I can feel the dream now, if I try to imagine it. The feeling that some bone in my mouth has cracked. I slide my tongue along my teeth until it finds one with jagged edges. The slight pressure of my tongue running against it knocks it loose, but not out. I close my mouth protectively, hoping fiercely, desperately that I can keep it in.
How did this happen? What will my mouth look like? Does anyone notice, can I just keep my mouth closed, full of broken-off teeth?
These dreams are intense, to me. My panic is primal and immature. I never rationalize that I can get dentures or that a trip to the dentist can end my suffering. All my sensations are stuck in the present, frightening moment and I feel wildly out of control.
A big change, I suppose, can make me feel the same way. When a big decision looms, it weighs heavy, doesn't it? It becomes easy to obsess, fixate, play out different variations of the same scenario in my head. One story with a number of alternate endings takes me away and, before I stop myself, I have become carried away with worry, panic, wondering what everyone will think.
These are just thoughts, I'm learning. Not natural responses, but conditioned streams of thoughts formed by years of second-guessing and pop culture self-diagnoses. Habits. In my awake mind, far from the kidnapping sense of dreamworld, I can rationalize, if I try. I can steer clear of ego-driven 'what-if?" scenarios and keep my inner monologue basic. Should I try? Will it hurt anyone? What if I fail? (Ah, but what if I don't?)
Or maybe I've just been looking at Summer's toothless grin too intently this week.