there is a chinese proverb that says your teeth will fall out if you tell lies.
i used to always dream my teeth would crumble from my mouth and lay glittering on the street like coins. i used to dream that the slightest touch jarred them loose, knocked them from my jaw leaving only swells of broken tissue behind. i used to dream of rivulets of blood streaming from the corners of my mouth, of thirty two pieces of myself lying naked on the ground, thirty two tooth fairies that would never come. i used to dream of screaming.
"you know," said my psychology TA, "to dream of losing one's teeth is very common. it typically means that you're concerned about your physical appearance. it's a dream that is prevalent among many young women."
i used to dream my mom would try to kill me. i used to dream she'd push me down flights of stairs or hold a gun to my temple or run a razor lovingly along my throat. i used to dream she'd watch me drown and smile, that she would set my room on fire, would lock me up and leave me to die. i used to tell her this and she would cry.
"you know," she said to me recently, "i found out that dreaming of your mother trying to kill you just means that you're stressed about your own ability to nurture and take care of people."
i dreamt about cars more often than anything. i dreamt of being in the driver's seat and not being able to steer, of crashing into other cars and buildings and guardrails. i dreamt of vehicles without brakes, of careening off bridges, of windshield exploding inwards. i dreamt of a rain of glass and the wail of an ambulance.
"you know," my friend told me, "dreaming about not having control of a car means that you don't think you have control of your life. you don't like how things are turning out, and you don't know how to handle the traumas that life is throwing at you."
these days i mostly lie awake in bed and stare at the ceiling.
these days i can't fall asleep.