Physical setting

The short story “My Girl in Skin-Tight Jeans” by William Boyd takes place in a “small-resort town a few miles up the coast from San Luis Obispo in northern California” (p. 94, ll. 1-2). There are several elements in the story (such as the convertible car, the billboard ads, the jeans), which help date it to probably around the time the story was published (1970s-1980s).

The action takes place during spring, the arrival of which brings about a favorable change in the narrator’s mood: “as spring approached, my spirits rallied and I began to feel a little better” (p. 94, ll. 15-16). It is also when the girl that the narrator becomes infatuated with arrives. She is seen as an embodiment of spring, re-awakening the narrator’s vitality: “a modern primavera” (p. 94, l. 17). On the day when the main events of the story take place, the weather is described as sunny and pleasant: “a watery sun warmed the sea breeze, the day was mild with a light blue sky up above” (p. 96, ll. 5-7). This contrasts with the dark thoughts that the narrator will have that day.

In contrast with the narrator’s room, which is small and tidy (p. 95, l. 10), Luke’n’Loretta’s cafe, is described by the narrator as messy and dirty: “It was swimming with spilt coffee, the ashtray was full of butts and someone h...

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