“He’s bothered but I don’t know exactly.”
– The Mayor’s Blue Suit talking with Josh Resnek
By JOSH RESNEK
The Blue Suit and I met outside the 8/10 bar and restaurant on Norwood Street early Monday afternoon. Let’s face it, the Blue Suit and I are geniuses. The 8/10 doesn’t open until late in the afternoon.
I picked him up in my red Honda Fit junker. A little more than a year ago, the Blue Suit and I would eat inside the 8/10 and mix it up with whoever was there.
That was a year ago.
The Blue Suit and I don’t eat inside restaurants anymore – at least until the virus is done raising havoc, getting people sick, and killing them. My favorite dish at the 8/10 is a simple Italian treat done extremely well – fettuccini Pomodoro.
The Blue Suit prefers sweet sausage with grilled onions and peppers – also done extremely well.
When the Blue Suit plopped himself into the passenger seat and shut the door, he made a suggestion. I was all ears.
“You know, Josh. I think I want to order out from the Everett Square Deli today.”
I drove off of Norwood Street and turned right onto Broadway. I parked in front of the Everett Bank on the opposite side of the street.
The Blue Suit ordered a large Italian sub with everything and hot peppers and extra oil and seasoning.
I got what I always get there. I don’t need to say anything. They know what I want when they see me – a small ham and cheese sub with pickles, tomatoes and onions, oregano, and a touch of oil.
We ate inside my car in the
Walgreens parking lot. Every bite was a treat. Yes.
We made a mess. Yes. The car smelled of onions and cold cuts. We took bites and enjoyed ourselves watching the traffic go by on Broadway. We marveled at how busy the Everett Bank is. A steady stream of banking customers came and went from the bank as we ate.
“So, what’s up with Carlo this week?” I asked the Blue Suit. His mouth was full. He struggled to answer.
“Gee whiz, man, chew your food and swallow it before you try to answer.”
The Blue Suit did a major swallow.
“Where’d you learn how to do that?” I asked.
“On Abbot Avenue, Josh. Where else?”
“I’m all set now, Josh. You’re asking me how Carlo is this week? I’d say he is tentative on the one hand and worried on the other.”
“What is he tentative about?” I asked.
“Does he have health issues?”
“Nah. Nothing like that. His health is fine. At least I know his physical health is fine. I’m not certain about his mental health,” the Blue Suit said.
“Is that a joke?” I asked the Blue Suit. “Yes it is,” he answered.
We high-fived. We shared a laugh.
“Can you imagine the diagnosis if he went into therapy and we could read the psychiatrist’s notes?” the Blue Suit said.
“Can you imagine what he’d reveal if he was hypnotized!” I added.
“It would be like taking a trip into the Twilight Zone,” I said.
We laughed and high-fived again.
“OK, what is he worried about? What do you think?” I asked.
“I don’t think. I know what he’s worried about. There are several things, all connected. First off, he tells everyone he can’t lose the upcoming election. But he knows he can lose it. That irritates him. It drives him wild to think he could lose,” the Blue Suit told me.
“He’s driven wild about your assertions that he’s a racist and that he hates Gerly Adrien. He’s driven wild about it because your assertions are true. He hasn’t had to compete with such things being written about him for many years. This diversity thing that he has failed at miserably is driving him nuts. Diversity is a battle he cannot win. He needs to keep things the same if he wants to win again and to keep his base. He really believes that,” the Blue Suit said.
”He knows his base is shrinking. He understands the up- coming election isn’t just about money. It is about perception and truth. He can’t buy either of those,” the Blue Suit added. “He knows Everett has changed in the past four years. It is a different city today than it was four years ago. I heard him tell a buddy on the cell that “there are now more of them (Blacks and Browns) than there are of us” (old-line families that are white).
The Blue Suit held up for me to see the last bite of the sub in his hand.
“Perfect,” I said. The last bite included a bit of pickle, onion, cold cuts, tomato, hot pepper, and provolone cheese all compacted into the last wonderful morsel.
He tossed it into his mouth. He chewed and swallowed. He smacked his lips.
“Boy was that good,” the Blue Suit said with deep satisfaction.
“What else is bothering him?” I asked.
The Blue suit hesitated for a moment before answering. “You know the stuff that’s coming out about Cuomo, the governor of New York?”
“Of course, I do. How many women are going to come out of the woodwork saying he sexually harassed them?” I asked. “Well, Carlo is wondering the same thing. He knows that some of the women complaining were sexually harassed twenty years ago. His hassles aren’t even ten years old and could come back to kick him in the stomach. At worst, bringing up Carlo’s problems from years back could cause him to lose the election.”
“He’s worried about that?” I asked.
“Oh yes, indeed, Josh,” the Blue Suit answered.
“A rehash of those damning Boston Globe pieces about his inability to control himself could be deadly to his political future. He’s worried the public might find out who he paid to remain quiet or what kind of deals he made to keep women quiet,” the Blue Suit told me.
“You think he paid women to keep quiet?” I asked.
“I know he did,” the Blue Suit answered.
“‘Check this out, Josh. I don’t know all the particulars, but I heard something went down with Carlo at city hall recently that has been hushed up.”
“Get out!” I answered.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” I exclaimed.
“I’m telling you the truth,” the Blue Suit promised.
With that said the Blue Suit asked me to drive him home to Abbott Avenue.
The mayor wasn’t there when we arrived.
I watched the Blue Suit tip toes into the mansion and shut the door behind him.
“How does he do it?” I asked myself as I drove away… “How can such a good Blue Suit be held hostage by the likes of Carlo, who says he’ll be the mayor forever?”