Haunted By A Ghostbike
I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about this. Maybe it’s because I was minutes behind the accident, arriving on my bike just in time to be detoured by a cop at the scene. I pass it daily on my commute downtown, this white bike on side of the road with a full flung alter on it. Pictures, flowers…
Last month there was a woman reciting what I took to be the rosary every day for a week. There were beads involved, but I thought it bad form to interrupt what appeared to be prayer. Maybe her mother? Sometimes she was alone, sometimes not. Turns out it was the one year anniversary. I nodded as I rode by.
Lisa Kuivinen was 20 years old when she got hit by an 18-wheeler near a construction site on Milwaukee Avenue around Racine—one of the most popular bike lanes in America. She was a dancer and artist enrolled at the Art Institute. Had we known each other we’d probably be friends.
Why does this particular story call to me? Why do I think about this ghostbike and not at all about the many other ghostbikes around town? Because it could have been me had I left my house a few minutes earlier?
Whatever it is, it's been on my mind a lot, and that was the end of the story.
Or so I thought.
An old friend dropped by my house with someone I’d never met. We needed something from my computer and on my desktop was the picture accompanying this post. When my new friend saw it he asked me, “Why do you have a picture of Lisa on your computer? I used to play music at parties she attended with her family. She was so sweet and talented. This was so tragic."