THE BLUE SUIT
Private Conversations between the mayor’s favorite blue suit and Leader Herald Editor Josh Resnek.
It was just a scare last week. The Blue Suit didn’t suffer a heart attack. It was an anxiety attack that nearly rendered him helpless and sent him to the Massachusetts General Hospital.
When the doctor’s had done their thing, the Blue Suit was given a good bill of health. However, the doctors treating him told him in no uncertain terms that he must get a hold of himself, that he must stop internalizing his feelings.
In other words, the Blue Suit was told by the doctors to let what is inside come outside because holding it all inside will lead to increased anxiety and a possible heart attack at some point.
Inside the lobby there were signs placed by MGH public relations people wishing the Blue Suit well.
“Thanks for stopping by!” “Take care of yourself!” read the signs lining the hallway.
What a scene it was at the Massachusetts General Hospital White Building when the Blue Suit walked outside.
I was waiting there for him in the large circular driveway out in front of the hospital.
He looked fit again, happy, and he walked with a bit of clip to his step.
A large crowd of onlookers clamored about him trying to get close to the Blue Suit.
“There he is!” they shouted in unison before closing in around him.
One woman, an older woman in a wheelchair rolled right up to him.
“Can I have your autograph?” she asked.
The Blue Suit pulled a pen from his inside pocket. He signed the woman’s MGH discharge paper.
“Oh my God,” she said aloud with delight staring at the autograph. She held it and admired it as though it was a piece of gold.
“I’ve got his autograph. The most famous person from Everett! What a thrill!” she cried out.
Others reached for his arms. Several tried hugging him. Boston Police officers tried to keep the crowd at bay. “Are you DeMaria?” the cops asked me.
“No,” I replied.
“Oh yeah. We’ve heard of you.”
“Is DeMaria the mayor over there?” they asked me.
“Yes, indeed,” I replied.
“Quite the character, we understand,” the cops said to me. “Yes.That’s one way of looking at him.”
A cop pulled me aside.
“You better get him out of here. We can’t handle crowds,” they told me.
The Blue Suit waved and smiled as he stepped into my Lexus. We drove out of the MGH with men and women cheering and waving at us…and with the woman who got his autograph showing to everyone as she made her way in her wheelchair.
The Blue Suit was calm and comfortable.
“I don’t ever want to have that feeling again,” he said of the anxiety attack that sent him to the hospital.
“It felt as though my chest was going to explode. I thought I was dying.”
That’s the way it is with anxiety attacks. You tend to think you’re dying. Once you’ve had enough of them, you come to understand anxiety attacks don’t kill you. They just tend to ruin your state of mind,” I told the Blue Suit.
“They don’t know why I stopped breathing but I’m glad they brought me back to life,” he told me.
“Did they give you any medication?” I asked.
“Yeah. They gave me a designer drug, Lexapro. The psychiatrist who proscribed it told me if I took one a day I’d never have another anxiety attack.”
We drove over the Tobin Bridge, got off the Chelsea exit, turned left onto Everett Avenue and beat our path back to Everett.
As we agreed, the Blue Suit and I were to have lunch at Oliveira’s in the square at 11:30.
When we got there an Amazon Prime delivery guy was texting someone about seeing the Blue Suit. The Blue Suit waved to him. He gave him a thumbs up.
The Blue Suit got serious. “Are you OK?” I asked. That anxiety attack was a
killer last week, Josh,” he said to me. “For once in my life, I’m thinking about myself – not Carlo, not you, not everyone who wants a piece of me, literally. I’m at a choice point and not sure which channel to take.”
“Choice point?” I asked. “What the hell is that?” I asked the Blue Suit.
“In fact, before the anxiety attack last week, I had just finished my final free therapy session with that online therapist I’ve been using. The first three sessions were free. The next one will cost $75 if I choose to continue. She got me thinking in ways and in terms I never have before. She helped me to understand the toxic psychologicl relationship I have with Carlo. She got me to thinking…if my life were a book what would want that want the next chapter to be?”
He paused for dramatic effect. He quietly said it was time to make choices ‘otherwise life makes choices for you.” He let that sink in as he nodded his head in silent agreement with his observation.
I told him this therapist is relying on standard telephone sales maneuvering, somebody going for the close, and words like choice point and phrases like ‘make your own choices or life makes them for you’ are total cliches designed to separate him from his cash.
I saw an anger flash in his eyes as he responded “ There’s a reason cliches exist, Josh. They address larger and enduring truths, like ‘ a stitch in time saves nine’, or ‘a penny saved is a penny earned’ and I’m trying to focus on the core truths here. I need to do something that will help others. Otherwise what am I here for?”
This was unusually philosophical language from him so I determined polite listening was called for and didn’t challenge his emotions.
‘”I mean look at me, Josh. Look at the crotch of this suit.” I did and it had so many wrinkled pleats from the mayor sitting down crossing his legs it looked like an accordion. ‘Look at my left knee here.” I did and there was a small but
bright yellow dot impossible to miss.
Tiny as it was it proclaimed itself like a lighthouse lamp shining through the blue fabric.
“Is this my life, Josh? Being flung on chairs, put on hangers with my pants creases mismatched? You’re a rare friend to me. Don’t you agree I need to make my choice now about the next chapter?” Before I could respond or even nod he pressed on.
“I’m looking at new directions, doing things that will make me happy.”
I finally spoke up and said yes that makes sense and asked what those new directions might be.
“I’ve narrowed it down to two possibilities, one, political consulting. I have learned a lot from Carlo. Things like how to move forward on things at sort of an angle—never too frontal, never becoming an obvious tar- get. How to charm people you may not really like. I have been in a lot of rooms, Josh, behind a lot of closed doors. I could help someone starting out.”
“Second, Josh, I might try my hand at motivational speaking. You’ve seen, and don’t laugh when I call it this, my charisma. People respond to me, just seeing me pleases them.” He had a point. Just moments before I had to warn off some teenage boys who approached our slow moving car at Oliveira’s yelling ‘Hey, Blue Suit–Slap me Five’.” They were actually walking through moving traffic just to get near him.”
Thank God lunch ended all this endless talk.