The elderly lady posing with an exuberant cactus said she could hear the snatches of doo-wop running through my head. I nodded as if I believed her. Meanwhile, the young parents were working frantically to collect the baby teeth scattered up and down the street. I watched with something like pity, but kept my hands hidden behind my back, well aware that once upon a time I might have felt the urge to help. It was a beautiful evening nonetheless, a kingdom of blue shadows and orange-tinted smoke, where gray buildings collapsed with a sigh and then slowly rebuilt themselves, only to collapse again.