“Whats wrong? what has the mayor done to you now?”
– Josh Resnek to the mayor’s Blue Suit
By JOSH RESNEK
“Hey buddy, what’s the problem. I’ve never seen you so down. Did you rip a sleeve or cut a whole in your trouser? What’s up with you? I asked the Blue Suit.
We met for lunch Tuesday afternoon at the Vietnamese food court inside the supermarket on the Everett-Malden border on Broadway. The Blue Suit ordered chicken on top of a bed of pho, with diced cucumber, shredded carrots, and chopped scallion…with a cup of peanut sauce. An amazing treat.
I ate a bowl of pho with chicken and a medley of Vietnamese vegetables, chopped scallion, and oriental spices. Wow! What a treat.
$15 bucks for two.
I paid. The mayor never gives the Blue Suit any money to spend on himself. He doesn’t like taking him to the cleaners. He treats him – according to the Blue Suit – “like crap.”
“He treats everyone that way sooner or later,” the Blue Suit told me.
“What are you so down about?” I asked again.
He spilled peanut sauce on his pant leg. He wiped it away. “You really want to know what’s bothering me?” he said to me.
“Yes. I don’t like seeing you so morose. Did you lose your silk lining?” I asked.
The Blue Suit seemed frozen for a moment as if paralyzed.
Then he let it out.
“The mayor bought a new suit.”
“No!!!, you have to be kidding me?”
“The mayor bought a new suit,” he blurted out. It was as if his trousers had split, that’s how uptight he was.
“No!!!!” I said. “You have to be kidding me?” I asked.
“I’m dead serious, Josh,” he answered.
‘What’s that all about?” I asked the Blue Suit. “What the hell is going on?”
“He isn’t quite done with me, yet” the Blue Suit lamented.
I thought he was going to cry.
“He’s getting ready to throw me under the bus, just like he does to everyone who has spent a great deal of time doing their best for him,” the Blue Suit said.
“He’s so cruel, so harsh and ungrateful. How can he be such a louse to me after everything I’ve given to him over the years. I’ve made him look so good.”
I couldn’t restrain myself from laughing.
“That’s easy. That’s his style, especially with some of those who have been as close to him as you. You know this. He’s a taker, not a giver unless it enriches himself. Try to control yourself. I’m sure you’ll make it through this crisis. Besides, how could he possibly like a new suit as much as he likes the way he looks when he’s wearing you?” I asked.
“What kind of suit did he buy, or steal, or was given for free?”
I wanted to know.
“Is it a handmade, tailored suit from a fancy designer?” I asked.
“Are you kidding,” the Blue Suit said with disdain.
“Carlo is an off-the-rack guy. He can’t afford handmade suits.
He’d never spend $2,000 for a handmade suit. He doesn’t have that kind of cash for such things,” the Blue Suit told me unequivocally.
“Are you certain about this?” I shot back.
“After all, he takes five or six vacations to Aruba every year. That’s got to cost the mayor $10,000 a time.”
The Blue Suit looked uncomfortable.
“Josh, you think you’re so smart. Who do you think pays for his airline tickets, for the hotel suites, for the extra cash he needs to get through the vacation? Who gives him chips from the casino down there? You know as well as I do, he can’t be affording all those fancy vacations staying at the Ritz on his mayor’s salary. Forget about it, Josh,” the Blue Suit said.
“Do developers give Carlo money?” I asked.
“Of course they do. How else do they say thank you to the mayor who always likes to say, ‘What’s in it for me,’ when he’s talking with developers.'”
“How do you think their projects get city approval?”
“Are you serious?” I exclaimed to the Blue Suit.
“Does Fred Capone know about this?” I asked.
“Of course Fred Capone knows about the mayor taking money in return for favors done. He’d be a fool if he didn’t,” the Blue Suit added.
“Do you think Fred will call him on it?” I asked.
“Carlo knows Fred isn’t that way. He knows he can rely on Fred to take the high road. Carlo laughs about this. He thinks Fred is a loser because he doesn’t charge for his city services as a councilor. Carlo charges for everything. Everyone working for the city is expected to give donations. If the donation isn’t large enough, the employee receives a call to give another check. That’s how it works with this administration at city hall.”
“What about Gerly Adrien? Is she going to take the high road? Does Carlo worry about her?”
“Carlo thinks of her like someone from another planet. First off, she’s Black, and second, she’s a woman. That’s two strikes against her with Carlo. He hates her passionately. I know. I hear him talk about her. He’s scared of her. Carlo is afraid she will attack him in public. He ought to be afraid of that. He’s got a lot to hide,” the Blue Suit said.
We finished lunch. I drove the Blue Suit home to Abbott Avenue.
Tuesday night, I watched the School Committee meeting. I guess the mayor decided to attend this meeting.
I was shocked.
He was wearing his new suit.
I’m not a fashion maven but my father always bought me expensive, finely tailored suits, even when I was a kid. I know something about suits. The mayor’s new suit is light gray, plain, a skinny lapel but somewhat ill-fitted to the mayor’s frame. It’s a cheaper three-button job, off the rack. He didn’t get it at Giblees I can guarantee that.
I couldn’t see the pants on the live stream Facebook video of the School Committee meeting. I know his waist has to be in the 45” to 50” range. The jacket must be a size 50 for him to be able to button it.
At Monday evening’s meeting of the School Committee, the mayor was in his ‘I am running for re-election best behavior. He looked as though he was interested in what Priya Tahiliani was saying. Those of us who know the mayor know better than that. He can’t stand Tahiliani. He’d get rid of her in a nanosecond if he could.
The mayor was putting on a show. Acting. He spoke as though he was a statesman. This was his effort at charming those who know he’s a tyrant and a political hack. It’s called the Carlo DeMaria election year transformation from rat to the humble candidate.
My bet is the mayor will drop the gray suit for the Blue Suit. Why?
The gray suit just doesn’t do it.