You probably read about it in the paper, or saw it on the TV news; you know, the tragic accident in which a schoolteacher died. You didn't? Well, I thought that everyone had heard about it. The teacher that died was my wife. She was on her way to school that morning after the big ice storm. A local resident had moved his wife's car out of the driveway, and had parked it on the street so he could back his own car out, and could drive his children to school on his way to work. As he got out of her car, and closed the door, it started to slide down the hill. He tried to run after it, but slipped and fell on the ice, and he could only watch in horror as the car went faster and faster down the ice-covered hill. The police say that my wife probably didn't even have time to react as the runaway car came sliding down the hill, smashing into the side of my wife's car with such intensity that it took rescue workers several hours to remove her body. I chose to have a closed casket funeral, and I was overwhelmed with the crowds that came to pay their respects. I knew she was a popular, well-liked teacher, but I had no idea that there would be such a crowd of mourners.
I returned from the funeral to find e-mail from Asia. No, not the continent, Asia is a 24-year-old university student from the south, who I had been corresponding with now for over 2 years. I came across Asia after she had done a few minor posts to an Internet site devoted to vision. From her posts, which were all well written and dealt with her problem of very high myopia, along with other problems, I had initially concluded that Asia was likely a wannabe myope. Internet sites have a major following of different people who are what are called wannabee's, who pretend to be severely dehabilitated with the main problem that the site is devoted to. For example, a site devoted to amputee's might have a wanabee talking about how she/he had no arms, but wore a specific brand of artificial arms, and would ask for advice from other amputees on how they could cope with their life. And Asia seemed to fit the profile for a wanabee. I know that you understand a bit about glasses, and high myopia, along with other severe vision problems, or else you wouldn't be reading this tale. Asia's supposed, current prescription, which she had been given at the age of 13, and had not had an increase to this point, was a major problem prescription. She had myopia of –35D in both eyes. Her left eye had an astigmatic correction of –7.50D, and her right eye had –7.00D, with both eyes having an axis of 180 degrees. On top of that, she had a base up prism in her left eye of 3 degrees, and a base down prism in her right eye of 2 degrees. And to put the icing on the cake, she had base in prisms for both eyes of 10 degrees. I think you see why I figured she was a manufactured person. I just couldn't believe that a real person would have such severe myopia, along with extreme astigmatism, and prisms that were on 2 planes. Further, her vision had remained stable for 10 years, which in teenage high myopia is almost unheard of. Although, I did feel that if she had been a wanabee, she would not have known enough to tell the others on the site that she did not have good vision with her glasses. She had informed us that she was just a bit better than legally blind with her best correction.
I had some glasses in a –46D right and a –44D left, which I suggested in a post that I would be happy to scan, and send Asia a picture. She responded, I sent the scans, and so began an e-mail relationship that, as I mentioned before, has lasted over 2 years. And, I was still no closer to my objectives. I wanted to meet with her in person, if only for a minute, to convince myself totally that she was real, and I wanted to obtain a pair of her glasses for my collection of high minus glasses as the prescription was indeed very unusual. During the course of our correspondence, I finally became convinced that Asia was a real person, and that she was exactly who she purported to be. But, at first, as I learned more about her heritage, the idea that she was a made up person was foremost in my mind. And, when I began our correspondence, I had just finished almost a year of correspondence with another wannabee, so I think I was a lot more skeptical than I would otherwise have been. But, first I will tell you about Asia's heritage. Her great great grandfather was a Chinese cook on a ranch in Nevada. For those of you old enough to remember Bonanza, think Hop Sing, and for those of you who are too young, you missed a great TV series. Her great great grandmother was a Native American Indian. Then her great grandfather, who became a sailor, married a lady from the continent of India, and brought her back to San Francisco, where her grandmother married the offspring of an African American mother, and a white Anglo Saxon father. That should be enough of a mixture, but Asia's father obviously didn't think so, as he married a lady of Japanese heritage. If this story wasn't a complete fabrication, it was obviously the greatest racial mixture that I had heard of.
Asia had told me that she was considered to be gorgeous – without her glasses, that is. Her hair was dark, her eyes were almond shaped with just the hint of an oriental shape, and were black (not that it was likely anyone could see them easily behind the lenses of her glasses), and her skin was a light golden brown, as if she had a permanent tan. She told me that she was almost 5' 10" tall, and that her measurements were 38, 24, and 36. If you were in my place, would you have believed this tale? No, I think not.
Anyway, I opened, and read her e-mail. It started off offering me her condolences. Still the skeptic, and still hurting from the number of times she had rejected my requests for a meeting, I almost missed the last line. Call me at 345-555-1212, and when you are ready, I will introduce you to my unmarried, severely myopic lady professor, who I have told you about in previous e-mails. Could this be true? Could she really be who she says she is?
I waited a couple of days before I called. Her melodious voice was the nicest thing I had ever heard, and we made arrangements for me to meet her the following week. I needed a few more days to straighten out my affairs, and it was going to be at least a 2-day drive.
I packed some clothing, and headed south to meet Asia. I found her to be exactly what she had described herself to be. When she knew I was coming, she had arranged for me to take a temporary rental unit in the same building that she lived in. Asia had graduated the previous year with a history major, but had not gotten a job, and I had suggested that she go on and obtain a higher degree. She had followed my advice, even though I doubt that I really had that much influence. I really was disappointed to see that Asia did have as poor eyesight as she had told me she had. She had 2 pairs of glasses that she would alternately wear, and both pairs were very unusual looking due to the very strong and unusual lenses. One of them was a small wire framed oval shaped pair, and the other pair was also oval shaped, but was a black plastic frame. The lenses in both pairs were the same high index glass. All the astigmatism correction was in the front, as well as some of the correction for her myopia. The front of the lenses also had the base up prism in the one lens, and the base down prism in the other. Then the rear of the lens was ground for what I figured to be almost -30D of myopia, as well as the 10 degrees of base out prism. These lenses must have been a major production for some optical lab. The oval frames allowed the front of the highly astigmatic oval shaped lenses to be ground with around 3mm of plano edge all around the outside, and the rear lenses were very small, probably 25mm myodiscs on a plano base. When I commented on the difficulty of making her lenses, she brought out a copy of "Through The Lens" from about 5 years ago. In this magazine, which is a trade magazine for the lens grinding industry, there was an article on her lenses. There was even a picture showing a side view of a 13-year-old Asia, wearing what looked to be a pair of lenses that were about an inch and a half thick from the edges. These were apparently her first glasses made in this prescription. I read the article with interest, as it described, first the grinding of the plastic lenses, and then five years later, the making of the hi index glass lenses that she now wore. There was also a picture of a side view of an 18-year-old Asia wearing her new, thinner glass lenses, which were still almost 1" thick. If she had posted on the internet site about her one and a half inch thick glasses, I would have then been absolutely positive that she was a fake person, as I knew from experience that lens blanks come no thicker than 30mm, and even these are special order. What I didn't know was that Asia had such a crazy prescription that they ground her lenses as 2 separate lenses, and then glued them together with a special optical cement to provide the lenses that she so desperately needed to see. I wish I could have seen this article before, as I would have had all my doubts put to rest much sooner.
I found work, and I went on a few dates with the lady professor. We had a good time, but for some reason, I just didn't click with her. I think that maybe it was because Jessica was the type of person who had a tendency to put other people down. As an example, one time I was all ready to go out. While I was waiting at her apartment for her to finish dressing, I made myself a cup of coffee, and while I was drinking it, I accidentally slopped a tiny bit on my white shirt. Well, then of course, I had to stop by my apartment, grab a clean shirt, and change quickly, making us a little late for her faculty affair. Could have happened to anyone. But, from then on, all I heard about was " Be careful you don't slop all over your clothing." Sure, I loved her myodisc-lensed glasses. And, I liked it that she had very good vision when wearing her –23D prescription. But, she was also picky, and bossy, and I had a hard time with this, as I have never been good at taking orders. And, while she was really a very nice person, there was just no spark between us. I think another problem was that she had a figure like an hourglass – the bottom half of one that is. Or, maybe it would be better described as a figure like a bell. I think you got the picture here, and it didn't take too long before I decided that Jessica would be better off with someone else. I loved her glasses, but I didn't really care for her.
Asia also introduced me to another very myopic lady who worked as a cleaner around the University. I liked Lori as a person much better, but Lori was the darkest haired blonde I ever met – blond being a state of mind that is. Lori was somewhat of a ditz. She would come out with the strangest comments at the weirdest times. I did like Lori's glasses a lot, as they were around –18D, and were high index plastic in small wire frames, much like the wire frames that Asia wore. I dated Lori for a few months, and even went on a couple of double dates with Asia and Marty, her present boyfriend. Marty had been in the picture for a year or so, and I knew Asia really liked him and was hoping that Marty would be the one that would see past her atrocious eyewear, and her poor eyesight. I had been there for Asia to cry on my internet shoulder when Verne, her old boyfriend had dropped her, and I really didn't want this to happen again. Verne had taken Asia home to meet his family, and a few weeks later, for no discernable reason, had broken up with her. Asia was very hurt over this, and I tried to show her that it wasn't Verne so much as it was his parents' disapproval of her thick, unusual-looking glasses and poor vision. So, now she was placing a lot more of her hopes on Marty than I thought were healthy.
Unfortunately, I knew something that Asia didn't, and I wanted to tell her, but didn't have the courage or the nerve. In a conversation I had with Marty a few days ago, Marty had told me some of his plans for the future, and they certainly didn't seem to include a severely myopic Asia. I was keeping this quiet, but I did try to drop a few hints so that the blow would be a little cushioned. I had just about given up on Lori, and was thinking of moving on, but I wanted to stay to be with Asia the day that Marty announced that he was leaving, without Asia. And the day came.
Outwardly, Asia took the news that Marty had taken a job on the coast well. That night I invited her to drop over to my apartment for a hot chocolate, and we lay on the floor together, watching my big screen TV. I was lying on my side, behind her, with her rear-end touching the front of my jeans. A commercial came on, and Asia rolled over, and nestled close to me, and rubbed her body against mine. Did I mention before that she had a fabulous body??? She put her arms around me, pressing her breasts against me, and put her face close to mine.
"Make love to me," she said softly.
"No," came the words from my mouth. I wanted to slap my face. This isn't what I wanted to say, even though I knew it was the proper response. I had fallen madly in love with Asia the first instant I saw her.
"Why not? Don't you love me?"
"You know I love you more than I love anyone in this world. But, I am 32 years older than you are. Your parents are younger than I am," I replied.
Little tears came down her cheeks, and I held her tightly. The little minx rubbed the front of her pants against mine.
"You want me. I can tell."
"Of course I want you. But this isn't right. And it is really bad timing tonight when you are hurting from Marty leaving," I responded.
"But you love me for me. You don't love me just because of your glasses fetish. You proved that with Lori and Ms. Emerson. They both had very strong glasses; they both had good vision with their glasses. Lori is quite pretty. But you just didn't love them, the way I know that you love me, and you couldn't make yourself love them just because of the glasses that they wear."
"You are very observant for a young lady with such poor vision. But, just because I happen to know that you want children, I can't go against what my morals tell me I should do," I told her.
"I'll just have to work on you for a while longer then," she responded.
Just then Jay Leno came on, and as we watched, his guest was talking about older men marrying younger women. A 72-year-old, very wealthy producer, was there on the program, accompanied by his 37-year-old wife. This was just what I didn't need.
Asia picked up on this instantly. From then on, she was after me to live with her. So, after a while I gave in, and consented to live in the same apartment with her. But, I insisted that we have 2 bedrooms, which worked for a while, but finally I gave in, and we shared the same bed. I think that that was around the same time when 68 year old Joan Collins appeared on Entertainment Tonight with the 36 year old guy she was marrying. I really didn't have a leg to stand on anymore.
After living together for a year, Asia and I decided to get married. A few weeks later, Asia and I had just returned from her annual visit to her ophthalmologist, and he had increased her prescription by –5D for both eyes. He told us that she has needed an increase for the last couple of years, but with each lens in her glasses, costing over $500, he wanted to wait as long as possible. And, as he described it, if Asia sees a 2" object sitting on a table, but sees it a bit blurry with her correction, with the stronger lenses, she would see the 2" object as about 1 ½", and the increased minnification wouldn't really have her seeing it any better.
After Asia graduated, she was still unable to find work in her field. One day the owner of a modeling agency spotted us walking into a restaurant. Every once in a while, Asia would remove her glasses, place them in her purse, and would hold on to me and allow me to lead her around, as if she were blind. This was one of those days. The lady watched us walk in, and because Asia didn't have the thick, unusual glasses that she usually wore on, she saw Asia for the beauty that she is. She came over to the table, introduced herself, and, even after she found out that Asia was almost legally blind with very thick glasses, she still wanted Asia to do some modeling for her firm. The only catch was going to be that Asia would not be able to wear her glasses, but would have to pretend to be blind, which wasn't hard for her to do without her glasses, as she was blind without them.
Asia became a well-known and well-paid model. Her blindness didn't seem to be a great hindrance to her, as she was able to walk up and down the runway with the aid of a little buzzer that I had installed at some of the critical points. 2 beeps from the one buzzer meant that she should turn right. Then she would stroll out the runway until she heard a single buzz, turn slowly around, and walk back to where the first buzzer let out its double beep. The audience knew that Asia was almost blind, and they loved it that she was able to make it as a model. She was so beautiful. Also everyone she worked with went out of his or her way to be very helpful to her. It helped as well that I was not working anymore, and was able to be there with Asia all the time. Because of her modeling, I had to make a wire harness for Asia to wear on her head, to help hold her heavy glasses off her nose when she wanted to wear them between times that she was not on stage, or in front of the camera's. It didn't matter if Asia wore the wire framed glasses, or the plastic framed glasses, a day of wearing glasses left really deep red indent's on her nose, which could not be eliminated with makeup. So, when she was doing shoots, she had to wear the contraption, which worked, and solved the problem.
I had been helping Asia to learn Braille. It isn't bad enough that her eyesight is so poor due to her high myopia and astigmatism, but she now has a bit of glaucoma. And her doctor advised us that she is showing slight signs of lattice degeneration that if it increases might lead to a retinal detachment. So, I thought that Braille might be easier for her to learn while she still had some vision. She had to take a leave from her modeling career, as her belly is now swollen with child. I am actually looking forward to my second family, and we have agreed that Asia will continue modeling, while I look after the children. And old Blue, the seeing eye dog that we got from the family of an elderly blind lady that passed away has given Asia the confidence to go out without her glasses and just let Blue guide her. With the use of a white cane, and the assistance of Blue, she is getting around better by herself than she ever has. And, when she walks down the street, there isn't a man who doesn't stare at her. She gets as much attention walking around as a blind lady as she gets when wearing her super thick glasses. Then at home at night, she puts her glasses back on, so she can see again, even if poorly. One thing we have noticed though is that with Asia not wearing her glasses as much anymore, her vision has actually improved, and she is back to wearing the –35D lenses, rather than the –40's. Her doctor told us that he has noticed that the more a very high myope strains to see through their thick lenses, the worse their eyes seem to become, and the stronger their glasses have to be, so he was not surprised with this turn of events.
And, I have gotten over my fear of dying and leaving Asia alone to raise our children. After all, we found each other in an unusual way, and we seem very happy, so it is best to let things run their course.
Specs4ever, with loads of help from Aliena