Janey, my younger sister called me tonight to tell me that Noel and Mary’s mom died. If she hadn’t said Mary as well as Noel, I wouldn’t have known immediately who she was talking about. This is a little hard to explain, because Rich Knoll had been my best friend all through my school years, and still was someone I cared about, and saw frequently. However, when I explain that Rich was named Noel Richard Knoll, I think you might understand why his best friend would be one of his childhood friends who would have called him by his second name. I don’t know what his parents had been thinking when that called their son Noel Knoll, but by second grade Noel hated his first name so much that he asked everyone to call him by his second name. Since we were best friends, I was one of the few that complied, and to this day I think of him as Rich. His sister Mary wasn’t the butt of as many jokes as Rich had been, however she still was made fun of a little. And that really wasn’t totally fair, because a child can’t change their last name.
Rich and Mary were the children of Harry and Barbara Knoll. I guess if they had been looking for a name that they wanted to be the butt of a joke they could have called Rich Rocky, then he would have been Rocky Knoll, but I think that Barbara was enough of a spaced out individual that when Rich was born she just picked the first name that she liked, without thinking of the consequences for Rich as he was growing up.
I was at the Knoll house quite a bit of the time as a kid. And as I have grown to the ripe old age of 50, I have spent a lot of time thinking about these years. As I look back I can state with certainty that Harry Knoll had a glasses fetish. And, because of Harry Knoll having a glasses fetish, and having a son my age, I am darned sure that that is how I ended up having a glasses fetish, or should I say a fetish for ladies who wear strong glasses. Barbara Knoll certainly wore strong glasses. Her eyes were miniscule behind the lenses of the glasses that she needed to see anything more than an inch in front of her nose. And, even with those strong glasses on she could not differentiate between me and Rich across a room until we spoke.
I had seen pictures of Harry and Barbara when they were younger. Harry was 22, and Barbara was 14 when they first started going out together, and I could tell from the pictures that at age 14 Barbara already wore thick glasses. They were a little thicker in the wedding pictures that were taken a couple of years later, because Harry married Barbara as soon as she was 16, and was allowed to get married. Rich was born a couple of years later, and sometime after Rich was born Barbara’s glasses changed to the type with circles in the middle of the lens. Apparently there was a miscarriage between Rich and Mary, and Barbara’s eyesight got even worse. With the birth of Mary, when Barbara was about 22, there were even more diopters added to Barbara’s prescription. I heard Barbara discussing her eyesight with my mother one time, and apparently her eyes got a total of 12 diopters worse when the kids were born. But, since her eyes didn’t stop getting worse then, a person could probably say that it really wasn’t the birth of the kids, but just a very aggressive myopic progression.
Since Janey and I spent so much time at Rich’s place I think my mom must have paid Barbara to look after us after school, because Mom worked, but Barbara’s eyesight was so bad that she couldn’t get a job. She couldn’t even see well enough to drive, and if she took us to the movies we had to sit right up front so she could see the screen. But I was in love with her. Barbara was beautiful. I saw her face one time when she had her glasses off, and she had the face of a model. And, because she had to walk everywhere her figure was slim and trim. She had nice legs, and a trim rear end, and when she was wearing a bathing suit her breasts were very nice, and perfectly shaped. I think I heard a guy say that they were like ripe melons one time, and that was an apt comment.
But, even as beautiful as she was, Barbara was ridiculed because of her very poor eyesight. She used to take us to the pool when we were kids, and one time someone asked my mother if she thought it was safe for me to be looked after at the pool by Barbara.
“Well, you know she is as blind as a bat, even with her glasses on. If one of the kids fell in the pool she wouldn’t even be able to see that. And if she had to go in to rescue them she couldn’t even find them without her glasses,” said the lady.
And unfortunately that was the truth. But I was fascinated by her poor eyesight and her very strong glasses. Because of my fascination, I ended up going to medical school, and I graduated and trained as an Ophthalmologist. My specialty was high myopia, and although I mainly specialized in children’s vision, I also consulted with doctors, and often operated on their adult patients. I had only been a doctor for 2 years, but I had been an intern at the local hospital, and had done all my training there when I preformed my first cataract surgery.
My very first patient was Barbara Knoll. I was a little worried that since she had known me as a child, she might prefer to have another surgeon operate on her eyes, however, Barbara told me that she trusted me, and I was thrilled. I am afraid I played with Barbara a bit when she was being examined prior to her surgery. I sat her in a chair beside my desk, and had her remove her glasses so that I could check the prescription in them with my lensometer. I didn’t really have to do this, because I had all of her information from her chart; however it thrilled me to see Barbara sitting next to my desk, facing me, her eyes unfocused, and blank looking. Barbara, at the age of 60, was still one of the most beautiful women I had ever seen, and while I loved looking at her wearing her glasses, I also enjoyed seeing her without them. Other than Harry, her husband, I was probably the only other man who had seen Barbara without glasses since she had last had her eyes examined.
Finally, after determining that Barbara still had the same -32 diopter prescription that she had been prescribed at her last examination I was ready to discuss the options with Barbara.
This was going to be the hard part for me. Barbara was a true high myope. All of her myopia was in her eyeball, which had grown excessively long over the years as her myopia got worse and worse. Everyone has an inner lens in their eye, and in most cases, the inner lens contains about +20 diopers of power. If I removed Barbara’s inner lens I would be able to insert a minus lens of about -10D and Barbara would no longer have to wear glasses – except for reading that is. To destroy my life long attraction was more than I could bear, but I had to tell Barbara the truth.
I think I had mentioned that I thought Barbara to be a little spaced out about life and things. But, Barbara surprised me with the questions she asked.
“So, you are saying that I can have the choice of never wearing glasses again except to read?” Barbara asked.
“That is correct Mrs. Knoll. I can remove your cataracts, and replace those lenses with lenses that will give you pretty close to perfect vision.” I replied.
“I have told you not to call me Mrs. Knoll, Petey. You are all grown up now. You can call me Barbara.” Barbara replied.
“I will try Barbara, but old habits die hard. And if I try for you, will you please try not to call me Petey. I sort of lost that name by the time Rich and I entered high school.” I answered.
“I will try to call you Peter in the future. What I am wondering Peter, is if there is any way you can leave my glasses prescription just as it is now?” Barbara asked.
“I suppose there is, but why would you want to do that Barbara? This is a perfect opportunity for you to be able to get rid of your glasses.” I replied in astonishment.
“I don’t think Harry would like it as much if I didn’t wear glasses anymore Peter. I know that Harry was attracted to me because I had to wear thick glasses, and during all of our married life Harry has been a true gentleman about my poor eyesight. He has never once made an unkind remark about how blind I am. And, as you know, I am pretty blind even with my glasses on. I am not completely sure if it was just because of the glasses that Harry married me, but I do know that Harry was the only one who could see how attractive I was as a young girl, and I think he felt that my glasses would stop him from having to worry if some other man was trying to cut his grass.” Barbara then told me.
“Funny, but I never thought of it that way. Even now, with your glasses off, you are one of the most beautiful women I have ever known. Your glasses definitely lower your attractiveness in the eyes of most men.” I answered.
“I know that Peter. I have known that for years. I also know that some men are able to see past my glasses and see the real me. I have known for years that you find me very attractive Peter – and don’t try to deny it.” Barbara said.
“I won’t, because you are right. I have always been attracted by you, even with your glasses on. But, let me suggest that instead of retaining your same prescription, we could lower your prescription significantly, possibly by about -10D, and your visual acuity would probably be a lot better.” I replied.
“So, I would end up with a prescription of around -22D, and I could still wear myodiscs, but would have better eyesight?” Barbara queried.
“Yes, I think that outcome would be entirely probable.” I answered.
“Let me think about it Peter. You don’t have to know my decision for a day or two do you?” Barbara asked.
“As long as you can tell me next week, when you come back to have the implant lens powers calculated, it will not be a problem.” I responded.
With that Barbara left my office, and I reflected on how wrong I had been about her being a bit spaced out. This lady had known exactly which side her bread was buttered on. Since she had been unable to wear contact lenses, she had used her severe myopia to her advantage, and I had a new respect for Barbara Knoll. Of course that still didn’t answer my question as to why she had named her son Noel Knoll.
The following week when I saw Barbara again she told me that she had decided to have me bring her down to a -22D myope. Harry had been very supportive when she told him what she wanted to do, and I knew that any decently strong myopic prescription would have suited Harry, as long as Barbara still wore reasonably strong glasses. So, I did all of the calculations, and a week after that I removed the cataracts from Barbara Knolls eyes, and replaced the lenses with +10D lenses. After the operation was finished, and I released Barbara into Harry’s care for a few days, Barbara surprised me even more when she got out a pair of myodiscs, and put them on. She noticed my expression, and she told me that she had ordered a pair of cheap glasses on the internet to tide her over until she had recovered and could get her exact prescription. This lady surprised me more all the time.
Over the next 20 years I saw Barbara Knoll once a year for her annual checkup. Harry died about 10 years after Barbara had her cataract operation, and I think it was around that time that I asked Barbara if she would like to have the lenses in her eyes changed so she could get rid of her glasses completely. Her answer was still no.
Finally I could stand the suspense no longer. I had been seeing Barbara Knoll professionally for about 12 years. I had discovered that she was a lot more intelligent that anyone gave her credit for, but I still had to find out why she had given Rich the name Noel.
“So, Barbara, I have wondered for years why you called your son Noel Knoll. You must have had a reason?” I asked.
“I have wondered that myself for many years Peter. When I was young, and before I married the name Noel was my favorite name. When Rich was born I didn’t even think of the consequences, and when they asked what I wanted to name the baby I said Noel Richard. So, poor Noel got stuck with his name because of that. I think he has forgiven me though.” Barbara answered.
“Yes, I think he has. Rich is a pretty good guy, and we still see a lot of each other. How is Mary doing?” I asked.
“She is doing very well. She just had that operation on her eyes where they put a new lens in, and she doesn’t have to wear glasses or contacts anymore.” Barbara replied.
I shuddered with that news. I had been very interested in Mary when I was younger. Of course it was her glasses that intrigued me, but I could tell that Mary hated her glasses, and she couldn’t wait to get into contact lenses, so I lost interest as soon as that happened.
It was time for my next patient, and my wife, who was my receptionist at the moment, stuck her head in to tell me that my next patient was ready. So I said my goodbye to Barbara, and headed to the other examining room. As I walked I reflected on how my life had turned out. I had been fascinated by Barbara Knoll. Her eyesight or lack thereof had triggered an attraction to high myopia that had lead to my present job, which I loved. It had also lead to my meeting and marrying my wife, who’s uncorrected eyesight was only marginally better than Barbara Knoll’s had been. But, in the years since Barbara was a young mother there have been a number of advancements in making lenses for high myopes, so my wife Heather has never appeared to be as blind as Barbara Knoll. And while Heather has brought up the subject of lens implants once or twice, I have actually told her the truth. It was her eyesight, as much as her good looks that attracted me to her, and I am afraid that if she lost the glasses, I might not be as attracted to her. Fortunately Heather has listened so I think like, Harry Knoll, I will have a very nearsighted wife until I die.