"Touch can have two meanings: it can be an intimate gesture between equals, a way of saying: I care for you. But between people who are unequal, there’s an asymmetry: the powerful may touch the weak — a pat on the back, for example; but the weak may not lay hands on the powerful. His touch probably meant nothing. Any touch I might receive from a family member would be difficult to interpret. It could be a gesture of affection, a bit of condescension, or worst of all, a sexual overture. Or perhaps it might be a confusing mixture of all of these."