Mais para Clara (Emails 2000)
I will continue now, with more emails which your mother wrote to me, and with what I can tell you was then happening.
On my arrival back in Rome, to our place on vicolo di S Rufino, indeed, as I expected you were gone. To say this was for me devastating is to minimize it. Even though I knew you would not be there, to arrive to an empty place, your room silent, left me weeping and traumatized. I quickly began to call everyone I knew and had telephone numbers for in Lisboa – your uncle Manuel Cabral, the handful of friends – Vera Mantero, Joao Pedro Rodriguez, Serge Treffaut, Vasco Pimental, and others: none knew where you were, and were surprised to hear you were not in Rome. Your grandmother Mirilia’s number did not answer. Teresa had gone into hiding – where I am not sure, though I suspect it was with Mirilia.
On November seventh I received the two emails below.
In this letter Teresa did not say where she and you were, though given her comment about seeing a pedopsychiatrist (Dr Pedro Strecht), it would be safe to assume she was in Lisboa. On November 9, she sent the following:
I had, by this time, talked with a lawyer in Rome, and had confirmed what I already knew: that Teresa’s taking you, without my permission and consent, was in effect “child abduction” and in violation of the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction. I asked my lawyer to begin the process of having the Italian government make a formal legal demand to Portugal that you be returned to Rome. On November 12 your mother sent this:
As your Mother’s emails indicate, she had already contacted juvenile legal authorities in Portugal before she went to Rome and had planned all along to kidnap you – with, in her mind, their blessing. Of course her film in effect was her blueprint: here is what she intended to do, from much more than a year earlier – she wrote it all down as a script.
I will in some more weeks, send you more. Meantime Marcella and I will be going to stay out in a rural area for a bit, in the arid part of Oregon. And then, depending on things which are not yet clear, we may go to the coast and later to Redding California. Or, we may be going to Europe. We don’t yet know.
I know that these things are probably difficult for you to read and deal with, but they are things you should know about.
Recently I had some medical tests – back in Jakarta and also here in Portland – and I have very high blood pressure, and a high cholesterol count. I am taking some pills to help with this and changing my diet some. Hopefully it is not a very serious matter, though it does hint at the possibility of a heart attack. Not so nice. So I am concerned for us – particularly for you – that we should meet sometime more or less soon. We could begin on Skype, with a video call. I think it is important for you that we meet, and you know more in reality, who your father is. It would not be nice for you to have the ghost of a father lingering with you the rest of your life. Of course, we never should have been separated at all, but such is not what happened, as you know.
Teu pai, jon