“He’s really not himself lately”
By JOSH RESNEK
“What do you mean, he’s not himself?” I asked the Blue Suit about the mayor.
“Just what I said, Josh,” he answered me. “He’s not himself. Do you know what it is to not be yourself?” the Blue Suit asked me.
“Of course, I do. I’ve had some bad times in my life. But
I’m over that stuff. I am who I am. I’m not too worried about the future. I’ve already done much of what I have been able to do in my life. I’m not looking around for a better job. I like to write. I am a writer. I am an investigative reporter. I publish a newspaper in Everett. I’m no big shot. I just do what I can do,” I told the Blue Suit.
He hesitated a moment. He collected himself.
“Carlo doesn’t have anywhere to turn right now. Sure, he’s the mayor. But from what I can sense – and we are very, very close – he is tired of being the mayor, of having to do the same things every day, talk with the same people and play the same games even if that means he has to hide inside his mansion rather than to be out in public doing the same things all the time. The sameness is killing him inside. The boredom. The repeating of all the same moves all the time for more than a decade. It is getting to him. He doesn’t let what’s inside come out to the people around him. Maybe that’s what’s poisoning him. Maybe that’s why he’s paranoid and nasty, disingenuous and cheap. Inside, he must hate himself. I don’t want to dress the mayor up, but he is enigmatic, that is, he is hard to know. Let’s face it, the way he hires and fires, how and why he throws old friends under the bus, many people can’t figure him out. If you stand in his path, you come to understand him real fast, and many have, and many have come and gone who once walked with him down his path. They say they know what goes on in Carlo’s head. There is something to that. He doesn’t have too many complex moves. He’s pretty blatant about what he does, how he reacts. He is above all, predictable. He is brimming with the desire to pay back those who don’t toe the line with him in mind,” the Blue Suit said.
He went on and on about Carlo.
“The politics is one thing. Nearly everywhere we go these days I hear Carlo telling people he won’t be here forever, that he won’t always be the mayor. I am fairly startled each time I hear him say this. Why is he saying this? Does he have a premonition? Does he think his time has come? With Carlo, the problem isn’t that he won’t always be the mayor. The problem is what he will do next if he doesn’t get reelected. That’s what he’s thinking about. I know it because I know him. Two people can’t get any closer than we do, believe me. You know that,” the Blue Suit added.
The Blue Suit was sounding almost eloquent this week. It caused me to think about Carlo as a person, as a human being, as someone who is vulnerable, as someone whose time might be up as mayor, as someone who hates me to the core. Whether his time has come or not, he is feeling what I have felt as I passed through certain times during my life, as most of us who take a close look at ourselves do when we come nearer to the end of the road we are going down. Nothing lasts forever. Carlo is right to say he won’t be the mayor forever. He is right to tell people he won’t always be around. What bothers him is what bothers many men of his age group in this changing world of ours. What is that? He is trying to figure out what
he can do to earn a living when he is done with being mayor. That thought alone is daunting if you are Carlo. Why? Because Carlo is not fit for business. He has proven that. He has a difficult to impossible work ethic. He can’t work for anyone else because he’s incapable of following orders. He is not prudent. He doesn’t want to change. He can’t change. He makes the same mistakes over and over. He deals out of personal frustration and indifference at the same time. He is perfectly qualified to be the mayor of Everett,” the Blue Suit said.
I complimented the Blue Suit. I told him he should be a writer or a psychiatrist. I thanked him.
“Wow! That was quite a soliloquy about Carlo. You almost made me feel sorry for him. He doesn’t know what he wants to do. He is unqualified to do many things other than being the mayor. Carlo, in fact, knows exactly what he’s doing. He knows how to hurt people. He hates a lot of people, not just because of who they are, but because of their race, or color, religious beliefs, or gender. He sizes up people and dislikes them in an instant. He’s brilliant at exclusion which is arguably the most virulent part of racism. He tries to shove out of his way those who try to get in his way. Actually, he doesn’t do the shoving because he’s a bully. He allows others or forces them to do his dirty work. That’s what he pays people to do. At heart, he’s a true bully, gutless and slow, daunting and angry, filled with animus and jealousy and wondering all the time…what the hell is he going to do when his run as mayor is over? Who will give him a job? Who will put a pile of money on his plate because he needs money – this despite him liking to intimate to everyone that he is a multi-millionaire who doesn’t have to worry about money. He worries about money more than most of us. At almost $200,000 a year, Carlo believes he is underpaid. He makes more than Marty Walsh, the mayor of Boston. He makes more than the mayor of Chicago! Can you imagine him believing he is underpaid? . Yet he is always broke. Who would want to put money on his plate? No one I know except maybe for a developer or two or three hundred,” I said to the Blue Suit.
A thoughtful moment of silence caused both of us to think. The Blue Suit broke the silence.
“What do you think he would do if he loses the mayor’s office?” asked the Blue Suit.
“Most likely he’d do what many have done before him. He’d sell the mansion on Abbott Avenue and get out of town. He’d probably be done with Everett the moment Everett is done with him. He’d see everyone as his enemy. Losing would be as difficult for him as it is with President Trump. He’d move out and never come back. Either that or he’d stick around and be seen everywhere in the city as the former mayor, as the guy who lost. Some people will watch him pass by and say, ‘I remember him. That guy was the mayor, wasn’t he?’ That’s the way it goes in politics. There is really no graceful way to bow out – and when you bow out, it is the beginning of a new period that won’t be as easy as the last. I don’t know much about anything but I’m sure about that.”
The Blue Suit agreed with me completely.