I took my old truck to Knight’s Garage Friday. I’ve been doing business there for 25 years, and I used to live on that block. There used to be a bank on that when I lived there, and a diner, and now, of the places where I did business in that neighborhood, there is Knight’s and the corner store.
Knight’s put new brakes in my truck, and when they were done, I walked across the street to the corner store and bought two nip bottles of Bushmills Irish Whiskey for that night.
And I could see the kitchen window of the second-floor tenement apartment where I lived for 16 years, longer than I ever lived anywhere.
I know the neighborhood. It’s a decent, working-class place. Some of the residents are less decent than others, but in my 16 years there, I was never the victim of a crime.
And I wrote a check for the new brakes, and went to my truck, and sat in it for a while, smoking and looking around. I watched a bus pull to the curb and pick up a passenger, watched an older man walk out of the corner store with a black plastic bag in his hand.
It was a good place to be Friday morning, a little bit before the city’s next recall election, and it was a cold morning, a good morning to forget the debates I’d watched in the last few weeks.
If I came away from the mayoral debates with anything, it was the sinking feeling that I don’t want ANY of these people to be mayor. I never saw a group of candidates better able to convince me that the city needs to eliminate the mayor’s job, and hire some faceless professional bureaucrat to run the whole thing.
I’m dead serious, too.
Right now, the 800 city residents who can’t shut up about Fall River politics are all desperately trying to convince us that their candidate is the one, true shining sun, and all the others are the agents of darkness.
Loyalty is a poor man’s virtue because it’s free, and Fall River loves the idea of unconditional loyalty, a notion that allows its practitioners to do everything from ignoring federal indictments to shoving people into ovens. Pick a side and die on that side, we say in Fall River. You might as well. You’ll be just as poor the day after the election as you were the day before.
It makes me dizzy.
Jasiel Correia, currently awaiting trial, believes the unconditionally loyal can win an election for him if he also gets the votes of people whose notion of Fall River is so cheap that they’ll betray anything to save maybe $30 a month on purple bags.
Joe Camara and Kyle Riley seem to believe you should vote for them because they have children. Riley has more children than Camara, so I guess he ought to win.
Erica Scott-Pacheco wants everyone to sleep indoors, a stance which marks her as a dangerous Communist. If she campaigned on dynamiting all the housing projects, she’d have a better chance.
Paul Coogan believes he should be mayor because he’s been around a while and, as a lifelong government employee, he believes any job should go to the guy with the most seniority. In addition, he looks old enough to have no interest in strip clubs.
As for Jasiel, he’s been in Fall River all the time since the feds pulled his passport, and he’s been handing out the goodies as fast as he can. No purple bags! Free lollipops! Who knew we’d get so much from 13 federal indictments? If Correia wins this election, and the ongoing federal investigation produces more indictments, maybe he’ll give us all a kitten! I want a kitten.
Not really. I don’t want a kitten. We have two cats.
Jasiel Correia, currently awaiting trial, is running because he needs the salary. Lawyers only work for free if you don’t have a job. If you do have a job, they want ALL your money. The other four are running because, if Correia doesn’t win, one of them will, and there was no primary, so it didn’t look like that much work.
Out in the neighborhood, in the decent working class places, spring is coming and the bus is coming, and the corner store still sells $2 lottery tickets. Buy one. You might get lucky.