“Is this another movie where nothing happens?” my daughter asks me.

“Yeah. It’s great.”

If I’m going to watch a movie, it’s likely to be something from a film festival that nobody ever heard of. If you’re a character who sits in a chair and I really get to know you, you’re in my favorite film. If all I see is you flying fast enough to just miss the nuclear cell phone your archenemy’s robotic cat just coughed up with a fiber optic hair ball, I’m counting my experience with your character toward tonight’s desired 6½ hours of sleep.

Then why was I so fascinated as a young child when Louise Cole’s point of view was presented in 1950’s special effects format?

When I heard that  “As the World Turns” wrapped up 54 years on the air this week, I went online to try to find more info about this. I can find the character’s name, position in the soap opera’s family tree, but not much more about her.

My memories are pre-kindergarten, because I was home watching with my mom when the show came on at 2 pm. I remembered the character was Tim Cole’s first wife, and that fact checks out online. So why wouldn’t what I remember about her the most also be an intact memory? For me, the old memories are almost always right. (Just don’t ask me where I put that medical form yesterday.)

I remember always asking my mom “Will Louise be on? Will Louise be on?” My mother would say she didn’t know. If she wasn’t on, I’d be so disappointed. I think I remember eventually figuring out a pattern of her being on every other show.

This is what fascinated me: Louise was going blind. All she could see were shadows. The camera was set to be extremely out of focus and may have been covered with something. What viewers saw when Louise spoke was what she saw. This must be what it’s like to be blind, I thought. It was a way to experience something really scary.

The special effects were unsophisticated beyond imagination. But being blind is fairly common and possible for everyone. More so than flying out of a nuclear cell phone’s range. So I was blind for a few minutes every other day before the reality of the detergent commercials would break in.

I could identify with Louise Cole’s blindness. Sorry, but I just can’t get myself to believe in that fiber optic hairball.

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