Antonio, 1984

This post is in response to today’s Daily Prompt entitled, Antique Antics:

What’s the oldest thing you own? (Toys, clothing, twinkies, Grecian urns: anything’s fair game.) Recount its history — from the object’s point of view.


NonnoOctober 1984. Wedding rehearsal dinner.

I am a solemn captured moment of a joyous evening.

A celebration for my oldest daughter.

I am a 29-year-old photograph, snugly fitted into the corner of a bedroom mirror.

Antonio – father, husband, soon-to-be grandfather –

6 more years, you’ll see.

He’s sitting in a wooden folding chair at the table, gazing out across the table, tired,

unaware of the camera’s presence,

just quietly thinking to himself.

The party, melted away in his mind.

When the film was developed, I was probably passed around at family parties

to be thumbed through and glanced at.

Over the years of family functions, celebrations, and holidays, a mountain of pictures formed

like the accumulation of sediment over time.

It became too great, too heavy – Not enough space.

And so I was rolled into it too

to be stored in a 40 lb bin of memories,

to sit in the bottom of a cool, damp New Jersey basement

so far from where I came from. So far from home.

One day, a girl came downstairs, noticed the bin of photographs.

I was one out of a thousand. How did she find me?

Was it fate?

Or random occurrence?

She grabbed a handful

to thumb through and glance at

and went back upstairs.

She looked at me with curiosity and slowly set me aside.

I didn’t go back downstairs with the others

but lay breathing on the dining room table of a house I never recall entering.

I was taken higher up to where the air was warmer,

to her bedroom, to be tucked into the mirror, so she could see me everyday.

You see, I remind her of something – A dream.

A fleeting dream she had about 3 years ago,

way before she knew me or my whereabouts.

It was fall semester, sophomore year of college.

Nightfall. He was sitting outside a church.

No eye contact, side profile, same stoic expression.

She gasped and cried. No one believed he was there.

They didn’t even look! They just told her, “No. He’s gone now”.

She woke up in the midst of hiccuping tears, alone,

mind like an turbulent ocean.

Because as Antonio looked out thoughtfully on the wonderful day,

everyone was unaware of the silent ticking clock counting down in the background:

9 years, 2 months, 6 minutes, 30 seconds.

9 years, 2 months, 3 minutes, 11 seconds

and so on.

So when she looks at me in the mirror atop her dresser,

she thinks back to the man she never knew, or rather

knew too briefly.

She misses him more than anything, gets teary eyed from time to time.

It’s difficult for her to explain why, only that she has this innate knowledge that he loved her,

this inner frustration that she can’t go back, or change anything.

It’s not easy to talk about.

She’s forever scarred by the stroke he suffered right next to her – December 1993.

She was 3 years old

and it was the last time she would ever see him again.

ZERO TO HERO: 30 DAYS TO A BETTER BLOG by The Daily Post | Day 1: Introduce Yourself

30 day challenges usually don’t sway me, but I think I’ll do this one. It seems fun – and I like writing.

The folks over at The Daily Post have created a 30 day challenge to better your blog and perfect your WordPress technique, if you will. It definitely wouldn’t hurt to check it out. Let’s do it together!

Today’s challenge is, Introduce Yourself. When I started this blog in June, I created an About page briefly highlighting why I created the blog in the first place. But let’s go more in depth!

Who I Am: Rosanna O’Brien a.k.a. “Roe”. Self-nicknamed because of the common mispronunciation of my first name (It is Ro-SAH-nah, not Ro-ZANN-na) and the chosen spelling is not after my fondness for caviar or as a reminder of the famous abortion case, but because after sporting “Ro” for awhile I decided that aesthetically, it looked naked and added the E for good measure. Three letters seem more complete to me than two. Go figure.

Why I’m Here: Tumblr got old. Or rather, Tumblr became more about posting memes, pictures, .gifs, and the occasional video. I felt any time I published anything with words it went unnoticed. (Neil Postman would probably have something insightful to say about this were he still alive. The movement of a text-based culture to a pictures/image based culture. Seems as though mankind is reverting in a way, no? i.e. Paleolithic cave dwellers, ancient Egyptians, Native Americans, etc.) Not that I’m getting loads of attention here or anything, but the WordPress community seems to be more encouraging of words and the site is better formatted for active blogging and not the picture spam I was assaulted with via Tumblr (IMO).

What I’m About: Many things. I’m a complex woman. To start, I am a songwriter. You can check out my ongoing Twenty-Four Seven project or my soon to be defunct Song Shop project for starters. I also have a Soundcloud, Bandcamp, and YouTube if you care to peep those as well. I don’t like being overbearing in promoting my projects, but I do like it when people are aware of them – even better if they genuinely enjoy them. 🙂 I’m always open to feedback.

I’m very much about music. After all, I did get a degree in it. But I’m also very much into reading. I try to switch it up between fiction and non-fiction every time I finish a book. It’s astonishing how many people are aliterate in the midst of our technological avalanche. It’s a skill I try not to take for granted. I love discussing myth, dream, and the psychological implications of our society. I could go on and on. But why give it all away here? You have to get to know me to see what I’m all about 🙂

Why You Should Read My Blog: If you are an unemployed, floundering twenty-something like me this would probably be a great place to bond and help each other through out respective struggles, talk, and discuss things! Aside from sharing my many musings, I squeeze out the occasional poem or write-up about an artist I’m into. I’ve even written a few little articles about something funny that happened to me or something that piqued my interest – That sort of thing. You should most definitely read my blog if you’re into any of those things or just generally enjoy it and want to read it. No obligations, no pressure, no offense taken if you don’t.

Why I’m Blogging: Sometimes I have so much to say and don’t know what to do with it. Certain emotions rise up with me and I just need to get things out, whether negative or positive. It’s a way for me to organize my thoughts and keep them in a place I can look back on later. Spoken words can be so fleeting and are gone as soon as you speak. Written word lasts longer. I also think it’s healthy to write on a regular basis. I really wish I minored in Journalism in college because now I realize how much the written word binds everyone together and informs us, whether we realize it or not. Once you know how to write well, so many doors open. This is a way for me to stay on my toes knowing I’ll get better with every post I write. Practice makes better.

Topics: Aside from the ones I mentioned above and have already done, I’ve been thinking about doing more music writing. Perhaps even profiling some of the lesser known artists I know via Facebook and giving them a voice and a platform to be heard. It’s just a thought – I haven’ t pursued anything yet.  If you have any ideas, please reach out to me!

Who I Would Love To Connect With Via My Blog: Anyone who is interested in anything I have to say. I try not to limit myself to write about just one thing so there is definitely variety, but if you’re on my wavelength I’d love to hear your feedback! And again, if you’re a girl or guy in the postgrad rut with millions of existential questions, I’m in the struggle with you. Thus is life sometimes. I’m still trying to make sense of it all.

What I Hope To Have Accomplished If I Blog Successfully Throughout 2014: I guess the most I can ask for is to come to a dawning realization about the things I struggle with. Every time I blog or write, I feel like I’m working out the problem – I’m stretching the muscle, if you will. I hope at some point that muscle will become stronger and stronger so I can work out the dissonance I feel towards the world sometimes. And if it’s not too bold to say, I wouldn’t mind writing for a larger site or blog and contributing my efforts there whether it be for music or something else. I think that’d be a lot of fun to do. I hope blogging independently will refine my skill and build my confidence.