I saw The Little Prince in the children's section of the book store at University. I always knew the Little Prince was considered a children's book but now I knew for sure that publication companies all over the world put it in the same spot as Spot meets a new friend and the Wiggles Fun Time Adventure and Dora the Explorer. It seemed strange, it stuck out so much to me. I felt like it was in the wrong place; even the blurb described it as a book loved by children and adults and on one hand an allegory of the human condition but here it was. And I was sure I; as a University student probably supposed to be looking at Hamlet or Foucault; was being judged for standing in the Kids section looking at the only paper back book in the collection with a serious look and my wallet in my hand. I walked with it to the counter but halfway through I backtracked and put it back, realizing that it was stupid to buy a book I already had and already read just because this version had colour. I didn't get The Little Prince as a kid. As I read it again and again every year I understood a bit more every time until the point where I just appreciated a bit more every time.
Someone I hit of with well in the bar, we talked about books and movies and music we appreciated in common, hit on me and it made me startlingly uncomfortable. Why couldn't we continue to talk and become friends and become best friends and become those kind of best friends who insulted each other regularly and spoke infrequently on Facebook on trivial internet things we liked. I asked him that because; I was playing a drinking game where I took a sip at every lame commercial and I was watching a marathon of lets get that girl drunk commercials. He looked at me and tilted his head and said that I was on a different wavelength to other people and that's why I looked at the only paperback in the Children's section in the University book store wondering why it was put in the children's section despite having referred to it as a children's book all my life. I looked around at all the people around me; all the men and women some of whom were hitting it off and hitting it on and taking down numbers and buying drinks and escorting home. And there was me by myself on the barstool. I looked at the guy; I guess you're right. He looked at me and said the whole thing made him feel weird too because he should have realized earlier this different wave length I was on. We both ordered food and chatted a bit more while munching away on chips and meat pies. I drank lemonade; lemonade is my favourite summer drink. There is always a source of free lemons around where we live in the summer and lemonade is the best thing. I told him that sometimes I worried because of this slightly off skew wavelength I lived on where I saw no one sitting on the same line as me in the foreseeable foyer. He said that I shouldn't and that he knew people who lived on the same wavelength as me; but then he said "only in terms of the bar thing not the book thing, that's your own personal issue with labelling of French books by publications and by University book stores and by yourself." I told him only the bar thing concerned me, and it concerned me only a little and only from time to time and he assured me I was fine.
I think almost all the time about childhood and that assures me that I have lost it. Youth is wasted on the young because wasting is what makes youth youth. Children never comprehend and appreciate the simplistic deep, the deep swirling pools, of childhood and youth because they are children and living in the pool depend on not knowing anything but the pool and hence seeing everything as wet and never grasping wet from dry because dry is never known and hence never tangibly grasping wet, never tangibly grasping the pool. When I was young I never really 'loved' cartoons. I cartoons. I something cartoons. I had a relationship with cartoons that could not be categorised as love because it was not the opposite of hate it was not the bipolar of hate it was just everything. It was not the something that was not something else,it was the everything.
I now live in a world were I see childhood but I see it from far away, I stand in a valley that will turn grey and as the sun sets it will turn cold and I will always have to wear a jacket and I look at a pool I used to live in that is swirling and deep and clear and smooth and refreshing and cool and not ever cold. I can't jump back into it, not because I'm scared but because it depends on me never having left but I left a long time ago.
I can never go back and once again live in the way I did when I was in my childhood. Children never know and understand the nature of childhood nor do they appreciate it in the way adults do because living it in depends on being almost ignorant of it. You are born it and it is all you know and there is nothing else that you can see in the foreseeable future in the wavelength that you live in so you can't draw it like you can a hat or a boa constrictor and you can't grasp it in your hands. Once you grow out of it and once your legs step out and your whole body moves out of the water; then can you actually look back at it as something you once lived in but something that is now on a different wavelength to you and something that you can grasp and appreciate and miss but something you are never allowed to go back too precisely because you can step back and you can look at.
I can be childish but I can never be a child. I can love cartoons but I can no longer (blank) cartoons. And I can now understand and appreciate the Little Prince, which is a cause for absolute celebration and absolute remorse. After we ate and I sobered up a little, in the cold autumn air the guy from the bar walked me home. It was dark out but the sky was a deep purple instead of a pure black or a pure deep blue. He said he was walking me home because he knew someone who lived on my street and if that person saw him walking a girl home late at night it would up his reputation. I told him that I wanted him to walk me home for the same reasons, except this time it would be to up my reputation among my female neighbours also from the University. When we got to the door he kissed me on the cheek, this may have been because he was significantly drunker after the drinks he downed with the meal, and I kissed him on the cheek, this may have been because I suddenly thought he might be a friend I would send emails to for no particular reason but regularly and in a way that I would anticipate and wait for and look forward to. And I told him that half because I felt like it and half because it was getting a little warmer next to him and the cold air had less effect and he kissed me on the lips for an extended period of time because he thought the idea was cute. In a voice that echoed in my my head while he kissed me he told me his favourite children's book was J.M Barrie's Peter Pan and I told him my favourite was A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh and the House at Pooh Corner.
I remember that on that night I went the bed by myself with my tummy full of food and we emailed each other most everyday and would meet and go out fairly often as well and I loved my time with him and I loved him. But regarding that one night it was the same as when I had found those photo albums, I only understood them once they were over. I cried when I found the photos and I wasn't sure why, my little brother caught me and with a serious unsympathetic look in his eyes he said it was a silly thing to cry about. And I told him I agreed but I didn't and I dried my eyes, put the photo album back, dragged the chair back across my parents home and went to go play with my brother.