• Jamie Beardmore

LOSS: Short story by Jamie Beardmore

Photo by Jacob Walti, on Unsplash


“Yeah and but so this is exactly what I’m saying, is that what happens when the person you normally talk to about this thing is the very person to whom this thing has happened? Like how whereas normally you might talk to someone in particular about a problem any problem you might have it really doesn’t matter for this purpose but anyway but in this particular case or with regards to this particular problem now you can’t talk about the problem or whatever it is to the person you normally would do, tell the problem to, because the very thing you need to talk about is what has happened to them, And so your regular avenues for opening up about these things and really engaging tête-à-tête with someone whom you discuss on the regular these types of things with is cut off due to the fact that this person who you regularly open up with is the very person who is now the victim of the topic of your attempted…let’s say confiding.”

“Are you the one responsible for the problem?”

“No no that’s not what I’m saying, I mean you could be but this broader concept doesn’t require you to be responsible for the issue or problem or whatever since it’s imaginable that the cause of the problem you wish to talk to them about is no fault of your own, but nevertheless let’s say for whatever reason or cause the very problem that you wish to confide in them about is the very problem that causes a logical impossibility of confiding in them, and so now your ability to confide in them just totally wiped off the map. And yeah but so what happens then is there occurs some weird experience where your automatic reaction to this problem or issue or whatever is to go and confide in this specific person about this thing that’s got you all mixed up but you can’t anymore because the act of confiding in them has just been like I said wiped off the map and then what do you do? Like who is there left for confiding when you can’t confide in your confidant? But then the very fact that you can’t confide in them anymore creates a metaphysical shift in their status to you, like how their identity as a confidant is ripped out of them and they become anything but a confidant, like now your ascription of confidant is just obliterated and on top of whatever you’re dealing with already your situation just gets worse because now you have to deal with the fact that your regular avenues for confiding are closed right now for works indefinitely and coming to terms with that is hard enough like without having the original strain of the very issue or problem or whatever that you’re wishing to confide about.”

“So you mean that there’s no confidant anymore?”

“Yeah exactly but this is where it gets weird is that when the fact that there is no confidant, it erases the very act of confiding and the thing you want to confide with someone, not someone I mean but this one person who’s shut for business now for the foreseeable or unforeseeable future and then hah so but then what happens is that because you’ve lost your confidant that you would normally go to this problem with the issue or problem erases itself as an issue in your head because a major part of how we regard these things as problems is getting the real tête-à-tête feedback from your confidant and having them tell you that this is in fact a problem, and you’re not just going out of your fucking mind trying to parse the problem by yourself and it’s not just you overanalysing the situation that caused the issue but that there really is something external to you at work here and alleviates your feeling of blame, but when they the confidant disappear it’s almost like…like the problem obviously remains and doesn’t go away but it’s like you dissociate from it to some extent and disregard it as a problem, and then of course since the problem is in fact external to you and does exist outside of your anxiety-driven hyper-analysis your disregard of the problem only makes it manifest itself in totally horrific ways because you can’t like not confront this issue that is in fact real and does in fact really fucking hurt you right down to your very nerve-endings regardless of whether you think you can just ignore it, and so a simple wave-of-the-hand let me tell you doesn’t solve anything.

“Are you feeling okay?”

“Because this very act of dissociation is no fault of your own because of course it’s not your fault that your confidant has been ripped off the face of the earth and is now who knows where and you have to try and deal with this issue or problem or whatever on your own like of course your mind is going to try to protect itself by shielding you from the horror of…but then yeah hah and here’s the cherry on the cake but then somehow you end up feeling responsible for the fact that there’s now no one to confide in, but because the cause of the eradication of your confidant is the very problem like I was talking about earlier that stops them from being your confidant, and so because the confidant has been like I was saying obliterated now means that you feel responsible for the very problem that caused them to stop being your confidant because of course that’s just way too many personal pronouns not too associate blame with yourself and it just gets worse because then who are you going to confide in about that?

“Son, I think you should sit down.”

“And but so then a usual and totally textbook get-out-clause kind of way to go about this and try to artificially create the act of confiding is to recreate the discussion with your would-be-confidant in your head and just act like they’re still there and everything’s all dandy now because you can in fact do the confiding now without the issue or problem hey I’m just going to say event from now on but anyway because your confidant is now back again and you can in fact talk to them about this event and it doesn’t actually effect the imaginary confidant in your head now does it, but we all know hah we all really know that this isn’t really going to solve anything and it isn’t actually going to bring them back or solve any of your problems because you’re only now talking to yourself and it’s not like you can confide in yourself now is it especially when you’re already battling that super-anxious hyper-analytic engine in your brain that won’t stop fucking running.”

“It’s okay.”

“And but like I was saying before the fact that you can’t go to your usual confidant about this event creates a second-degree issue that of course you automatically go to talk to your confidant about, but hey knock knock looks like they’re still not home and then that I mean that distress becomes a third-degree issue that you automatically go to your Dad about and et cetera et cetera it just keeps going and going until the weight of the problems drags you to the fucking ground and you get caught in this multiplicity of problems that just creates more problems infinitely and now you can’t breathe anymore because you’re in a lake and the problems are bricks tied to your feet and every time you try to swim to the surface the bricks multiply indefinitely like ad infinitum and with every effort you make to get try and get back to the surface you only add more and more bricks to your load and by now oh the surface is getting pretty distant and the light is getting darker and the water colder and but for fuck’s sake all you want to do is breathe.”

“Son, it’s okay.”

“But then of course the only logical thing to do in this scenario is nothing at all because anything that you do do only adds more problems and ties more bricks to your feet and you know it’s not fair and that this isn’t right that this happened to you and why the fuck would I maybe even want to be in a place where these things happen but the worst thing is is that it’s your fault that these things are happening, not you Dad I don’t mean your fault, but it feels like my fault or anyone really who’s had a so-called event where you’re only tying more bricks to your feet and adding more problems by taking a stroke upwards towards the surface and by just trying to get just trying to get a fucking grip on them.”

“Everything is going to be okay.”

“But then like I was saying now you’re in this place where anything you try and do to get yourself out only gets you further in but and so now what do you do now? Because like nobody and I mean nobody who’s in that position wants to be there but you really have no choice because it’s not your fault that you’re there and this shit happened to you but then the only sensible thing like if you think about it the only logical thing to do now is just to give up and call it quits and say hey there’s nothing I can do now, but that’s not the clincher Dad no way the clincher is that it in fact really is or at least feels like your fault that you’re in this position because you’re the one and again I don’t mean you Dad specifically but you’re the one tying bricks to your feet by trying to swim up to the surface and so but don’t you see how there’s really nothing now that you can do…”

“I love you.”

“…because now your confidant is gone the whole idea of confiding in someone about something really fucking horrible that’s happened to you is wiped off the map and it really doesn’t matter what the event in question is like whether your confidant has been abused and you want to talk to them about how you’ve just been abused or how your Dad has just died of a stage four neuroblastoma that shouldn’t even fucking occur in adults like have you even seen the possibility of this thing occurring it’s like fucking negligible and but so how if the person you usually confide in these things about is your Dad and but your first reaction to the horror of his death is to talk to your Dad about it and tell him how you feel then like what the fuck do I do now like how am I even supposed to confront this issue by myself please just tell me…”




Jamie Beardmore is currently studying Philosophy at the University of Leeds. He spends his spare time playing jazz trumpet, moderating his nicotine intake and trying to figure out ways to make his short stories longer.

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