“I’ve never been jealous of the mayor. I am a bit jealous today.”
– Josh Resnek talking with the mayor’s Blue Suit
By JOSH RESNEK
The Blue Suit and I met at Oliveira’s on Broadway just out of Glendale Square Tuesday afternoon.
We both did the buffet for the basics – salad, potatoes, rice – and then we went to the carving table where we were served some freshly broiled and cut rare steak, chicken, and lamb.
I believe Oliveira’s does Brazilian food about the best in the city.
We sat in the main dining room, off to a corner near to the front of the room. With social distancing restrictions limiting the number of tables, and not many of the tables filled with diners, we felt relatively safe.
The Blue Suit seemed happy. Frankly, I was a bit down.
Monday had been a bad day. I was recovering from it as we ate our plates food.
“What’s the problem, Josh? Usually, you are asking me what my problem is. Today, I have no problem, at least I’m not aware of any. I’m fine. I had a good Easter. The mayor has been leaving me alone. I’m up and at ‘em and ready to go,” the Blue Suit said slopping together a heaping fork of meat, lettuce, rice, and potato and shoving it into his mouth.
“Good God, man. How can you fit a giant helping of food like that inside your mouth?” I asked.
The Blue Suit chewed and chewed. He had so much food inside his mouth that it was difficult for him to swallow all of it. I thought he couldn’t breathe. Finally, he got it down. A big lump of food lodged in his throat. His throat bulged. Then it contracted when the food dropped. A moment later, He let out a loud clapper – a massive, howling, deep stomach burp.
“Excuse me!!!” the Blue Suit exclaimed.
I wanted to hide under the table. Everyone looked at us.
“So, tell me, Josh, what’s the problem?”
I waited a moment. I grew thoughtful.
“Do you ever look at the mayor’s Facebook page?” I asked. “Every day,” the Blue Suit answered.
“Me too,” I told him.
“So, what’s up with that?”
“When I scanned the page and all the entries this morning, one of them really tugged at my heart.”
“Come on Josh. You know you don’t have a heart,” the Blue Suit joked.
“At least I’m not made out of cloth,” I retorted.
The Blue Suit cleaned his plate with a final sweep of his fork. Another giant gob of Brazilian food became lodged in his mouth until he finally chewed it up, swallowed it, and took in a deep breath.
“What did you see that bothered you on the mayor’s Facebook page?”
I hesitated, collected myself, and replied.
“I saw a picture of his dog Hugo. The mayor wished Hugo a happy 4th birthday.”
“Do you have something against dogs?” the Blue Suit asked me.
“Come on Josh, spit it out. What bothered you about the mayor wishing his dog a happy birthday? Do you have a problem with that?” the Blue Suit asked.
There was a bit of an edge in his voice.
“It’s one thing for you to not care for the mayor. Not caring for his dog goes way out of bounds if you ask me, Josh,” the Blue Suit added emphatically.
I let out a long sigh. I began.
“My wife and I have been taking care of my youngest daughter’s dog, Luna. She got Luna about 6 months ago in Louisiana. My daughter Naudia is 19. She bought Luna from a friend at LSU where she is a second-year student. Luna got too much for her at school, so she left her with us. We already have two dogs, but my wife insisted. Luna became part of our family.”
“What kind of dog is Luna?” the Blue Suit asked.
“Some kind of mix between a Chihuahua and a Doberman. A tiny little thing with short legs, ears that stand up, little brown eyes, and a small nose who can run like the wind and jump two to three feet off the ground. The best thing about her – she slept with us under the covers!
She loved affection. She couldn’t get enough of it. She had one problem though. She loved running away and not returning when called. We almost lost her several times in the past few weeks, but we found her and brought her back to the house. She was a pleasure to have around. She didn’t bother anyone. She was cute as a button.”
I stopped momentarily.
“Come on, Josh. Get on with it.”
“Yesterday, my wife was preparing to take the dogs down to the dog beach in Swampscott. Our two dogs Scout – a five-year-old black, white, and gray combo of greyhound and hunting dog and Rosie, our 12-year-old Labradoodle, lined up by the front door in back of my wife. In back of them, Luna waited for the door to open.”
“The moment my wife cracked open our front door, Luna sped out of it like lightning on a heroic run. She made it over our lawn, about 40 feet from the sidewalk, flew over the side- walk, and on to the street. She almost made it to the other side of the street,” I said. I stopped. I sighed.
“She got run over by a car. My wife screamed. I ran out of the house, into the street, and picked up Luna. I held her in my arms.
“She was dead. Lifeless,” I added. “Her eyes were open. She wasn’t bleeding but her head hung loosely in my arms as I carried her. I assumed her neck was broken. She died instantly.” I told the Blue Suit.
“What happened next?” the Blue Suit asked me.
“I held Luna in my arms. My wife drove to the animal hospital. She was quite out of her mind. At the animal hospital, I walked in holding Luna, but I wasn’t wearing a face mask. You would have thought I was a terrorist. Everyone there pointed for me to go back out the door with Luna in my arms – that is – until a kindly woman came to me and took Luna in for a look. I then went outside where my wife and I awaited the final verdict.
“Not long after that, the veterinarian came out and gave us the bad news.”
“I’m sorry,” she said.
My wife began crying again.
The vet told us to wait a few moments, that she would be out quickly.
She returned with a small box and Luna’s collar and her dog tags.
“What’s in that box? What is inside it?” my wife begged to know.
I opened it slowly.
My wife looked inside. A torrent of tears followed.
It was a piece of clay with the imprint of Luna’s paw. Above this, Luna’s name had been written.
A few minutes later, I paid for Luna’s cremation.
“It will be done with dignity,” the vet assured us.
It was a long, silent, dreadful ride home for my wife and me.
She held the box in her lap with Luna’s collar. “Need I say anymore to you?” I asked the Blue Suit. “I get it, Josh.”
“I’m sorry for you and your wife.”
Luna was seven months old.