“I wish I had a fast-forward, rewind, and erase button for my life.”
This from Everett, seven and a half, sitting at the kitchen table and laboring over his writing exercises.
I am standing at the counter, shaping a dinner out of left-over chicken soup, carrot-raisin muffins and, maybe, a spinach and peach salad. I am thinking about Everett and his writing, how hard it is for him, and how maybe he’d like to fast-forward through the next fifteen minutes.
“What would you rewind to?” I ask him, looking for the bright side.
“All the fun times,” he says.
“Yes,” I say. “That would be good. And what would you fast forward?”
“The boring stuff,” pause, “and to see what I’m like as a teenager.”
We’ll know soon enough– too soon, I think. I think someone has been holding his finger on the fast-forward button for most of Everett’s life.
“And what would you erase?”
“All the times I felt embarrassed.”
“Yes,” I say. “I know what you mean.”
He finishes his writing soon enough and is on to enjoying his reward: fifteen minutes of X-Box. I put the salad together and imagine having just such technology to control Life. But if I did, I would only, I think, make use of one button: Pause.