It was Roland Barthes who once said descriptions are a "narrative luxury." Police Beat could not agree with him more, so this week it places emphasis on details, useless and beautiful details, rather than the story of each report.

The Details of an Eternal Cop Moment/ Ravenna/Thurs June 29/3:00 pm: This report concerns a dispute between neighbors: One is a 60-year-old woman, the other, a 51-year-old man. The younger neighbor claims that the older neighbor is in the habit of cutting his plants; he even obtained an anti-harassment order to stop her steady destruction of his property. This afternoon she apparently violated that court order between 2 and 3 pm. True, the narrative of the report is boring, but the details are just wonderful. Here is how dreamy Officer Marks describes the scene of the crime: "We observed fresh mini-laurel bush clippings on the hedges, and on the ground in front of the hedges. The clippings appeared to be fresh... the leaves being green, pliable, not dehydrated, with moist stems that appeared to be freshly cut. A few leaves around the clippings were brown and dehydrated. The temperature was about 70 degrees, and the previous day was about 90 degrees." Officer Marks could stay in this moment forever, relishing the varied virid details of a sunny summer afternoon.

Watching Windows/Greenwood/Fri June 30/5:08 pm: A woman who is employed as a home program therapist went to a home to see a client. As she was early for the appointment, she decided to wait for her client in front of the home. Suddenly, through the bushes, she heard bird noises; she looked at the house next door and saw an elderly Asian man watching television in what appeared to be the front living room. It didn't make any sense to her. Where were the bird noises coming from? She scrutinized the house, and at last found a man standing in a window near the back. The man was young, Asian, and butt naked. The naked young man continued to make bird noises for the next 30 minutes, and would suddenly wrap himself up in the curtains when a car or person passed by. Finally the therapist's client arrived and the young, naked, Asian male abruptly ended the show by shutting the curtains. No one, not even the birds, applauded his insane performance.

Invisible Details/West Seattle/Sat July 1/8:30 pm: Tonight, Officer A. Hillis was told by a woman named Marie that her apartment had been burgled on several occasions. Marie then showed attentive Officer A. Hillis some scratches on the door frames. "These marks were made by an intruder," Marie explained. When the two entered the apartment, Marie told Officer A. Hillis that a picture had been removed from her favorite wall, and a hotpad used to keep a hot pan from burning a countertop or table was also missing. When Officer A. Hillis tried to ask questions about why the wall had no nails or nail marks on it, Marie ignored him and proceeded to the bedroom. In the bedroom, Marie explained that an intruder had stolen her pearl necklace, her jade necklace, a couple of diamond earrings, and two books from a box containing 50 books. She then told Officer A. Hillis that she locks the deadbolt whenever she leaves her home, and no one else has a key to the deadbolt. When Officer A. Hillis scrutinized her room for clues, he noticed a sign posted above her heater gauge that read: "Stop going through my stuff or you're dead." He also noticed that Marie had put padlocks on all her duffel bags. "To keep the bastards out," she explained. When Officer A. Hillis left her apartment, he heard her yelling profanities at him. Officer A. Hillis was so spooked by Marie that he requested that "all calls to her address be two-officer calls."