Her aunt used to tell her that nothing was pure.  As a sophomore cop, she believed that her aunt, while sweet and well-intentioned and full of empathy (no one was “all bad” etc.), would not have a made a good law enforcement officer.  There existed boundaries and lines and rule books and that was how those charged with safeguarding the social contract were able to be effective—without the superstructure of hard lines, society would sag, the joists would snap, and life as everyone knew it would be gone in a poof of pink vapor in one day’s fucking time.  She’d seen it happen, or at least the aftermath: a driver run a red in the small hours of the morning and T-bone a tipsy teenager on a bicycle.  A past partner that had been distracted by a divorce who misfired his weapon and ended the life of a toddler nine months into his first assignment.  The ignored “check engine light” that presaged a slipping head gasket that occasioned a fiery wreck that ate the lives of her grandfather, a young couple in another car, and a dumb, valiant Samaritan that tried to brave the flames.  She had a whole arsenal of evidence for how not respecting rules led to disaster.  Her uniform was ironed and her ponytail was tight and her gun was oiled.  She drove the tension of her work into heavy bags three times per week to prevent a slip up with a defiant suspect.  She drank one glass of Merlot per day.  She wiped down her dashboard once per week. She met Leo on the first night of patrol in a new neighborhood.  She lived 15 miles north of the city limit and therefore found herself patrolling the grimy expanse of state highway a few miles south of the city limit—the department had rotated officers so they could claim they were honoring the idea of policing their own communities.  It was a place of decrepit fast food franchises, pawn shops, liquor stores, auto parts dealers, cheap motels, hardware stores serving as fronts for meth rings, strip clubs, dive bars, milling clots of day laborers and addicts and the like—a strip of urban American stereotype and she loathed it, the way it offended all of her sensibilities and indeed seemed to breed chaos and disorder, in the form of stumble bums and reckless driving and the palming to and fro of shadow things.  Leo stood with a straight spine on the sidewalk outside of a Jack in the Box, the bleed of the marquee coloring his high cheekbones with a rose hue.  He wore a beanie style hat that stuck straight up, a smooth black windbreaker, creased blue jeans and spotless shell-toed Adidas.  He was perfectly symmetrical, even how he held his hands at the midpoint of his chest, fingers intertwined, thumb pads pushing against each other.  He sported a pencil thin goatee and chinstrap and the long lashes on his sleepy, large eyes were long enough to curl upward.  As she circled the block the second time, he let his gaze slide over her windshield and softly caught her own.  She told herself her heart hammered as she cut rubber around the block again because he was a suspicious character and she watched her mind tick off the rationale for parking close in the restaurant’s lot on her next pass: young, male (omit Hispanic/poss African American), idle/loitering on public thoroughfare, 12:03 a.m., dress consistent with possible gang membership, drug trafficking activity, etc.  She watched her hand rise from the butt of her Glock to straighten her ponytail.  She felt her exaggerated cop-stride toward him, but felt within it the ghost of a hip switch.  She asked him what his business was.  He told her he was waiting for a ride home from his uncle.  She asked how long he’d been waiting and he painted the night sky with his eyelashes as he gazed up, blinking, calculating.  Two hours.  The way his eyelashes lifted as he blinked at her, painted her in a light sheen of sweat as he wondered if maybe she could give him a ride—it was a rough area, and he didn’t want to get into any kind of trouble.  An hour later, as her fourth orgasm receded in pulses through her thighs, her face pressed to a Formica table top on which her pistol and his pistol and a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue vogued in a tableau of vice, she would wish that she hadn’t requested his ID, hadn’t seen that he was just shy of his 17th birthday, hadn’t thereby eradicated any shred of pretension that the world wasn’t just as gray as her aunt had always insisted; she would wish that she could find a way to believe that she wasn’t all bad.