Melisa, We'll Miss You
Thread started by Bernie
at 04.23.11 - 2:05 am
It seemed like every hard-assed bike messenger in LA knew that you had died Melisa. And they knew how you took your own life at 34. And every hard-assed bike messenger that ever rode under the Flower Street bridge was at your memorial bike ride Friday night - along with dozens of others - to pay tribute to you, Melisa.
You meant alot more to people than you'll ever know. Everyone remembers a kindness you extended to them, or a skepticism you express about them (which you were real willing to say was wrong once they proved themselves to you.) People remember you, cause you were a leader, a born leader. And people don't meet many of those in a lifetime.
I have my own story about going on the Bike Brew Tour with you and wondering why the hell they let a 'woman' share the ride up to San Francisco for the Bike Messenger Races in '07. And then I began to understand you and who you were and that 'woman' bullshit went out the window - you took charge of everything, and watched every detail and controlled that entire piece of chaos so that no one got hurt, left behind or starved to death. And everyone was made to feel an equal by you and that made that Brew Tour a legend.
Less known is this school boy crush I had on you which would not have ever worked 'cause I'm like 30 years older - but it wasn't like you were flirting. You were just the most amazing women, of any age, I ever knew and it made you attractive, in a stand-out way. You always did hug me, and hug me hard when we meet - but then I realized its cause all that biking made you a powerful woman and you had a powerful hug. I miss that, too.
I'm kinda heartbroken now Melisa. I knew we were the most casual of acquaintances and I need to not think about how sad me, and every other biker was tonight. Naturally, everyone got wasted and said dumb, loud, ridiculous stuff. (We cleaned out Echo Park Liquor's entire inventory for the year.) But at the end of the night, there at your place on the hill, there was a quiet moment when everyone knew someone on this bike ride had gone missing - and no matter how long we waited up for her she won't be catching up - and we'll miss you, Melisa.
can't help but keep thinking about Melisa and wondering about what it says about the times we live in.
lots of personal e-mails to me about this piece I wrote the night after - thanks
04.30.11 - 1:13 pm