Teeth

My recurring nightmare.

She looks down into her hands, and sees her bottom jaw. Her entire jaw has fallen off, and rests quietly in the palms of her shaking hands. Teeth form a sparkling row, laced with blood and saliva, menstruating pearls. She runs, and so does the blood: down her fingers, along her scars, collecting in the crease of her elbow. The bloody mess pours from her mouth, dribbling down her neck, agglomerating on her chest. Sometimes only one tooth is missing. She holds it in her hand, grabbing at it like a precious stone, running around manically, asking everyone she sees to help her put it back in place. But noone ever does. Nobody ever helps, not even the dentist which magically appears at the height of every terror. She remains toothless and ugly and cries and cries and cries.

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4 thoughts on “Teeth

  1. This is a masterful rendition of this excruciating nightmare of loss.

    I used to have appallingly similar recurrent devastating nightmares of my precious teeth falling out, (night after terrible night), crumbling, the great rock-hard pieces jumbling against my tongue and inner cheek, knowing there was no remedy. I woke to the overwhelming pain of loss, and it stayed for hours and hours. The recall can engender some of the same fear and anguish. I have such tender sympathy for you, and can only say that these nightmares will one day no longer happen. It’s just a matter of surviving that long. And you will. (By the way, literal loss of a tooth proved to be not a hundreth of the pain and loss I feared and experienced in my nightmares!)

    I’ve also heard the opinion that fear of losing one’s teeth has something to do with fear of losing one’s ability to control, express, and deal effectively with one’s anger. Just a thought. But, as with all dreams, the dreamer creates them and only the dreamer can understand – or make meaningful – their symbolism.

    That you have put shape to this nightmare is a wondrous achievement. The use of the third person to lessen and make manageable the pain of one’s first person anguish is something I have only this year – my 69th! – learnt. How wonderful that you have this survival technique already at your disposal. I am so happy for you.

  2. I’ve had this nightmare :(

    Apparently, dreaming of your teeth falling out is quite common, though I’m not sure what it’s supposed to mean…

    Nicely written :)

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