In my head there were 700 earphones to untangle - one by one, there were so many - a mound of threads. Each was a task that would take years. He said it had to be in complete darkness - he said you had to until your eyes give up, until your nose picks up the slightest whiff of ear and wax and sweat stuck on hair. You have to lay each pair straight and next to each other. My finger muscles were stiff as claws, and my palms have callouses that swelled like paws. In a beat my head started to ache when one earphone blasted music, from which gadget I do not know. It was faint for what seemed like months, like a murmur cupped with a hand. In an instant the sound grew loud - it had life and words and threads of conversations. I started running out of fear and tripped on the wires I stretched for years.