Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s beloved story is celebrating a big anniversary. In this giveaway sponsored by the 70th anniversary edition of The Little Prince, which includes a book and a CD of the unabridged audiobook (read by Viggo Mortensen!), in addition to a downloadable edition of the audio, we wanted to hear your stories inspired by some favorite quotes from the book. Julianna was selected as one of the finalists for this entry. The winner will be the one whose submission reposted at BookRiot.com gets the most Facebook “likes” by 11:59pm, Thursday, April 11. The only way to vote is to click the Facebook “like” button just above this post.
“You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.”
They say you are responsible for the life you save, but what about the life you change? He and his love came and went like a traveling salesman, hawking Bach, Vonnegut, and a casual interest in physics. And with a face like his how could I not buy? Winter was long and dark but nothing mattered outside our moments in time. He wore two-piece pajama sets and I wore his shirts. For the first time ever, forever was achievable, believable. Imagine that, two people could actually be created by some force for each other. Unfortunately, forever is a long time and rarely unfolds the way involved parties desire. My life has been changed while his carries on. Left standing in my living room with the shades drawn there was nothing I could do but reflect with an unlit cigarette in my fingers, spinning spinning spinning in time with my thoughts. He works the same job, lives in the same home, sleeps in the same bed. I work the same job, live in the same house, sleep in the same bed. But now we are separated. And still everything is tainted with his ideals. Every conversation, every action, every moment is seen from my eyes then his. The flow of interpretation happens automatically and unconsciously. I’ve implemented his teachings, even the ones he taught me without reason, cause, or intent. He taught me conviction. He reminded me to never stop playing. He gave me a copy of Good Night Moon.
Now we are disjointed and I carry on, presenting those same gifts to others. Forcing friends to read God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, considering with them the merits of the Goldberg Variations, and expelling on them as many random and interesting factoids as I can remember. I manage to give others what I have been given. And yet there is the heavy presence of reluctance to share with them everything. Only some have gotten quotes from Winnie the Pooh. Only some have gotten Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. And no one ever gets my divided attention while cooking breakfast. Not like before. The truth is that I am unwilling to put the weight of my love on others. My time here is almost up and soon I will find myself in a new city, in a new home. Once I leave I do not want to return. I wish to remain, in the beauty of my ideas and my ideals, to remain safely in the minds of those I care about, but not in the form of scars. The harder I try to shape the heart of another, the easier it is to remember the aggressive pulsation of heartbreak. The pain recedes with as I pull my hands away. Understanding fully the burden of affection, I am unwilling to take action. I refuse to plant the seed of forever for fear it will grow into something beautiful, only to be plucked and eventually die. Reflection reveals an expensive encyclopedia set I don’t need that simply sits, collecting dust, while their seller collects more burdens. They say if you love something let it go but what does that say about love? What do I do with myself now that no one is taking responsibility for taming me? I do not know the answers to these questions today. Fortunately I’ve seen forever, and forever is a long time to find some.