Excerpt from the novel “My Name is Damjan” by Suzana Tratnik

/, Literature, Blesok no. 128/Excerpt from the novel “My Name is Damjan” by Suzana Tratnik

Excerpt from the novel “My Name is Damjan” by Suzana Tratnik

“Lie on the bench!” he yelled in my ear. “Everything will be fine, you’ve drunk too much. Rest.” He took the almost full bottle of beer out of my hand and put his empty one under my head – in the meantime I’ve already stretched on the wooden bench next to the wall. Roki even tapped me on the shoulder, like, everything’s going to be cool, raised my bottle and was off to the dance floor. I didn’t want to close my eyes, but my strength was gone. When I opened them again, I saw Roki and the others shaking and calling me by name. The disco seemed to be closing, and I couldn’t move. It seemed to me that I only nodded off for a minute or two. Roki and the others were drunk and cheerful, shouting my name as if they were cheering at a match and giggling. I wanted to hit them, they were so disgusting.

“Damjan, let’s go, bro,” Roki yelled drunkenly. “C’mon! Let’s go home!” I screamed at him to leave me alone. As soon as I got up, I felt dizzy and had to lean against Roki who was having similar trouble with his balance. So, like two sleepwalkers we dragged off to the nearest bus stop. Roki didn’t stop chatting, though I don’t know about what, because I didn’t understand anything. At least five times I told him to shut up because I was going to get mad. But Roki is stubborn as a donkey when drunk, so naturally he didn’t shut up. He began challenge me like – come on, get mad, get mad and hit me if you think so. Why was I threatening him so much, he shouted, it would be better to smack him on the snout. He moved, pushed me away and started shouting, “Strike me! Come on, hit me, what do I care. Do you have balls, huh? Punch me, here, come on! Fuck you!”

He was turning his left cheek to me and I only looked at him blankly for a while, and then as if in a dream I slapped him hard. This was because I was so tired and dead-beat that I could no longer hear his pleas to hit him. And I hit him, I needed no convincing; you strike and the job is done. Roki swayed, he looked quite funny, such a dwarf as he is, but he didn’t stop. Once again he strutted in front of me, this time wider since after the blow he stood with even greater difficulty and turned his other cheek. I rubbed my eyes because they burned and I still saw only red. And truth be told, minute by minute I forgot what was going on, and in three minutes I no longer had a clue why Roki was standing in front of me begging me to hit him. But in order not to be a fool, I did it anyway.

“There, come again! C’mon! I know you don’t care. Neither do I!”

And I really hit him again, just because he forced me to. I didn’t know why I was beating him, but I was quite focused on hitting him, because he was swaying all the time, and I was seeing at least double, if not triple. Well, then he hit me back. I raised my fist automatically, but when I saw Roki lying on the ground, my arm fell to my body. He was too drunk to fight, and so was I. I lifted him up and helped him sit on the low stone fence at the bus stop. I sat down beside him and lit a cigarette, though my throat was torn from cigarettes and alcohol. But after such a wild night a cigarette in the morning feels good. You lit it up and think a little about your own life, if you have anything to think about. No one’s listening to you, no one knows what you are thinking about. That’s why it’s not a scary thing to give in to thoughts – no one will know.

When I woke up, it was already dawning. I opened one eye and saw bus no. 2 for Moste. I couldn’t remember whether I was working the morning or the afternoon shift, so I just ran after the bus as if it were matter of life or death. When I got home, I just remembered being at work in the afternoon and fell asleep calmly.

Roki called me two days later. It seemed a little strange to me that it took so long and I was already scared that he might be mad with me for slapping him twice. It all seemed funny to me when I got sober the next day, but you never know what others think about something like that.

“Where are you, you didn’t go out yesterday, did you?” I asked cheerfully.

“Where am I, huh? And now you’re interested? But two days ago you just went away and left me sleeping at the bus stop!”

Only now did I realize that when I saw the bus and hurried home, I completely forgot that Roki was sleeping beside me.

AuthorSuzana Tratnik
Translated byZorica Teofilova
2019-10-21T12:36:34+00:00 October 1st, 2019|Categories: Prose, Literature, Blesok no. 128|0 Comments