Arrières-pensées (Second Thoughts),
But I'm not jumping up raring to hang it. It may have something to do with a dream I had recently . . .
I was in a house, and it was my house, though it looked nothing like it. I was in a large room, beautifully wallpapered, and the papering job was mine.
The predominant color was a kind of deep warm rose-pink, with subtle pattern of more orangey-reds, with accents of darker and lighter colors running through it. The effect was very rich, and though the paper wasn't any of my William Morris patterns, I knew it was very expensive, like something you would get from Bradbury & Company. The most striking thing was a border about five inches high that ran horizontally around the room about four feet above the floor. This wasn't applied over the other paper; no, it was integral with it. The paper came in five foot widths, and I'd hung it as directed, horizontally, so the border showed as it ought, with the upper width overlapping the lower.
I stood there admiring the effect, when all of a sudden the upper five-foot strip began to come loose from the wall, just to the left of the doorway. Oh-oh! I'd better go get some paste and stick it back up, fast. But I wasn't sure where the paste was, because now it seemed that I wasn't in my own house, but this was a room I was living in in a house owned by somebody else, maybe my older sister, and I didn't want to go upstairs and bug her.
My bed was opposite the door, I was tired, and I thought maybe I could leave this till morning. But as soon as I sat down on my bed, more of the top width of wallpaper started peeling off. No! I ran over and literally caught it in my arms as it came loose from the wall. I saw that underneath it the other, coordinating paper was also railroaded, and it went from baseboard to ceiling. And as I stood there struggling, it, too, began to cascade down.
All around the room the beautiful expensive paper was coming off the walls, and rippling down wrinkled and ruined, so it couldn't be put back up and reused. What did I expect, I told myself. This was a basement room, so maybe it was damp. But I thought I'd taken that into consideration when I'd done the papering!
Then I looked up, and saw that I'd also papered the ceiling in the deep rose-pink paper, complete with an ornamental border with special motifs in the corners. And this, too, began to peel off and hang down.
I was distraught! All that work! All that money! The job was ruined and I was ruined! What could I do?
And the only thing that saved me from utter nightmare misery was making myself wake up enough to remember that the only room I have wallpapered so far is the stairhall, and it's in William Morris "Blackthorn" and it's only on the bottom of the walls and it's adhering very nicely, thank you very much.
At the time this seemed like only a frivolous dream, and I was more frivolous still for writing it down. But maybe not. Maybe it's me trying to come to terms with what I'm going to do with the red on red "Owen Jones" wallpaper I bought for the living room, if I don't get lucrative work soon and have to put the house on the market in the foreseeable future. The price of the paper has nearly doubled since I laid in my supply three years ago. And what about all the blankstock I've bought, too? Maybe it might be better just to paint the living room walls and those in the dining room as well and get the trim back up, then wait and see what happens to me financially before I blow the expensive Morris paper on it. Because if I hang it and have to move, sure as shooting the realtor will tell me I should take it back down in order to sell the house. Or the new owner will take it down and all my effort will be wasted.
I don't know. I have to consider that not using what I've got would mean blowing money on more paint, with no guarantee that I'd want to use the papers I have in my next house, if any. And if I'm renting or boarding with somebody, how could I?