Leonard Mead walks across buckled concrete sidewalks with grass growing in the cracks on a night in 2053 A.D. He imagines himself on a windless Arizona desert despite there being houses and cottages all along his way. For, there is no sight or sound of life anywhere; the lights are off inside the houses, and no one is outdoors besides Mead.
Not only are the sidewalks unpopulated, but the long street is empty and silent. Only Mead's shadow makes its way down the street lit only by the lamppost since the lights in the dwellings are turned off as the occupants gather before the television sets. [In the early days of television, the black and white screens were not of the clarity and brightness as they are today, so many people watched TVs in the dark in order to better see the screen.]
Mead is careful to not make noise lest he be reported for his vagrant behavior because in ten years of walking, having covered thousands of miles, he has never seen another person. Even the one police car of the town is automated and without a human behind the wheel.