Saturday night I decided to meet a few friends who were in town out at the bar, and because it was so nice I rode the bike. Dano waved as I came in and went to the coat check to check in my big heavy motorcycle jacket. After I did that he came up and made a sign like riding a motorcycle -- his fists in the air, cranking the throttle. I nodded yes I rode. He pointed to the door I guess asking if the bike was out there, so I nodded yes. He gave me a look that I took as if asking "can we look at it?" and I nodded and motioned to the door and he followed me. I had left the red LED engine spotlights on to show it off as it was parked right outside the front door. He saw the bike and let out an "AHHH" and gave me a thumbs up with a huge smile. So I sat on the bike and patted the back seat with my hands and invited him to hop on. At first he was a bit hesitant, but I motioned "come on" and patted the seat again. He grinned and climbed on and started the bike up. Now this bike is LOUD, but I'm sure he couldn't hear a thing, but I bet he felt the big V-Twin rev up because he let out a laugh - makng a sound almost like an infant would. It's the only sound I've ever heard him make other than the "Ahh" when he saw the bike.
I backed the bike out, and although he didn't have a helmet, we went a few blocks to a local park and did the loop around it. He huged me tight and I could here him laughing with pure joy as we rode around for about 10 minutes and I'd rev the engine at the stop lights. When we got back to the bar he hopped off, jumped up and down, and practiaclly danced with delight as he waited for me to stop the bike and climb off. He grabbed me by the hand and pulled me back into the bar to the middle of the deaf group and started to widly sign. They signed back, and introduced me to his boyfriend who is somewhat able to speak and who said I had made his night. He was grinning still, as I made a swooping gentleman's bow and waved so I could go see my friends.
A bit later I was ready to go, so I got my jacket from the coat check and Dano came up with a sad look and grabbed my coat and tried to sign something I couldn't understand, and I gave him a puzzled look. He got out a device like a small phone with a keyboard and typed out a note on the screen. "You go now?" And I nodded yes. He grabbed my hand and pulled me towards the deaf group again where there was much signing and a very "loud" but silent conversation. He got his boyfriends camera which he pointed to me and to the door, and then lead the entire group of deaf folks out. He wanted to show it to them and have a picture on the bike. So surounded by a group of deaf folks, I watched as Dano pointed at the red lights, gave a thumbs up, and I climbed on, started the bike and all of them put their hands on the tank to feel the vibrations. I invited Dano to join me and there was no hesitation whatsoever this time, as he hopped right on and handed the camera to his boyfriend.
Sunday afternoon I got a text from him "Hi, it's Dano - thanks again for the ride on your bike, it was so much fun." Well now I know his name! So I texted him back, and said it was my pleasure and anytime he wanted to go for a ride to let me know. He asked if I was serious and I texted back "hell yeah!". Well, long and short of it, later that afternoon I rode up to Dano's house with a helmet for him this time and we took off again. This time we went out around the foothills of the Cascades and down near Enumclaw where we saw Mt. Rainier. When we came around a corner and there was the Mountain looming in front of us he tapped my shoulder and gave me a thumbs up and signaled to stop so he could take a picture. It was one of those picture perfect Washington days and the Mountain was out in all it's glory.
When we pulled up to his house he gave me a big long hug. I got out my phone and typed out a message -- "We'll do this again soon". He lit up and grinned, and before I got home there was a text message saying "I'm free next Saturday before 4pm". Weather permitting, I think my new friend and I will go ride and enjoy the sound of silence.