THE BLUE SUIT
Frank discussions between Josh Resnek and the mayor’s Blue Suit
“This was a bad weekend. Very, very bad,” the Blue Suit said to me over lunch at the New Bridge Café on Tuesday afternoon.
“I think I know what you mean,” I answered.
The glow and feel of the New Bridge has been essentially the same for the past 35 years. The same bar, the same configuration of tables and chairs, the same lighting, even the same people tending bar and waitressing.
Woodlawn hasn’t changed. The New Bridge remains the same.
That’s the best thing about the New Bridge. You always know exactly what you are going to get, exactly how it is going to taste, and you tend to look forward to your food when it is delivered to your table.
So there we were, talking about the mayor, as usual, waiting for our food.
Then it came.
The Blue Suit ordered two plates of tips medium rare, two orders of fries, a large salad and two bottles of Budweiser.
I ordered the barbecued chicken with salad.
The New Bridge salad dressing is fabulous. It is now being sold everywhere, in all major supermarkets. That’s a testament to the family that founded the New Bridge. They’ve worked long and hard to make it what it is.
I watched the Blue Suit devour the first plate of steak tips and salad, while at the same time he was shoving giant steak fries soaked in ketchup into his mouth.
The Blue Suit eats, well, he eats rather heavily. I don’t think he tastes what he eats. He simply loves a mass of food shoved into his mouth. Some people eat because they love and enjoy the taste and texture of food. Others eat to live. That’s the Blue Suit. I wonder if he got his eating habits from Carlo? I don’t know. What does it matter if he did or he didn’t?
“What did Carlo think about the US Attorney’s letter? Was he bothered by it? Did you hear him say anything about it?” I asked the Blue Suit.
“He was somewhere between being catatonic and seeming not to care. You have to understand about Carlo, he believes he can overcome any kind of investigation heaped upon him. That’s not to say he pooh poohs a Federal investigation. After all, he’d be a lunatic if he did. Carlo is many things, but he is not a lunatic,” the Blue Suit told me.
“But I am asking you because you know him, does he feel this is a bad thing? Is he made to feel very uneasy by a Federal investigation or is it just like a walk in Woodlawn Cemetery with his dog?” I asked.
“Look, he knows its serious. He knows he’s surrounded by people who are very worried about this investigation. They are worried about the FBI, about being called before a grand jury, about being possibly prosecuted. Nearly every one of those people who work for him and know a bit about him and who have always done his bidding religiously feel they likely have the most to lose. Carlo knows at this point no one is going to stand up for him. No one. He gets that. He knows exactly how he treats people. He knows how others will treat him when the tide turns. By all appearances, it appears the tide has turned,” the Blue Suit told me.
I watched the Blue Suit woofing down ketchup soaked steak fries, stuffing steak tips into his mouth, and then chugging from a bottle of Bud.
I heard the Blue Suit burp. He put his hand to his mouth, got up and moved away from his chair.
“I’ve got to go to the bathroom!” he blurted out. “I feel like I’m going to have an accident.”
I watched the Blue Suit waddle to the bathroom.
Seated alone at the table I thought about Carlo meeting this new challenge. What will he do? Mainly, I wondered if there was anyone who will speak with him honestly about the potential of the US Attorney’s investigation. Can he be hurt by this? Mainly, I wondered if anyone speaks to Carlo honestly about anything? Does this happen? Or he is he surrounded by yes men nodding their heads with all of them assuring him, there’s nothing to worry about?
How, I wondered, does Carlo process a Federal investigation?
I know how he does it.
He talks only to Everett yes people, the folks who say Rachel Rollins is bluffing, that she sent out a press release, that it means nothing or as Carlo’s associates might be prone to say, “it means absolutely nothing.”
And then I get to wondering, maybe it is nothing. Maybe all the hype and hoopla about a Federal investigation is nothing more than a press release? Is this possible? Of course it’s possible. In this upside down world of ours, anything and everything is possible.
Right now, the mayor has about three weeks to meet the orders of the US Attorney for the production of records. The city has been warned not erase or to alter records or to delete records, that everything will be examined for authenticity.
And by the way, the US Attorney sent out a three page letter, detailed in every way to the city. It wasn’t a one pager – and it was signed by Rollins and it named the Assistant US Attorney in charge of the investigation.
The Blue Suit finally returned to the table.
“What an explosion I had,” he said to me as he fell into his chair. “I feel a hundred pounds lighter,” he added.
I looked at him.
“You can be really disgusting at times,” I told him.
“All of that was more than I needed to know, than anyone needs to know.”
And what did he do then?
He started in on his second plate of tips.
“Have you heard what Anthony has been doing?” he asked me.
“No. What’s up?” I wondered.
“He’s been sending out messages to all the councilors telling them it wouldn’t be right to grant Sergio lifetime tenure or even another term as city clerk.”
“Wow! I exclaimed. “Can you imagine the effrontery of a guy who just resigned in disgrace from the council for his racist behavior telling others to “do the right thing!”
“He must want vengeance very badly,” I added. “He is very much like his cousin the mayor, wanting to retaliate against those who have been good friends, in fact, the best of friends for decades. I don’t get it,” I said.
“It’s called payback, Josh. Now please, keep quiet so I can finish this order of steak tips, OK?”
“Yeah. OK,” I answered.