Days in Major and Minor


An excerpt from the novel Víst er ég fullorðin, translated to English by Bernard Scudder. Published in The Nato Story Book.

From Days in Major and Minor:

We put up our tent at the top of the cliff and can see the whole festival area. Solla and Frissi stretch out their sleeping bags straight away at one end of the tent. Stebba, Gústi and I throw ours inside still rolled up. We are too shy to decide straight away where we'll be lying tonight.

Snorri is camping with his school friends. He is in a clearing on the stretch of land beneath the cliff.

Just come if there's anything wrong, he says as he crawls inside his tent where monstrous peals of laughter break out.

We walk down to the festival area to take a look at the crowd. There are tents everywhere, with men sitting inside them, eating and clinking their glasses in the evening sun.

A suntanned wolf in jeans with his shirt unbuttoned comes towards us.

Hi baby, aren't you gorgeous, he says and gives Stebba a pinch as he walks past.

I feel a pang in my heart. Of course it's only natural for him to be attracted to Stebba rather than me. And how could a carrot like me turn any man's head?

There are so many people here. Just like in a big city. The country girls stand out a mile. They're fat and their hairdos are appalling.

The dolly birds from the town are like goddesses. Most with black wavy hair and all of them with fiery-red lips and nails. My heart sinks. There's no chance of any man noticing me or picking me out from such a large crowd. Me and all these freckles. As the evening and the dance draw closer, my courage dwindles and dwindles. I could always go to the dance but I know exactly how it will turn out. No one will ask me to dance. I will hang around and keep the seats warm until I give up and go back home to sleep. Perhaps I should give the dance a miss.

Give the dance a miss and hang around alone in a tent! Some alternative. All the others would make fun of me. Of course I'll go.