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He says this without tears. He almost never cries. People marvel at this. Charles says he stays positive because he has no unfulfilled longings. "I've seen Paris," he says. He rereads his favorite books and watches sports with the sound down ("I want to make my own observations," he says), and discusses the news with his wife, Cory, who is a senior director for CNN International. He gets e-mails and phone calls from friends. Two weeks ago Mike Tyson called, as he often does. "On the other side," Iron Mike said, "I want to hang out with you."
There are fewer good days. "I hope," he says, "that I go to sleep and just don't wake up." This too he says with the same strong voice that once told America about Super Bowl quarterbacks and Kentucky Derby thoroughbreds.
He cries only when talking about Giovanna. She is his youngest daughter, and she turns five this month. Charles has three other children from two previous marriages, but the divorces were painful, and sports were all-consuming, and he did not spend much time with them. "I have regrets," he says. He has given his life to Giovanna. He spends every good moment playing with her and talking with her and watching Barbie movies with her.
"I'm sorry," Nick Charles says again and again because now he is crying, crying hard, and he says he has never been to Disneyland but will take Giovanna this month, if he lives long enough. He smiles as he considers how silly that sounds, like a sports cliché: "I'm going to Disneyland."
"She is strong," he says. "She will be O.K. when I'm gone. I know it." And he is quiet for a long time as he stares out the window at the mountains and then abruptly changes the subject. He talks about how much he likes watching sunsets. He says that sunsets in Santa Fe last almost forever.
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