THE BLUE SUIT
Hey Josh,” the Blue Suit asked me. “Tell me the truth. How much are you missing Anthony since he resigned from the council?”
I thought about the question for a moment.
“Not at all,” I answered.
“I don’t miss Anthony at all. He doesn’t miss me. I don’t miss him. We are absolutely on the same page about missing one another,” I added.
“Do you know anyone who misses him on the council?” I asked.
“Not on the council, except maybe for Stephanie Martins and even with her, it’s hard to know what exactly is going on inside her head. She might be happy that Anthony is gone. I don’t know but it’s a maybe on whether or not she cares. I’ll have to check out her hands, you know, the sign language her fingers speak. Maybe there will be some clues,” the Blue Suit told me.
On this day, I took the Blue Suit to my home. I fired up the Weber grill. I grilled sausage, green peppers, white onion and sweet tomatoes.
“Carlo has a better grill than you,” the Blue Suit said to me. “OK,” I answered. “Does that make him better than me?” Gobbling wads of grilled onions, tomato and green pepper with sweet Italian sausage, the Blue Suit seemed totally at ease. After six sausages, I had had it.
“Can I have another sausage?” the Blue Suit asked.
“No,” I said. “I think six sausages is enough. Don’t you?”
“I’m still hungry,” he complained.
“Look at you,” I said. “Your belt must be at least 48-52 inches…and you are asking me for more sausage? You should be ashamed of yourself. When are you going to control your food intake?” I asked.
“Forget the sausage. What about dessert? What do you have for me for dessert?”
“I thought you’d never ask,” I joked.
I pulled out a six pack of Hostess coffee cakes.
The Blue Suit devoured them like a powerful vacuum cleaner sucks up dust. One glass of cold milk washed down everything.
We got into my car. We rode back to Everett.
We turned off the Parkway onto Chelsea Street.
In a minute, we were at the red light in Everett Square.
“You like what Oliveira’s has done with the outside dining in the square?” the Blue Suit asked me.
“Oh yes,” I said.
“I am a big Oliveira’s fan,” I added.
“Eating outside in the square on a warm summer night is a nice thing. There should be more of this all over the city wherever food is served. It gives the city some panache.”
“What the hell is panache, Josh,” the Blue Suit asked. “Is it a French food or flower?”
“It’s a French word for special.”
“Sure it is, Josh. You like using the big words, don’t you?” “Panache is not a big word.”
Traffic was heavy. We cruised down Broadway very slowly heading North.
“You heard that Colleen Mejia is back at her job with the city, didn’t you?” the Blue Suit asked me.
“I guess that job with the Teamsters didn’t work out.” “Apparently not,” the Blue Suit said.
“That’s got to be about disappointment, especially now, when so much about the mayor and his policies are being challenged. I think she’s got some liabilities rejoining Carlo. But hey, everyone needs a job.”
“Speaking of lawyers…how do you think Deanna Deveney is doing?”
“Not well,” the Blue Suit answered.
“How does Erin Deveney get away with knowing all about this racism stuff and never saying a word? Shouldn’t she also be fired? She’s a lawyer, isn’t she. How about Keith Slattery. Don’t you think he, too, should be fired? He claimed he had Black foster children to Anthony and the others on one of those videos. Erin Deveney knew all about it. Keith was laughing so hard I thought he would burst.”
“He’s not laughing, now, is he?” I asked.
“Not at all. He’s been hanging low. He’s like everyone else next to the mayor who knew. They’re all scared, and they have a right to be scared. Their jobs are all on the line. If the mayor goes, they are cooked and they know it.”
“Could the mayor go as you suggest?” I asked the Blue Suit.
“You know, Josh, for the first time in five years I’m thinking to myself that there is a chance the mayor could fall. Things have not been going his way. His belief he can ride out any storm seems too simplistic. This is a different time. The world has been turned upside down for him during the past 8 weeks. Can you imagine losing $40,000 a year that he was depending on? Actually, it would have been $50,000 if he had taken it – but as you know – he was told not to take it, that it would be trouble.”
“I believe that,” I said.
“And can you imagine Anthony resigning? Two months ago it seemed an impossibility and now he’s gone. This can’t make Carlo feel too good, although he’s been taking credit for making him step down to his inside buddies. How is he going to get Sergio fired without Anthony leading the charge?”
“Does he miss Deanna?” I asked.
“He could care less about her,” the Blue Suit answered.
“What about being disinvited to the high school graduation?
What did Carlo think of that?” I asked.
“It took him quite a while to settle down after that disaster. He’s not used to that, Josh. He’s not used to being the one being disinvited. It has always been the other way around with Carlo. He’d be the one deciding who attends an event and who doesn’t,” said the Blue Suit. “The tables have been turned on him. Typical of Carlo, he used a fusillade of obscenities to denounce the kids that disinvited him. I can’t repeat what he called the high school kids who descended on city hall. It sounded racist to me but I think he went way beyond that kind like someone so angry they spout obscenities that blend in like a toxic mix of jumbled hate words but really making no sense. That’s how upset he was.”
“Does he think he’s in trouble?” I asked.
“Probably, but he keeps that buried deep inside. I’ll tell you this, Josh. The people around him think his troubles are mounting. The department heads, the cops, the firefighters, the city employees that have been forced to donate repeatedly and to take his guff if they don’t. Many people, I think have grown tired of Carlo the way you get tired of a boil that won’t heal. After all, Josh, who wants to be bothered by a greedy, ungrateful tyrant and bully? To my way of thinking, Fred Capone has never looked better to an awful lot of Everett folks that tended to be Carlo supporters. They all know Fred won’t shake them down for money and that they won’t be treated like chattel,” the Blue Suit added.
“Chattel is a great word. You think Carlo knows what it means?” I asked.
“Of course not. You know he’s never read a book and there’s not a library he’s ever passed that he wanted to walk into,” the Blue Suit said with a laugh.
“Hah Hah, very funny. But you know, Carlo believes the residents of Everett are like chattel. He believes he owns everyone and that everyone owes him something. He said something telling in the Globe piece quite truthfully: “I could have left a long time ago.”
“What he failed to say is that he has nowhere to go and nowhere to hide and that at this very moment, it sometimes feels to him that the walls are closing in on him and the ceiling is heading downward. Not a great place to be, is it Josh?”