LifestylePersona September, 18th 2013 by

The Spanish Wallpaper

DSC00929The Spanish Wallpaper

By Linsey A. Daman

Antonio and I are residing in, Arasondo, one of the most magnificent castles in Madrid for the summer. This castle is elaborate with Spanish décor and the grand halls exude splendor. I was astounded to realize that this beauty was to be had for such a great price. Why would someone rent this castle for so little? Did they not need the money or was there something more sinister at work here within the lurking walls of this enchanted castle? I suspect this majestic castle to be haunted by some malevolent spirit or soul-walker.
Antonio said that I needed to take a break from Flamenco dancing as I was wearing out my body, soul and spirit. My body tells me that I am healthy as a horse but I’ve learned not to argue with Antonio. He is a physician and he truly believes in the world of science and reality. Continually he informs me that I am “loca” for presenting ideas that contradict his scientific rational and explanations. Daily, I tell him “I’m not loca, I’m just keeping my mind open to other possibilities out there.”
Antonio has made it quite clear that I am here in Arasondo for a reason. He stresses that it is imperative that I rest and must stay in bed. The room that he has me resting in is the nursery; which I find to be completely creepy and ominous. The walls are decorated with Flamenco dancers wearing red and black skirts that flow together. This wallpaper of the dancers is uneven and is randomly glued in haphazard angles on the wall. Since I am bedridden, by my husband’s choosing, I have a lot of time to study the uneven swirls. Since the paper was arranged in such a poor manner you cannot tell where one color starts and the other finishes. Vaguely you can see the faces of these women dancing but the red and black swirls detract from the action content of the paper. If someone was to enter this room, they would probably not see the dancers for the overwhelming amount of red and black could easily confuse the eyes and even mind. Sometimes when I awake, the dancers faces have disappeared and only their swirling skirts of color remain on the wall. I think I’m going “loca” in this room as every time I awake the Flamenco dancers are in different positions on the wall. Could this be true? That walls are dancing for me? This will not be shared with Antonio, for he will think I am completely “loca.”

Secretly, I like to escriba or write in my journal about the Flamenco dancers on the walls. Sometimes I just wish I could get up there and dance with them. Oh, do I long to dance and have people watch as my skirt swirls and sways from side to side. But Antonio won’t let me dance anymore, for he feels it stresses my body too much. What does he know; he isn’t a Spanish dancer. He has no clue the hardship I go through every day watching the women on the walls having so much fun. I envy the women who get to dance day in and day out but only secretly in my mind do I dance with them.

FullPrevCDBookletOutsideImageThe next morning I awake by hearing multiple tapping sounds coming from the floor below. Then I remember that on Saturdays, Carlata performs flamenco for my son. Since I’m unable to perform for Carlos; Antonio has Carlata dance for him so he can hear the rhythms and compás. Raising our child with bailar or dancing is something I’ve always dreamed of because it will be great exercise for him and also nourishment for the body and soul. Opposite of what Antonio might say, I believe bailar is quite healthy for our child. My little Carlos will someday become a great Flamenco dancer. I’m grateful to have Carlata take my place while I’m under Antonio’s care. She is a wonderful influence for our child. Antonio swears that I can someday soon return to my love of Flamenco but only when I am well rested.
I start to drift off to sleep when Larosa, Antonio’s sister, enters the room. She comes in and asks me, “Como estas?” I inform her that I’m well rested, relaxed and feel more than able
to return to my joy of Flamenco dancing. She looks directly at me as if she is looking through me and the expression on her face indicates she doesn’t believe my claims about good health. Larosa chatters with me for a while in Spanish but I’m neither listening nor paying attention to her. I have a general idea of our conversation but the details escape me, however at one point in my conversation I look up out of a daze and find her pointing to the wall. She looks confused and stops talking; she never stops talking so there must be something truly concerning her in order to make her silent. She is not the silent type, actually quite the opposite. Larosa turns and looks at me with an expression of fear, panic and worry all wrapped up into one. She approaches the wall without saying a word and a part of me is wondering if she is seeing the same thing I see. She probably is going through the same shock that I originally went through when I found out the walls are alive with color and movement. Putting her hand on the wall she gets closer to its surface and then jumps away quickly as if something electrocuted her or gave her some type of shock or jolt. She ran from the room screaming loudly in Spanish and fled to her car. I watched from the window as she put it in reverse and backed up out of the driveway so fast she almost hit a tree. She skidded the car around and tore out of there like a mad crazy woman. Her brother never asked nor spoke about that day as to why his sister left the castle in such a panic. She has been known to have multiple panic attacks before and her history of psychosis hasn’t been the best so Antonio considered it to be another “odd” moment for her and dismissed any other thoughts about it. In my mind, I was wondering what she saw in the walls and what or who was drawing her nearer to touch them. When she finally did touch the walls, what did she experience? Was she able to see the swirling skirts and color movement as well or was she seeing something else? This I will never know as she has never returned nor was heard from again.

FullPrevLabelImgAntonio does not like it when I try to get up from bed on my own but I need some fresh air and desired to open a window. The boredom is eating me alive as there is nothing else to look at in this small room. Of all of the rooms in this castle, Antonio has chosen the smallest of rooms to keep me a prisoner. I sit and contemplate my life in this room and wish that I would have done more with my years. Time slips past me in this room as I have no control over my circumstance. A feeling of being powerless and small overwhelms me and I begin to cry regarding my continual state of being alone. Having a visitor of some kind would be nice but no one knows that I’m here alone in this red and black room. Antonio rarely visits me but that is only when he delivers the daily amount of food and water. I’ve requested certain meals but he rejects my selections and tells me he knows more about diet and nutrition than I could ever imagine. As a physician he knows what is best for my body.
As the weeks roll by my level of adrenaline is decreasing rapidly and I start to wonder if my being in this room is beneficial. My health has suffered more being under Antonio’s care than it was before. Sometimes I become hungry and bang on the walls and scream for him to bring me food but no one comes, no one listens and no one hears my pleas for help. At first I thought that maybe I had some deadly disease that Antonio wasn’t telling me about and that he was keeping me in isolation. However, I’m healthy and live a normal life, at least I used to live a normal life. Now I live a life of imprisonment and am force fed meals at late hours of the evening. When I originally married Antonio it was because of love and our desire to see and travel the world together. How fate has changed as I’m now his prisoner and captive in our own castle. He obtained this castle for me as a way to show me this love. However my mind wonders if his love has turned bitter, sour and scornful.
I look out the window and see Carlata carrying something red and black over to her car. Being in here long enough has made me lose track of the day, time or even what week it is. It must be a Saturday as she is taking her costume back to her car after performing a show for my son. She is wearing her normal maid uniform that Antonio has required that she wear when working on house chores. Occasionally Carlata will bring me a snack or a little extra water when Antonio isn’t home. Do you think she sees the walls and their movement when she is bringing me water? I wonder if the walls reach out to her as they reach out to other people.
After several hours, I awoke feeling content and well-rested. The women on the walls were dancing again and swirling their skirts around in peaceful bliss. How I longed to join them. I did not care what my husband thought; I wanted to dance more than anything in the world. I checked the handle on my door and surprisingly it was unlocked. Opening the door slightly I peeked outside to see if anyone was in the corridor. No one was in sight so I slid out the door and crept down the stairs. Making my way to the front door through the main entrance way I opened it ever so slightly and raced toward Carlata’s car. I was after the flamenco dress and grabbed it from the interior of the car. Hiding behind Carlata’s car I put the dress on even though it was a larger size than my own. Antonio has removed and taken away all of my dancing apparel and supplies so I have nothing to work with anymore. He said that if my dance outfits were in the room with me it would only encourage me to dance again. With haste, I look back at Arasondo hoping not to see anyone staring at me out one of the magnificent windows. To my surprise, no one had noticed me leave the house. Making a break for the front door, I run with this black and red dress on and pulled up some of the layers so I wouldn’t trip on the skirt. I’ve made it back into the main entrance, now if I can just get up the stairs and into my small room then I can rejoin my dancer friends on the wall. I hear a noise coming from the kitchen and my heart skips a beat or two as I’m panicked that I might be caught in her Flamenco dress. With haste, I rush quietly up the stairs and make a mad dash for my room. Closing the door behind me gently not to make a sound; I can finally breathe. Now I just pray no one comes to deliver the stale meal that is always late.09843693_kl436_070

I turn around and see three women staring at me in Flamenco dresses very similar to mine. An expression of joy lights my face as I’ve finally found my place amongst these women. Without a doubt, these were the women on my walls that have come down to welcome and dance with me. They begin to dance slowly and invite me into their circle of Sevillanas. They place me right in the heart of the dance and allow me to do my award-winning solo. We then go back to the group dance and my heart finally feels at home. One of the women begins the cante or singing part of the dance while the rest of us stomp our feet in rhythm. The sheer volume of noise could wake the dead; I’m quite surprised that Antonio isn’t up here checking on me. Between three dancers with Flamenco shoes and myself who is barefoot but pounding very hard on the floor it truly sounds like a Spanish circus up here, especially when the singing started.
As expected, Antonio comes rushing through the door with Carlata behind him. What shocked me was not that they entered the room in such a rush due the noise but it was the expression on their faces. They didn’t even notice me standing there with three other women around me; how could you possibly not see this large and brightly colored dance right before you? I felt comforted by the Flamenco dancers but confused by Antonio’s and Carlata’s reaction to me dancing. I was truly prepared for an entire half hour fight and defense as to why I enjoy dancing and they should give me my freedom to enjoy my passion in life. This fight or dance defense never came as Carlata walks over to my bed completely ignoring me and says “I’m afraid we lost her, Antonio”DSC04746

“All Rights Reserved © Copyright 2013.  Neither the story nor the photos may be used without written permission from Linsey A. Daman.”

Contact Information:

Cultural Arts Center of St. Louis, LLC

Founder & CEO, Linsey A. Daman

2589 Sunrise Drive

Eureka, Missouri

United States of America



US Office Line: (636) 938-5074

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Founder & CEO, Cultural Arts Center of St. Louis, LLC, Linsey A. Daman is degreed in French Linguistics from Webster University, St. Louis.  While studying in Geneva, Switzerland she had the opportunity to learn Italian and Spanish as well.  She has over twenty years of dance and performing arts training specializing in Flamenco.  Her center partakes in International volunteerism projects and goes to these locations to research, aid and help those in third-world nations.  Overall, her personal and professional mission is to bridge the gap between St. Louis and the world abroad.



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