— Eye on Everett —

“What does the mayor really want more than anything else?”


I was able to steal the Blue Suit for a few hours earlier this week.

I took him to DeBlasi’s where I got him two extra-large meatball subs with extra cheese and sauce.

He ate them both in my car parked in the lot for the Dunkin’ Donuts on Broadway near city hall. He wolfed down the meatball subs like some of us drink a glass of water when we’re thirsty. No one saw us. I bought him coffee with Splendor and three honey-dipped donuts for dessert. The Blue Suit loves donuts. He gobbled them down.

“I love Crispy Cremes if you want to know the truth,” the Blue Suit confided in me as he wiped away crumbs from his pants.

“Who doesn’t love Crispy Cremes,” I replied.

“You know he’s been wearing me out?” the Blue Suit said about the mayor. “What’s worse is when he refuses to feed me properly,” he added. “He’s not eating as much as he used to, so I don’t get fed as much. He’s still heavy. It’s crazy bad for my pants when he sits down. I feel as though I am being crushed. It’s hard for me to breathe. He doesn’t care. I know he doesn’t. I know how he thinks. I know what he thinks about. I know who he wants to be and what makes him tick. It’s a real jumble up there” the Blue Suit said to me of the mayor.

“Let’s talk about those things for a few minutes,” I suggested.

“You say you know what he thinks about. Tell me, what does the mayor think about?” I asked.

“I know he thinks about you. You are definitely inside his head big time,” the Blue Suit said.

“Come on. He’s got to have something better to think about than me.” The Blue Suit chuckled.

“Of course, Josh. He’s not used to a newspaper describing him the way you do,” he said to me.

“What do you mean?” I asked. “All I do is tell the truth. The truth is a terrible weapon of aggression I use against him. Revealing the truth from week to week hurts, as we all know. The truth is the last thing he wants to see printed about himself in his hometown weekly newspaper,” I told the Blue Suit.

The Blue Suit thought a moment. We were driving around the city in my car. We passed through Glendale Square.

“That high school is something?” the Blue Suit said. “Yes indeed,” I replied.

I turned right onto Ferry Street and then left onto Elm Street by the fire station.

“You know Carlo would rename it the DeMaria High School if he thought he could,” said the Blue Suit.

We drove down Elm Street passing the Elm Street Bakery. “I love their Scali bread,” the Blue Suit told me.

I turned off Elm Street and onto Abbott Street. That’s the street where the mayor built his mansion.

“Are you crazy driving down Abbott Street? What if he sees us? Oh God,” the Blue Suit complained. “I just know he’s going to see me in the car with you and throw a nutty,” he added.

“You are inside his head, Josh. Like an implant. You are with him and pissing him off wherever he goes. He can’t shake off the stuff you write about him. He can’t laugh at it either. His aides say nothing to him about the truth. Their duty is to shield him from you.”

“Good luck to that strategy,” I added.

I was wondering about the mayor.

“What makes him tick?” I asked the Blue Suit.

“You know him better than anyone. What is he thinking about?” I asked. The Blue Suit sat back in the passenger seat of my car. “He is never really happy or completely happy. His head is somewhere else. He thinks a lot about who he is in comparison to others. I know money is very important to him – but not important enough to work for. He likes money being handed to him – the more the better. He thinks about others who have more money than he does. I know he’d like to be very rich. He’d enjoy a huge yacht, a fancy home in Europe, a very fine automobile or two. Instead, he has to live with who he is – the mayor of Everett,” said the Blue Suit.

“He doesn’t tend to let things go that bother him. He doesn’t go backward, either. When he tosses you under the bus, he doesn’t tend to bring you back to life. People come and go in his life. Nothing lasts a very long time with him. He’s always on a short fuse, sensing disloyalty all around him and trusting no one – and very few trusting him. He’s a mess of conflicting feelings. He immediately dislikes people he meets at a moment’s glance. That’s how he is.”

I drove back up Elm Street to Ferry Street, turned right, and then made it down Broadway to the store in North Everett next to the Dunkin’ Donuts. Love that store and the Indian fellow who runs it. I bought two $30 Scratch tickets. We scratched them right there outside the store in the car.

“I won a c-note. The Blue Suit won nothing.

“Figures,” he said to me.

Heading back to the laundry, we discussed what is inside the mayor’s head beside me.

“He’s not an easy guy to satisfy. He makes bad judgments sometimes that he regrets but he never says he made a mistake. It is always someone else’s mistake. You know of course he wants to put you out of business,’ the Blue Suit added.

“Yeah. He confronted me in my office on Church Street. I’ve told the story before. He said he’d put me out of business in three weeks. That was more than three years ago. But I haven’t told the story of the mayor and one of his hatchet men coming down to the Church Street office, manhandling the former owner, and threatening him if he didn’t follow directions exactly after the old owner printed something not to the mayor’s liking or approval,” I replied. “They pushed him all around the office until he said uncle.

That made me think about Carlo, about what’s inside his head.

“Am I wrong when I say that Carlo has many Josh’s swirling around inside his head, many causes for paranoia, dislike, and hate?” I asked the Blue Suit.

“You got that straight and true. He is never satisfied. There is always something wrong, the feeling of being undone, of wanting to exert his manic behavior on someone else sloshing around inside his head. The inside of his head is like an alarm clock always ringing. Let me ask you this, Josh. Is there any way Carlo might reasonably deal with you and the Leader Herald?”

That was an easy question to answer.

“Sure. A simple apology would be a nice start,” I answered.

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