The Elevator Mechanic
by Serena Yates, contemporary (2010)
Silver Publishing, $4.99, ISBN 978-1-920468-41-5


Some people live for fast cars, others live for fine wine and diamonds. Joe Taylor lives to ensure that all elevators are properly serviced. No, really, that's what it says in the story. His boss cares mostly for installing elevators, since that is where the money is, and he doesn't have much concern for how these elevators are maintained. Joe believes otherwise.

Joe checked the heavy rails to make sure they were balanced properly so they wouldn't fall off the cart. It was better to be safe than sorry. Delays and accidents cost time and money and weren't something Donald appreciated. The human misery that might follow wasn't something Joe appreciated. So he worked hard to avoid mistakes which might lead to irreversible consequences.

You may be wondering why I am discussing such boring fellow in this review. This because the first five pages of this story see Ms Yates telling me what a nice fellow Joe is, constantly worried about safety and, when he gives orders to the people working with him, hoping that they will follow his instructions.

And then, comes the dramatic entrance of the guy who will be giving it to Joe:

Just when he was ready to get up and leave, a pair of black leather worker boots appeared at the top of the stairs. As the man continued down the stairs the boots were followed by thickly muscled calves and thighs encased in well-worn jeans that made his mouth water. Narrow hips and a significant package were next, and by the time the Tshirt-covered flat abdomen and equally perfectly muscled broad chest appeared, Joe was ready to get onto his knees to worship the man.

He couldn't tear his eyes away. The face that followed was classically cut with a strong jaw and full lips. Jet-black shoulder length hair framed it, completing a picture that screamed 'bad boy'. The man was at least six foot four, and Joe wouldn't have been surprised to find him in a biker bar. What was he doing here? The stranger held a clipboard and was taking notes, looking around as though the space was his.

Finally, the man's eyes turned toward Joe; they were the blue of a mountain lake and just as deep.

Joe blinked.

The stranger lifted his lips in a knowing grin, revealing deep dimples.

It was too much. Blushing from the tips of his toes to the roots of his hair, Joe grabbed the paper bag containing the empty packaging, and fled.

Wait... the man fled? Oh boy.

Sure enough, the story turns out to be another wretched gay romance that is indistinguishable from the many, many hopelessly mediocre gay romances that have come before this. Joe is a stereotypical Bottom Boy to the T: hopelessly closeted, full of unappealing neurotic tics, stammers and flails around dramatically as if someone is roasting his rear end over a hot fire for no reason... it is as if Ms Yates had seen too many dramatic nelly boys on her Bravo cable TV station and decided that gay men are all like that. Bill Evans, the top, is the straight-acting working class stereotype that has come to stay ever since the Village People showed up on everyone's TV screen to dictate the virtues of YMCA.

The Elevator Mechanic reads like amateur slash, complete with embarrassingly clichéd portrayal of gay men. I feel vaguely embarrassed after reading this one, although I'm not too sure who I'm feeling embarrassed for - myself for reading this or the author for writing this.

Rating: 43


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