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


Why does Damjan beat philosophers and see red fears. He’s already slapped Roki, too, just in case. – How did he tell Nela his real name, without anyone to watch his back. – Besides, every letter has a beginning and an end. – How did he recognize a witch and learned a lesson in geography. – Bums and gentlemen from birth. – Neglected children are more than tree crowns. – What does it means to have solid facts and reservations in a period of romance. – And why lottery is better than school.

Everyone in the group is still dealing with me, everything on me seems weird to them and all the time they want to catch me off guard. They constantly think that there is something in the background, in what you haven’t told them, as if they haven’t heard what you’ve told them. And I always say what I say and those who believe – believe, and those who think I’m lying let them think so. The last time I directly asked Vlado how long I would be here. And he laughed and told me it was up to me, not up to my folks at home or anyone else. Well, I’m not stupid; I know very well who got me into this shit: my folks. He then told me that the more I ask how long I will be here, the longer I will be in this group. How kind on his part. Is there no one to tell me openly what I’m doing here and what can I do to bring it to an end?

I’ve never been one of those who philosophize; and when in a company of people it always bothered me when someone started to philosophize and be a smart alec. Let everyone say openly what they think and that’s it. I remember once in a tavern one of my friends who was drunk hit me. Yes, it was Brine, I’ve already mentioned him. He hit me just like that, stretched out his arm across the table and slapped me for no reason. I knew he was not only drunk, but also that something in his head was seriously wrong. That’s why it didn’t even occur to me to get back to him, he could have killed me. It was clear to me that he would be sorry once he got sober, but he got a big minus with me. After that I never sat at the same table with him again. It was difficult for him, but there was no help, I don’t forgive such things. OK, that doesn’t even matter now. I just wanted to say that it is easier for me to bear someone hitting me than philosophizing at the table and shitting on my head. I go out among people to relax and forget about the problems, and not to have someone playing smarty pants, ruin my night and deepen my problems or tire me with the same stories. Roki, too, knew how to annoy me, especially when he was caught up in some higher purpose or meaning of life or whatever, it was a real horror then. He chattered so masterfully, usually when he wanted to impress new acquaintances or when he was in love. Or when stoned. In those moments I could’ve broken his snout. He grinned as a madman at every word I’d say. He claimed that he couldn’t help it because everything seemed ridiculous to him, but I couldn’t get rid of the feeling that he was crowing over me a bit and making fun of me. Don’t make fun of me, just don’t do that, I always told him. But Roki wasn’t always smart enough. Obviously, he had to get a bit fucked up from time to time. He’s taken a beating from me also.

It happened in the disco. That night wasn’t a good one. I wasn’t in shape, it would’ve been best if I’d stayed home and slept. I didn’t know what to do in that crowd – there were a lot of people that particular night and I didn’t respond to them, neither did they respond to me. In fact, I no longer responded to anyone, not even myself. I know why it was so; I drank too much, I mean I’ve drunk for a few days in a row, five or six, and I was already shit-faced. Then fears began to overwhelm me. I don’t know what I’m afraid of at such moments, but the fears are so terrible that you can’t even rinse them off with a drink; they keep chuckling in the head. I told Roki that I was sick, that I could no longer stand on my feet, that it’s flashing before my eyes, and that I was seeing everything red. He took me under my arm and pushed me to the wall.

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