screaming behind me to my ex that he has to leave me alone now. everyone knows it. i have important work to do and it doesn’t involve him. it’s dark. the streets are stone and narrow. i’m moving a chair on wheels. i’m going to do laundry. when i get to the building i go past several people in differing states of connectedness, all of them holding onto an edge of a tangled mess in the sky, themselves a group of contortionists working around each other. solid color flags. narrow strips of faded denim and cotton, frayed ends wrapping the mess in a spiderweb of threads. i go past them all into the laundry room where a woman is unknowingly throwing her wet clothes into the dryer with the frayed ends of the flags attached. i bring her attention to the problem and she is apologetic. she stops what she is doing and i go back out into the hallway. i tell the crowd to snip the line going to the dryer. once that is done, the meticulous task of untangling the flags can be done carefully and without urgency.