A bright red Ducati Hypermotard bike was parked on the street in front of us. Next to it was some kind of Harley, and behind them in the same parking space was another bike, but I couldn’t see what it was without getting up from the table where we sat in front of the coffee shop. A short man with white hair and a wizened face strolled up the sidewalk smoking a cigarette, and stopped to look at the Ducati.
Three guys walked out of some store somewhere, all similarly dressed in black protective nylon or Kevlar jackets and trousers, two of them carrying their motorcycle helmets under their arms, while the third was wearing his. The short man with white hair started talking to the guy who got on the Ducati.
I expected the three motorcyclists to leave as quickly as possible, but they talked to the white-haired man, easily old enough to be their father, for a good ten minutes. I heard the white-haired man talking about a motorcycle he once owned, one with a two-cycle engine. Interested, the guy on the Harley said, “Must have taken a lot of oil.”
Carol started listening to their conversation too. At last the three motorcyclists backed their bikes out of the parking space and drove towards Oakland, and the man with the white hair walked into the coffee shop behind us. “I expected them to blow that guy off,” I said, “but they just kept talking to him.” Carol said of the guy on the Harley, “He had such a sweet expression on his face.”