Tuesday, November 15, 2016

OTB #14: THE PUSH (Upmarket)

TITLE: The Push
GENRE: Adult Upmarket

Cuckolded and laid off, a thirty-year-old guy with "dad body" transforms into an Olympic skeleton athlete, and may become the first competitor representing Mexico to win a medal at the Winter Games – never mind that he doesn’t speak Spanish, and grew up near the Canadian border.

Nobody believes this story I tell.  It’s not like there’s a Wikipedia entry for Eddie Martin.  I remain his only authorized biographer, though I’ve goddamn earned that right.

I think it’s best to start with Eddie’s eleven-year-old self.  The fall of 1983, two days before he made headlines in the U.S. and in Canada.  That moment found him sitting on the floor outside his bedroom, his knees to his chest.  Holding his breath.

It was that time in American history when tin vents could shepherd a conversation through a household, and the late-hour words of his foster mother reached him through a grate in the baseboard.  “But what am I supposed to do?” she said, her voice haunted from travel through the ductwork. “Drop them off at a fire station?”

To his knowledge, Mrs. Martin had no friends but she was talking with someone she knew.
“Yes, that’s a better idea.”  There’d been a pause for the inhalation of cigarette smoke.  “Yes, tomorrow, like we agreed. It will just be us.”

Thoughts of banishment twisted for Eddie’s attention, poking at his belly.  He was perfectly aware the Martins hadn’t made the short list for a parenting award, but he was fed and he was clothed.  There was one other foster kid at school, a boy with middle-aged eyes they called McPickle, who never deviated from long-sleeved outfits, even on hotter days.  One day the other boys held him down and sheared him of his shirt.  Later, much later in life, Eddie would place what he saw as cigarette burns.

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