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By Áine Greaney

PROMPT — Who am I today?

This evening the beach is almost empty so it’s just me on this stretch of sand between the dunes and the waves.

Who am I here?

Nobody. In fact, I have come here to be nobody. I have come here because I was exhausted from being this or that, from being your applicant and your candidate and your new hire and your easy sell and your pushover and your wilting violet and your state-her-case, meet-her-deadlines woman.

I came here because, in the bathroom mirror, I saw how my smile had turned vile and my eyes had turned imbecile, and my words had turned as fat and fake as a ventriloquist’s dummy. Here on this empty beach I am not a dummy.

I am not your employee, your lackey, your girl. I am not your wordsmith, your never-let-`em-see-you-cry chic, your team player, your quick-wit diva, your nod-the-head girlie girl. I am not your feminist or your outraged activist who, in her night dreams, flies all the way down or up or across a continent to give those men in suits what for.

Here on this empty beach I am not your moaner, your mourner, your keener, your pleaser, your errant daughter, your guilty girlfriend, your truculent kid who cannot sleep all the way through these middle-aged nights.

Today on this empty beach I am a head of wild hair in the evening breeze. I am a blip, a dab, a daub, a blob, a splash, a mad dash of color against these sand dunes.


Áine Greaney is an Irish-born writer living on the North Shore of Massachusetts. In addition to writing and publishing, she develops and leads creative and expressive writing workshops for various organizations. Learn more at:


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