Saturday, April 07, 2007
A Recurring Dream
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
for in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
--Hamlet, Act 1 Scene 3, line 72-77 (Shakespeare)
I have a few recurring dreams. In one of them, my teeth fall out. I'm told that this is not an uncommon recurring dream. Nonetheless, it always seems so real and icky!
It always starts the same way. I'm running my tongue along the inside of my row of bottom teeth, and I can feel that I have braces on them. I also notice that there is one little hook in the back that has come loose. As I wiggle it around with my tongue, I dislodge part of it. Now it's not only uncomfortable, but the wire is hanging there very conspicuously. So I reach in with my fingers and unhook it all. As I pull on the wire, slides off quite easily, sort of like pulling a thread out of a sweater. And, just like a thread from a sweater, the entire orthodontic appliance unravels in my mouth.
Without the braces on my teeth, my teeth feel wiggly and unsupported. They also feel fragile in my mouth, and even if I try to hold my jaw completely stationary, I damage them. One by one I feel them dislodge. I spit them into my hand--broken shards of teeth, tiny and dirty.
At first I want to keep quiet about it, and see if they don't firm up on their own, but it becomes immediately apparent that unless I act quickly, I'm going to lose all of my teeth. At this point in the dream, no matter where I was when I first noticed the loose teeth, I'm immediately transported to the bathroom at my parents' house. I open the door and call to my mom to help me with my broken teeth.
I spend the rest of the dream trying to track down my dentist and orthodontist. They're never available. I wake up, worried that the dream was real and that my teeth are gone.