Student Kevin Petit, 22, had always led a shallow, empty life devoid of any true pleasures, notable accomplishments, spiritually fulfilling experiences, or emotionally meaningful interpersonal relationships. Since September 11, however, the crushing emptiness of Petit’s life has become more painfully apparent than ever.
Before the calamitous events in New York and Washington, Petit was more or less content to attend class on a fairly regular basis, put in the necessary number of hours working at the school library, and while away the day’s remainder with a combination of television viewing and computer gaming. Though his schedule had returned to normal following the first few days of the crisis, Petit has found that every activity is now tainted by his self-conscious sense of that activity’s total insignificance.
“I don’t know, now it just seems so unimportant,” said Petit as he stared at nothing in particular during his daily fifteen-minute bus ride home from campus. “I mean, who cares what we’re doing in class, or what’s on NBC’s fall schedule? I’ve never truly been in love.”
Among other newfound worries, Petit cited his failure to accomplish or even define any life goals, his own selfish nature, his habit of watching too many movies, and his myriad missed opportunities to travel and try out new experiences. Petit went on to point out that were he to die today, or even tomorrow, there was no aspect of his life upon which he could look back with the slightest sense of personal satisfaction.
“I guess it’s too late to change now,” said Petit, turning on a television while waiting for his computer to boot up. “But boy, my life is pretty sad.”