About everything Everett from the vantage point of an off the rack cloth blue suit.
“There you go again, Josh, trying to make out like I’m not human but in reality I am a cloth blue suit – off the rack no less! Where do you get off bringing me down like this? I mean, I’ve got a life of my own. I’m as real as you are. I live and breathe the way you do. I know more than you do about Everett politics and intrigue. You know this, yet you try to make like I’m a figment of your imagination. Stop it, please,” the Blue Suit said to me Tuesday afternoon.
I was driving him in my Lexus to a dental appointment – yes – the Blue Suit was going to an extraction. He wasn’t feeling very good about this. A local dentist examined him a week ago, said he needed a double root canal and then a crown. He was going to pay about $1,800 to save the tooth when he made a decision. He told me about it. It went like this:
“I don’t have that long to go in my life to spend almost $2,000 for a ceramic crown,” he told me. “It’s a tooth way back so no one can see it will be gone,” he added. “You know how vain I am. As long as the space left by the missing tooth can’t be seen, I don’t mind,” he said.
He was pretty glum. He didn’t like losing a tooth any more than he liked his suit pants being torn and ripped after a bad fall on a patch of ice last year.
“That was pretty bad,” he recalled. “Tears, rips, stains, holes and the such in my pants or my suit jacket are impossible to live with,” he added.
Last year, after many years of solid service and wear and tear, he spent two weeks at a local laundry where he was fully rehabilitated.
His torn pockets were sewn back into form. His failing zipper on his pants was replaced. Missing buttons and loose buttons were sewn tight. In a major rebuild, the fine silk black lining of the suit jacket was entirely replaced, sewn with great care to look like new.
Suit collars always take a beating if the suit is worn all the time. The Blue Suit’s collar was steam cleaned and buffed up, and pressed just so.
The same was done to the jacket front and to his pockets, which had been drooping just a bit with smaller holes growing larger on the inside replaced with new material with loving care.
Also, his sleeves and sleeve cuffs were restitched and again, sewn tight, to provide for many more years of wear and tear.
“Some people try to say there is no such thing as me, as a cloth blue suit who lives at the pinnacle of local power and who knows everything about the ins and outs of local politics. Look at me,” he ordered. “Do I look like a simple cloth blue suit? Or do I look like the real thing?”
I took my eyes off the road for a moment. I stared at the Blue Suit, looking him up and down in the passenger seat.
The Blue Suit is large but single breasted. I’m not sure about his lapels. They look almost correct and fashion like but could be more stylish, you know, could have been cut with a bit more flare.
Let’s face it. The Blue Suit has been working hard for about a decade. He is growing tired but remains in the race, so to speak.
He is called upon again and again to look classy at political times and fund raisers, flag ceremonies and speeches.
He remains one of the busiest personalities in a city filled with characters.
However, like some of us who are growing older, and who feel the window is closing because of advancing age, so to speak, he is worried about his future.
“What happens when I’m replaced by a newer, flashier, more expensive custom made blue suit?” he wondered aloud.
He had this whoa is me tone in his voice.
Can you imagine, the Blue Suit is worried about his mortality. It’s even worse than that.
The Blue Suit is worried about his legacy!
Can you imagine? A cloth, off the rack rehabbed Blue Suit wondering about how he will be remembered long after his era has passed.
“Will Everett remember me?” he wondered aloud.
“How will Everett remember me? What will my admirers recall about me when I am gone?” he asked me.
I reminded him that he still had a long life in front of him if he remained healthy and put together, with occasional visits to the laundry for a steam cleaning and whatever repairs are needed.
This did little to calm him down. I could see that he was frustrated by things he cannot control.
“You don’t understand, Josh. I don’t have control over my own life. I can think what I want but I can’t vacation like I want to. I can’t rest for long periods to reenergize. I am always out in public working, trying to look as good as I can, and basically, just wearing myself down, or rather, being worn down by constant wear and tear. Do you know what I mean, Josh?”
“Yes. I do,” I answered.
“You’re not alone,” I told the Blue Suit.
“All of us grow older. All of us get sick and in the end, all of us die,” I said to him.
The Blue Suit pouted just a bit.
“Is this my fate? Is this going to happen to me?” he asked. “Anything can happen at any time to all of us and it often does,” I replied.
“Frankly, you are looking very good of late. You are very likely going to be around for a long, long time. That will be your punishment!” I added.
“Don’t leave being an editor any time soon to become a comedian, Josh because you just aren’t funny. You telling me my punishment is being around for a long time, well, how am I supposed to laugh at that?”
“Laughing at ourselves is very important. We can laugh at others but if we fail to laugh at ourselves, we miss out on some sense of honesty about our lives,” I said to the Blue Suit.
“I can’t stop thinking about how my end will come. Will I be torn apart in an accidental spill? Will I be stained beyond the ability to clean my worn cloth? Will I be discarded, tossed like a used rag into a bucket of rags used to clean the house?” he wondered.
“It could be all of those. It could be none of those. What you need to do is see your self-worth and to know in your heart you lived a full life and that you were a decent person…and that you had so, so many friends throughout this city,” I said to the Blue Suit.
“In the end, you are the living proof that fiction is truth, my friend. In the end, you will be recalled by your many admirers that you were the real thing – even though you were bought off the rack.”
“Remember my friend, not everyone can be a fine, handmade, custom suit.”