Lying awake, I half-dreamed a novel plot in which an ordinary man dies, technically, on the operating table. The doctors revive him, and after weeks of slow and painful recovery, he goes back to his old life. He loves his wife and children more than ever, and, listening to Mozart, he finds himself on the verge of tears. Stranger things happen. He picks up the magazines he subscribes to--National Review, The American Conservative--and he drops them in disgust. He has discovered the hard way how sweet and meaningful life can be, and reading the trivializing arguments about elevating one set of crooks above another, he feels his life ebbing away again and sees the lights above the operating table.
He checks his email, and gets a series of FB notices. Eager to get back in touch with friends, he spends a half hour going through recent comments on BLM, COVID19, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, by people who know even less than he does about all of the above, but whose ignorance is no deterrent to an endless stream of ex cathedra pronouncements.
In near-desperation, he turns to The Daily Mail, Drudge, Google News. The room seems colder now. Is it the Autumn cold snap or the deadness of the prose?
As he walks to the basement with a smile on his face, his wife asks him if he needs something. "Nothing important, dear. I just want to split some kindling." As he finds his trusted splitting maul, he looks at the stack of oak, then asks himself, "Why not?" With maul in hand, he goes back upstairs and returns a few minutes later and, before attending to the firewood, picks out bits of screen and wiring caught on the blunt edge of the maul.