Part 5: Philip's Story
It had been a bad night, and it was a worse morning. Actually, it had been a bad time since my boy friend walked out of my life, six months to the day, which was what made it extra specially hellish. And it wasn’t my fault—I can’t help my bad eyesight.
I had a cold shower, trying to cool myself down till a bit later in the day, breakfasted off cereal and coffee (might as well have been cardboard and ditchwater!) and spent the morning doing domestic chores; my flat wasn’t overlooked from anywhere, so I didn’t bother with clothes—the way my cock was feeling that was more comfortable, and I wanted to assert that really I’m not a bad-looking guy, even if I need thick glasses to see what I’m doing and where I’m going.
I was at school when my eyes first gave me trouble. Working for A levels meant a lot of reading, a lot of writing, and a lot of time on the computer, and every evening after an hour or two’s work my head was aching, my eyes were burning, and whatever I was looking at was starting to blur up. My folks reckoned, quite rightly, that I should be able to work for a whole evening without ill effects, and packed me off to an optician. He carried out all the usual tests, wrote a prescription, and said, “Right then, Philip, I’m prescribing glasses which will improve your vision a lot. They’ll definitely help when you’re studying, but I advise you to wear them whenever you feel the need.” I wasn’t too happy; I fancied myself as a jock, and jocks don’t wear specs. So I decided to keep them for working at home, and manage without them in school. As I wasn’t ‘coming out’ as a glasses wearer, I didn’t see any need to spend a lot on fashionable frames; so after browsing round the bottom of the range, I opted for a basic round frame in gold wire. It didn’t look too bad on me; but as I didn’t intend anyone to see me wearing specs appearances didn’t bother me one way or the other. My glasses certainly made homework easier; I could read all evening without getting a headache, but as soon as I finished work I put them away. They felt pretty strong, and when I was wearing them the other side of the room was a blur.
Exams over, the pressure of work eased and I put my glasses away and forgot about them.
When I left school I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next. Certainly I wasn’t academically inclined, though nobody would call me stupid either. The idea of a gap year appealed to me; I made some enquiries and was offered a job as a ranch hand in Guyana for eight or nine months, with the chance of some travel. It was news to me that Guyana wasn’t in Africa, but I eventually flew off to Trinidad, where I changed planes and landed on the South American mainland. In the process of packing my mother said, “You’d better take your glasses.” I thought this was a daft idea: I didn’t imagine the job would involve a lot of close work, but as she said a pair of specs doesn’t take up much room, and you never know.
The ranch was a lot less primitive than I’d imagined; there was a satellite phone, and a laptop with internet access (all solar powered) not that I got much use of it; it was always possible to email home, but that didn’t strain my eyes enough for me to want my glasses, and they languished forgotten in a drawer.
By the end of my year I’d learned a bit about cattle; I’d travelled into Brazil and learned a smattering of Portuguese; I’d had a few weeks in Georgetown, the capital, and discovered that the line in the national anthem that calls Guyana ‘one land of six peoples, united and free’ was a bit idealistic. I’d developed a taste for rum; I’d managed to avoid the ‘choke and rob’ guys on the streets. I was a virgin (no one counts the odd grope behind the bike sheds at school); I preferred men’s company to women’s, and that was all knew about sex.
I flew home. No, I didn’t want to go to university; I worked with cattle again for a while, but I found pretty soon that the beasts and the people who tended them were very different from the ones I’d met. I stuck it for a while, and then went for a complete change: bar work. In my innocence I didn’t immediately realize that the job was in a gay pub in the middle of the gay village. All I noticed at first was the absence of women, which didn’t bother me; when I eventually got the message I was a bit bemused at first, but soon found myself thoroughly at home. I developed an outrageously camp manner—it came pretty easily anyway!—and that went down well with the punters. The only problem was that as the evenings wore on reading the small print on the computerized till brought on a headache, like the ones I’d had at school. But I reckoned I could live with that.
When I’d been working there for I suppose a couple of months, early one evening the bar was pretty quiet, and a pleasant-faced young guy came in: medium height and build, medium fair curly hair. He bought his drink and stood at the bar with it, chatting. I certainly liked the look of him, and he seemed to like the look of me. When things hotted up he gave me a wave and slipped away; but he came back the next night, early again, and several more times in the next few weeks. One evening he came in and said reproachfully, “You weren’t here last night!” “No,” I said, “it was my night off.” This led us into a discussion about my working hours, and it emerged that I would be finishing early that evening. “OK,” said my friend; “let’s go for a curry when you finish.” That sounded good, and it was good; we got to know each other a bit better. His name was Andrew—he knew from my name tag that I was Philip. We enjoyed our curry, and then Andrew proposed coffee at his place. I wasn’t sure how much more than coffee was going to be involved, but I fancied him something rotten and I was ready for anything.
We relaxed on a sofa with our coffee, and then Andrew started to stroke my thigh. I enjoyed that, and responded in kind. As our jeans began to bulge; he put his hand gently on my bulge, turned, took my face in both hands, and kissed me full on the lips. The kiss went on, and on; his tongue penetrated my lips, and I realized that I was getting really hard. He must have noticed this too, because he unzipped my flies, knelt at my feet, pulled my jeans down, and took my throbbing cock in his mouth. I was utterly inexperienced, and came in next to no time, but Andrew seemed happy enough with that. Next, he dropped his jeans and I made my first fumbling attempt at a blow job. That was my first sexual experience with another man—well actually it was my first sexual experience full stop—and it left me deliriously happy, especially when Andrew said, “You haven’t done much of this kind of thing, have you?” “None at all!” “Well, that was pretty good for a first attempt; but I’ll give you plenty of practice and you’ll be great at it.” So began my first, and so far my only, affaire.
Evening after evening Andrew would come into the pub early, while it was quiet, and stand at the bar. Any time I wasn’t doing anything else I’d join him; we often held hands and talked sweet nothings. When it was my early evening off we’d go and eat and then go on to his place or mine and enjoy each other’s bodies; after my first pathetic attempt I learned quickly, and Andrew certainly seemed to be happy with my performance.
I enjoyed my work and seemed to be pretty good at it, and after a while I was promoted to ‘assistant bar manager’. This meant more money, more responsibility—and more paper work and time on the computer. My eyes began to suffer, really for the first time since A levels; the headaches were back with a vengeance, and I was having trouble focussing. I tried wearing my schoolboy glasses in the privacy of the office, but they didn’t help much, and I came to the conclusion I’d better have a an eye test.
There was a branch of Shakespeare’s a couple of streets away, and I made an appointment for the morning of my day off. I wasn’t seeing Andrew that day, he was working away.
At the reception desk was a fair-haired young man whose label read ‘Bruno’; he smiled at me through thick glasses that magnified his brown eyes, took some particulars, and explained that he would run a preliminary test on a gadget called an autorefractor. He looked at the printout and said, “I shouldn’t talk out of turn, but I can see you’re long-sighted, like me. Dr Marlow, who’s going to examine you, is an expert in the management of hyperopia (that’s long sight) and wrote his doctoral thesis on it, so you can be sure he’ll look after you really well.” Before long I was shown into the consulting room and met Dr Marlow, a tall, good-looking guy, not very old, who quickly put me at my ease. He read the printout from the autorefractor and then shone a light into my eyes. “I can tell you now,” he said, “you are quite long-sighted, and you’ll definitely need glasses. The problem may be getting your prescription right. Let’s see what we can do.”
As Dr Marlow switched lenses in front of my eyes, the chart kept coming into focus and blurring up again. After a while he said, “Tell me one thing: you aren’t driving, are you?” “No, I walked round.” “Good. I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to put some drops in your eyes to stop them working so hard. You won’t be able to focus on anything for a few hours; but I’ll know the worst about your eyesight.”
The drops stung and blurred my vision; but Dr Marlow quickly altered the lenses in front of my eyes till I could see the chart clearly; then he said, “Yes, you’re more long-sighted than I thought at first, and we’re in for an interesting time. This isn’t something new; it has been there all your life, but you have managed to see clearly by using the muscles that are there to help you focus on near objects. This has put a strain on your eyes, and to see close up you have been putting an extraordinary strain on them. The eye muscles lose their elasticity as we get older, and even though you’re not very old you are almost at the point of not being able to focus on anything close up. Plus, it won’t be long before your eyes give up the struggle completely, and then you will need glasses or contact lenses to see clearly at any distance. But, because you have spent your whole life straining, it is going to take your eyes time to learn NOT to strain, and this means weaning them gradually to relax and see properly through your full prescription. We’ll have to give you stronger glasses in three or four steps, and that can be quite expensive. I’d suggest you start by buying a cheap pair of off-the shelf reading glasses, but you have a bit of astigmatism as well, and that causes strain too, so I’ll have to prescribe a series of lenses, increasing the strength every three months or so. Can you come back after lunch today, when the effects of the drops have worn off, and I’ll give you another check?”
I had an uncomfortable couple of hours before my vision cleared, and was a bit apprehensive when I headed back to Shakespeare’s; but of course there was no repetition of the business with the drops. Dr Marlow checked my near and distance vision with various lenses, wrote a prescription and said, “Now, these glasses will help you with reading and close work. At first you won’t be able to see very far with them, but the more you can wear them the better. I’d like to see you again in three months, when I hope I can give you stronger lenses that will get you closer to your final prescription and ease the strain a bit more—so don’t spend too much on your frames for the time being!” I opted for gold frames like the ones I’d had at school, but oval instead of round, and was mildly surprised when Bruno told me my glasses would be ready in an hour.
They certainly helped a lot with the paperwork behind the scenes at work, but I was ridiculously bashful about anyone seeing me wearing them. Right from the start reading and close work were far easier, but the other side of the room was a blur; after about three weeks I was having real trouble seeing close stuff without them, and I was disconcerted to discover I needed them to shave. I mean, it’s possible to shave by touch alone, but I like to see what I’m doing, and bareyed I just couldn’t. A few weeks later I realized my eyes had adjusted and I could see distant objects clearly with my glasses on, especially the television screen, and I got into the habit of wearing them full time at home. As a result it took time to adjust when I left the house without them.
Soon three months had passed, and I had a call about seeing Dr Marlow again. I went, a little nervously, but there was no repetition of the business with the drops. He repeated the test with various lenses, and then said, “You’re doing pretty well, and I’m going to give you another 1.5 dioptres. At this rate we should have you wearing your full prescription in another six months—and by that time you’ll definitely need your glasses full time.” I shuddered inwardly at the thought of full time wear, but said nothing. When I took my prescription to Bruno (it read Right +5.25-1.50x175; Left +5.75-1.75x005) he said “I’ve been through exactly the same process that you’re going through; and my advice is that this time you have another cheap frame; next time, bring your first frame back and we’ll put your new lenses in it.” That made sense, and this time I chose round wire frames covered with black plastic, rather Harry Potter-ish.
As time went on I found I was totally dependent on my glasses to see anything close up, and it was getting harder to see anything clearly at any distance. One evening after I’d been at the desk in the office I absent-mindedly went out behind the bar still wearing them, just as Andrew came in. He looked at me as if I was something the cat had brought in, and said, “What the fuck are you wearing those things for?” “Sorry love,” I said, “but I’ve needed them for close work for a while, and I’m soon going to need them full time.” “Well, you needn’t think you can come out with me wearing them,” he snapped, and picked up his drink and went and sat down on his own. I was devastated; for the next few days I struggled to do my bar duties without my glasses, and all seemed to be well as far as Andrew was concerned—I knew the till well enough to work it blind, like a touch typist. But it was clear I had a problem, and on my next day off I went round to Shakespeare’s. When I went in, Bruno said, “Hullo dear, I wasn’t expecting to see you again so soon. Specs not fitting?” “No, it’s not that,” I said. “My boyfriend reacted really badly when he saw me in glasses, and I want to ask about contact lenses.” “Oh God!” said Bruno, “I had the same problem. The guy I was with at the time was like that; I couldn’t keep contacts in, and he left. But Kit—that’s Dr Marlow—sorted my prescription out and we’ve been together ever since. Mind you, we were at school together. You wouldn’t know to look at him, but he’s really, really short-sighted; when he takes his contacts out his glasses are so-o-o-o thick, they really turn me on. But I’m telling tales out of school; let’s see if he’s got a few minutes to see you.”
Dr Marlow did make time to see me, but he wasn’t encouraging about contact lenses. “Your eyes are pretty dry, which usually makes problems with contacts, but you can try them if you like. We’ll let you have a pair to try for a while before you take the plunge.” Experience showed he was right. Whenever I tried to wear the contacts it felt like an eyelash in each eye; and it didn’t get easier with time, it got excruciatingly painful, not to mention that my eyes were constantly red and streaming. The only result in the end was that after a few days of full-time wear I found myself even more dependent on my glasses to see anything.
Andrew continued implacable. If ever I appeared behind the bar with my glasses on he would ignore me and go to be served at the other end, and then sit and sulk over his drink. One evening we went to a cinema and as usual took seats together in the back row. I was interested in the film as well as in Andrew, but the screen was a blur, so eventually, when I thought his whole attention was on the screen, I took my glasses out of my pocket and slipped them on. With a sharp intake of breath, he got up and moved to another seat; but when the film was over I took them off and he came back as nice as pie… The time for my next increase was approaching, and I felt we had to have the matter out; so that same night, after a pleasant hour in my bed, I broached the subject. “Darling,” I said. “I simply can’t see without my glasses any more. I’ve got to start wearing them full time.” “Oh,” he replied; “that’s the end then. Goodbye.” And in stony silence he got dressed and left. I cried myself to sleep that night, and for several nights after—but each morning I put my glasses on as soon as the alarm clock went off, and wore them till bed time, taking them off only to clean them and in the shower. Six sadly celibate months on, I was more composed but no happier; and, as I’ve said already I was so desperate to get my rocks off that I had decided to try my luck in a cottage—but where? Certainly not too near home or work, and not one with an attendant on duty; I needed a good chance of picking somebody up or being picked up, and I knew a lot of places were locked early to discourage the kind of trade I was after.
Finally it occurred to me that customers in the pub had sometimes boasted about encounters in a particular spot under a flyover in the city centre. Why not try there? Around lunchtime (I was too much on edge to eat) I went out and caught a bus. Before I got off the bus I took my glasses off and put them in my pocket. I’d had two more increases in that six-month period and was now wearing lenses around +8, which Dr Marlow reckoned would be my final prescription or very close to it, and without them I could hardly see where I was going. I stumbled down the steps and might easily have fallen if I hadn’t been holding on to the handrail, but I found my way to the cottage without too much difficulty and made my way to a stall, where I unzipped my fly, emptied my bladder, and then went on standing there, stroking my cock gently (not that it needed any encouragement!) Five or ten minutes passed, and I was starting to think I was on another loser when I felt a hand on my arse, and heard a hoarse whisper of “What’s a nice boy like you doing in a place like this?” I peered into the blur; all I could tell about the guy was that he was neither very tall nor very short; buggers can’t be choosers, and I murmured, “I could just be waiting for you.” “Let’s be a bit more private, then,” came the whisper, and, with a firmer grip on my arse, he guided me into a cubicle.
It was my first sexual contact for six months, as I’ve already said, so I was in no mood to criticize; but I still reckon that as blow jobs go it was in the five-star category. This guy was a master of the art of fellatio and, eager as I was, he kept me just off the boil for nearly twenty minutes before I finally shot my load. I was beside myself with delight, and the tears were running down my cheeks. But I was anxious to respond in kind, and I whispered, “Shall I do you now?” “Would you?” and he dropped his jeans. I couldn’t see what I was doing, of course, but I know what a stiff prick feels like, and in next to no time I was on my knees doing what I could to give him as great a blow job as he had given me. I don’t know if it was up to his standard, but I didn’t think I had anything to be ashamed of.
We both adjusted our dress before leaving—not so easy for two guys in one cubicle—and as we left my new ‘friend’s’ hoarse voice whispered “Can you ever forgive me?” “Forgive you?” I said. “What is there to forgive? I don’t even know you—not yet anyway!” “Oh my God! You’d better put your glasses on!” How did this stranger know I needed glasses? Was it so obvious from my fumbling? But I wasn’t about to argue; I felt for my glasses and put them on; the world sprang into focus, and—“ANDREW!” Andrew it was, my lost love Andrew; and as I gaped at him he put on a pair of glasses too! “You see, it’s happened to me now, and I understand better, so please, my darling, can you forgive me and take me back?” “After a blow job like you’ve just given me I can forgive you most things!” He grinned, and blushed, and blushed even more when I added, “Besides, I love you, and I’ve missed you like hell—and you’re hotter than ever in those specs!” It was true; the frames he was wearing were quite smart, not like my cheap preppy ones (I was in my Harry Potter frames for the third time); but also I now realized there had always been a kind of strained look in his eyes, and that had gone.
I was ravenous, and we headed for a cafÈ for something to eat and drink; as we ate Andrew told me his story. “I’d always thought my eyes were OK, but then I decided it was time I learned to drive, so I went for a lesson. The first thing the instructor asked me to do was read the number plate on a car along the street, and I couldn’t. I guess that was the first I knew there was anything wrong. But when I went back to the office I was called in to the boss and hauled over the coals for some mistakes I’d made, misreading spreadsheets and stuff like that. He told me to get my eyes checked or find another job—so there it was, twice in one day. I went to Shakespeare’s and the guy told me I’m a bit short-sighted, but I have quite a lot of astigmatism into the bargain—so you see the result. I’m not as blind without specs as you are, but I’m just amazed at what I wasn’t seeing before; and I started to feel really bad about being such a cunt when you needed to wear yours. So, darling boy, can we get back to where we were six months ago, maybe even closer?” “Closer?” “How would you feel about moving in together? How would you feel about marrying me?” “I’d love to move in with you, and I don’t mind thinking about marriage, but—well, I’ve felt quite bad about you these last six months, and I need some time…” “I think that’s all I can expect for now. I promise to be a good boy though.” And he has. And we’ve both given up our jobs and started college; he’s training to be an optometrist, I’m training to be a dispensing optician. And the ‘civil partnership’ ceremony is tomorrow. Wish us well!