Another Long Story


I like to tell stories. Where other people only gather more or less vivid memories, I look back and I see stories to tell. It’s up to any occasional reader to decide if they are true or not, knowing that sometimes real and fantastic are only one.


This story is about my eyes. I could tell a few stories about my eyes. This is one of them. I was young when I discovered that I would need glasses. It was a big disappointment for my mother, because she was very proud of her own acute eyesight. Maybe because the situation was very instable (sometimes I was fine and sometimes I couldn’t see properly), I never wore glasses until I was eighteen. That was a terrible experience, because I kept losing or breaking them. and most of the time they looked terrible, fixed with tape or any other rubbery thing in hand. They gave me headaches and giddiness. No wonder the countless times I left them behind in some unknown place or sat right on the spot were they lay.


I swore I would use my first wage to buy contact lenses. When I finished my first year of law-school, I stayed in a very hot Lisbon looking for a job with that aim in sight. I worked during two months substituting the daughter of the owner of a big car business. It was pretty hard, but only with my monthly allowance I would never had realized my dream.


I wore those first hard contact lenses for so many years that they became part of me. At some point I started to feel uncomfortable with them. That’s when I met my current eye doctor. Our first contact didn’t run smoothly. He accused me of wearing medieval lenses. He accused me of deforming my cornea. He accused me of having so many scratches on the lenses that he wondered how I could see at all. He accused me of looking into this world through huge deposits of protein. Still, I had to agree with him. I was wrong, but I loved so much the first thing I had bought with my own money that I couldn’t separate from it. I still can’t, because I still have my first contact lenses. As it is evident, I refused my doctor’s proposal of sending them to some museum…


He advised me to change to the gas permeable lenses I’ve been wearing for almost five years, during which I had a couple of routine appointments, mostly to confirm if I was feeling okay or to change the cleaning solution. As he had recommended, last week it was check time again. It went like this:


After reading my new results on the first two machines, the doctor referred to non-specified improvements. Then he invited me to look at the back of my eyeball. Reluctantly, I accepted the invitation. I was expecting a ewww thing, but I had this huge surprise of loving what I saw. Who would tell! It’s just beautiful!


We entered the second room were Paul was waiting. This time, doctor emphasized how spot clean my gas lenses are. I had learned my lesson! Then, the huge surprise: he suggested a new change from gas permeable to soft contact lenses. I was surprised, because I remember him telling that I couldn’t wear soft because of my excessive curvature.


“I don’t know what happened in the last two years. I am so surprised as you are. Your eyes are so nice. They are big and flat. You can wear soft easily.”


“Well, what do you mean?” I asked. I could see Paul surprise too.


“The last time I’ve examined you, you still had problems. I couldn’t see how your eyes really are. They are amazingly flat…”


“But flat is not nice, I think…” I interrupted. In my mind I had expressions like: flat feet, flat chest, flat personality…


“Not with eyes. For us, doctors, flat eyes are something beautiful to see. Think of a soft ball. If you press it, the surface becomes flatter and wider. Just for you to see, the average person has 7, while your measure is above 8” he explained.


Quite suddenly, I realized that flat can also be good: flat stomach!!!


I still don’t know very well what that 7-8 measurement is. I had no idea of having nice eyes. Maybe for doctors’ standards they are. I had no idea of having big flat eyes either. But the thought of looking through number eight eyes is awesome!


Paul assisted to all this a little astonished and a little amused. Later we both confessed that the thought of fairy tales involving wolves occurred to both of us. I still don’t perceive myself with big eyes. I accept that I have big eyes that don’t look like big. Maybe.


Paul had an appointment too. As he wears glasses, most of his time was spent discussing new frames and lenses. Paul only wears contact when snorkling or diving, things we haven’t be doing for a while. 


Once outside, Paul turned to Seabell and exclaimed:


“So you have fat eyes!”


Thinking Paul had misunderstood what was said, I explained to him:


“Flat, Paul, not fat!”


He has been repeating the “fat eyes” remark over and over again. I think he is just kidding.


This story marks a new chapter of my eyes history. I really hope something positive comes from the soft lenses I’ll be wearing soon. For now, the flat eyes only means that I cannot wear the average soft lenses. Doctor is going to ask the right people to design ones for me. When I was trying to cheer me up into changing (I don’t like some changes at all!) with the possibility of playing with color, eye doc qualified that as nonsense.

“Why change when your color is so nice?” he criticized.

“Women like changes…” I remembered. (Wasn’t I just telling that I only don’t like some changes?)

Looking back now, I think my eye doctor was a bit too flat… tering!