I seem to get writer’s block often – and always conveniently – when it comes to putting my thoughts into typed or written words. It always annoys me. Sometimes it passes quickly, other times not. But as I sat and sulked about my stupid block from the moment I posted on New Year’s Eve until, well, now – my mind kept going back to a dream I’d had a week ago. I was standing in my old classroom from Middle School, and I was talking to a teacher that, in my dream, seemed to be this combination of all my 8th grade teachers. When I looked at his face, it was blurred – you know, like the CLASSY drug lord girlfriends on Cops that are too good to show their faces. Regardless of not being able to entirely name the teacher, I was excited to see him. I told him of my family, how quickly they’d grown, and how even my little Charlie would soon be a one-year-old.
As I was talking I felt weird. My mouth seemed to move awkwardly, like I suddenly had braces or a retainer and I wanted to sound as if I didn’t. My teacher would reply and smile an awkward (pixelated?) smile which looked normal in my mind’s eye. I ran my tongue over my teeth and nodded in response to my old teacher’s news and stories. My tongue felt swollen, something was wrong with my mouth, I could feel it.
Then my teeth fell out.
I could hear the root release from my gum, and feel the rush of air filling its place. One by one they fell at my feet. I was horrified. I tried to explain, but what was there to say? Without teeth, I couldn’t form my words or speak clearly. My teacher passed this off as normal and handed me a green notepad with a pencil and asked for my address so he could attend something that was being held at my home.
I put the pencil’s point on the paper and started to write. I watched my letters and numbers. All correct – I found this a relief, as if I had some underlying worry that it wouldn’t be correct. I handed him the paper and he looked at me confused. My writing had changed! The numbers were different, the letters spelling different streets. When I tried again, I couldn’t write at all. My muscles ached and twisted in my hands and I pasted that too-familiar I’m okay smile on my face as I pushed through the pain and tried again. And again. But it always changed the second I lifted my pencil. No matter what I wrote, it never came out right.
Then I woke up.
I guess at least I have my teeth.