13 August 2005

Absolutely mine

I had the house to myself for the night: the house I lived in from 4 to 13, my favorite of all I've ever lived in. Sometimes I return to it in my dreams; the house maintains more of its true character than most dream representations. In the dream as well as life, I hadn't been there in a long time. I bent some blinds open with my fingers and looked out into the dark.

The middle of the house was indented slightly, so I could see across to the moonlit end set forward. A large, though lanky, tiger walked through the intervening shadows. I felt no fear because I knew this tiger from before somehow.

The night drew late, but I couldn't sleep, so I kept wandering the dark house. From upstairs, I looked out the front windows. A three-story tall portico now ran the length of the building lined with massive columns. There was some scaffolding; work was being done on the house. Day was breaking.

I looked down and saw Jake, my high school crush though crush is the wrong word. He was the tall, dirty blonde, moody, year-ahead-of-me guy I fell for who was initially taken and later oblivious to my feelings for him. After he graduated, he didn't go to college, but remained in the area to help with his dad's business. He was here now to work with the construction crew, much like Dean (who reminds me of him) worked construction at the inn after high school in The Gilmore Girls.

It was still early, so the rest of the crew hadn't arrived; Jake was killing time. He threw a rubber ball at the ground so it would bounce off a column, hit the roof, another column, the ground, and then return to him, but it went astray. He looked up, saw me, asked if I was all right and apologized. I went downstairs and outside to see him. He'd removed his yellow hardhat and was looking at the ground. He asked if I'd lost a tooth. I felt around with my tongue and said no, but then saw what he was looking at. There was no blood on it or any fleshy matter, so I picked up the tooth. It was a molar. With tooth evidence in hand, I reconsidered and said, "Maybe."

I found a mirror and stretched back my lips to see. The gap of my previously long-absent tooth had been increased by this new loss, but that was not bad news. The gap was now large enough to accommodate two small fake teeth.

In life, I am missing a tooth (though from a different location in the dream). When I had braces, my orthodontist tried to preserve the gap, so I could get a bridge. When my braces were removed (and even before), any fool could see that the gap was too small, so after a few months' freedom, I got the braces back on to close the gap.

When I looked at my mouth again in the dream, the tooth was not entirely gone, but broken off horizontally. A wire hung out from the back of my mouth as though it had been attached to a brace on the broken tooth but had slipped loose of it. I went back inside to call my dentist, though I could not find the right number no matter where I looked. When I thought I had it, I kept misdialing and had to start over repeatedly. Even when I dialed it correctly, it turned out the number was for some other business that had never heard of my dentist.

Dad returned home without Mom, so with some difficulty, I asked where she was . For no reason, my jaw locked up, so I was speaking through clenched teeth. It was still early, so I had felt like I could call the dentist later, but the stakes were rising, and it was important I get in to see someone that day, so I resumed looking through my files and the yellow pages for the number without success.

Dad said that Mom was trying to convince the guy to land in the yard to drop her off.

A small two-seater plane landed in front of the house, spinning around 180 degrees with flourish. It had a beautiful paint job of stylized blue flames across its wings. The construction crew gathered around it as Mom stepped out with a smile.

Then, as though I realized there was no reason (which is precisely what happened), my jaw was free again and without pain.

As compared to my last dream, this one always felt entirely like mine even though its meanings felt more obscure. Maybe that was the point of having someone else as the protagonist in my previous dream: clarity is easier to realize externally.


  1. I believe dreams are rich with meanings.

    I have had my jaw clench in a dream, and definitely had the tooth/teeth falling out thing happen. I read once that the teeth falling out has to do with being unable to say something you want to. My jaw clenching always felt like it was because I was holding back words, or "biting my tongue."

    Maybe not the situation for you, but it tripped me out how accurate that observation was when I came upon it, for me. Thought-provoking entry!

  2. Thanks. I like trying to sort out my dreams.

    After mulling it over, the "holding back words" does make sense to me even with my in-dream assessment that it's ok to do so, because what's been on my mind lately are old events that feel too far removed to be worth mentioning and yet have started bothering me.