“…TOTAL CONTROL NOW…”

Itamar, my brother, walked into my room and asked me to help with a problem he was having. His eyes were red and watery, which went perfect with his worried expression. It was night, probably past 10 PM., and he had just arrived home from school. My parents were watching television in their room just down the hall from mine, with their door open, so we could hear them talking. I think I even heard my brother saying ‘hi’ to them before coming to see me.

“Hey man,” he started. “I need some help.” Normally, it wouldn’t have worried me so much to hear him say this, but his expression, as I’ve already noted, was one of turgid worry. “Sure, man. What’s up?” I asked.

He began telling me his problem, which had to do with his girlfriend. It was a typical problem between young lovers, so it was only my advice that he was after. While I listened, and in between snippets of suggestions, I kept looking for my pipe, which I distinctly remembered putting down a few minutes before, as I watched television. But now it was impossible to find, which I found weird, but didn’t give it a second thought. I gave up on that task and just sat by my window as I took in the rest of his story, looking out into the dark from time to time, so as to ponder what he was saying as I admired the curious way the Moon seemed to be shimmering that night.  

Suddenly, as he spoke, I began feeling my mouth get filled with something. My cheeks swelled up and I immediately began spitting, not able to contain it any longer. It was then that I realized, to my great and horrifying surprise, that it was in fact my teeth that were falling off the gums like ripe oranges being plucked invisible hands. Completely befuddled and terrified, I spat them all on my hand, leaving a trail of blood and saliva dangling from my lips and finger-tips.

“Ahhh!!! What the fuck is going on!!??” I began screaming, shoving my hands full of teeth in front of his face. “My fuckin’ teeth are falling off, man!” Itamar, apparently entirely unperturbed, dismissed what I was saying as not important in comparison to his own troubles, and demanded that I shut up and hear him. “It’s nothing, man,” he was saying  as he waved my histrionics away. “You’ll be fine…just listen!”

Of course I couldn’t pay attention to what he was saying anymore, and I wasn’t sure if to be more shocked at the terrifying events unfolding or at the fact that he didn’t seem to care. I looked desperately for a mirror and, upon finding one on the back-stance of my bed, I looked at my disfigured countenance in horror. My mouth had not a single tooth in it, but only fleshy and bloody gums with holes where the teeth should have been. I examined every orifice carefully, pricking the empty gum-sockets with my fingers and agonizing in pain. I yelled in horror again, but that feeling quickly subsided…

The following realization happened in fractions of a second, as my brother’s voice continued piercing my ears in the background. Despite my terror, I was nevertheless able to realize that what was happening simply didn’t make sense. “This can’t be,” I thought to myself. “I’ve seen this happen to me…many times before….” I tried getting a hold of myself before I finished that thought by taking a deep breath. Then I looked into the mirror again, this time more calmly, as I knew what to expect. When I saw that same disfigured face, I studied it carefully, blocking out Itamar’s words and just trying to really focus on the gruesome image in front of me. “The teeth of a 24 year old don’t just fall off in real life,” I thought to myself again…”And I’ve seen this happen to me before…over and over again…in…” And again I trailed off.

But as I continued to make these connections, the sound of my brother’s voice came rushing back with a booming, resonant echo, like hearing waves crashing against rocks from inside a tunnel. He was still completely uninterested in what I was doing – unaware even! I then looked squarely at him and, with a soft and resolute tone in my voice said, “Holy shit, Itamar….I think I’m dreaming.”

Now, usually around this part, I would wake up abruptly in my bed, perhaps spitting, thinking I really had loose teeth trying to fall off, or perhaps with a violent jolt, caused by that feeling of falling, and then ponder in the dark about what I had just seen, typically disappointed that I’d woken up at that crucial moment.  But this time, I remained in the dream.

Itamar kept talking, starring straight at me as if convinced that I was listening to his every word. It was almost as if he had not even noticed that I was not paying attention to him anymore  as I fumbled with my bloody gums. In fact, it was as if I was watching the entire thing from above, or literally like a fly on the wall. I couldn’t see my body – I guess it was floating, attached to my eyes; but I could see everything else in the scene, including Itamar, positioned as if I was in fact still sitting there, in front of him, listening. Itamar spoke looking in the direction I had been sitting, completely uninterrupted in his tale of woe, and his face, mannerisms and everything he uttered said that to him, I was still sitting in front of him, listening attentively.

I then heard a voice interrupting him again, trying to convince him I was dreaming….At first I couldn’t see anybody, but then I realized the voice was my own.

“It’s just a dream, man! None of those problems are real!” I looked all around the room, taking advantage of the bird’s eye view I had, but I couldn’t see myself. Yet, Itamar answered back, still starring in front of him, as if talking directly to me. “I told you already: shut up with that! I have a real problem! Are you fuckin’ high right now!!?!?”

“Why else would my teeth be falling off, man?!?!” I asked him with a desperate lilt in my voice, though I suspect I was trying to convince myself more than him. As soon as I said this, he turned quiet and just sat back. It looked at first as if he was getting ready to continue his tirade, but something was happening, which seemed to put me in control of the entire scene.

I said to him, this time calmly and resolutely, as I began examining my entire body and the walls and the floors and even himself: “No…this isn’t real.” As I was saying this, the entire scene seemed to stall for a second – to lag for just a fraction of a second, but long enough for me to notice that something had changed; it was like a small glitch in a video game that makes the screen freeze for such a tiny second that if you blink, you don’t even notice it, except that I did notice it. Itamar was in fact getting ready to continue his diatribe, but he was moving with such an exaggerated slowness, like a movie in ultra-slow motion, that I would’ve been able to run around him a thousand times before he got his first word out, because I myself could hear, think, talk and even move at normal speed. And again, he seemed unaware of my apparent out-of-body experience.

Realizing I was now in control, I shut my eyes tightly and braced myself, as if I was getting ready to jump into an abyss, but sure I’d make it. When I opened them, the scene’s speed had returned to normal, and Itamar kept talking as if I was still in front of him listening. Apparently nothing had changed…though I felt different…renewed.

I approached the mirror slowly with my eyes shut as Itamar continued talking; I wasn’t sure of what I was going to see, but I felt as if, for some reason, I knew…I opened them slowly…

In the mirror, there was a face full of teeth starring back at me, and I realized it was my own.

I had made my teeth reappear….

A VERY STRANGE DREAM…

I started walking into some sort of bank (I know it was a building of some kind), and when I got inside I realized that it was being held up by robbers. There were these stairs winding upwards, and it was up there that I could hear people screaming and the robbers yelling at them. I think at that moment my mom was with me, or my dad, I’m not sure; but we went up the stairs quietly to see what was happening, and as we poked our heads through, the thieves saw us and immediately grabbed us by the hair and dragged us to the floor. There, face down and with a gun pointed at the back of our heads, I felt an immense guilt for having gotten that person (mom or dad) into the situation. I was planning on how to break free when all of a sudden the guy who was holding the gun to the back of my head fell beside me after a deafening shot rang through the room. At first I thought I had been hit and was dying, but realized it was not so when he fell beside me. I looked up and saw some kind of Native, big and dark skinned with native paintings and tattoos all over his body and face, holding a machine gun he had taken from one of the thieves. He handed me a machine gun, too, and we shot two more thieves; then we ran out. I thanked him but he said nothing, and we both ran to supposedly get more weapons and bombs. But for some reason we ran to a supermarket, where we were sure we’d find the stuff.

But we didn’t, and instead we found ourselves asking the tellers if they had guns or if they knew what ingredients we needed to make home-made bombs. They said they didn’t so we grabbed some stuff like bug repellents and other types of sprays we thought made sense and headed outside (by this time, I think the native turned to my friend/dealer, Luxan). Anyways, we ran outside and were running through the streets, towards the bank or whatever it was. But as we passed a gated door, I stopped and demanded that he wait for me. He didnt. But I stopped at the door and knocked, and after a few seconds my cousin Adrian came out. And as soon as I saw him I felt despair. I knew what I was going to find inside, and I didnt want to see it; but I went in anyways.

(This part is crude. It was my dream, and don’t know where it came from).

He had been fucking my ex-girlfriend – we’ll call her V – and she was spread out on the bed, demanding that he get back to her. I was crying my eyes out and yelling and I was asking him why he would do such a thing to me because he knew how much I loved her. I remember that moments before that – in fact, before the bank robbery – I had been with her; I had been talking to her, trying to get her attention, as she mingled with other people in some building. She was wearing a long red dress, and for some reason at one point I pulled her close to me, hugged her and started kissing her lips. She kissed me back, and we fooled around for a little while…but all that was ephemeral…it disappeared just as soon as it had started, and from there I decided to walk in the building that was being robbed. So by this time, in his apartment, with V on the bed demanding him to get back, I was in complete shock and horror. I remember him trying to comfort me, reminding me that it was over between me and her; that there was nothing left there, anyways; and I said, looking at both V and him, “how could you guys do this to me??…I was just with you V! did that not mean anything?!?”…I looked at him and said with tears in my eyes, “well, you might as well let me finish her off,” to which he replied, “hmmm…alright…it only seems fair…V, let him finish you off”…At first she hesistated and said no, but after his insisting she said “fine” in a frigid voice. She had an expression on her face of utter disinterest, as if she didn’t care either way, and just simply laid there, waiting for the act to be over. She was still wearing the red dress, but it was pulled up from her waist so that only the glory between her legs was visible. I laid on top of her, not touching her, with my arms stretched by her sides. As I slowly pushed my head down to kiss her I could feel a million memories flooding my brain. But she turned her head away and said not to kiss her; “just fuck me and get it over with.” I looked downwards to penetrate her cave with my erect sword, but realized her vagina was like some kind of creature becoming alive. It was moving and inviting me in, but to kill me!…It was as if it had revolving teeth. So I pulled myself up hastily and just sat there on the bed, crying. I then went to my cousin, who was just watching, and said something I can’t remember now….

After all that that I left and went back to the place that was being robbed, only now it was some kind of school. I walked aimlessly through halls, utterly lost but somehow knowing exactly where I had to go. It was some sort of history class that was about to begin, and I knew I had to be there. So I went in and took a seat while some people in the front of the class were preparing to do some kind of presentation. I sat beside Adrian, and beside him was V. I remember feeling a lot of resentment, anxiety and anger, but I said nothing. They both talked to me normally, trying to consol me, but I would just ignore them, with tears building around my eyes and fire inside my stomach. Eventually I could take it no more and I got up and walked outside, where I found a cart with all kinds of sweets, breads, foods, etc. So I grabbed a plate and filled it with as many things as I could get my hands on. I then went back inside and sat beside them after walking in circles around the room for a while. When I sat down I suddenly couldn’t find all that food that I had collected, and became insane with ire looking for it. I don’t remember whether they were laughing at me or helping me look for it; but I remember feeling extremely awkward, angry, sad, and all types of feelings….except any positive ones!

I then found three plates of food on top of my desk, which for some reason I had failed to search, and began eating. The food, which looked like hamburgers but was stuffed with all kinds of shit, sweets, meats and bugs, and therefore was extremely difficult to swallow. But I kept eating it anyways. At that moment one of the presentations that the people at the front were getting ready for began. The teacher asked me to move a cable that was on the way or turn off the lights or something like that. I went do so, and as I did it I starred intensely at them: sitting, chatting and laughing. I do not remember the rest, but I think it ended with me looking at them or only V, and crying desperately, with an incapacitating heaviness in my chest. I don’t really remember the exact ending, however.