Domingo’s Story

One of the actual inhabitants in Grado del Pico is a man in his mid forties by the name of Domingo.  Domingo lived the early years of his life in the village where he went to school in the old school house which only had one classroom with some hard wooden desks, a blackboard and an old map of Spain boasting its colonies.

In those days, there was a total of ten children growing up in Grado.  They were of varying ages, yet all shared the same classroom, but not the same dreams.  Most dreamt of leaving the village and heading to the big city.  A few were content to remain, but there was one, Domingo, who cherished a very particular dream.  He wanted to become a bullfighter.

So, although he lived in a village, Domingo could not learn the art of bullfighting there and such was his desire to make his dream come true, that his parents uprooted the family and set off to help seek their son’s fortune in Madrid.  The father found a job in the flourishing construction business and soon gathered enough money together to send his son to bullfighting school.

Domingo was a serious student and for many years he dedicated his time to practising and learning the skills of his art.  When not phisically training, he would spend his time going to bullfights during San Isidro, the bullfighting season in Madrid, and reading up on famous bullfighters and brave bulls.

The years went by, but no golden opportunity came his way to prove to the world his dexterity.  Until, one day, as the story goes, somebody proposed him to fight the bravest bulls of the fair in Ayllón, his neighbouring village.

An excited and nervous Domingo put in even more hours of training before his big momento came.  He was driven to Ayllón in style. There he found his neighbours queuing up to buy their tickets.  The seats of the bullring were not only filled up with family and friends but also with people from neighbouring villages who had learnt about the budding bullfighter.

Domingo solemnly dressed in his bullfighter’s gold braided suit of lights, prayed to the Virgin Mary and in his bullfighter’s gait, walked to take command of the arena.  A roar rose from the crowd as he removed his hat and took his elegant bow just before the bull was released and came pounding into the ring.  Domingo’s momento had come at last!  He was about to demonstrate to his parents that he was more than worth the money that had been invested in him.  He turned slowly to confront the beast, but upon seeing the size of it, as the story goes, he realised that it had nothing to do with what he had read up on, nothing to do with what he had watched on the TV in the living room of his parents’ modest flat in Madrid, nothing to do with what he had dreamt of, and Domingo took to his heels and fled.

Despite all, Domingo has never given up on his dream.  Years later, he is to be found back in the village living alone in the family house.  The shelves of his salon are lined with books and videos on bullfighting.  The entrance hall is decorated with bullfighting paraphenalia.  Each and every conversation held with him inevitably ends up about bullfighting.  He can cite recent bullfights and those that took place three centuries ago.   He can name legendary matadors, such as Pedro Romero from the 1700’s, but he will never refer back to that August afternoon, when the sun was at its hottest, and he was confronted with reality.

He is now considered to be an erudite on the art, and when San Isidro comes around, he dresses up in his suit of lights and sits alone watching each and every bullfight that is televised, imaging that he himself is the man facing the brave bulls.