pez_love: (Jarod Ice Cream)
The biggest secret I have is a hard one to bear. It hurts me, every day...but it also gives me hope.

I know where my father is.

I couldn’t find my parents before because I didn’t know them...I never met them. That’s why I can’t find my mother...I can’t become someone that, for all intents and purposes, doesn’t exist to me.

But I’ve met my dad...I know him, I’ve *been* him. I know where he would go...where he *did* go after I was recaptured. For the sake of his safety, and of my clone, I won’t go into specifics...sorry, Miss Parker.

I know without a shadow of a doubt, though, that I’ll find them one day. When it’s safe...when I can finally find a moment’s rest running from the Centre...when the truth of everything is exposed and I can have a real home, I’ll go and find them. I dream about it, sometimes...seeing my dad, and my clone...kind of like a little brother, really. I mean, you can’t get much closer than that.

I dream about it all the time...but above all else, I dream of asking my father the one thing I never got a chance to before we were separated.

I want to ask my dad what my last name is...who I *really* am.

Muse: Jarod
Fandom: The Pretender
Words: 226
pez_love: (Jarod Ice Cream)
I used to think that I knew a lot about sex, growing up at the Centre...I read all the biology manuals I was given, I understood the mechanics of reproduction...but that’s all I knew about: reproduction. Sex...it’s not *just* procreation. Sex is this entire concept that’s terrible and incredible at the same time.

I know all about reproduction...but I’ve only known what sex really was for a few years now. The first time it happened to me was with a girl named Nia...and it was a beautiful experience. Even before that, though, my first encounter with sexual chemistry came when I got my first kiss.

Believe it or not, it was Miss Parker who kissed me...in every sense of the word. I still remember exactly what it was like...that innocent press of her lips against mine. I remember she smelled good...something sweet and earthy at the same time. I wouldn’t learn until I finally escaped that it was flowers...that she smelled like flowers.

The warm thrill of that one kiss...it was, in some respects, good preparation for my later encounter with physical love. The night I was with Nia...it was an incredible experience. We were both lost in our own pain...hurting, aching, and lonely, and through that miracle of touch and taste and...just *being*...it drove the pain back. It lit up the darkness and made everything warm again.

Like that first kiss, it illuminated corners of my world...of *myself* that had been dark for far too long. I think that’s what sex is...it’s a light in the dark. It’s something good and beautiful, and it upsets and confuses me when I see how so many people in the world warp it and twist it into something that’s ugly or shameful. *Life* comes from this act, this event that brings more than just pleasure...it brings comfort.

Sex is a good thing...one of the best things, I think. And anyone that says any different obviously has never experienced just what it’s really all about.

Muse: Jarod
Fandom: The Pretender
Words: 348
pez_love: (Jarod Ice Cream)
You want to know what really bothers me? People who think everyone else is stupid.

I encounter them frequently, more often than I’d like to...almost every week, if you want to know the truth. And in every single person I’ve made pay for the suffering they’ve caused? It’s always the same...they think that people are idiots. That bothers me, and not just because it’s flat-out mean spirited. It bothers me because it’s simply not true.

I know I’ve only been out in the world for a handful of years...but I know people. And they’re not stupid, not a single one of them. It’s the people I go after that fall into that category, because they allow themselves to be deceived by their own arrogance. They mistake the kindness in others for weakness, and faith for gullibility. They capitalize on the basic goodness that’s in all of us and taint it by letting it serve their own selfish purposes. Above all, they think people are dumb because they believe they’re smarter...they don’t think anyone else can top them when it comes to brains.

They’re wrong...because there’s *always* someone out there who’s better, smarter. And usually? That person is me.

I’m not saying that to be arrogant, it’s just a fact...but even that fact can change. Notice I didn’t say it’s always me, because it’s not. I know what I am, but I also know that there can always be someone else a step ahead.

I never assume people are stupid...I know better than that.

And if you think that makes *me* stupid? Look over your shoulder...because somewhere out there, someone’s probably thinking the exact same thing about *you.*

Muse: Jarod
Fandom: The Pretender
Words: 284
pez_love: (Jarod Ice Cream)
It’s kind of hard to decide what I’d do if I could get away with something...no legal or moral repercussions to worry about. There’s any number of things I’d want for myself, and for others. Burn the Centre to the ground, take the lives of those who’ve destroyed my life...Mr. Raines, Mr. Parker, Brigitte...

But there’s only one thing I’d want more than anything in the whole world...and that’s my family.

I’d find my father and my clone...I guess he’s kind of like my younger brother, you know? I mean...he’s *me*, but...he’s a member of my family because of that.

I’d find my mom and my sister, too...we’d all be together again. It’s a really simple thing, I know...but if I could do that, without repercussions? It means the Centre would never find us. Nobody would come looking for me...nobody would hurt any of them.

[locked]

And I’d even share that with Miss Parker...once, I’d have wanted to get rid of her, but after everything that’s happened, everything we’ve been through? She would be part of that...her and Sydney, and even Broots.

They’re not a part of the Centre...not in my eyes, and they haven’t been for a long time.

Everyone else? Well...that’s another story.

[/locked]

All I want is to be free...to have a family...a home, without fear of having it taken away from me.

Is that really so wrong?

Muse: Jarod
Fandom: The Pretender
Words: 243
pez_love: (Jarod Pez)
While I’m familiar with the dogma and ordinances of most world religions, I’ve never really considered them from a personal perspective outside of my simulations.

But my simulations themselves are an entirely different story.

I’ve experienced religion and faith, or lack thereof, secondhand through my simulations countless times. I’ve felt the peace of men who died knowing they would see their loved ones in Heaven, the righteous conviction of those who were ready to sacrifice everything for their fellow man all because it was what God asked of them.

I’ve felt the rage of those who don’t believe in God, or have faith in anything, much less an omnipotent creator. I’ve felt the fear of those with faith who believe there’s no eternal reward waiting for them, only damnation.

The familial aspect of religion strikes a chord with me...the idea of coming from a single creator, of being spiritual brothers and sisters with all those around me. I understand the nature of religion, and the root of faith. It gives comfort due to the fact it lets you know that no matter who you are or what you do...you’re never truly alone.

I’ve experienced the belief of countless others...but I’ve never had the chance to find my own, and I don’t think I will any time soon.

I think there’s a lot of solace to be found in believing in something greater than myself, believing that I might be able to see my brother again in the hereafter. I wish that very thing for Miss Parker...that one day she can be with her mother again, and with Tom. He made her happy...and he gave her the things she deserved.

[locked]

The things I never could.

[/locked]

But I can’t put my faith in too much of anything, not yet. I put faith in the Centre, believed in the people there, and in the end it cost me too much to make that mistake ever again.

I’m saving my faith for my father...that I’ll get to see him again. I’m saving it for my mother and for Emily.

When I’m free to live my life like any other person...when I can finally stop running? Maybe I’ll give religion a try then.

Muse: Jarod
Fandom: The Pretender
Words: 375
pez_love: (Jarod Pez)
When I first escaped from the Centre, one of the wonderful things I discovered was PEZ. I assume you’ve seen it...those little pellets of candy you eat from a plastic dispenser with a top shaped like a clown, or an animal, or even a cartoon character. The candy’s really very good, and the dispensers are so interesting...through them, I’ve really learned quite a lot about the world around me.

Did you know there are actually people who collect them? Vast amounts of these little PEZ dispensers, going back to when they were first developed. There seems to have been a PEZ dispenser created for every major pop culture event in history. It’s really very remarkable.

I don’t collect the dispensers, though. Oh, I have many, but they’re not showpieces. I just think that PEZ tastes good. It’s fun, eating those little pellets of sugar that way...I’m particularly fond of the lemon. So I suppose eating PEZ is a habit for me...aside from being really good? I always remember my first days of freedom when I eat it...it reminds me of what I’m doing out here, and why I escaped.

I admit...the world sometimes scares and confuses me...frustrates me with the irrational way people act and hurt each other...but amidst all the pain, suffering, and ignorance? There’s things like the sky, trees..plus there’s ice cream. And PEZ.

And those are two things you *definitely* can’t find at the Centre.

Muse: Jarod
Fandom: The Pretender
Words: 243
pez_love: (Jarod Pez)
Considering that my life hasn’t been my own for more than a few years, I can’t say I have a lot of regrets because I’ve never had the opportunity to make those kinds of mistakes, you know?

But...if I had to pick just one? I’d have to say that my biggest regret was letting my family down.

Specifically, I’m talking about Kyle. When I learned that I had a brother...a *younger* brother, a certain responsibility fell on my shoulders. I can’t help but wonder if all older siblings feel it...the responsibility of taking care of another human being.

Kyle was my little brother, and it was my job to protect him...to keep him safe. And I failed.

Twice.

The knowledge nearly killed me...not because of a sense of duty, but in finding out the truth about Kyle, I found a piece of myself. Everything he was, everything he did...it was a part of me, because the same blood flowed through our veins. Even at his worst...I know in my heart that if our places had been switched, that could have been me learning to kill under the care of Mr. Raines.

He may have been a little more strong-willed, a little less intellectual, and morally confused, but he wasn’t a bad person. I sometimes wish I could be a bit more like him...freer, not unstable. Kyle was unapologetic, and not just morally...he never ever second-guessed himself, and he probably never had any regrets of his own.

When he came to get me away from Lyle, it only made my own failure worse. It hurt, but in a good way...knowing that no matter what happened, my brother would come for me...that he would save me.

I just wish I could have done a better job of saving him, too.

Muse: Jarod
Fandom: The Pretender
Words: 306
pez_love: (Jarod Ice Cream)
It makes me sad, sometimes...looking at the way the world works and realizing how many people don’t like their families. They dream about getting away from them, leaving behind their own flesh and blood to do other things...some good, some bad. Still, there’s this deep-seated need to *escape* from their families.

The only real dream I’ve ever had has been to find mine.

You want to know what my family means to me? It means everything...it’s meant more than that since I saw my mother...I didn’t get to meet her, to touch her or hold her but I *saw* her. Alive. And I saw my sister, too...she’s so beautiful, just perfect...

I love my family. So much so, I’d willingly give anything for them...including the truth.

I know that somewhere, my mother and sister are alive...and I know now that even though Kyle’s truly dead, a little piece of him is still alive in a young boy...the good my brother did will literally last a lifetime.

My family’s my salvation...no matter what else happens, I’ll be able to survive now. The Centre stole my life, but they can’t steal the ‘I love you’ my mother screamed before she got back into that cab in Boston. They can’t change the fact that when I was in trouble, my little brother came for me. They may have hurt him, but he and I still loved each other, just like brothers should.

My family is who I am...a son, a big brother, a man and not a machine.

They wanted a human computer...instead, The Centre made me a monster worse than Kyle ever could have tried to be. I’m unstoppable...I can do anything now, because at the end of the day, I know my family loves me.

And if I got caught tomorrow, The Centre could never hope to take that away from me.


Muse: Jarod
Fandom: The Pretender
Words: 322
pez_love: (Jarod Ice Cream)
Where will I be in twenty years? The simple fact is, I don’t know.

And I’m grateful for that fact every single day.

I can tell you where I *won’t* be, however...and that’s back at the Centre. I know that it sounds a bit extreme, but I’d rather die than go back there. The world is such a vast, confusing, *beautiful* place...I think it would be easier to die than be caught again. My worst fear is becoming like Angelo...losing myself to this gift of mine. That’s what would happen if I went back there. Some people are just meant to be free, and I know in my heart I’m one of those people.

I think in their hearts? Sydney, Broots, and Miss Parker know it, too. They’ll never stop hunting me, and they’ll never really give me a free pass...but I’m certain that Sydney’s always glad to see me free. Broots, too. Miss Parker? Well...she just doesn’t know that she’s glad. ;)

Back at the Centre, I knew what each day would bring. Out here...I never know what the next sunrise will look like. All of them are different, you know...I’ve watched dozens. The only thing I’m sure of is that here, each day I get to be myself...I get to figure out just who I am. Every day, I discover new likes and dislikes...things I’ll do, things I won’t do, I have dreams of things I want to do with my new life.

The confusion about my past aside...after so many years of simulations, I’ve lost touch with my own identity more than once. I don’t even have a last name...I had to escape to learn just what and who Jarod really is. Jarod loves Pez, ice cream, and comic books. If I could settle down, stop running, I know that Jarod would be a doctor, or maybe a fireman. Those were two of my favorite people to be.

You know what I just figured out? I know *exactly* where I’ll be in twenty years...more specifically, *who* I’ll be.

I’ll be Jarod, well and truly...and I won’t be a Pretender any longer. Oh, I’ll have my mind and my skills, but I’ll be useless to the Centre as an asset.

After all, how can I simulate real life anymore when I’ve experienced the real thing?

Muse: Jarod
Fandom: The Pretender
Words: 399
pez_love: (Jarod Ice Cream)
Hello there, everybody…my name is Jarod. You’ll have to forgive me if I get anything wrong here, I’m new to this medium. Not the Internet in general, but this…recreational use of it. Still, I like this online journal idea…especially since it allows me to keep in close contact with certain individuals I don’t want to lose touch with…and still manage to maintain the secrecy of my location.

I’m sorry…I’m rambling, aren’t I? I tend to do that…I sort of get caught up in things. The whole world just *fascinates* me…

Anyway…I wish I could tell you more about myself, but I really can’t. I was abducted from my parents and exploited by a government corporation as a child raised in Blue Cove, Delaware. I never knew my family…but I’ve devoted myself to finding them, getting them back. I have one brother and one sister…Kyle and Emily. Kyle…I lost him a while ago. Emily…well, I guess you could say I lost her, too. When I’m not pursuing what’s left of my past, I help people where I can. I’m good at that.

Another thing you should know about me is that I’m not like other people. Some call me a Pretender…if you’ve ever heard the expression ‘jack of all trades, master of none’, then you have a better idea of what I am. Only I’m a jack *and* a master of all trades, you could say. It’s part intelligence, part emotion…call it empathy, if you will. Nothing supernatural…I just know people. How they work, how they think…how they feel.

Funny word to use for me, huh? I don’t really pretend anything…not anymore. I become what I want to be…a doctor, a musician, even a criminal. What I do…it’s no game.

Wow…I just discovered the most incredible thing. Did you know you can use punctuation marks to make little typewritten drawings of faces? Like this :D See? That’s a smiley face. So is this one :) and this one :}

This is something I want to play with a little bit more. ;) There’s another one! Isn’t that marvelous?

Oh, and by the way…if you should run into a dark haired woman…very attractive, very aggressive, and very bossy, her name is Miss Parker. She’s one of those people I told you about. Do me a favor…send her this for me, will you?

:-p

And also tell her Jarod sends his love.

Catch you all later. :-)

Gosh, that’s *fun*…
pez_love: (Jarod Ice Cream)
1)What is one thing you've learned from your past?

Nothing. I don’t have a past.

But, I suppose if you look at it another way, I *have* learned something about *the* past. It’s a valuable thing...a thing too many people take for granted. To know who you are, where you came from...it’s a precious thing to know what makes you a person.

I sometimes wonder if my parents were anything like me. Do I like ice cream because my mom did? Do I like doughnuts because my dad did? What part of me comes from my dad? Do I have his nose? Do I really have my mom’s eyes, or do they really come from him?

Little things...*tiny* things, and I feel like I’m the only person in the world that doesn’t have them.

I know a lot of children are adopted, never know their families...but sometimes I think they got a better deal than I did. They grew up and ate PEZ and Oreos. They got to play with X-Ray Glasses and Rubix Cubes. They lived their lives...I simulated my way through mine.

I want memories of my own...that’s one of the reasons I ran away. I want answers, I want to fix the wrong I’ve done...but I also want memories. I think...I think that if I got caught tomorrow and locked away forever in the Centre again, I could be happy remembering my first bite of ice cream. I’d smuggle in some bubble gum and blow bubbles all day long. I can do things now I never could before.

Being a doctor or a police officer or a scientist is okay...but what I’m most proud of is the fact that I can blow bubble gum. That I know how to eat cookies. I even learned how to skip rocks.

I still don’t have a past...but I have a life. And I have a future.

It’s not much...but it’s a start.

2)Describe a dream you had. How did that dream make you feel?

He was outside again, staring at his younger self. All around him, there were clocks...time racing past, moving along without his consent. Lost time, wasted time...time he could never get back, time he didn’t have.

He could hear her voice...melodious and musical, see her as she put laundry up on the line.

“Mom?”

She didn’t answer...she never answered.

And she still wouldn’t turn around.


Jarod’s eyes snapped open, body humming with tension until he finally relaxed back into the mattress, rubbing a hand over his face.

His face...*her* face. How much of it was hers? How much of it belonged to his dad? He had her picture and still, she never turned to face him in his dream. She still looked the same from behind, too...long, pretty red hair and a slender frame with perfect, smooth young hands. He didn’t see the aged woman in the picture he’d had altered...he saw the fragment of memory that had haunted him for so long.

And as Jarod lay there motionless, staring up at the cracked ceiling of his latest lair...he knew, deep down, that his mom would never turn around...because even if she had a picture...she still didn’t have a real face.

He was still looking...and had a feeling he always would be.
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