“I’m thinking about leaving Everett,” the Blue Suit told me during a drive around the city on a day when spring seemed to be hinting at arriving.
The early chill in the air dissipated quickly.
The sun rose high in the sky. Everything seemed to warm up… and this includes how we tend to think about our own lives when the warmth of spring begins to touch us.
The coming warmth is everything we look forward to after a long winter.
The winter was long but not particularly cold and there was very little ice and snow.
The first week of April has featured high winds, lower temperatures, the heat still running in our homes and the general feeling that the weather might never change.
Of course it is going to change. It is changing as I write this piece.
Soon, we will all be rejoicing that our heaters are off, that our windows are opened, and that our lives are being automatically re-energized.
We become like a Tesla automobile almost out of energy until it was hooked up to an electric charging machine.
“This warmth makes me feel strong,” the Blue Suit said to me. “in fact,” he added, “I feel so strong I could eat a horse.”
“Oh no!” I moaned. “Please don’t tell me you’re hungry, again,” I said to him.
“Weren’t the donuts and coffee I bought you earlier enough to hold you over for a few hours?” I asked.
I gave the Blue Suit a harsh look. There he was, seated next to me in my Lexus. Donut powder – white sugar, crumbs and spots of coffee stained his pants.
What a sight.
“Don’t you know me by now, Josh. When I want to eat I want to eat, and I don’t just want to eat, I want to eat large,” he said to me.
He let out a belch. Actually, it was a burb, what is known as a clapper, something that began somewhere below the belt, transited up through his chest, and exploded with a noisy crescendo which he let out towards me.
“Can’t you open the window please,” I asked him.
“Oh, sorry,” he said. But he didn’t mean it. I could tell by the derisive tone in his voice.
“OK. What’s going on with you today? What’s your problem?
What’s the beef?” I asked him.
He sat silently for a moment. Then he spoke.
“I am thinking about my future. I may have some opportunities to get out of Everett,” he answered.
“So what’s wrong with that? Everett’s been pretty good to you. I mean you’ve worked for everything you’ve earned. You’re a celebrity, of sorts. People love you. They follow what you have to say. People believe you. That’s saying something in a place like this,” I added.
The Blue Suit took umbrage to the last comment.
“What do you mean, in a place like Everett?” he asked me.
I thought about this for a moment. I’ve been thinking about Everett a lot lately.
I think I am finally coming to understand the place and how it runs,” I said to the Blue Suit.
“Bottom line. I’m not from here. I was born here, but I’ve never lived here although I’ve worked as a reporter and editor here on and off, more on than off, since 2000,” I added.
“I didn’t know you were born here, Josh. How did that come to pass?” he asked me.
“I was supposed to be born at a hospital in Boston. But there was a snow storm on the day I was born and my father couldn’t get me to Boston so he took me up to the Whidden Hospital where an old Chelsea doctor, Dr. Masters, aided my mother in birthing me.”
“So you were really born in in Everett?” the Blue Suit repeated with an air of surprise in his voice.
“Yes. I’m not making this up. It’s right there on my birth certificate, which I recently got, by the way from the city clerk’s office in Everett City Hall,” I added.
We both enjoyed the quiet inside my Lexus for a few minutes as we drove around the city.
“So in a perfect world, what would you like to do with the rest of your life?” I asked the Blue Suit.
“That’s the rub, Josh. I don’t know what to do let alone what I’d like to do. I mean, I’m stuck in a rut or sorts living in the Everett political world if you know what I mean,” he said to me.
“What’s so bad about that?” I asked him.
“I’m tired. That’s the problem. I don’t want to be doing what I’m doing anymore. I’d like to get out. I am all wound up with no place to go. I just don’t know what to do with myself at the present time,” the Blue Suit lamented.
“I hate it when you’re like this,” I told him. “I only wish for you the best in life. But life is complex, isn’t it? Changing one’s life involves risk. Most of the people of this world struggling on this planet are risk averse. They tend to take the easiest, surest way out. Don’t you think?” I asked.
“You’ve got that right, Josh. Frankly, I don’t know what I could do other than to remain here and do what I am doing until I literally fray, rip, fall apart and disintegrate. I am not staring at a great future, Josh,” the Blue Suit said.
“What about you, Josh? What are you going to do?”
“I’m going to keep doing what I do until something else comes along. I like what I do. I take pride in what I do. I enjoy being a writer. I love the language. Story telling is what I’ve done for more than 35 years. As you are aware, there are very few dull moments in the Everett of today. This is what makes Everett such an exciting venue to work in.”
“How would you describe what’s going on right now?” he asked me.
“I’d say right now things are pretty quiet. I wouldn’t call the local scene mellow, rather, I’d call it quiet.”
“I like the quiet,” the Blue Suit said to me.
“I don’t like the quiet but I have to accept it,” I replied.
“It won’t always be quiet as it is right now,” I added.
“you’ve got that right,” the Blue Suit answered.
“Let’s break the quiet,” he implored.
“What’s for lunch. Where are we are we going?”