THE BLUE SUIT
Private Conversations between the mayor’s Blue Suit and Leader Herald editor Josh Resnek.
So the midterm elections have come and gone. The great red wave never materialized. The Democrats have held on to the senate. They have lost the House of Representatives, but by such a small margin that for all the hype before the midterm about the sweeping red wave, we are almost back to where we began.
That is, we are a hopelessly divided nation, so politically divided that it gives the word division a new meaning.
How does this relate to Everett, you might well ask yourselves – all of you out there reading this column?
Does it change anything for us?
I asked that exact question to the Blue Suit.
Here’s what he said:
“You know, Josh, national elections have meant nothing to me for years. Elections don’t matter to me. It’s what’s on the flat screen that matters. It’s what’s in the frigde that matters. It’s when I need a good cleaning that the mayor takes me to the cleaners, that matters.
“I guess I was interested in Joe McGonagle this last time around. He’s an interesting character. I have a history with him, that is, the mayor has a history with him. Nearly everyone has a history with him. He’s been up. He’s been down. He’s been all around.
“This last election between him and Mike Marchese came out as I expected, as the mayor expected. It came out as Anthony expected In fact, Mike never had a chance running as an independent. He never had a chance against Joe with the mayor and his forces supporting him. But that’s just the harsh reality about politics here. Everyone get’s to have their moment under the sun. Joe’s moment under the sun has come as a rep. And let’s not forget, as I can never forget, as the mayor can’t forget, as Mike will never forget, that because of Joe, Carlo is the mayor today. Carlo never could have become mayor without Joe.”
I thought about that.
“I thought Joe was running against Carlo for mayor way back. It is so long ago, it’s almost too hard to remember what went down. I bet Carlo remembers. I bet Joe remembers – but hey – that’s water over the dam. No one cares how we get where we’re going. What matters is that we arrive. No matter how many times we stumble, how many time were are disloyal, how many times we screw up in our public and private lives, what matters is not telling tales of woe about the past, rather, what matters is where we ultimately arrive and what we make out of ourselves,” I told the Blue Suit.
“You are 100% correct, Josh. Everything about the past is forgotten here…or is it?”
I reflected on that for a moment.
When he says things like that to me I know why I like the Blue Suit as much as I do. I know why I put up with him. I know why I enjoy his company. It all goes way beyond his slave-like life hanging inside the mayor’s closet or being worn by the mayor all the time.
The Blue Suit knows about life. He knows about political life here in Everett. After all, he’s been trained by a master.
That being said, I wondered about everything about the past being forgotten among politicians here.
“That doesn’t really happen here,” I told the Blue Suit. “People carry grudges here for decades. In fact, it runs through some generations for generations. Some people in Everett never let go. They hang on to the misery as though they cannot live without it- and when the moment comes they can exact some sort of revenge, they take it. I know this. I’ve seen it. I understand it but its very twisted, bent behavior. Time passes, memories fade, but the hurt of being done in by someone you thought was a friend is disappointing. It is something one tends to never forget,” I added.
“Here, in this city, inside city hall, outside city hall, among friends and former friends, there is a powerful strain of dysfunction that everyone carries in themselves like a virus in the bloodstream,” I said.
“And what is that, Josh?” the Blue Suit asked.
“Jealousy,” I answered.
“It’s all about jealousy.”
“I’ll give you one example – Mike Marchese. There isn’t a more generous guy in this city. Everyone believes he is a multi-millionaire and he probably is. If he isn’t, he sure acts like one. Almost to a person, the people he has been most generous to in politics have always tended to gang up on him at election time. Everyone slaps his back. Everyone tells him he’s a great guy. Everyone promises to vote for him but when the time comes, when election day arrives, those same people patting Mike on the back can’t wait to go in and to vote for Joe McGonagle, to give Mike the ultimate stab in the back. That’s what jealousy does to people around here. As I wrote last week, Joe is a nice enough but he’s no Mike Marchese. The vote may not have reflected that – but nearly everyone in this city knows that’s true.”