We need a bat-signal, Hero said. We need a bat-signal.
They seem to appear out of nowhere. As you turn a corner, or step aside to avoid a stranger, or coast your bike to a pause in order to time the next stoplight, there in your peripheral vision you catch a glimpse. The sight stalls you in mid-step, mid-thought, mid-pedal-stroke: the striking image of a bicycle painted glaring white, adorned by plastic flowers, accompanied by a plaque and a chain that is more gestural than preventive. A Ghost Bike.
We had been in the holding cell at the 9th Precinct for maybe an hour or so when this lanky, punk-rock-circa-1983-looking dude (pale skin, gelled spiky jet black hair, metal-studded black leather jacket, metal-studded belt, black denim jeans, leather shitkicker boots) was escorted into the waiting area just outside the bars, a few feet away from my cellmates and me.