The great novelist Gore Vidal wrote that fiction is truth. He knew what he was writing about. This column from week to week proves that fiction is truth – and that the truth can be considered a terrible weapon of aggression. Far better to speak the truth or to write about it, rather than concealing it.
I met the mayor’s Blue Suit about a year ago at a local cleaner’s shop. Since meeting in a pile of crumpled and soiled clothing of all kinds at a local cleaner. We have become close friends.
The mayor’s Blue Suit reveals things to me. I pass them on to you. It’s up to you to believe what is in this column or to read it like fiction or to reject it and refuse to read it.
That being said, our readers have the unfettered right to read this column, to discuss this column, to be revolted by it, to find it inspiring, to label it ridiculous, and even to read it and sigh: “Could this column possibly have been about the truth?”
I exert no special powers when it comes to the truth. I make the effort at being a good storyteller.
The Blue Suit and I both believe in our right to express ourselves freely. We believe in our freedom of speech.
This column endorses that right from week-to-week not only for us but for our readers, who know a good tale when the read one.
The Blue Suit
By JOSH RESNEK
We were out for a walk down the length of Broadway, from the Smoke Shop next to the Dunkin Donuts in North Everett, all the way to Santilli Circle.
We came down the hilly part of Broadway. We stopped momentarily on the sidewalk across from the gasoline station in Glendale Square where the mayor likes to fill up. The price of gasoline does not mean anything to the mayor. It does not relate to him.
The Blue Suit asked me for a heads up.
“Listen to this,” he said to me.
“Truth fears nothing but concealment. Truth never dies.
Truth begets hatred. The language of truth is plain and always simple,” the mayor’s Blue Suit said to me.
‘Where the hell did you get those bits about the truth? You sounded like some kind of Latin-speaking Roman orator.”
“Yeah. That’s me. A Latin-speaking Roman orator working for the mayor of Everett.”
We shared a hearty laugh and a bit of coughing and back-slapping over the Blue Suit’s retort.
“I got them from my favorite book.”
“What book is that?”
“The Dictionary of Foreign Phrases and Classical Quotations. If I were being sent to prison, it is the one book I would take with me,” the Blue Suit said to me.
“Does Carlo know Latin?” I asked.
“Not very much. I think he can read Roman numerals.” “That’s nice. That’s a start at 47 or 48 or whatever age he is,” I added.
“Roman numerals are hard to read if you’re not used to them, Josh. Reading Roman Numeral numbers isn’t all about checkers. It’s about chess,” the mayor’s Blue Suit said to me.
We walked across Ferry Street and then walked up the hill before stopping outside of McKinnon’s. The Blue couldn’t get his eyes off the DiBlasi’s sub shop.
The Blue Suit was sweating and out of breath.
“Have you put on some weight?” I asked the Blue Suit. “Yes. I was hoping you didn’t notice. This run-up to the election is killing me.’
“What do you think?” I asked the Blue Suit.
‘Does your boss get another four years or not?”
“What am I, some kind of soothsayer or mystic who can see. into a crystal ball and predict the outcome of the election?” the Blue Suit asked.
“Sure. Why not?” I said.
“You’ve been at this a long time with the mayor. For at least a decade. What’s his thinking?”
The Blue Suit let out a loud burp in front of a local insurance agency – a clapper – as he tends to do quite often. It echoed remarkably in that area of Broadway. Two younger people standing nearby expressed shock at the clapper. They turned their heads in response to its magnitude.
‘What the hell was that?” one kid asked the other.
“I think it must have been a large animal,” was the reply. We passed DiBlasi’s. I had to pry the Blue Suit away from the front door. For certain he would have ordered a large Italian with everything and hot peppers, extra oil, and seasoning if he went inside the beloved Everett sub shop.
“What do you think?” I repeated. “Is Carlo going to win?” I looked at my cell. It was 4 p.m., Election Day in Everett. There were four hours to go before the polls closed, the
votes were added and the winners and losers determined. “Is Carlo going to win?” I asked the Blue Suit again. “Josh. Here’s what I have to say about that. Yes. Carlo is going to win. He could win by a little. He could win by a lot. But it doesn’t matter, as you well know. If Carlo wins by three votes, he wins., He gets to be mayor for another four years. I don’t like to think about this because I don’t know if I can face him wearing me for another four years. I’ll be stretched, torn, and ripped to shreds. Food will be slopped all over my pants and jacket. My inside pocket will bulge from papers he stuffs into it. I’ll be in a bad way if he wins. I believe he is going to win.”
We maintained silence for a block or so. Now we were walking down the hill from the old high school.
“I will make this other prediction. Carlo has not been himself. He has been worried. He senses everything isn’t the way it ought to be. Then there’s the Sergio matter. He can’t get Sergio off his mind. He thinks many minds may have changed about him. If this is the case. If Carlo’s time has come, he cannot win.”
“Has his time come?” I asked the Blue Suit. “Is it all over for Carlo?” I asked.
“No one can know this until all the votes are counted,” he added.
“I know this. This is the worst and biggest test Carlo has faced. He’s tossed a ton of money at this campaign. If anyone should win, it should be him, the incumbent,” he said to me.
“You think so?”
“Yes, I do. I don’t just think so. I know so. But let me add again – if Carlo’s time has come, it will be like driving an old car when the engine freezes. All the dashboard lights come on and you are overtaken by a gruesome reality. You pull off the highway to the side of the road. The engine is dead. The car is immobile. You take off the license plates, and you walk back home. It’s all over for that car. If Carlo loses, it’s all over for him in Everett. However, Carlo does not know what awaits him. None of us knows for sure what awaits us. I know this, I’m out of a job if he loses…and frankly, I’ll be grateful for that.”