“Damsel In Distress” by Valerie Parente
Growing up I admired the damsel in distress in every movie I watched. The scenes that got me most excited? When an emotionally invested prince caught a glimpse of his princess in trouble. Not the spectacular moment right before when he swooped in on a stallion or right after when he saved the princess by slaying a dragon, but that exact moment in between. That fleeting succession of frames where the prince’s poignant eyes fixed on the princess writhing in her conflict and you could see him processing the sight. That, to me, was the pinnacle of romantic. The simple act of boy witnessing girl. And, in hindsight, I think that warped level of infatuation that I had as a child alluded just how prevalent daydreaming would be to my emotional being. Because that moment when the prince watched his true love suffer wasn’t some concrete action of heroic proportions with no substance further than what it offered visually. That moment was an intimate connection where one character mentally absorbed the dire state that another character was in, and it gave me as a wide-eyed viewer an empathetic opportunity to freely imagine what prince charming and his straining heartstrings might be feeling regarding his beloved. And that practice of fantasizing his emotions through the infinite flux of my own imagination provided nothing but ecstasy for the emotional daydreamer in me.
– Valerie Parente (4-28-16)