— Eye on Everett —


The Blue Suit has been talking to me for quite some time about Encore.

The Blue Suit claims, as Councilor Darren Costa claims, as the entire city council has agreed that the host agreement governing “the rent” paid by Encore needs to go up.

“Hey, Encore is going to take in near to $1 billion this year – not just in revenues from people gambling there, but in addition to revenues generated by the hotel – which has nothing to do with the monthly gambling results issued by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

The hotel must be good for several hundred millions in income in a year,” the Blue Suit said off the top of his head.

“I mean, they get something like $600 – $4,000 a night for rooms and or suites. I think there are suites even more expensive than $4,000 a night!” the Blue Suit added.

“Can you imagine paying $4,000 a night for a room in Everett? Yeah. Yeah. I get it. It’s a five star hotel but what the heck – $4,000 a night! You’ve got to be kidding me,” the Blue Suit said.

“You know what I could do with $4,000 bucks?” the Blue Suit asked me.

“No I don’t,” I replied.

“I could remake myself almost entirely. I could switch out these old blue cloth cotton/wool mix pants I am wearing for a tailored pair of fine wool pants with cuffs and modern plastic zipper and pockets that appear not to exist they are so well stitched. Wouldn’t that be nice,” he added. “I can just imagine the feeling that comes from being remade or reborn, or however you wish to look at the position I am in.”

The discussion turned to religion the moment the Blue Suit talked about being reborn.

I’ve got a secret about the Blue Suit that very few people in Everett know about. What’s that, you might well ask? He’s not a Christian or a Jew or a Muslim. He’s a Buddhist quite devoted to Buddhism.

What are the three main Buddhist beliefs? They are karma, rebirth and impermanence.

Do Buddhists believe in God?

While Buddhism is a tradition focused on spiritual liberation, it is not a theistic religion. The Buddha himself rejected the idea of a creator god, and Buddhist philosophers have even argued that belief in an eternal god is nothing but a distraction for humans seeking enlightenment.

Does the Blue Suit believe in God?

I don’t think so.

The Blue Suit believes as the late great writer Oscar Wilde believed, that is, science is the study of dead religions.
Believing these days is made harder because of the transient society we live in and because of everything else under the sun that has rocked the world for the past two decades.

People just don’t believe the way they used to.

The ignorance about faith runs deep.

Some people believe it has ruined the nation.

The Blue Suit is Buddhist. This means that there is in Everett a Buddhist cloth suit! Think about that for a minute – a cloth blue Buddhist suit!

Can you imagine?

I can’t.

“That’s your problem, Josh,” the Blue Suit said to me as we drove around the city Tuesday afternoon.

“You’d have no problem with me if you knew I was Catholic or Jewish. But because I’m a Buddhist, you’re making a big deal out of it,” he added.

He got all huffy and remained silent for a few minutes as we drove down to Mike’s Roast Beef.

The Blue Suit wanted to go into the casino to gamble “for just an hour, please,” he begged me.

“No way,” I answered. “You don’t want to make gambling a way of life. It is, after all, a loser’s game,” I added.

“Yes, Josh, it is for people like you. I have a system. I don’t lose,” he replied.

“Right. And my name is Mark Zuckerberg,” I said.

One thing I’ve learned about Buddhism since being told that the Blue Suit is Buddhist is that anyone can be a Buddhist. Figures, doesn’t it? One does not have to be born into Buddhism. One’s parents don’t have to be Buddhists – and the Blue Suit’s parents were definitely not Buddhists, they were very simple, uneducated pieces of clothing with poor stitching, plastic buttons and cheap fabric that tended to rip and tear. This being said, I don’t believe there has been reported in the history of Buddhism, a blue cloth suit that abides by the Buddhist ceremonies and beliefs.

At Mike’s Roast Beef, the Blue Suit ordered up a lunch fit for a king.

Three three way large roast beef sandwiches rare, two large fries, two hot dogs all around and a large chicken finger.

As always, I ordered the same thing I’ve ordered for 45 years of eating at Mike’s.

A rare junior with cheese sauce and onion and a small coke.

We sat there on chairs staring out the window at the traffic passing by as people came and went.

Many folks coming in for lunch stopped to engage the Blue Suit. Several talked with him about his future at the Leader Herald. At least one person said they thought the Blue Suit was near to the end of his run.

“Let’s not go there,” the Blue Suit replied with a bit of good humor and a laugh.

“I feel good. I am young. I am not going anywhere soon,” he told his admirers.

They were all pleased.

“It’s good to know you’re going to be around,” one of them, a younger man dressed in work clothes said to him.

“I frankly wouldn’t know what to do without you,” he added.

“Thanks buddy,” the Blue Suit replied.

“I’m wrinkled. I’m torn. I’m worn. But I’m still here and atitandplantobeforagood long time.”

Hearing that, the small crowd that had gathered around the Blue Suit high fived him.

Then the Blue Suit got down to lunch – which was a sight to behold.

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