It looked exactly like it did on the front of the old NES system... a gray, three dimensional rectangle with the word "Reset" printed on it in a red font... but this one was floating in mid air. It was larger, too, about the size of a baseball card. I didn't know where it came from... I'd been typing in my office, trying to finish a short story about a man who falls in love with a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, and when I leaned back to stretch, it was just... there, hovering above my desk. Eye level. Not a chance I would miss it.
I reached out and touched it... lightly... just to feel if it was real. And it was. It was hot, like a car's hood after a long road trip, and there was a slight vibration to it. It thrummed as if there was an electrical current running through it's mass.
I didn't know what to think. If I had been experiencing madness, then it was complete... I could feel my hallucinations, their residual heat remained on my fingertips. And if it wasn't madness... then... what? Well, I guess then it was a reset button. But for what purpose? I mean, for resetting something, obviously. But... again... what? I stood up and walked around to the other side of my desk, wading through the piles of garbage and dirty clothes that had accumulated during my period of "self-employment." My joblessness, in other, more accurate, words. I was looking for the back of the reset button. However, from the other side, the button did not exist. There was only a slight, shimmery distortion hanging in the air, like the way the world looks through a soap bubble.
The phone rang just then. It was Helena, my wife. We argued, as we always argued. I am no good, says she, and she is a suffocating bitch, says I. But, despite my general lack of goodness, I was to make sure the laundry got done, the kitchen tidied up, a healthy, low-calorie dinner made, by the time she got home. She was calling to remind me of all this; to make sure my writing wasn't getting in the way of my chores. I tell her I won't forget. She says I had better not. I wanted to ask her what the consequences would be if I DID forget... but I didn't. That would have only prolonged the argument and, honestly, the less I have to talk to her, the better. Instead, I slammed down the phone, which didn't make me feel any better about anything.
A reset button? Just hanging there. I stared at it for a long, long time. And then I looked around my filthy office where I spent most of my time pretending to write. Actually, I came here to hide. Then I looked inward, trying to see directly into my miserable, lonely heart. What looked back at me was ugly. Sad. My high school senior photo, on fire, my eighteen-year-old self crying at this vision of what he would become. I made a decision.
A reset button. Just hanging there. I put my whole hand on it. Felt it's heat. Slowly I pushed it in. Everything went white. Then very warm. Then latex covered fingers pulled me out of a wet, dark place. I was slapped and I cried. And now I'm lying here, under a mobile of airplanes and rockets, hungry... so hungry... I'm still aware, though. Still self-aware. I remember the office. I remember the button. Just hanging there. Most importantly, I remember my wife, my life, the path I took. I remember it all.
And now it is time to try again.