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Alessandra is Italian. She chairs a tourism international organization.

She is sitting beside me on a train to Ypres, browsing the presentation about leadership she will give at a conference. She wants to underline some text, so she searches for a pen or a pencil in her handbag. I hand her a Perpetua. She silently looks at it. And then she spontaneously starts telling a story, while playing with Perpetua.

I remember certain thrillers, especially those scenes where the detective finds a slip and a clue on it, a phone number or a note. Apparently you cannot read anything, but as you scribble with a pencil a mark on the paper comes out. The pencil becomes a magic tool that reveals to your eyes, your memory, and your touch information that was believed to be lost.
We sometimes meet people we feel we already know, even if we rationally know they are strangers to us. Maybe we shake hands or accidentally touch, like gently on the arm... a sort of caress.
I wish I could move a pencil on that piece of skin and bring that imprint back to light.
And I wonder: What is the shape of a caress?


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