The tooth dream-within-a-dream dream (and why I still don’t buy silly interpretations)

Last night I had a dream that my front left incisor came out. I understand that dreams about losing teeth are among the most common–more on that later. What was most interesting about the dream is that I was with some people–one of them may very well have been strausmouse. Holding my tooth, I remember being incredibly annoyed by the whole thing. I turned to strausmouse and said, “I’m incredibly annoyed by this whole thing. It would be convenient if this were a dream.”

“Dreams about losing teeth are among the most common,” strausmouse said.

I woke up from the dream, and in fact, I hadn’t lost my tooth. It was still there, but it was loose. I imagined I must have dreamed the dream-within-a-dream because of my loose tooth. Eventually, I woke up from the top-level dream and my front left incisor (and all my other teeth) were perfectly intact.

Knowing how herr doktor strausmouse is unable to resist any opportunity to flex his dream interpretation muscle, I decided to beat him to the bunch. I would, I figured, write an interpretation of my own dream, based on what I could find on the Internet.

I didn’t get very far because I kept laughing at how ridiculous the interpretations really were. One site encourages that you ask how you feel about the dream. It says that typically, this kind of dream produces a helplessness or a level of anxiety. At losing a tooth? I was annoyed, that’s how I felt. I was annoyed at losing a tooth. It seemed like a ridiculous thing to have happen.

It is also suggested that the dream might symbolize fear of failure or embarrassment. I rejected this offhand. I have received over 100 rejection slips and often write about the fact that I receive them. Fear of failure would prevent me from sending out another story. Embarrassment would prevent me from writing about it.

It could symbolize financial concerns (I have none out of the ordinary) or abandonment issues (none that I am aware of). Neither of these make any sense to me.

In fact, there is one interpretation that I can think of that fits the bill, and it’s the same as always: my brain processing short-term memories. The other day, after watching The Martian Child, I was explaining to Kelly about recursive science fiction. In response to that memory, my brain produced a recursive dream and the best it could come up with, was that I knew full well that people often dream about losing their teeth. Thus my dream-within-a-dream.

That satisfies me a whole lot more than the alternatives.


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