The Blue Suit
“Look Josh, its Christmas. You know what I mean? Let’s ditch the politics and rap a bit about our lives. Let’s use the holiday to hope things will change. How’s that?”
– The mayor’s Blue Suit talking with Josh Resnek
By JOSH RESNEK with THE BLUE SUIT
“Sounds like an idea,” I answered the Blue Suit.
“Are you down?” I asked the Blue Suit.
“I guess I’m not really good at hiding how I feel, am I?” the Blue Suit replied. He turned away from me. I thought he was crying.
We were sipping coffees in the North Everett Dunkin Donuts and scratching a few lottery tickets we bought at the smoke shop next door. We bought ten $5 dollar tickets. It wasn’t going well.
“What’s wrong?” I repeated. “Christmas got you down? Come on. Let it out. I’m your friend. We have no secrets (except for a few things about Carlo he won’t tell me about).
“I don’t like Christmas, Josh.”
“Why not?” I asked.
“In case you’ve not noticed – I have no one in my life. No brothers. No sisters. No mother or father. I lost my parents in a suit sale in Filene’s Basement shortly before it closed in 2007.
“Tell me what happened?” I asked.
“My father was a Polo suit – a three piece, charcoal gray masterpiece. It gave me chills as a younger man to slide my hand across my father’s sleeve. So smooth. So rich in texture. So brilliantly woven. My father was a $1,500 suit off the rack and that’s saying something. The royalty are the hand made suits. My grandfather was a hand made Hickey Freeman pin stripe suit. He was something to behold,” the Blue Suit said.
“I really come from a good pedigree of suits – but I am not my father or my grandfather. They were in a different league than I am.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“My grandfather would never have worked for anyone, let alone Carlo. My grandfather was too independent and too high up for Carlo to consider. Do you understand what it meant to be a Hickey Freeman suit?” the Blue Suit asked me. “Even today a basic Freeman costs big money. Nordstrom’s has one for sale. It’s like $2,000. Carlo’s not in that league,” he added.
“My grandfather disappeared in a fire sale in a used cloth- ing shop about 20 years ago. He was the real thing.”
“My father lived in the shadow of his father. He was in the $1,500 range. Being a Polo is like being aristocracy in today’s world. Again, Carlo isn’t interested in Polo or Hickey Freeman. He can’t afford either of them. Then there’s me,” the Blue Suit said.
“When Carlo bought me about ten years ago, you know what he paid?” the Blue Suit asked.
“$250 bucks,” I answered.
“Wrong. Carlo paid more than that but it’s still pathetic. He paid $300 for me. I’m a mongrel. I have no pedigree. No one knows I come from such a distinguished background. I’m the bottom of the barrel. Because Carlo thinks he looks good wearing me I have to suffer. I suffer all the time. There is no end to my suffering and to the indignities that Carlo heaps upon me,” the Blue Suit lamented.
‘What about your mother and grandmother?” I asked.
“My grandmother was a Gucci, not like a brother or sister, rather, like a second cousin but with the famous last name. My mother was incredible. So classy. So well stitched. Made of material like silk and fine cotton weave. She died in an accident at a cleaning store where she was burned while resting on an ironing board several months after I got off the production line in China. I ended up on sale in Macy’s. That’s where Carlo picked me up and took me home. My life has not been the same since that day,” the Blue Suit said to me.
“My mother got lost on one of those trips to Aruba the mayor often takes. She was left behind at the Ritz Carlton where she was found by a cleaner who rolled her into a ball, stuck her in a big plastic bag suffocating her, before taking her home. I never heard another word from her, never saw her worn again. I miss her dearly,” he said.
“Do you ever wonder what’s going to happen to yourself when your time has come?”
“You know I have, Josh. I’m leaving behind instructions. If I’m in a food mess followed by a botched cleanup or I’m torn in an accident and stitchers are unable to put me back together, or if a hole appears that cannot be closed shut with needle and thread, I am to be immediately removed, put into a barrel and burned into a pile of ash residue,” the Blue Suit said, sparing no detail.
“I don’t want an obituary. I don’t want a burial. I don’t need any of that. When my time comes, I will be gone. My suffering will have ended. Remember, I don’t want to be repaired. I don’t want to stay around beyond my allotted time as a suit.”
“I know Carlo would tend to wear me until I disappear. I can’t let that happen. I won’t let it happen.”
“Have you made out a will?” I asked the Blue Suit.
“Are you serious!” the Blue Suit snapped.” What kind of nut are you, Josh?”
“Have you ever heard of a suit like me making out a will?”
“I mean…what can I possibly leave behind besides a torn and stained shell of what I used to be when I was a younger suit?”
“You’ve got a point there,” I said.
“Just the same, I’m going to wish you a Merry Christmas.” “Merry Christmas, my good friend,” I said grabbing the Blue Suit and hugging him.
“Thanks for cheering me up, Josh.”
“Merry Christmas to you.”
“Merry Christmas to everyone who reads about me!” the Blue Suit said.
We went our separate way.