“He’s a small-town bully”
By JOSH RESNEK
“I’m getting real tired of being stuck here in Everett. Usually, we go to Aruba six or seven weeks a year. I think last year we went on vacation for at least 70-90 days. What a year for vaca- tions that was,” the mayor’s Blue Suit said to me.
For those of you reading this column for the first time, it might be hard for you to comprehend the mayor’s Blue Suit – his favorite suit – the one he wears all the time, has a mind of his own and tries to live a decent life even though the mayor makes every effort to ruin it for him.
The Blue Suit and I have become very tight. He tells me all the mayor’s secrets. Well, not all of them, but many of them. Turns out the mayor can’t hide much from me.
Anyway, my reply to the Blue Suit about the mayor’s vacation was this: “How can the mayor go on vacation when he’s on vacation?”
I extended that thought.
“How can you go on vacation when you don’t work in the first place?” I asked the Blue Suit.
“Gee, I never thought of it that way. You know and I know and everyone who knows him understands that the mayor doesn’t have much of a work ethic. He has what I’d call a vacation ethic. He used to take as much vacation as possible, as much vacation as he could get away with without being indicted for collecting pay when he doesn’t deserve to be paid,” the Blue Suit said to me.
“The mayor never worried about all the vacations to Aruba, except for the last one we took to Aruba during the week when the city shut down for the Coronavirus. People around here got upset about that one.”
I asked the Blue Suit to tell me how the mayor justified his vacations – about three months’ worth.
“The way the mayor sees it, his salary includes no vacation days. Therefore, he figures the days he takes off can’t be counted. But that vacation stuff is all a stale bit of history now. He’s been trapped in Everett on Abbott Avenue, and except for a few forays outside, I’ve been trapped with him in his closet in his bedroom inside his mansion.”
The Blue Suit sighed. He looked forlorn.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“I get very lonely in the mayor’s closet. It is worse when he wears me and even worse when he eats a heavy meal. That’s when I get worn out. When he’s up and down, sitting and then stretching and standing, and then slumping into a chair, well, it doesn’t get much worse than that.”
I told the Blue Suit I understood, although I’ve never been worn by anyone that way, and certainly not by anyone eating big meals, drinking, or whatever.
“Sometimes he returns home and jumps onto his bed! That’s a crusher of a moment for me. That’s when I can hardly breathe and feel like I’m being torn or stretched in different directions. It is like a death sentence for me when he has forgotten to get undressed and fallen asleep. That feels like slow, certain excruciating death moments. When he gets up in the middle of the night and takes me off, I am tossed to the floor like a pile of rags. Sometimes he steps on me or tosses me off with his leg. You have no idea how bad it gets,” the Blue Suit recalled.
“The other night, he flipped out on the cell. The reception in Everett is terrible for cell phone users. He was trying to have a conversation, but he couldn’t hear the party on the other end. He finally tossed his cell phone against the wall. He rum- bled out of the bedroom like a raging elephant. Boom. Boom. Boom… and then he turned on the flat screen in the familyroom, but the Internet wasn’t working. I thought he was going to go out of his mind.”
I asked the Blue Suit about the mayor’s state of mind. I wondered what he is thinking about?
“I’ll tell you what he’s thinking about. It isn’t what he’s thinking about because he doesn’t do that much serious thinking. It’s about who he’s thinking about. He gets all riled up thinking about three people right now.”
I asked the Blue Suit to list the three and to list them in order of importance.
“That’s easy,” the Blue Suit replied.
“Gerly Adrien is first on the list. He can’t stand her. He wishes she’d disappear. She challenges him and he especially can’t deal with an assertive Black woman pushing him around. He is determined to get rid of her, but he doesn’t know-how. He also believes she and her people might try to toss him out of office somehow, although he can’t imagine that. He’s a bit like Trump in this way. He needs to be the big guy in the city. There is no room for anyone else.”
I asked the Blue Suit about number two on the mayor’s hate list.
“He hates Fred Capone. Mind you, he doesn’t fear Capone. He just hates him. Capone is like a perpetual pain for him these days. All the talk about Capone running for mayor is getting to him. He says no one can beat him – which I think is a mistake. Believing he can’t be beaten makes the mayor vulnerable, but he doesn’t see it this way, nor do his underlings. Again, he is treated by nearly everyone he’s hired the way Trump is given deference by his appointees especially when he’s mumbling and making no sense. “
“Who is number three?” I asked the Blue Suit.
“Priya Tahiliani. The superintendent of schools. He is determined to get rid of her, to drive her crazy first, and then to force her to leave Everett… as soon as possible. What he doesn’t understand about this is that Tahiliani isn’t about to be pushed around by the mayor. Tahiliani is another example of the maor’s misogyny. He hates her because she’s assertive and so sure of herself. He tells others when he controls the School Committee, he will have her fired.”
The Blue Suit went on.
“You know he canceled his citywide virtual listening tour last week.”
“Why is that?” I asked.
“Last week, I think it was Thursday, he was doing one of those virtual listening things when the first two callers read him the riot act and denounced his attempt to be a voting member of the School Committee. He quickly announced that the listening tour wasn’t about crude politics or animus and that he didn’t like the nature of the questions he was getting. You know what he did? He told us all that he had another appointment and left the studio. The next day, he canceled the last two listening tours. So much for listening.”
“Let me tell you this, Josh,” the Blue Suit said to me. “There are really four people he hates the worst.”
“Who’s the fourth?” I asked the Blue Suit.
“You are, Josh. He wishes you’d disappear. He can’t stand you. He says the worst things about you. You couldn’t print what he says about you.”
“What a surprise,” I answered.