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The Miata Diaries: Show and tell

I had promised a friend of mine yesterday that I would give her a ride in my new car before leaving for work. I forgot when the time came to leave, so I made it up to her today after church.

Parked next to a visiting college student's Camaro, the Miata looked to me almost like a toy car. She said it was gorgeous. Throughout the beginning of the ride, she felt along every surface she could reach - the textured plastic door handles, the smooth plastic dash and its round - almost bulbous - HVAC vents, the cloth seat, the vinyl soft top, the cold, metal framework holding the soft top up, the thin flap of fabric hiding that framework from view.

She felt the comparative roominess of the passenger legroom, which surpassed the expectations she'd formed after seeing the red-and-black mass we approached in the parking lot and feeling how short it was - shorter than even her petite frame. She could lean her elbow up on the top of the car.

My friend listened to the rumble of the engine as I revved it up to 4, maybe 5,000 rpms on the short spin through the countryside, assuring her I was only going around 50 mph. She felt the slight jerk accompanying each shift of the six-speed gearbox and the warmth of the sun's energy transferred through the car's outer surface.

When we returned, her dad asked, tongue in cheek, "did you let her drive?" He and her mom had informed me and their other guests yesterday that they make good-natured jokes about visual impairment. "We forget she's blind," they explained.

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