Jacob Marks Interview

[This interview contains mild Camp Hell spoilers--JCP]

Hello. This is Carolyn Brinkman reporting for JCP News. I've always imagined it would be fascinating to work for the press, so thank you, Ms. Price, for indulging my journalistic aspirations.

First in the hotseat is Jacob Marks. Male. Caucasain. Brown hair, brown eyes. Forty-five years old, six two, approximately one hundred ninety to two hundred pounds.

Jacob: I'm six three, actually. And 205 at my last weigh in. But thanks.

Carolyn: Really? I thought you just puffed yourself up to make yourself look bigger. All right. Six three and 205.

Jacob: And I don't think it's traditional to begin an interview with a physical description. At least, not like that.

Carolyn: Is this your interview, or mine? Among the Living cover

Jacob: I'm sorry.

Carolyn: That's better. Where were we?

Jacob: I believe you were describing me. Like a detective.

Carolyn: All right. How about this? Jacob Marks is sprawled in his seat, bulging, muscled arms crossed over his chest, straining his shirt, gazing at me with blatant, amused challenge in his deep brown eyes, convinced that no one can break through the slick, confident veneer he's cultivated all these years.

Jacob: Now you sound like a romance novelist.

Carolyn: True. I probably don't need quite so many adjectives. Let's get to the questions, shall we?

Jacob: It's your interview.

Carolyn: Here's one I don't know the answer to already. When did you tell your parents and sister that you were gay? And what were their reactions?

Jacob: Aren't you supposed to get warmed up with something a little easier?

Carolyn: Am I? Okay. What amount of weight do you regularly lift at the gym?

Jacob: I bench ten reps at three-ten. I've gone as high as three-fifty, but it's not worth the risk of tearing a rotator cuff.

Carolyn: Huh. Those numbers mean absolutely nothing to me, but judging by the look on your face, I'll assume they're impressive. What about the coming out, then? Did you even know you were gay in high school?

Jacob: I wouldn't say I was the most self-aware teenager who ever walked the face of the earth. I dated some girls, but…yeah. I told myself I was probably bi, but deep down, I guess I knew. Barbara caught me, actually. It was summer, my parents were both at work, and she was supposed to be at this pool party. Got her period and came home, and there I was, half-dressed, going at it with the captain of the varsity wrestling team. The bed was squeaking so hard I didn't even hear her come up the stairs.

Carolyn: Jacob….

Jacob: What? We were a couple of horny kids. It was just some enthusiastic rubbing off….

Carolyn: First of all, never make light of a woman's period. And second, I don't need the graphic details. How old were you?

Jacob: Sixteen. Old enough to drive, but I was too busy wrestling to get a job and save up for a car.

Carolyn: I'm sure your passion for the sport was all-consuming.

Jacob: Barbara was fourteen. I think I scarred her for life. I'm kidding. Carolyn, I'm kidding.

Carolyn: No, you're not. So she walked in on you with another boy. It was consensual. And you weren't even…penetrating each other. I think Barbara needs to move on.

Jacob: Don't be so hard on her. She's raising Clayton all by herself….

Carolyn: Moving along ourselves…let's talk about your work. How does it feel not to be a Stiff anymore?

Criss CrossJacob: I'm still a Stiff.

Carolyn: You know what I mean. Your ability.

Jacob: That thing I'm not supposed to talk about.

Carolyn: Do you find it hard to keep it a secret?

Jacob: Sometimes. I can't wait to tell my father, but I want to do it in person, you know what I mean? I want to see his face when I tell him.

Carolyn: Did you and Victor visit your family last Christmas?

Jacob: We planned on it, but he got called in to work. I could have gone myself, but that wasn't the way I wanted to remember our first Christmas together. We were still in Vic's old apartment, so there wasn't anywhere to put a tree. I hung a string of lights, made us dinner, we watched the Christmas Story marathon. It was a pretty low-key night.

Carolyn: We went to Doug's side this year. I hate the drive. Good thing I get along with his parents. He's hurt enough that I don't like the drive -- and who would? Four hours in a snowstorm. Since you can lie, and you do it so well, what's your take on falsifying things when it's convenient? Do you think it's wrong to lie about your ability?

Jacob: No, not really. I wonder why that is? I don't think it has anything to do with convenience, hon. It seems like a really personal thing to me, like I don't owe it to anyone to tell them.

Carolyn: Not to mention the recent business with the FPMP.

Jacob: That, too.

Carolyn: Speaking of psychic ability, why are you so turned on by ghosts?

Jacob: Aren't you?

Carolyn: No.

Jacob: But think about it. Psychic talent is still talent. Some people are attracted to painters, or to poets, or guitar players, maybe. I happen to like psychics.

Carolyn: I'll buy that. Maybe. But what aren't you telling me? Spit it out.

Jacob: If I were to say, "Do you believe in ghosts?" people probably have a certain idea of what I mean. Maybe a poltergeist. Maybe a haunted house. But the stories Vic tells, it's like there's this whole other world that exists in the same space as the world we live in, only no one can see it, no one but him. The depth and breadth of the unknown is…profound. How else can I say it? And -- I guess this is a big part of my fascination with the spirit world -- it's comforting to know that there's something after death. That you don't just cease to exist.

Carolyn: I'd rather cease to exist than end up as a repeater.

Jacob: I didn't say there weren't some disturbing ramifications, too.

Carolyn: There's a whole bunch of questions about Victor I'm supposed to ask you. When did you realize you were in love with him?

Jacob: I want to say it was love at first sight, but that's such a cliché. I guess lust would be a more accurate word for what I was feeling. The love? Watching him with Lisa, when she'd hijacked his Auracel and was sick as a dog. He was so tender with her, really sweet, and I got to see through the chinks in his armor.

Carolyn: So you waited until the day after you met him to fall in love.

Jacob: If you want to put it that way.

Carolyn: How would you describe his appearance?

Jacob: Hot. Very hot.

Carolyn: Care to be more specific?

Jacob: He's got the whole rock-star look going on, rail-thin, tight jeans, faded T-shirt. He comes off as really butch, at first. It's that scowl of his. Now that I know him better, I can tell it's focus, rather than anger. He's always filtering stuff out that most of us will never have to deal with, I get that about him now. But when we used to see him at departmental meetings….

Carolyn: Now I know why you were always so picky about where we sat.

Jacob: He looked like such a badass. But then he's got such full lips, a really hot mouth….

Carolyn: We're venturing into TMI here.

Jacob: He's an amazing kisser.

Carolyn: Definitely TMI. You used to say that about Curtis, too.

Jacob: Are you still angry about that? Striking Sparks

Carolyn: Promise me you'll never date one my friends again.

Jacob: You just dodged the question. You're still pissed off. I don't get it -- Crash was the one who couldn't keep his pants on, not me. I called him on it. What else was I supposed to do?

Carolyn: The week after the two of you called it quits had to be the most trying week of my life. Both of you airing your dirty laundry to me at the same time. Constantly. If it wasn't you on the phone, it was him. Doug threatened to turn it off and hide it from me.

Jacob: What did Crash expect? After the first slipup, I told him I wasn't going to stick around if he did it again. And not even a month later….

Carolyn: My guess is that he knew damn well you'd find out and he was sleeping around to force you to cut him loose. There. I said it.

Jacob: Did he actually tell you that?

Carolyn: Well, no.

Jacob: You're taking a gay relationship and trying to apply straight ideas of love and commitment to it. Crash had the old-school "anything goes" attitude, and I didn't. And he wasn't willing to settle for staying with one person. What? You're struggling not to say something. Why bother? You know it'll come out.

Carolyn: It was nothing like that at all. Do you realize you stood him up as often as you saw him?

Jacob: You know how our job is. I always called him if I wasn't going to be able to make it.

Carolyn: Of course I know how our job is. But he's a civilian. The time you were supposed to meet him at the comedy club, he had his mother with him. He was going to introduce you to his mother.

Jacob: I didn't…. What the hell were we…. That was the Simpson trial. Carolyn, you know we were putting in sixteen hour days….

Carolyn: Can we drop it, now? Please?

Jacob: You brought him up.

Carolyn: I'm just tired of you always making Curtis out to be the bad guy. You were never there. And when you were, you were badgering him to get re-tested so he'd score higher than a one. Think about it. Even if he was a six, he'd never try for a PsyCop job. Not for all the money in the world.

Jacob: As jobs go, it does take a lot out of you. How does Doug deal with it? Our schedule, I mean.

Carolyn: Doug and I are honest with each other. We don't have a choice about that, do we? Look, I'm not saying you should've stayed with Curtis even though you were both miserable. I'm not even saying you shouldn't have dated -- like there was any way I could've prevented that from happening once he set his sights on you. I'm just saying that everything that went wrong wasn't his doing. Part of the friction came from you.

Jacob: I never said I was perfect. That's something Crash made up all by himself.

Carolyn: Victor does seem a lot better suited for you than Curtis did, and not just because of his ability. Part of it is that he's a PsyCop too, but maybe part of it is that he's older, so he's more sure of himself.

Jacob: You think Vic's more sure of himself than Crash.

Carolyn: I…I must. I just said it.

Jacob: Huh.

Carolyn: So where do you see the two of you in five years?

Jacob: It doesn't get much better than it is now. The cannery is amazing. Vic is amazing. Maybe we could travel sometime, take a little vacation. See what there is to see a little farther from home.

Carolyn: No wedding bells?

Jacob: That's a moot point.

Carolyn: Is it? The laws seem to be in a constant state of flux.

Jacob: No, not because of that. Marriage isn't in the cards, not while we're on the force. If Vic takes retirement at twenty years, maybe then.

Carolyn: What about you?

Jacob: My twenty's in as of last fall. But don't worry. You won't get rid of me that easily.

Carolyn: I always figured you'd stick around longer than me, and I've got eight years to go. Okay, so no marriage, not right now. What about a will? Have you had your will looked at within the last few months?

Camp HellJacob: Show me those questions.

Carolyn: It's not on here. I was just checking. You also need to make sure Victor's listed as your insurance beneficiary, so if anything ever happened to you he wouldn't lose the house.

Jacob: You and Doug must have scintillating dinner conversation.

Carolyn: Mostly, we talk about what the girls did in school. My family's figured out that Mommy's job makes for gruesome small talk. Especially since I can't sugarcoat it.

Jacob: I'll say.

Carolyn: Here's a question that's slightly less disturbing. What would you like as a housewarming present?

Jacob: We don't need presents. We've got our friends and family.

Carolyn: You mean that, don't you? Try digging a little deeper. What would really make your day?

Jacob: Oh, I don't know. One of those smoothie machines?

Carolyn: How are those any different from blenders?

Jacob: I'm not sure. The spigot's on the bottom, I think. Or maybe one of those gourmet coffee makers that grinds the beans, though I'll bet they're brutal to program and clean. To be honest with you, we're not home all that much. And when we are, if we're not asleep, we usually just grab a movie. We have pretty uneventful lives when we're not at work.

Carolyn: When we're not at work being the operative phrase.

Jacob: That's for sure. Listen, you think we can wrap this up now? My schedule's been out of synch with Vic's all week, and I was really hoping we could have a nice, quiet dinner together.

Carolyn: Just one more. Do you worry that Victor might cheat on you?

Jacob: Of course not. I was just telling you how good everything is, wasn't I?

Carolyn: And I believe you also pointed out that as a straight, married woman, I couldn't possibly understand a gay man's perception of monogamy. Unless I heard you wrong.

Jacob: That's not what I… look, Vic and I are on the same page with this.

Carolyn: Care to repeat that without blocking me?

Jacob: Was I blocking you?

Carolyn: You know you… sorry, I should've turned my phone off.

Jacob: That's okay. A text just came in on mine, too.

Carolyn: I'll let you grab it, then.

Jacob: Owens needs us to come back and re-question a witness. Now.

Carolyn: Don't go thinking you're off the hook.

Jacob: Don't worry--I'm sure I'm not. You want me to drive?

Carolyn: I suppose. And thanks for being my guinea pig, Jacob. It's been…interesting. Readers, make sure you send in your questions to Jordan (at) psycop.com, and I'll see you again in a few months. This has been Carolyn Brinkman reporting for JCP News.

Hungry for more Jacob? Check out Memento, a PsyCop short, available in both ebook and audio

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