Whenever I visit the dentist, rare as that may be, I am reminded of my various involuntary nighttime activities, like grinding my teeth or rubbing the tip of my tongue against my incisors. I tell myself that I do these things out of stress; that on a peaceful night, when mind and body are balanced, calm and at rest, I, naturally, would not subconsciously inflict harm on myself or decide to wear my enamel down. But I don’t know if that is necessarily accurate.
What I do know is that my mind and body are in a constant state of suspension, never fully grounded or at complete ease; mind, always on; body, always tense. I am typing these words, for instance, after a sleepless night, having pulled a muscle in my back. I can feel the inflammation, the throbbing pain, the tight, strained back that hinders any flow of movement.
And, if we are to continue on with this farce of a corporeal/mental dualism, there is the mind. Always on, always floating, and rarely settled.
I think about my dreams every morning when I wake up, in those fleeting moments of remembrance. People often remark that only people with nothing more interesting to say speak about their dreams, so I only discuss mine with myself, some family (it’s their obligation), and those kind enough to pretend to listen or care. I wonder what dreams correspond with the grinding of teeth?
I find dreams to be potentially revelatory. The proliferation of books and theories on the meanings of dreams would suggest I’m not alone in this thought. Personally, the connection between what I feel and what I dream is rather clear. Anxious? I’m late for an exam for a class I hardly attended, and I can’t find the room. Afraid of failure? I’m driving a car but the brake isn’t working and I drive off a cliff.
The other night I was in a Tokyo subway station paying for my ticket. After inserting cash into the machine, I opened the slot at the bottom to collect my change to find huge wads of bills in Japanese and American currency.I grabbed one of the bundles and flipped through it, slightly nervous. Turning to my friend on my left, I show him one of the notes. It says “1hamburger.” “How much is this worth?” I ask him. “That’s six zeros!” So there I was, thick bundles of cash in my hand, including my $12,500+ 1hamburger note. The station guard approaches us, suspicious to as why we’re taking so long. I get nervous, try to stash the money away, and wake up.
Needless to say, this dream meant that I want to go to Mos Burger in Japan. And be rich. Let’s hope it’s prophetic.