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DISTORTION / Dušan Dim Ljubljana, Slovenia (Slovakia, (Slovakia, if you’ you’re American president). GSM signal coverage: 100%. Cable television: 170 channels. A new millenium. A new shopping centre. A new fake song on MTV ... Is this really all there is? Piksi, 15, a single hair on his chin, chin, doesn't feel like it any more. A sound roared in his ears. Hot, dangerous & sharp. The sound of Ljubljana on fire. Fire, now!

Distortion is a coming-of-age novel about a fifteen year-old high school student, Piksi, killing time with a little help from his friends. On an incredibly boring afternoon he accidentally stumbles upon a dented box containing cassette tapes - things left behind by his long-lost brother. Piksi retreats into his room. After three days and three nights of non-stop listening to the tapes, he turns the cassette player off and puts on his All-Stars sneakers. Now he knows what he wants: his own wild, effective, simple band. A punk-rock band.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------SHORT FACTS Title Language Publisher Editor Year Pages

Distortion (orig. Distorzija) Slovenian Cankarjeva založba, Mladinska knjiga, Ljubljana Zdravko Duša 2005 317

Binding

Paperback

ISBN Cobiss.SI-ID

961-231-497-7 219945216

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------AUTHOR Dušan Dim, b. 1972 www.dusandim.com info@dusandim.com twitter: @Dusandim

PUBLISHER Mladinska knjiga, Založba, d.d. Slovenska 29 1000 Ljubljana www.mladinska.com Phone: +386 1 241 32 50


DISTORTION Sample fragment from the novel Fragment : Glue For Life Jimmy. Jimmy Hendrix was nothing

opened the balcony door and stepped

compared to the old man. He banged the

out. »Do you want me to throw it down?

case into the wall with such force that the

Is that what you want?«

foundation shook. He banged it several

Piksi screamed so loudly that he felt

times. Once, twice, three times, until the

pieces of his vocal cords in his stomach.

case flew out of his hands. Before it hit

»Vasja-a-a!«

the ground, he kicked it and the catch

The old man was standing on the

shattered like glass. Piksi's blood boiled.

balcony, one slipper short, a tuft of hair

He lunged at the old man but with a swift

covering his eyes. He was leaning on the

swing of his left arm the old man flung

guitar and looking down.

him back to the sofa. He tried again, but

»Leave it alone, we'll ta...ta...talk,« the

the old man pushed him back once more.

old lady said. She faced Piksi. »Vasja's

And for a good measure he kicked the

got nothing to do with this.«

case again with his right leg so the strings wailed in agony. »Vasja!« Piksi screamed. The old man lifted the case and threw

»No?« Piksi asked. »Hasn't he? Do you want us to pretend again that everything is all right in our family.« »Now it's really going to fly down,«

it to the ground. The parquet floor shut

said the old man. »You hear, you worm?

up. The blocks of wood spurted around.

You hear? No? You'll hear when it hits

Piksi rasped. »Wasn't Vasja enough?« The old man took the guitar out of the

the ground!« He grabbed the guitar and lifted it with

case. The strings sent a dead sound into

both hands above his head, then

the air. Then he swung and started

dropped it over his shoulders onto his

banging it against the wall. »There, you

back like a pickaxe.

bitch.«

»Enough,« the old lady was

»Vasja-a-a!« Piksi screamed out.

screaming, swallowing her tears. Her

The old man crossed the living room,

head was spinning as if she was a

his slipper got caught under the table and

lighthouse in the middle of the ocean.

slipped off his foot, but he didn't stop. He

»Enough!«

Dim / Distortion – sample fragment/ 2


Piksi was shaking like he was standing naked in the middle of Siberia.

crack, crack, crack, cracking was coming from the kitchen.

He had a lump in his throat. Something was trickling from his chin onto his jacket.

The old man showed up again in the

»Smash it,« he said. »Smash it like

living room with a can of beer in one

you've always smashed everything. But

hand and a tube in the other. He didn't

nothing's gonna change. Vasja's not

even look at Piksi. He walked round the

coming back to this shit.«

old lady, put the can and the tube on the

The old man was standing on the

table and walked to the balcony. He

balcony with the guitar on his back,

sighed as he bent down to the guitar. He

leaning on the balcony railing with his left

picked up the broken thing, walked

arm, his head raised to the sky as if he

across the balcony, leaned over the

was counting the clouds. Then he

railing, checked something, straightened

straightened up, lifted the guitar above

up again and walked back across the

his head and swung it round. He turned it

living room. He sat down next to Piksi.

into a propeller. The strings hissed. The

He kept turning the guitar in his hands for

old man swung it around again. Another

a while then stood up again and sat

propeller. Then he bent forward, over the

down once more.

railing. He swung and the guitar disappeared.

He pushed the body of the guitar between his thighs, picked upe the tube

»No!« the old lady screamed.

and started squeezing. It oozed like

The old man kept leaning over the

mayonnaise on bread. He squeezed and

fence. He was panting, a tuft of his hair hanging down, while the old lady turned

squeezed. »It's the superglue from that

into a hysterical mess. She was

commercial. When it sets, it'll be stronger

screaming and banging her head against

than wood. Better than before.«

the table. Then the old man leaned back.

Piksi kept looking at his All Stars. He

»Will you stop?« he said.

heard the glue squelching and the old

He raised his right arm and then

man struggling to push the two parts

lowered the guitar onto the balcony floor.

against each other. Then the old man

The strings rang through the flat. He

disappeared again. He came back with a

stepped over it and disappeared into the

whole roll of insulating tape. It made a

kitchen without his slippers.

swishing sound as he wrapped it round

»Enough,« the old lady kept repeating like a toy parrot. »Enough.« She was

the guitar. He tore the tape with his teeth and put the guitar on the table. The black

picking up books from the floor while Dim / Distortion – sample fragment/ 3


tape was wrapped around its neck like a

moustache were gray. This wasn't the

bandage around a footballer's leg.

daddy he used to know.

»Have you got the wires?« the old man asked. Piksi was still looking at his All Stars. »You mean strings?«

»You're getting on my nerves,« the old man said. »Get out of here already.« Piksi picked up his guitar and swayed towards the door. Crack, something

»Strings, have you got them?«

sounded behind his back. For a second

Piksi gave a slight nod.

he thought that it had started again. But

The old man picked up the remote and

in the next moment he knew what the

threw it back on the table. He went over

sound was. It was unmistakable. The old

to the TV, turned it on and parked himself

man's can.

back on the sofa. He made a long swig of

»Just so we're clear,« the old man

beer and lay still for a couple of minutes.

said after him. »If you skip just one more

Then he got up again, wandered into the

lesson, even the glue factory won't be

kitchen, there was a crack and he came

able to glue that guitar together again.

back to the living room with a new can in

Are we clear?«

his hand. »Well, what are you waiting for?« he

Piksi picked up what was left of the case by the wall and carried everything

asked. »Didn't you say you were going to

to his room. He took a pack of strings

play?«

from his drawer. He looked through the

Piksi was trying to guess what would

window. There was a cloud of smoke

happen next. What was the catch? Was

hanging above the low wall. He knew

he really going to fling it over the balcony

that Pejo was trapped inside it. Piksi

now?

looked at him and touched the desk by

»Play?« Piksi asked.

mistake. Plonk, the guitar broke in two

»Quit sniveling,« the old man said.

again. That superglue wasn't as super as

»You've got your guitar. Go now and play the way you do.« At that moment, Piksi got the feeling

they said on TV after all. That was just a commercial. He straightened the neck and pushed

that he skipped ahead in time, years and

the body against it, but then both parts

years. The old man's eyes were tired and

fell apart again.

lines were cutting into the skin around them. They traced over his whole face.

Some things just can't be glued back together.

Cutting into his forehead, round the corners of his mouth. His hair was as thin

End of Fragment

as the leaves on a tree. The ends of his Dim / Distortion – sample fragment/ 4


Distortion - fragment