The Blue Suit
“What’s he going to do if he loses? Yikes. I hate to think about that. He won’t take to losin’ kindly, i can assure you of that.”– The mayor’s Blue Suit to josh Resnek
By JOSH RESNEK
“He better win. That’s all I can say about Carlo. I don’t want to be around him if he loses. What a bad scene that will be for everyone near him. Can you imagine me being worn by him on election night and him losing!! God, I hate to think about it. I could end up completely trashed in the aftermath of a loss!”
That’s how the mayor’s Blue Suit, my good friend, put it to me Tuesday morning when we palled around Everett for a few hours just killing some time. We drove up and down some of my favorite Everett Streets in my red Honda, the corrosively ugly piece of aging junk I drive around in.
“Why do take so much pleasure in driving a piece of junk?” the Blue Suit asked me.
“You have to know Carlo would never be caught dead letting people see him in your car – let alone to be seen in it with you driving! Your type of car is way below his perceived class level. Only poor people drive cars like yours, Josh,” the Blue Suit added.
“Oh really,” I answered. “I don’t view my automobile as a function of my status in the world, if you don’t mind,” I said to the Blue Suit.
“Obviously you don’t do that, Josh. I might add you do a very good job of looking poor in that car.” He laughed. He reflected for a moment.
“Carlo’s been driving around the city in his father’s red truck. It is a pretty nice truck by comparison to your car. It’s a newer pickup in perfect condition.”
“What the hell is Carlo doing riding around in a red pickup truck?” I asked.
The Blue Suit raised his eyebrows.
“It’s a campaign stunt, Josh. C’mon. Carlo is trying to look working class, you know, like the people who live in this city.”
“Oh really,” I said with sarcasm. “So if you drive around in a red pickup truck you can fool people into believing you’re working?”
“Yes. That’s exactly the point with Carlo,” the Blue Suit said with assurance.
We were stopped in front of the Central Fire Station when the ladder truck and the pumper, led by the deputy chief’s car roared out of the open bays up Broadway with sirens shout- ing and red lights blinking.
I said to the Blue Suit:
“Carlo just spent something like $1.2 million virtually re-making the Central Fire Station. There was just one problem with the remake.”
“What was that?” the Blue Suit asked.
“Nothing important,” I joked. “They forgot to make the place handicapped accessible. How did that happen?” I asked.
“Yeah, I know. I went to the grand opening – open to the public last week but with no access for the handicapped. I heard a couple of guests talking about that. Maybe Carlo knows things about handicapped accessibility that you don’t, Josh,” the Blue Suit said.
“Maybe if it’s handicapped accessible in Carlo’s mind that’s the same as the facility being handicapped accessible even if it isn’t.”
“Why don’t we change the subject, Josh?”
“OK. OK. Let’s get back to what Carlo does if he loses.” “Sounds good. Here’s the deal. If Carlo loses it becomes an incomprehensible night for him, a night of terror and loss, but most of all, it will become a night of hate.”
‘What do you mean?” I asked.
“He will feel deserted. He will rant and rave. He will complain that everyone who assured him they are with him was not with him and he will absolutely, positively, to the core of his being hate every one of the people who voted against him.
“Then he will explode with anger and disgust at those he did favors for or whom he gave jobs to. He will hate all of them, and he will feel bitter and broken, shattered like a big glass door hit by a heavy rock. There will be moments he does not know how to react. Where he has become so enraged at the loss he cannot think straight. Don’t forget, Josh, I know Carlo better than almost anyone. He will be inconsolable. He’ll even cry,” the Blue Suit told me.
“There will be moments when he is so angry he begins gasping for air as though he can’t breathe. I shouldn’t reveal this, but he’s got the habit of putting his face into a brown paper bag when he is distraught. He gasps for breath with the bag over his face. It’s an incredible scene when he does that. You can imagine what it’s like for me when he’s wearing me and he’s acting like that! Do you know what that’s like? He’s heaving, gasping for air, the bag is blowing in and out, expanding, and then contracting. He’s sweating. He’s almost delirious…and then comes the worst moment, when he realizes he will be losing his salary and benefits. The nightmare of losing his income is like meeting the Devil, and the Devil is laughing at him. That’s the moment of truth if he loses on Election night, Josh. Like most of us, Carlo can’t afford to lose his income. What’s worse? Like most of us, he’s unemployable. What will he do?”
I thought for a moment about what the Blue Suit described. “Will he stay in the city or will he leave the city?” I asked. “The Blue Suit had this to say:
“If he loses, I don’t believe you’ll ever see him again. He’ll move out of Everett as fast as he can and never look back. It will be as though he was never here. Just like that. Like the snap of a finger,” the Blue Suit predicted.
“You’ve got that down,” I said to the Blue Suit. “If Carlo loses, everyone who swore they were with him will dessert him instantly to a person down to the last man and woman in Everett. You can bet on that. That’s human nature. That’s how it will go here in Everett. Going down is hard. No one wants to go down with you when you are heading in that direction. Everyone appears to be with you when you are at the top of your game. Carlo has been there for 14 years. This year doesn’t appear to be a championship year for him. His primary performance was crap. More people voted against him than for him. If that continues until the finale, he can’t win,” I said.
“There is also the harsh reality that those who didn’t vote for him this time around no longer pretend to care about him. They even take a special delight in Carlo’s loss – if it comes to that.
“It might come to that,” I added.
“And it might not,” the Blue Suit answered.