As a teenager it can be difficult to try new things that you usually combine as adult-things, like drinking alcohol, having sexual intercourse or driving a car - just to name a few! It is hard to control all these things at once when you are new at them, but at the same time you are too curios to wait. In this short story from 2013 written by Allison Moore, our main character is Jen who is a teenager learning to drive a car, while she is hungover from a crazy night before. She cannot stop thinking about the incidents that happened with her friend Simon, and that gives her trouble to stay focused.
The atmosphere in the car is very stressful. It is quite chaotic as Jen’s mom keeps yelling and screaming about her driving while Shelly, her little sister, is being annoying and her dad sleeping in the back of the car “’to show he trusts me’” (p. 1, l. 4). Except that Jen is stressing even more about that, because she does not feel like she can be trusted behind the wheel at the moment, which is understandable when she feels sick and unfocused.
All the chaos and stress in the car is very clear to the reader as the story is told in first person narrator, meaning we can hear all of Jen’s thoughts. “I imagine I’m in Pretty Woman and we’re in a penthouse suite and he’s a millionaire and we’ve just eaten strawberries not Wotsits and - ‘JEN!’” (p. 3, l. 80-82). The composition in the text clearly shows her unfocused mind, because it jumps back and forth from her mind where she is thinking about the night before, and back to reality where she is driving the car.
It is understandable that she cannot stop thinking about the night before, because she did lose her virginity to a crying boy - not really how she had imagined her first time. The atmosphere in the car is much like the atmosphere in her mind while she is thinking back, because it was also a quite bad night when the cat died and everything.