Inma’s Shrine Includes Famous Almodovar Poster

Inma’s appartment was like a doll’s house. Amazing how her aspirations could be seen in every nook and cranny.  Of course her lover, Rubio, did not pay attention to much beyond her bed and butt.  A quick glance around her humble abode reveals…

“In the south corner, above the old-fashioned radiator, there was a shrine to each of her idols or goals.  Half a wall was filled with celebrity clippings and classic or blockbuster movie posters including a tough John Travolta and angelic Olivia Newton John embracing in Grease; the loud, colorful images from Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios. Another corner held miscellaneous memorabilia of old Hollywood, including the Casa Blanca classic frame of Bogart and Bergman, plus a laughing Marilyn on her fishnet haunches in Bus Stop. Sloppily painted ceramic souvenirs lined a simple shelf above her bed:  an orange burro whose side baskets served as toothpick holders, a terra cotta bonbon dish Saludos desde Granada and a miniature Asturian clog inscribed Para mi madrina on one side and Oviedo on the front.  This last clunky thing she treasured as a gift from her sister’s twin boys for whom she was both aunt and godmother. Her library included El Feng Shui para todos, Cantos nuevos by Lorca, something by Castaneda and a warped abridged Spanish-English dictionary from her school days.”

How much do your surroundings tell about you?  How deep into your dwelling can a visitor dig?

In method acting, an actress would want to know what is in her character’s handbag so as to prepare for the role.

What would be in Inma’s medicine cabinet or pantry?  These details speak volumes.



ABBA & Inma

“Waterloo” EUROVISION, 1974

Everyone knew ABBA from that famous appearance on the Eurovision show in 1974. Inma knew the whole rags-to-riches story.

“Any TV talent show would be terrific exposure. It could get her to the Eurovision song contest so she could represent Spain. Not shy, Inma knew she would give it her all. One lucky break and she could make it big, like Julio Iglesias or ABBA. Everyone knew how they got their start singing on Eurovision.”

Inma still loved ABBA because most of the group’s songs were catchy with repetitive lyrics and plenty of oohs and ahs that she could ad lib, even echo as if a back-up singer. English was her second language, too.  It was encouraging to think that other people got famous singing in their second language. Inma would do it, too. She really needed a stage name. ABBA stood for Agnetha, Björn, Benny, Anni-Frid. Agnetha Faltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid (Frida) Lyngstad.

Her name and initials, Inmaculada  Concepción López de Pérez, were useless. ICLP CLIP, Inconlope or Icolopa? Sound like antelope!  Inma wanted something with star quality but easy to recall, like Blancanieves. First she thought of Noëlla or Blanche de Noël.  These were the only French words that she believed came close to her baptismal name Inmaculada Concepción. Inma sounded common; Concha, worse, and Connie, too American.

Inma sometimes wore form-fitting jumpsuits like ABBA once did. The eighties had been more about shoulder pads and legwarmers. She had grown up in that decade so by 1990 she tried to modernize her stage appearance.  A Dietrich, masculine look never failed. By now, Madonna had replaced ABBA as a model, but the customers at the Centenar bar still belted out ABBA hits like “Mamma mia”, “Fernando” and “Dancing Queen”.  She could perform, get them warmed up to Karaoke then serve more alcohol. There was an art to it:  start slowly, build to a crescendo then get everyone up, spinning and emoting.  The louder, the thirstier and the better her sales.