Lucas has his second wiggler. He keeps grabbing it, testing its solvency, moving it back and forth in the socket with his finger. It’s bothering the shit out of him. Thus it’s bothering the shit out of me. I tell him he should eat an apple.
Every so often I dream about teeth. It’s the same dream. Lucas’ latest wiggler caused this particular dream to move to the top of the Playlist. Nothing much happens. It’s me watching myself. I’m looking at myself in a mirror. Staring. Through myself, really, past my own reflection. My expression is blank. Waxen.
So he walks over to the fridge and grabs an apple. “Granny Smith?”, he asks. “The only kind that matters”, I reply. He picks out a good one and rubs it on his shirt, like he’s seen me do. He walks over to me. “Is my tooth still there?”, he asks. “Yep”, I reply. “Still there.” He opens his mouth. “Ih eh eady ‘oo all ow?”, he asks. I see the tooth. Another tooth has pushed its way up through his gums and sits behind it, stacked like a shark’s. The offending tooth dangles there. I think I catch a glimpse of root.
My tooth dream – because of course it’s a tooth dream, and I’ll get to the ending in a bit – reminds me of another fucked up dream: the one where I’m sitting in a chair in a empty room. A light bulb dangles from the ceiling, attached to a frayed cord, swinging back and forth, drooling sickly amber light. There is a window. And a tapping sound. I turn my head towards the window and I see a figure there. It’s a person. The person has no face. He – it – taps on the window with fingerless stumps.
Lucas sits down to do his homework. “Can you just reach in and pull out my tooth?”, he asks. I shudder. “Er, no. It’ll fall out when it’s ready.” “Maybe I’ll tie a string around it and you can YANK!!!!! on the string”, he offers. My jaw clenches. “Uh, no”, I reply. “Maybe I’ll just punch myself in the mouth”, he says, then balls up a fist. “Hey!”, I say. “Really? You want to punch yourself?” He considers this. “I guess not. But it’s so annoying! It’s so loose I can even get my tongue underneath it. Wanna see?”
But luckily, or maybe not, I’m not having the Stump Guy dream. Informed by real-life events, my subconscious is treating me to my tooth dream. It’s slow and for the most part, uneventful. Time is distorted in dream-space. It feels like hours. It’s probably just minutes. An eternity of Just Me, looking at myself in the mirror.
Then I open my mouth. And all of my teeth fall out in a bloody cascade.
Lucas considers the apple. Looks at it. “What if my tooth just gets stuck in it and won’t fall out and you have to pull on the apple and tug out my tooth?” This could actually happen. I’m vaguely horrified. No, not vaguely: Lucas reads my face. “Ha! Just kidding!”
Then he bites down on the apple.