11:22 pm.

Domestic disturbance.

Histogram City.

Lower West side.

The address was relayed through a police scanner, which Officer Quota picked up simultaneously on the radio in his patrol car.

Two men, one of them possibly female, were arguing on the front porch through a screen door.

One of them, possibly the one out on the porch, possibly the one outside the screen door, was swinging what appeared to be a baseball bat.

There was lots of shouting.

No other information was available at that time.

Officer Quota, possibly the only one who heard the call, or at least the one who responded to it, arrived at the residence.

It was a small brown house with one front porch, possibly a bedroom inside.

Officer Quota got out of his patrol car.

The street was quiet.

He slid his nightstick into a holster loop on his belt and proceeded on foot to the porch where a man holding a telescope was standing.

The man was whispering something to a silhouette behind the screen door, something Officer Quota couldn’t quite make out from not being as close as he would be in a moment.

The man standing on the porch was wearing a black leather vest over a white tee, stonewashed jeans with a wallet chain hanging from his left cheek pocket.

He was wearing a wristwatch Officer Quota couldn’t assess the value of.

The silhouette behind the screen door opened it a couple times, closed it just as many.

The silhouette, Telli, didn’t seem all too interested in the fun the man on the porch might’ve wanted to have.

Officer Quota got closer to them, enough to hear the man was whispering something to the silhouette, something with his mouth, something he could only say using words.

“Don’t be like this,” the man said. “I thought you’d be happy.”

“That’s not what I want to come home to,” Telli said. “Think of what the neighbors will think.”

“The neighbors, the neighbors. Why do we always have to think of the neighbors?”

“They’re just as much a part of this community as we are.”

“But I’m from the neighborhood — I know everybody. They never leave their houses. They act like we all live on different continents. How can we have a community when no one ever even meets or talks to one another?”

Officer Quota walked up the front steps onto the porch.

He wondered what the trouble was.

“What’s the trouble?” he said.

He tried to sound friendly, like he’d actually be doing one of them a favor by beating or caging one of them up.

“The fuck are you?” the man said, ignoring Officer Quota’s blue or black or whatever color uniform, ignoring the big gold-plated thing stuck over his left breast pocket.

“Officer Quota. I’m a police man.”

“And how can I help you?”

“Actually, I’m here to help you.”

“Gee, thanks.”

“What’s your name, son?”

“Rory from the neighborhood. Why?”

“What seems to be the trouble?”

“You tell me. The fuck’s it look like?”

Officer Quota leaned over to get a look at the silhouette, and it still looked like a silhouette, even up close.

Officer Quota took a shot at the silhouette’s gender.

“He giving you a hard time here, uh, ma’am?”

Telli opened the screen door some, shouted, “Fuck Off.”

She closed the screen door and did up her nightgown.

“Now, there’s no need for such language. I got a call about a possible disturbance in the area, and this was the address.”

“Who’s disturbing who, here? I’m talking to my wife.”

Officer Quota was relieved to know what kind of genitals the silhouette standing behind the screen door had so he could refer to it, to them, properly.

“Why the telescope, sir?” he said.

Rory from the neighborhood looked at the telescope in his hand.

Telli crossed her arms and sighed heavily.

Officer Quota said again, “Why the telescope, sir?” reaching for his nightstick.

A gun went off somewhere down the street, possibly outside, possibly indoors, a small star exploding from the black hole it would leave behind.

Rory from the neighborhood, Telli and Officer Quota jerked down some, and Rory from the neighborhood looked over Officer Quota’s shoulder and down the street.

“Shit,” Officer Quota said.

“I think you got the wrong address, man,” Rory from the neighborhood said, holding the telescope up to his right eye and closing the left, gazing down the street as if he would soon reach the shores of a new continent.