you & me

Oh, Our Beautiful Mess!


Like all paradoxes, that night was everything and nothing.

Tenderness, passion, perhaps even romance that met raw desire, callous force, and something else that I can’t quite put my finger on. But one thing is for certain, it was messy.

Messy is not an anomaly. Messy is what life becomes even on the best of days to the best of us. People are sticky and gooey, they smell good and taste alright, I suppose, but the best of us are messy. And, messy attracts messy. What can we do when we mess-ups make a mess? No doubt we make messes together, but often we clean it up or live with them alone. Regret is sheer foolishness, but not all hope is lost.

Whenever we make a mess, we feel everything we’re not supposed to, like love and lust, hope and heat, fear of never forgetting. So, enough with the “You’re not supposed to care” and “You give hookups a bad rap.” We need not be trapped, we are not trapped! If we care, here’s how…

I’ll tell him, and you tell her, to meet in five on 6th and Mass., let’s meet our mess… where we made it.

Take a deep breath, and rehearse these lines. Prepare yourself, because messes never quite look or feel the same after a while.

Oh, our beautiful mess! You are ours. We created you, and we will live with you and love you the best way we know how. We may not always know the right thing to do, but we promise we’ll try, for you’ve made us who we are. Two very messy people made you happen, but sometimes due to the wreckage, only one of us returns to take care of you, to live with you. We arrive because we survived many like you.

Occasionally, we thrive because of you. But because we’re too messed up, she may not come. Because we’re too bruised, he can’t be here today. We are hurt, but you’re not ugly or painful. We hurt, so we hurt. You, you are beautiful.

Later on 6th and Mass. I see you, lost, wandering, waiting, pitiful and homeless. I’m sorry I’m late, and she’s not here yet.

I forget my lines, and on a whim, I say…

Oh, our beautiful mess!

I asked him to to be here today, and she’s not here yet, so we can’t decide if we’re going to clean you up, let you be and get used to you, or abandon you. We argued that night about whom you belonged to more: me or him. Today, we know.

I can only ask her to show up, to humanize you, to humanize me, and embrace you with the deepest kind of compassion that flows from the most broken parts of our lives. That seemingly casual text message I sent him was loaded, she can’t love you, and he won’t.

That message carried an invitation to fight through the tears and acknowledge that we carry you in our souls. You might inspire her, you might choke him, I guess we’ll never know.

You’re not an unbearable burden, at least you’re not the heaviest one I carry. But it’s in carrying you alone that I become tired, spiteful, and sometimes even bitter. I become me. My invitation to her is tethered to some hope that we could maybe clean you up, make you disappear, keep you, or walk away with our humanity intact.

I can’t make him come, nor can I make her stay. I can only ask her gently, in the stillness of your secrets that whisper so loud, “Please come, if you can, if you want to. Please stay if you come, I’ll breathe easier and so will you.”


Tamara Handy is an eternal optimist who is learning to heal. She is a sister, scholar, aspiring poet and writer, dog-lover, people-lover, and lover of people who are dog-lovers. She is passionate about justice issues, and is learning the art of radical self-love. Her writing is a reflection of the most broken and beautiful parts of her life. Through her writing, she is learning to heal and walk paths of healing with others.


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