An Everett resident, Dominic Guglieme, encountered the Blue Suit last week. This is a report of what went on between them when they met, in Gugliemi’s words.
I am writing this letter to document my recent encounter with Everett’s most famous article of clothing, the Mayor’s Blue Suit.
For some time, not unlike most people, I had dismissed the suit as an editorial contrivance or the product of Josh Resnek’s whimsical fancy.
I am ready to admit that I was wrong.
Early last week, I sat down to tie my shoe near the River Green Park. As I stood up, I turned to see the Blue Suit. I blinked. I shook my head. I tried to dismiss what I was seeing.
It was the Blue Suit. In the cloth.
“Excuse me,” the Blue Suit said to me.
I tried to ignore what I was seeing and hearing, assuming, hoping that it was the product of caffeine and Benadryl built up in my system. Either that, or I was simply going mad.
“Excuse me,” the Blue Suit repeated.
“Yes,” I answered.
“Do you know what time it is?” he asked.
I told the Blue Suit that it was about 2 p.m. (Surely, I thought myself, this was a hallucination, caused by the post-lunch slump.)
“Can I help you?” I inquired.
The Blue Suit waved its arm in a gesture that conveyed “no.” “I was waiting for my friend Josh to meet me at the corner of Tremont and Prescott. But he did not show.”
At this point, I decided to roll with things.
“What time did Josh say he’d meet you?” I asked.
“1:30,” the Blue Suit replied.
“Uh…is it possible that Josh was confounded by the time change to Daylight Savings?”
“I doubt it,” the Blue Suit replied.
“Josh carries a phone like everyone else. Phones automatically change the time.”
“Look, maybe he’s using the clock in his car and forgot to change it,” I suggested. (I really have no idea how Josh Resnek keeps time. But I was desperate for any idea. And this conversation was really awkward.)
The Blue Suit sat down next to me. (this was both awkward and scary.)
“Maybe the clock was wrong. But I can’t help but feel that Josh is pushing me away. Ever since the lawsuit last year, it seems like he has been an arm’s length from me,” said the Blue Suit.
The Blue Suit’s arms stretched in front of him to show the distance. It was hard not to notice the condition of the stitching around the Blue Suit’s shoulders, and the distended fabric, as if the suit had been worn in ways it was never meant to be.
“Well, that sort of thing would tax most friendships,” I answered. (Why the hell was I playing counselor to a suit? More importantly, why was I calling him a suit when it was likely the product of my own chemically fogged imagination I thought.)
The Blue Suit slumped forward.
“But what about all the good times, the shared secrets over lunch at some of Everett’s and Revere’s best take out spots?”
I was at a loss.
“Uh, do you need any caffeine?”
The Blue Suit turned. If he had a face, it would have been looking at me.
“If you don’t mind. That would be good,” he replied.
I handed the Blue Suit a spare bottle of diet Mountain Dew, one of the slightly smaller bottles sold in six packs.
The Blue Suit took the bottle, grasping it with a folded cuff, using the other cuff to remove the cap. (It looked as though the Blue Suit’s sleeves were hollow.)
I tried not to stare as the Blue Suit drained the 18 ounce bottle of Mountain Dew down the neck hole of his shirt.
I looked down, expecting to see precious Dew spilling out of the Blue Suit’s legs.
“Thank you,” the Blue Suit said to me. “I love Mountain Dew!” he added.
“Uh. No problem,” I replied, still looking at the Blue Suit’s shoes. They had once been fancy but were all scuffed up from over use.
I added: “I drink too much of the stuff in the first place.”
“Are you checking out my feet?” the Blue Suit asked.
Despite my reluctance to have a conversa- tion, I answered honestly.
“No. I am just curious about how a suit can drink diet Mountain Dew, or most anything, or how you eat those lunches with Resnek. Uh, sorry.
That sounds much worse that I meant it to,” I added.
I noticed the fabric around the top of the suit shifted back and forth slightly, as if it were shaking a non-existent head.
“No. No. I understand. I get that all the time. People doubt me. They doubt my existence. They doubt what I tell Josh,” the Blue Suit replied.
I looked him over top to bottom.
To be fair, you are a suit. If I did not just see my last bottle of Dew vanish down your neck hole, I would be doubting your existence, and my sanity,” I added.
The Blue Suit stood up.
“I am real dammit. Look at me!” he ordered. The Blue Suit was there, illuminated by the sun, casting a shadow towards the far side of the bike path along the River Green.
“I am real. I exist. I tell the truth,” the Blue Suit blurted out.
We talked for a bit, largely avoiding Blue Suit political discussion. (He did not bring up the subject. I certainly wasn’t going there.)
A few dogs wandered over to us. (The Blue Suit seemed OK with that.)
The strangest part of this interlude was that nobody seemed to notice me sitting and talking to an empty blue suit.
Maybe a man talking to himself on the bike trail between Everett and Malden is normal. (It is.) But the Blue Suit was there. (Something drank that bottle of diet Mountain Dew. I knew enough that it wasn’t me.)
After about 20 minutes, the Blue Suit stood up.
“I need to go,” he told me.
I hesitated before asking – “What’s next?” The Blue Suit flexed upwards, as if looking to the sky.
“Hopefully I can get in touch with Josh.
There are still stories to tell. But even if I do not tell them, I am going to be here to the end. I do not have much choice,” the Blue Suit said.
“Just remember. Life is not just about the choices we are given. It is about choices that we and our neighbors make,” I said.
I reached out to shake the Blue Suit’s hand before realizing how crass a gesture that would have been.
We bumped forearms and we went our separate ways.
................................................ Dominic Guglieme is a writer from Everett. He wrote entirely this Blue Suit piece.