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Can we learn anything from the objects that surround us, the things we use in everyday life? If you look closely, yes. They may ignore us, they mostly outlive us, but they are the secret sharers of our days, as close to us as our spouses, our pets, our bodies, our selves. Things coexist with us, they store meanings for us - memories, desires - but do they inhabit the same world? Are they alive or dead? Do they have language? Can we make friends with them? Over the course of one year Roger-Pol Droit assigned himself an experiment: to keep a cross-border record of his meetings with unremarkable things: sunglasses, an alarm clock, a chest of drawers, a train ticket, a statue, a tombstone, a wheelbarrow, a bottle-opener, a razor...This book is the diary of that quest. We might discover in these pages that a paperclip is a model of ethics, that a bunch of keys or a streeetlamp are figures of love; that a washing-machine offers a lesson on the migration of souls, and that there is wisdom in the umbrella. That we are not the only life on earth. Here, taking one thing at a time, are fifty close encounters.