The Blue Suit
“He wobbles from pretend kindness to real time uncontrollable anger. He is very, very nervous that the end is here.”– The mayor’s Blue Suit to Josh Resnek
By JOSH RESNEK
“What’s inside his head? You know him better than anyone. Tell us all, what would it be like to be inside the mayor’s head?” I asked the Blue Suit.
The Blue Suit thought for a moment. He closed his eyes. He tossed his head back. He cleared his throat. He thought about all the time he has spent with the mayor during the past ten years. It wearied him to think so much of his life has been wasted hanging around with Carlo, serving Carlo, being abused by Carlo.
“What would it be like inside the mayor’s head?” The Blue Suit took in a deep breath. He let out a long sigh.
“It would be like living inside a volcano. Wait. Let me change that. It would be like drowning in a thick mess or like sinking inexorably in a patch of deadly quicksand. Better yet, it would be like being in a dark cave with hideous monsters lurking all around making horrible sounds. The mayor is up one moment. He is down the next. He remains calm with some people. He explodes with anger with others. All in all, he’s in a big twist. He’s spinning out of control. Being inside his head would be like being inside a mental institution. Believe me. I know,” he added.
“Yes, indeed. You do know,” I answered the Blue Suit.
“What is he thinking about?” I asked. “What’s bothering him? Shouldn’t he feel like he’s at the top of the world and that he’s going to win again? I mean, what’s on his mind?”
“You just don’t understand, Josh. When you’re Carlo DeMaria you’re living on the edge – I mean the edge. He doesn’t know how or he is incapable of controlling himself about some things. Those of us with self-control cannot imagine the things Carlo does out of habit. He’s a guy who has lived with bad habits all his life. He’s a total mess. There’s the money thing, his almost insatiable need for money. No amount is enough. There’s the personality thing. Everything must be about him. Everyone must submit to him. If you don’t agree or submit to him you are his enemy. He has many, many enemies. No one, however, confronts him. He gets his way. He buys his way. He finagles his way. He bullies his way. The really incredible thing about Carlo is that he gets away with so much. How can one man get away with so many allegations of wrongdoing with no consequences? You have to wonder about that,” he said.
When I lived in Chelsea many years ago the city was one of the most corrupt places on the face of the earth. Sammy Berkowitz, one of the kings of organized crime in Chelsea stood out like a neon sign. He was basically a gangster – running a money laundering operation on Fifth Street. He was the richest man in the city. Every day he would carry a large paper shopping bag filled with cash through the square and into the bank. Many of Chelsea’s little people would great Sammy like a hero in the square. They would crowd around him. “Hey Sammy. Show us the pardon you got. Show it to us Sammy,” they’d say as they clambered around him. He’d stop and take out the pardon he received from President Ronald Regan.
“Sammy. How did you get the pardon? How did you get it Sammy? Tell us, please,” the little people would ask.
Sammy would smile widely, flip the ashes from a Pall Mall that was hanging from his lips and then he’d say:
“How did I get my pardon? Like I get everything else. I bought it!”
The little people went wild with applause and laughter and a bit of shrieking.
I always wondered how Sammy could do the things he did and not be put in jail. That’s when I discovered that those who flaunt the law in public and who are allowed by law enforcement to do as they like, are usually cooperating with the government. After all, how else could they do what they do? The police know everything that is going on from community to community. If the police did nothing about Sammy that kind of said it all about Sammy and the police.
“Do you think Carlo is uptight about more than the election?” I asked the Blue Suit.
“Yeah. He’s uptight all around about everything. He’s kind of spinning out of control. Not knowing for sure that he is going to win eats at him like acid can burn a hole through steel. He knows he can lose. He knows in his heart he might lose. But in his delusion, he is certain he is going to win,” the Blue Suit told me.
“Let’s change the subject. I’m getting bored trying to read Carlo’s mind. It’s a bit like trying to decipher emptiness.”
“Let me ask you this. Do you think the video cameras the mayor has put up in the city clerk’s office to spy on the city clerk got anything to do with the election coming up? Does Carlo think Sergio would steal votes or withhold them from him?,” I asked the Blue Suit.
‘”I don’t think Sergio would do anything wrong, quite frankly. He’s a straight guy about business – and when it comes to voting – he does things by the law,” I told the Blue Suit.
“”Why then the cameras? Isn’t that a bit much? Don’t you think that’s a bit of overkill?” I asked.
“Is it even legal to put cameras into city hall offices? Isn’t that an invasion of privacy?” I asked the Blue Suit.
“Hey, Josh. I’m a lot of things but I’m not a lawyer and I don’t pretend to be a lawyer. You know what Abraham Lincoln said about people who think of themselves as their own lawyers? Lincoln said they have clients who are fools.”
“How do you know about stuff like that?” I asked the Blue Suit.
“I read history, all the time, Josh. History is more than what happened yesterday or what you read on FaceBook and YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. History is more than someone’s personal opinion. It is about what happened during an earlier time. History is not something that can be easily predicted – and in the case of this upcoming election Tuesday – well – history is impossible to predict until it’s happened,” he added.
“Now there is something known as the dust bin of history. Into that dust bin goes stale history, ions of it. It’s the same place bad writing goes by the dumpster load – and I suspect much of your work might end up there when all is said and done,” the Blue said.
“That’s pretty insulting, don’t you think?” I asked him.
“Yeah. It is. If you hand it out you have to be able to take the criticism when it comes back at you, Josh.”
I looked at the Blue Suit. He looked at me.
“So what do you think? What’s the outcome Tuesday?” the Blue Suit asked.
“I’ll let you know Tuesday night – my friend. Let’s see what happens.”