Why does ZZ Packer write her essay with mostly conversing through language? In the short story Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, ZZ Packer consistently uses the art of conversation. She uses this type of language throughout her short story while either a group of people are talking or just man to man conversations. First off this short story is about an African American woman named Dina and she just arrived at orientation at the University Yale. In class she quickly meets and makes a friend by the name of Heidi who was a Canadian. They made it very apparent to each other that Dina was a lesbian with their dirty conversation.

Dina later goes to the psychiatrist Dr. Raeburn to talk about her parent where she quickly replies that her dad is “a dick” and her mom was alright. After the session with her psychiatrist Dina suddenly ran into Heidi again where they decide to go out and eat at Commons where they had tacos and had a lovely conversation with a man at the place. They signed for work at the Saybrook Dining Hall where they washed dishes. Dina then attends more sessions with Dr. Raeburn. A few days later when the dishwashers were closed down in the dining hall Dina and Heidi decided to take a couple of smokes on the milk crates.

Dina was not a smoker but they were that day. Suddenly a conversation about taking a shower Hoang, page 2 appears and Dina quickly tries to shut it down. Although she tries to resist very hard Heidi eventually talks her into taking her uniform from work off. At this point Dina starts to really fall in love with Heidi. They start to get close and Heidi sleeps over a lot more. Dina then flies home one weekend to find out that her parents had divorced. Dina and Dr. Raeburn finally meet one last time where they discuss about how Dina might not be a lesbian and how she now smokes.

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They then moved on with their lives and Dina moved back to Baltimore where she smoked and read outside her aunt’s apartment. Throughout the story I am hooked because as the story moves on there are so many images that are easily depicted inside my head through ZZ Packer’s use of well written imagery and her use of vulgar language. Being the male teenager that I am her use of curse words and sexual language keeps me in the story. At the same time the author’s use of details in between the language help sets up the scene. The one thing that I didn’t like was the ongoing visits with her psychiatrist Dr.

Raeburn. I felt that every time she met with Dr. Raeburn it made the story more boring. For myself the visits to the psychiatrist was for the reader to know what another person’s point of view was and how he perceives Dina in this story. ZZ Packer had used a lot of “language” for instance right off the bat the first quote was “no fucking way” this immediately caught my attention to the story. Later in this story she detailed the moment by saying “let me in” multiple times only to be instantly rejected with “not a chance. In another part of the story Heidi talks about eating ramen but is told that it is “full of MSGs. ” The author then kids around saying she “likes to eat chemicals” and that it keeps the Hoang, page 3 skin radiant. ” This shows the reader that the two characters are very close since they can play around like that. I think that the author, ZZ Packer, uses a lot of language through conversation in order for the reader to better picture the image in their mind. At least for me this helps me visualize and feel what the characters in the story feel much better.

This helps by not overloading in details which sometimes bore the reader. This method keeps the reader be more into the short story. I loved the author’s choice of words in this story because it’s not every day where you read a story that has curse words and talks about the most perverted things. I feel that when a person talks to another person in a story it is more engaging. It was almost like I was, in a way, stalking the two girls and listening to their conversation. It is like in a group conversation when two people are either arguing or gossiping about something and you are trying to listen it all.

Overall the way that the author, ZZ Packer, writes this story is very unique in that I have never read anything like it. It captivates me how into the story I was because normally I can’t even stay focus on the text. This is what make the writing so much more entertaining than the others. So why does ZZ Packer use so much conversing in this story? It is to keep the reader more focused and with the story and to help them understand the reading and to keep the reader entertained with the adult themes. Because it definitely had me hooked throughout the whole story.


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