it looked to be about the thickness of maybe a 10-15 page contract. (Probably 1/2 or 3/4 inch thick.) I grabbed them both and was shocked to see a bank logo on the other side of the envelope. I thought to myself, 'no, this surely can't be a fat envelope from a bank full of cash.' I gently pulled apart one corner. Since it was the rubber cement type of seal I knew it could open a little without damaging the seal. And with a pinch on the corner it was open enough to verify. Sure enough, a bunch of cash. And no small amount as I counted several 20s before they turned to what I think were 100s. Many many 100s. I'd guess this was some kind of give me cash and I'll give you a check deals, and if so this was more than $2000 in cash. I took it downstairs to lost and found and suggested they try and contact that person through their library card ASAP.

I hope that person gets it back. You don't pull that kind of cash unless it's a real emergency. But I couldn't help but think how much help that would be in my sad life if I had kept it.

Day 4874 (V:598) - 11/4 - None for me

Today was ok, I guess. There was nothing really special that happened. I did decide to detour to get an extra shower, which was nice. On the way out of the parking lot I noticed there was a 'free parking' sign taped to the parking ticket machine. If that's the case I won't have to worry about parking there at all. Though that may have just been for a special event and they didn't remove the sign. I'll check on Monday. I will probably take a canned soup too, just in case the cafeteria area is open just a little and there is access to a microwave. Once I can confirm that I could consider doing something like hot dogs to have at least something different to eat for a few days in addition to a once or twice hot microwave meal.

The person who lost their money apparently came back to get it. The librarian said their boss who gave it to them noticed they didn't seem very excited or relived to get it back. I'm not sure how to feel about that. Well, it means whatever the amount it was won't be coming back to me after not being picked up, if that was even a possibility, so that is disappointing.

So for now I remain the same; overly concerned about everything, and hoping help comes in time.

Day 4875 (V:599) - 11/5 - Feeling weird

Today I feel weird. I've kind of felt like I've been forgetting something. I guess in a way that I was supposed to get something or pick something up somewhere.

I've been feeling pretty homesick too. I guess that is just part of the holidays though. As people plan or do things with others it really just reminds me of what I don't have. And what I may have had once upon a time, but may never happen again.

Day 4876 (V:600) - 11/6 - Verified change

Today I feel not the best. I guess I could only describe it like my tendons under my muscles feel... weird. I guess it's sort of like a low level dehydration, but on a much less severe scale.

I decided in the morning, since I was already feeling bleh, to check in on the email change. I guess they are changing due to the old system not being able to do things the (business) industry requires, and that most businesses have already changed over. The person said that the older customers like me are getting a cheaper deal they negotiated with the company that's doing the new system. Looking at doing the system on my own would be more than double the cost, so I guess it's a good deal. And I really don't want to change to an entirely different host, especially after looking around a bit and seeing most would be vastly more than what I'm paying. So I guess I really have no choice. I guess the 'good news' is that I don't have to pay that new bill until mid-January.

In the morning I played my old MMO. There is some new content I was super sad about because I thought I didn't have access to, but I discovered that it's already unlocked. I don't remember getting it, so it must have come with something I already got, or someone gifted it to me and I forgot that happened. Well, this morning I looked at it for just a little bit. But, as usual, I got a bit too sad because it felt like this very nice thing I have to experience in a very limited way. I set it aside and will probably try again later.

I played my new MMO after. I guess I had a good time. I made some progress towards fancy end game things and some good random group activities.

I did want to get a special hot food to cheer myself up, but checking the map and double checking which fast food places take my food stamp card, there really isn't a close place that is affordable in gas. With having no money for gas, the distance to the closest one, which isn't really that far, would be 60% of my gas money for the week. With no money for gas, that's really much too much to spend right now.

I guess overall today was 'better', but I am still terribly worried about the bills, and very homesick feeling.

Day 4877 (V:601) - 11/7 - Early due to cold

Today I left the Sunday spot early due to cold. It wasn't really because of the time change, even though it was right around an hour early. It was just really cold all day. It had started to get colder on Wednesday, and even with an extra hoodie on today I guess I was clenching my teeth most of the day from the cold. I probably should have worn my extra sweats too, but I didn't really realize how cold I was until the early afternoon, just a few hours before I was going to leave.

I even decided to stop playing my MMO early due to the cold making it difficult for me to use my keyboard and mouse. I watched a show and played my card game. Which I suppose is still pretty fun, but it has gotten to that point where if I play ranked I just pretty much repeatedly lose, and really never get out of the lowest rank. Which is not very fun and makes me question if I should continue playing. I probably haven't played in nearly two months before today.

Today was difficult. The cold and clenching my teeth just emphasized the problems and pain I have. And with that it reminded me of the overall loss and suffering during my sad times, and thinking about how much longer it will continue.

Someone randomly invited me to a guild in my new MMO. I did my usual question of what are their beliefs and interests and they gave the typical response of this and that content and they were friendly people. And while it's true they said the same thing 95% of everyone else says, I guess I was kind of mean to them. I suppose it is really difficult to know if the people in the guild would be kind and caring and genuinely interested in having me there. But I don't know... I've always had difficulty understanding why I should accept a random invite when their recruitment is the exact same as all the others. But they were trying to be friendly and nice, and now that time has passed since then, I realize I was probably just lashing out at them a bit because I am extremely sad, cold, and in pain.

Today seemed difficult. But I suppose what makes me the most sad is... this is what my life has become. I don't know when that will change. And I don't know if I will ever truly feel safe or comforted again.

Day 4878 (V:602) - 11/8 - Hot soup

Today I got my shower and confirmed the free parking signs are everywhere. So I took maybe a little bit longer shower, being extra sure everything was shaved carefully and nicely. After, I drove over to the cafeteria area with my canned soup that I got this morning. Surprisingly all of the administration area was gated and dark. The bookstore was gated, but the lights were on and some staff looked like they were planning things, even though there were signs saying it was closed for the quarter. This didn't bode well for the cafeteria area being open, but as I approached the building I noticed someone else was heading towards it, implying she knew it would be open. It was completely open, and even the food cooking area was open, with a sign showing they were open Monday through Thursday from 7 AM to 5 PM.

There were about a dozen in the food court area, with about 2/3 of that number being in one small group. The old floor was taken out and completely redone. Which thinking back on it would make sense, as when I was last there they had some kind of line issue and parts of the ground had cracked open. But it also seems they tore out all of the old booths that were along one wall. While some were getting pretty bad and a bit torn up, it's sad to seem them completely gone, as they were very comfy sitting for people to gather in tighter groups.

On my way off campus, since it was just a slight detour, I decided to visit my old sitting spot in the film/graphic arts building. It felt strange to be there. No one was around, and I didn't expect there to be. But there were suddenly a lot of old memories and feelings. Mostly of the students I'd met and helped along the way, but also a lot of feelings of hope for the future for the students. And of myself.

While I hope these students moved on and found a happy forever job (I know of a handful who have for sure), the memories kind of broke my heart. It reminded me of the times professors tried to help me find a job, and I wasn't qualified for whatever reason. And it reminded me how the professor I TAed for repeatedly promised and failed to help me find temporary or permanent work.

I was reminded of all the hope I felt when I was there. And now I can't help but be reminded that I feel like all of that time, for me, has again seemingly turned out to be a dead end. And that those around me I hoped would help me either couldn't help, or simply abandoned me.

I do hope those I met and helped are doing well and moved on to find at least some of their dreams. But I can't help but wonder what has it meant for me? Was I just an instrument of Fate to help others achieve their goals or better their lives? Or is it indeed like my time with my previous degree and amounted to nothing?

Day 4879 (V:603) - 11/9 - Hopefully forgiving Tuesday

Today will hopefully be forgiving. Hopefully it won't be too cold. Hopefully it won't feel too sad. Hopefully my feelings from Monday will fade and I can try and look to the future.

But hopefully most of all I can forgive myself for my choices, knowing they felt the best and most promising at the time. Hopefully I can continue to trust my instincts and they will lead me where I need to be. And hopefully I can contiue to hang on emotionally and physically until better days. And hopefully I can continue to hang on to hope that help will come soon, and I will be able to cover the bills that seem to be fast approaching.

Week 698

Day 4880 (V:604) - 11/10 - Inside for a minute

Today I got to be inside and safe. I had a pretty good day playing and watching stuff. I got a cooked dinner and got to see a movie.

Not much else to say for the day. It was pretty good, though I couldn't help but feel sad and worried about the bills.

Day 4881 (V:605) - 11/11 - Back out

Today was another day inside. I actually almost forgot to do my writing, so I guess I was pretty distracted. I played and watched a show.

But again I couldn't stop worrying about the bills. And in the evening I will be back out to my regular sad homeless life.

Day 4882 (V:606) - 11/12 - A scare

Today was ok I guess. I'm back to my regular homeless life. I suppose I had fun with my games, but in my new MMO I'm at a point where pretty much no one is doing the things I need, so it may be a very long time before I complete them. My old MMO has a new area I haven't explored yet, so I may spend more time doing that.

But last night I had a scare. I was watching a show where one of the characters died and people were mourning them and it was one of those times I suddenly became very fearful and worried about my own death. I cried just for a minute and almost had to stop watching.

I think because of that today I felt very sad and alone. I missed a lot of very 'simple pleasures'. Things like basic foods, a soft blanket, and stuff like watching a show with a friend. I guess I am just a bit extra shaken for the moment by my usual extreme worries and fears about the bills lately.

But I have to try and hold things together. I have to try to hold on, as difficult as it is. And hopefully help will come soon, and I can pay the bills in time.

Day 4883 (V:607) - 11/13 - Couldn't stop worrying

Today I couldnt stop worrying. I can't shake the feeling that help won't come, and if I do get something for Thanksgiving gifts it will be in gift cards I can't use for bills. I don't know what will happen if that is true. There is no one I can ask for help. The only way I can even try to ask is indirectly, like here with the sad writings. And at this point I really think only a couple of people even read anymore.

There was a cute couple on the way out of the library. Young-ish, maybe in their early 30s, and they had a pretty small daughter, maybe five. The mom rushed ahead to take a picture of dad and the daughter coming out of the library and she said to say cheese, which the daughter did. It was super cute. It made me a bit sad. With what my life is I may never find love again. And if I do, the odds of her wanting kids is effectively zero, because she probably would already have had kids and they would be in their early 20s or older. It seems so much of life has passed me by.

Day 4884 (V:608) - 11/14 - Intestinal issues

Today started out pretty poorly. I was extremely hungry in the morning. My tummy was very grumbly, so I was eating and drinking a bit quickly to quiet things down. I guess though it was a bit too much, as some of the drink got stuck in my throat. I spent probably 15 minutes throwing up four or five times. I probably lost half of my breakfast foods.

I haven't felt super great after. It's 'dinner time' and I still don't know that I would say I have fully recovered from it. I still feel pretty bad. I will try to eat gently and have easier foods, but I really can't do much else. With no money for cooked food I don't have any good choices.

I can eat a bit better in the morning though. I'll be over at school getting a shower and then can micro a meal. It still feels super weird basically no one is around, but honestly I'd probably even go more often than once or twice a week if I had the spare gas money to do so. At this point I am maybe a week or two from needing to use the last of my gift card money. (Which while that is an option, I'd rather use it to sign up for more school classes, some other emergency thing, or even an actual gift. Using it on every-day costs feels very bad.)

So today I felt very bad physically. And since I am still very worried about my bills coming in about a month, I still feel very bad emotionally.

But all I can do is try to hang on and be as restful as I can. Try to hang on. And continue to hope help comes in time.

Day 4885 (V:609) - 11/15 - Quiet day

Today has been a pretty quiet day in the library so far. Only about six people have been in my quarter of the floor I stay on. Things have been pretty quiet and calm overall. Though that may have more to do with the overall gray outside. It looks like the rain may come back soon.

I got a shower at school in the morning. I didn't get the microwave food I was expecting to. I guess it was out at the store due to a sale, or it is not being produced due to changes in the industry since all of this started. But I did get a yummy spaghetti, and some hot dogs for dinner and tomorrow. So that will at least give me something different to eat for a bit. It's been the entire like 1.5 years since things started since I've had either of those.

I'm slowing down on my new MMO. Pretty much there is only a single place to 'grind' for high level loot currently. Which is weird after doing dungeons up to three times a day (until about a week ago). I'm in this limbo spot where I have to wait until I have better gear before I can do them again. I could do crafting stuff, but that's gotten so incredibly slow at the level I'm at it doesn't feel very exciting to do. There are rumor that there are six more dungeons ready to go, so we may see those in the game very soon.

I'm still very worried about the bills. And still very worried help may not come in time.

Day 4886 (V:610) - 11/16 - Hoping more comes

Today I have word that dad sent some cash for Turkey day. It was about all I could have expected from him, which is a huge help for the bills, but I'm still pretty short on having enough to cover them. And the first is due in mid-December.

Hopefully more help will come soon. And hopefully I can continue to hang on.

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