I am sitting alone in a far corner of a large auditorium when Joanna Newsom unexpectedly takes the stage. I hurry to move forward but so does everyone else, and a small barrier prevents me from getting as close as I would like. When she begins singing I become emotional and I make eye contact with several people on the other side of the small barrier who are also quite emotional. Throughout the show I greedily eat Chinese food directly from a plastic bag, making a huge mess because I have no utensils.

On the coast of Morocco, I realize that the deep green tilework of the city's roofs and arches must have been inspired by the ocean's emerald waves.

It's the 1950s and it's another busy morning at the bookstore. While I'm shelving some new books, a Russian businessman who I met a few days ago comes in chewing a cigar and asks me how long I've had my watch. I say uuhhh a few years I guess, and he chuckles and says he isn't so sure about that. I look at my wrist and realize I'm wearing a womens watch; confused, I take it off and put it on my desk, where the chief of police has just sat down. I sit down across from him and ask him how he is and he starts talking aggressively about something I don't understand. Two other police officers approach, grab the back of his rolling chair, and steer him away. Next, Mayor Q comes in wearing his detective hat and says "Ty, I see you around town all the time, and I know you notice some of the things that've been going on." He holds up a photograph of a man on crutches flanked on each side by men with bloody noses: "Remember the incident with these guys a few weeks ago?" I nod and lean forward for a closer look and together we begin to crack the case.

I live for a while with a family whose many children all have six fingers on each hand. They teach me triple dutch group jumprope. The youngest kid isn't very good at it, but he also has an incorporeal body, so when he misses a jump the ropes just pass right through him instead of getting caught on his legs. When our jumproping skills attract some coverage by a local tv station, the second-youngest kid moves all of her many fingers in a way that casts a spell ensuring that the tv audience won't be alarmed by her brother's nonphysical form.

When I come home from work one night, my brother is sitting on the porch in the dark. He shines a flashlight to show me flattened patches of grass in the yard where musk oxen had gathered in the evening to lay their eggs. Most of the eggs seem to be gone now, and we search the yard for any that might be left. Hearing a small sound, Joel shines his light into a corner by the house, revealing a ferret chewing on an egg. The ferret freezes in the beam of light, while from one cracked end of the egg, the snout of a tiny, gooey, musk ox emerges.

In the logic of dreams, the houses we once lived in remain empty awaiting our return. My brother and I drive a car across the plains to visit our former homes. At one of them our old dog is alive again and overjoyed to see us. We rub his ears and belly, our hands remember his fur, his tongue remembers our hands; we spend a night in our old beds, then drive away in the morning, leaving him behind again in a lonely sunlit house.

War arrives at the school in the mountains. I hide behind fallen concrete pillars from men with machine guns.

Bored with doing homework at my desk, I get up to look out the window where several other people are standing. Far below us, the usually placid sea at the foot of our skyscraper has become a gaping whirlpool with a wall of wave standing high behind it. I wonder if this is somehow related to the plan I heard on the news about draining the distant Red Sea. The building trembles; I take my phone out of my pocket and wonder what to tell my family.

At a wedding reception, a man arrives in a canoe on wheels pulled along by a dog. The back of the canoe is full of ice packed around an open empty casket.

In a dream I went to meet two of my friends in the cold white stubble of the tundra and when I arrived they were engaged in psychic battle with a blue-skinned woman who controlled the wind and the snow and an enormous creature that scraped furrows in the earth with its claws destroying farmland and making roads impassable and a local tv station was there and wanted my reaction to all of this and I asked why they didn't want to talk to my friends or the woman or the creature instead but they shook their heads dismissively so I went to meet my other friends who had gathered to discuss a wristwatch one of them had that had been sent to her by an exboyfriend while he was deployed to Iraq and we all missed her exboyfriend and wished he was there with us instead of the watch and then a recent acquaintance who none of us knew very well kept insisting we all go to a bar that they claimed was so cool but when we got there it was a place we had all frequented years and years ago and had long since stopped going to because it had come to represent an era of our lives that we didn't regret but were increasingly relieved to be building distance from.