THE BLUE SUIT
Private conversations between the Blue Suit – the mayor’s blue suit, that is – and Josh Resnek. Does Josh really speak with the mayor’s blue suit? Yes he does. How is this possible? Does science or nature indulge in such fantasies as a talking blue suit? This is up to you to decide.
The Blue Suit has been struggling with his mental health. Like most of us, his life is not simple. After all, living with the mayor is not an easy thing, even after all these years.
Powerful men who dominate politics all act after a similar fashion.
The mayor has created his personal and political persona over many, many years. He does not fluctuate. He acts the way we have come to expect nearly every time, without ever deviating from the political strategies that he holds dear.
For instance. The mayor is not Marcus Aurelius. He does not bear much of a resemblance to Marcus Aurelius – but then – very few political leaders rise to such a venerated position where they rule over thousands of people with class and style, with magnanimity and wisdom, let alone with iron principles and a golden core of being.
Marcus Aurelius was the emperor of Rome from 161 AD to 180 AD. He was the most powerful man in the world on the face of the earth. He is widely documented as being a novel leader with strong moral character.
As the most powerful and the wealthiest man in the world, and Rome’s greatest general and leader at that time, he gave up the trappings of the palace and chose to sleep outside with his legionnaires. Even in the rain and cold, he slept outside with them. He guided the Empire with virtue and reason according to historians.
Does this sound like the mayor, the Blue Suit’s owner and boss?
The mayor is actually much more a Machiavellian type.
What does this mean?
Machiavellian types are said to use ends that justify the means, crush any opposition, and display false character.
A great example of a modern Machiavellian was Josef Stalin. Machiavellians are sly, deceptive, distrusting and manipulative. There is a bit of Machiavelli in all of us.
Need I write anymore?
Enough about history.
Over the years in Everett, and especially during the past year – which is now coming to a close – the Blue Suit has felt pressure like never before.
There have been events – protests, yelling matches, heated debates over public policy and insults thrown at the mayor, at some members of the city council, and the school committee, and at those who are considered leaders in this community.
The Blue Suit has been a witness to all of this.
What is hurled at the mayor he feels is being hurled at him. “And that hurts a lot,” he said.
He doesn’t like it but he has no control over his life.
“I am a simple cloth blue suit nearing the end of my useful life, off the rack, with cheap stitching and not much design. I mean, I don’t feel very good about myself to begin with. My therapist said I hate myself. She said I needed to love myself before I can love others. Can you imagine?” he asked me.
“Yes I can,” I replied.
“My therapist said I am repressed, that I repress how I feel and that I fail to act in such a way that I am in control of my emotions,” he told me.
“She told me the reason I overeat all the time is because I am holding everything inside, that my overeating is a transference of sorts of the negative feelings I have about myself. In other words, I eat to drown out whatever I am thinking about and whatever I am concerned about.”
Because the Blue Suit doesn’t let out what he’s feeling inside, it gets all bottled up. Most of us who deal with pressure by remaining quiet instead of acting out understand this: what is inside comes outside. When it does, watch out!
Keeping one’s feelings inside causes anxiety, depression, and anger.
“I didn’t know how angry I was until I began therapy a few weeks ago,” the Blue Suit told me Tuesday afternoon as we walked by ourselves through Woodlawn Cemetery. The sun was out. It was cold. But the day was stunningly beautiful. Woodlawn is serene. It is a place that spawns thoughts.
“What a great day to be alive,” the Blue Suit said to me.
“Indeed,” I agreed.
“Every day we are here is a blessing,” I added.
“Not really, Josh,” the Blue Suit answered.
“Don’t get too carried away with deep thoughts about how beautiful life is. If you tried being me for a short time, you’d probably want to jump off the Tobin Bridge,” the Blue Suit added.
“The thought that I might be around another 20 years is horrifying to me. It would be the ultimate punishment for me.”
“Some days are really bad for me. I get involved in scenes I don’t want to be a part of.I have very little control over myself. My therapist told me I have to let things go, to take deep breaths, maybe to get a full body rub and steam bath at a spa or to start running a few miles a day. I can’t do that. I don’t want to do that. I do want to survive without having a complete nervous breakdown,” the Blue Suit said.
“My relationship with the mayor is largely negative at this point. I think he hates me because I talk with you. He doesn’t say this, but I can tell how he tosses me around, or hangs me up upside down or crumples me into a ball and throws me into a corner. I know about people, Josh. You can’t hang around the mayor as long as I have and not know about people!” he exclaimed.
“Do you think you will be talking with this therapist much longer?” I asked.
“No,” he replied.
“I’m giving her up. I’ve joined a Kundalini yoga group. I want to awaken my energy. I want to heal. I want to feel good about myself, like when Iwasakid.Iwanttoberidof the trauma I feel. Do you think yoga can do this for me?” he asked me.
“Maybe,” I said.
“I don’t know much about yoga. Where have you decided to go?”
“I’ve signed up at the Salty Buddha in Salem. The lady there sounded really nice. She said she would promote my spiritual enlightenment, ease my stress and anxiety and improve my self-perception and feelings about myself.”
“Sounds like a plan,” I said.
“Yes. It is and guess what, Josh? You’re driving me there next Tuesday.”