Flags are out at many houses, hanging limp in the hot, still air. In one place, a faint scent of freshly cut grass. Another place, the dank odor of mist drifting from a lawn sprinkler. Other than that, the day smells of dry, sun-baked soil and weedy brown fields. It is quiet, but for the chirping of a few birds and the occasional bark of a dog. Cars pass but rarely, making the evening seem like late night, or like some evening long past, when there were only a few houses scattered among the woods and orchards. It is as though half the town has gone away. In a while, I will hear the soft concussions of rockets exploding miles away, and perhaps the squeals and whistles of small fountains set off by a nearby lawbreaker or two. I think I'll make popcorn. Pop! Pop! Pop!