The Blue Suit
“He’s not himself. Something is up. I’m not sure what’s going on with him. You’d think he’d be happy after winning the election. I don’t know what it is. Something is up with Carlo.”
– Josh Resnek talking to the mayor’s Blue Suit
By JOSH RESNEK with THE BLUE SUIT
“I think I’m having a nervous breakdown,” the Blue Suit told me Tuesday afternoon. We were cruising around the city. The sun was bright. The unusual warmth of the early December afternoon was special. We talked honestly with one another. After all, is there any other way to talk with a good friend?
“What do you mean?” I asked the Blue Suit. “How do you know you’re having a nervous breakdown.”
“I just don’t feel right. Several times a day my heart starts racing. I sweat. I feel like I’m going to pass out…and then after a few minutes, it goes away.”
“That’s called having an anxiety attack. That’s a lot different from having a nervous breakdown,” I said to the Blue Suit. “Why are you having anxiety attacks?”
“Carlo is causing them, I think,” he answered.
“How can Carlo cause you to have an anxiety attack?” I asked.
“You try living with him as I do and then you can understand, Josh,” the Blue Suit said to me.
“How is he doing?” I asked. “He should be at the top of the world. He just won another four years. He controls everything and everyone. He should be drinking champagne, ballroom dancing, smoking fat cigars, gambling at the casino and enjoying the time he likes to spend at the Ritz in Aruba,” I added. “What’s his problem?” I asked.”
“Something is bothering him. There is something going on that he hasn’t told me about. I can feel it. I can sense that something is wrong or about to go very wrong. It seems to me he can’t control whatever it is that is bothering him,” the Blue Suit added.
“The last time I saw him like this was when the FBI was chasing him during the mess that went on with the casino land. You know he was being wiretapped, followed, investigated and on and on for about three to four years. It was just terrible having to be near him then.”
“Have you ever been chased by the FBI or wiretapped or followed, Josh?”
“Well it doesn’t get much worse than that.”
“Oh yes it does,” I told the Blue Suit. “It gets really bad when you have to appear before a grand jury. That’s when you have to tell the truth, even if you’re Carlo DeMaria. I don’t believe he’s been before a grand jury. Maybe he has. Maybe he will. Maybe that’s what’s bothering him. I don’t really know. I’m hearing there’s a great deal of interest in law enforcement circles about Carlo, but again, I don’t know. The FBI and the folks in the US Attorney’s office don’t exactly communicate with me. Maybe Carlo knows things that I don’t know, that even you aren’t aware of. Is that possible?”
“Yes, indeed,” said the Blue Suit.
We cruised down Broadway by the casino heading for the Mystic River. I put my hand out the window and motioned with my arm in a wide sweep of the opposite side of Broadway.
“Look here at the parking lot. This is exactly where Encore is going to put an 1,800 person sports and entertainment venue and a parking lot. It will be quite a project. It will add to the casino’s value as a meeting place for business conventions, musical recording artists, and sporting events. It represents quite an expansion of the casino’s sphere of economic influence in this part of the city. Let’s face it, this part of the city was a wasteland for the past half century until the casino changed all that. Not everyone is pleased with the casino and its inevitable expansion. Yes. It will mean more jobs and taxes paid and tens of thousands more visitors to Everett. Automobile traffic like we’ve never experienced will be one of the results. More random violence and lawlessness will inevitably come with it. This is the price Everett residents must pay for having the casino where it is instead of a huge shopping mall with major apartment complexes and businesses. What could have been just like Assembly Square – a veritable city within the city, is, instead a casino and hotel. If the city had to do it again, I’d bet the casino and hotel wouldn’t be the choice. People would point to the success at Assembly Square and say: “Let’s do something like that.”
The Blue Suit took a Milky Way from his right suit pocket. He peeled back the wrapper. He bit off a healthy chunk of the Milky Way.
“God is this good. A simple thing like a Milky Way. Wow.” Back to Carlo.
“So what is ailing Carlo?” I asked.
“If he’s being chased by the law, we don’t know this…not yet anyway. If he’s unhappy, we’re left to wonder why, especially in view of the fact he’s got four years ahead of him to do his thing. That alone should be a cause for celebration rather than concern. Yet I’m hearing some of his closest friends are saying he is “distraught” and feels he’s reached the end of the road in Everett,” I said to the Blue Suit.
“What do you think?” I asked the Blue Suit.
The Blue Suit cleared his throat.
“I’ve heard him tell Jerry he’s done, that he won’t run again. His 210 vote victory over Fred Capone was not exactly a landslide. Nearly half of those who voted, voted against Carlo! Carlo doesn’t feel that he won. I believe he is thinking he is finished. I’ll go even further…I don’t believe he’s going to get through this term.”
“What do you mean by that?” I asked the Blue Suit.
“Just what I said, Josh. I don’t think Carlo believes he’s going to make it through the term. I’ve heard him tell some people he’s been offered a job opportunity and that he’s thinking about taking the job although he won’t say what it is. I find that hard to believe because the only thing Carlo is qualified to do is to be the mayor. No one at Encore wants to have anything to do with him. He knows this. Besides, he’s got a really poor work ethic. He hated running his own donut shops. How can he pretend to me that he’s got a job offer?” the Blue Suit explained with a great deal of exasperation.
“Look, Josh, I know Carlo. I know who he is and what he is about. I have watched him up close in real time for years as he goes about his business. I could write a book about him… but I won’t. Take it from me, something big is bothering him. He’s miserable. He’s been eating heavily, a sure sign something is up besides his weight. He seems all about doom and gloom to me.”
“He doesn’t talk with me so I can’t say with any authority how Carlo is feeling,” I answered.
“But I know this…he should be at the top of the world… unless…”
“Unless, what, Josh?”
“Unless he knows something we don’t.”
“What might that be? the Blue Suit answered.
“Hey buddy, you started this conversation, not me.” “What is the cause of his gloominess? Why is he so palpably unhappy? Is something going wrong for him? Maybe. Just maybe everything is catching up with him about now. He must be facing something difficult and dark. I don’t know what it is but I don’t want to be a part of it. I’m happy being me,” said the Blue Suit.
“Will Carlo survive the four year term he was just re-elected to?” I asked.
“Do you believe it is a possibility he won’t survive the term?” the Blue Suit asked me.
“Anything can happen and it often does. We are all here and doing our thing one day and then the next day our lives can change and rather drastically. Carlo is not excluded from this. None of us are excluded. What goes around comes around,” I said. “Maybe Carlo is tired of being mayor. Maybe Carlo feels like his world is changing, that the victory was not a victory at all. The 210 vote victory was technically a loss. Maybe this is fueling his negative energy,” I added.
“I’m going to stick with what I originally said to you when we started talking today. Something isn’t going right for Carlo. Something is wrong. What is it? Only he knows, Josh and right now, he isn’t saying.”