My parents and my uncle and I attempt to visit a large church on Sunday morning but aren't allowed in because we're wearing jeans and my mom has a bottle of Coke and I have an orange Gatorade. We go around the building and enter through a smaller side door. The church is full of people talking and walking around, and in the crowd me and my mom are quickly separated from my dad and uncle. We go up some stairs and are cornered by a man in a suit who tells us we have to leave. He grabs my mom's arm and starts leading her out. She breaks away and makes a speech that I can't hear because the crowds have pushed us into different rooms. I find my way outside and hear yelling from inside the church. My mom comes out, sobbing, and I hold her and look around for my dad. A woman in an abaya comes out the door to comfort us.



I am at a temporary clinic/government office that has been set up under a pavilion in a park. Women behind windows provide information about teeth cleanings, abortions, drivers licenses. Lines are long; people are sullen. I recognize many of the people in line as my former students.



I listen to the new Daft Punk song and it sucks.



Ryan tells me about his phone for a long time.



I realize I have four testicles.



I'm at a party, not having fun. I hide in the bathroom and pretend to make phone calls, but the door won't lock and people keep coming in.



I'm on a college campus wearing nothing but yellow boxer shorts. I am as disinterested and unselfconscious as everyone else. After several hours of walking around, looking at things, and sitting on ledges and benches, I realize that the boxer shorts are on backwards and I am swallowed by shame.



I'm at the beach with Phil and Dana and Paul and Josiah. Me and Paul and Josiah find a long low shed. It's dark inside and we climb around on the rafters. When I turn around to tell them something, Paul and Josiah are gone and I see the silhouette of an enormous flightless bird.



On my first day in a new town I wake up early to go to the grocery store. A line of people waiting to get in has formed by the door. When the doors are unlocked, the employees don't bother to turn on the lights and people are running and pushing each other and grabbing things. When I find the juice section, the only kind of orange juice left is Sunny D.



Someone parks their truck on my porch. I go out to yell at them, and there's a pile of dirt and a bulldozer in my yard. A man comes up and explains that he's bought the house to my north and the lot to my south because he's building grain elevators. While he's talking to me his girlfriends and their kids wander into my house spilling vodka and Gatorade everywhere.



Walking downtown with Moon and Isabel, we find a BBQ place that's just opened. Me and Isabel stand outside while Moon goes to an ATM. Two men in jeans and hooded jean jackets jog by carrying a stretcher that holds the body of a homeless man I sometimes give dollars and quarters to.



Three young women from the Balkans show up on my porch. In formal, studied English, one of them explains that they need a place to stay. I don't know what to say and they come inside. They go into my bedroom and the only one who seems comfortable speaking demonstrates how much room I have by removing all the books from my top bookshelf and laying down on it. The other two follow her example, and they all fall asleep, laying on shelves hanging on my wall.



An angry old man reads the New Testament aloud to a room full of disinterested old people, but he repeatedly replaces the phrase "Kingdom of God" with the phrase "Kingdom of Jerusalem".



Me and Corey get out of his car in a better mood than we often are and start walking somewhere. A man with a limp comes alongside and then between us, puts his arms around our shoulders, and walking with us says, "Now, don't get too excited, boys..."



Blood in my semen.



While eating at a restaurant, a cop tries to arrest me without telling me why. I'm too sleepy to resist, but Maggie defends me and yells at him until he pours a cup of water on her head and starts flirting with her.



Unhappy at a party at night in someone's yard, I leave the yard and walk through a small woods and stand in a field. I pick up a sturdy branch because I like to hold things. I look at the moon and the grass. I hear a rustling and a wolf lunges at me and I protect myself with the stick. He lunges again and bites at my hand. The third time he lunges I hit him hard on the side of his head with the branch, and he yelps and collapses on the ground. On his belly is written the word EARTH.



I drive to Kansas City to see my brother. When I get to his house he's standing on his balcony with a bruised and bulging face.



I'm near the train tracks at night, using a flashlight to search the ground for new species of succulents. I hear a truck coming and turn off my flashlight. As it gets nearer I recognize the truck as Ryan's but I keep my light off. He parks and gets out and I expect him to light up a swisher sweet, but instead he starts a fire on the ground. It starts small, just branches and dry grass, but as it gets bigger he hauls large heavy objects from his truck and tosses them in the fire and in the flames he looks angrier and silenter than I have ever seen him.



One night, I unthinkingly leave my bathroom light on and the blinds slightly open. From an upstairs window, my neighbor watches me poop and writes a letter to the editor about it.



I'm at the bar with Garon. We're both calm and not really talking. Suddenly he is terrified and aging rapidly; his beard turns white and he hunches forward until his chin hits the table.



I'm reading on my porch. The guy in the ice cream jeep turns to wave at me, and as he looks back to the street he smashes into a little girl on her bike.



I am cruel on the phone.



I wake up facedown in a muddy field and a herd of cows walks across my back.



Walking in the woods, I look up and the trees above me are full of pelicans.