Mr. Faraway and I continue to chat most evenings. One evening, he mentions my Latvian family history, and sends me links to some eBay items he found – jewelry made out of antique Latvian coins. He seems to have this information very close at hand – as though he’s spent some time researching it, recently.
I joke: Sir, have you been jewelry shopping for me?
He’s mortified. He tries to talk about the details of the coin, about the details of Latvian history – about anything else he can think of. I didn’t save that very well, he says.
I smile and finally let him change the subject and get comfortable again.
He tells me he is meeting with his attorney again in a few days, which he does. He finally decides to give his wife a deadline: she can sign the agreement they made together but have left unsigned and unfiled, or he will simply proceed without her. He calls me on skype after the meeting, and I notice that he’s not sitting in front of over-stuffed bookcases this time, but he’s re-arranged the computer so that he’s sitting on a couch and there’s a nice clean living room behind him. He’s wearing the nice shirt and tie he must have worn to the meeting, and I think maybe he wants to create a certain impression, and if he does, then he’s succeeded.
He tells me how the meeting went. He’s still negotiating things, offering areas of discussion to someone who’s stopped talking. I tell him to stop it: If she has something to discuss, she can raise the issue herself.
He seems to think about that and realize maybe that’s right; I think maybe I am not the first person who has said that to him.
I have to cut the conversation short, to go get The Child, so we say goodbye.
But though he gets up to disconnect the call, he doesn’t do it right away. He stands there, looking at me on his computer monitor, beaming.