I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to choose someone, to choose something. I’m the sort of person no one ever chooses; they may at first, but then, sooner or later, they move along and forgo their choice of me. Loneliness is my letter from life, for I am always the world’s last choice. I am the imaginary friend, forgotten when the party begins, set aside when they’ve grown up. I am also, however, not the sort of person to do such with others. I choose people, they choose me for their fleeting seconds, while I remain the faithful woody doll left out in the cold, always eager to love them. No matter how much it may hurt.
I can’t stay here much longer and thus will leave as soon I may. This will, by necessity, be my last letter from the Avon. I’m sorry dear, I simply can’t write them any longer. I’ve chosen to faithfully stand by so many people over the years, to choose over and over the life of this broken heart, and now there’s nothing left of it. I feel so incredibly alone, so incredibly isolated. I so hope to be done and rid of this, to stop feeling so much of that hollow poison of life’s difficult procession. I’m afraid if I wrote anymore of these, this is all you (whoever you are) would receive.
Perhaps there is something wrong with me, perhaps there is some sort of psychological defect that explains me, that creates this wretched loneliness, and so I suppose these streams of my conscious will be a useless case study on my type. Or perhaps it’s simply a Christly weight I must carry. I wish I could choose to harden my heart and lock it away, as Lewis warned against, to not reach out to others and never love a single being, yet I cannot, no matter how hard I try, I cannot do anything but love another. My heart is stuffed with love and no one to take it. I’ve written before as the man who waits, who waits for others, who gives himself away and then hopes they return, even though they never do, and so I write again. Antoine de Saint−Exupery wrote me, wrote my type as a fox. Always here, always waiting for someone’s return, to tell them a secret, to tell them how much I missed them, to tell them how much I love them. And when they leave, for they always will, I cry from their departure.
I beg, “Please−− tame me!”
desperate they listen, desperate to love them.
For you see, “To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy (or girl) who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys (or girls). And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world.”
So, I am chosen, usually carelessly, and tamed. I am made unique for that moment and the wheat fields, the dewdrops along the daisy leaves, the smell of low tide, forms the face of someone unique to me. I am forgotten, however, down in my burrow, and so I am left again to wait and listen for those unique footsteps that never come. And still, I will forever claim,
“It is the time you have wasted for your rose
that makes your rose so important.”
This is my burden. To eternally choose others, to eternally give my heart to them, to eternally waste such time for them, and eternally be haunted by my love for them, to eternally lose them. No matter how hard I try to keep the sheep away, they always seem to eat the rose. Still though,
“It has done me good,” said the fox,
“because of the colour of the wheat fields.”
I am so incredibly joyful when I get to love them, as though “the sun came to shine on my life” for the first time ever. That love is so special, so important, so incredibly unique and entirely untameable. These letters tried to capture that for you, tried to contain some of that joy and love, for I was always that once, and yet here we are, ending the collection like this.
I must now leave you with these last few words. I ask you, be gentle to the foxes, we can do nothing but love and wait when you have tamed us, and it kills us; it hurts so much to be tamed and then left. So be gentle to them. Please.
Feel free to peruse my other letters in the Avon Epistles collection
and to understand who I wrote to.
- Antoine de Saint−Exupery, The Little Prince, 1943