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Dead or Dreaming

A friend and I used to believe that sleep was as close as you could get to death without actually dying.

We tend to look at death as being this great unknown... something nobody has really seen and nobody can speak about with any authority. We marvel at this distant threshold and the wonder of what lies on the other side. It's impossible for us to imagine that it could be just nothingness, after all. How can one even conceive of it? An unreality. Something our consciousness cannot define, because our consciousness is not present to do so.

Well good news, my friend! You can play the home version of this game whenever you feel like it. What happens, after all, when we sleep? We cuddle up in our blankets, or sheets, or piles of damp sandpaper and close our eyes every night, only to seem to wake up a short time later. Where did those lost hours go? Why can't we remember the time spent in non-existence? We only recognize this phenomenon by coming-to on the other side, by waking up. But somewhere in those hours we were truly gone... a little preview of what's to come.

So what about dreams? Here we are, on the cusp of our evening demise, when images and sounds and feelings flood our brains. In all likelihood, it's just our minds trying to turn off and transition us out of this waking world into the quiet one. Neurons firing, synapses synapsing. But why then are there all these too-connected images? Those similarities that we, as different people, all seem to share from dream to dream? Suddenly having to give a book report at the front of class, even though you graduated years ago. Finding yourself naked in front of all of your coworkers. Trying to battle a seven headed dragon that has your face on all of it's heads except for one which has your junior high science teacher but in clown make up and one of your hands has lost all it's bones and the other has turned into a snake and your mom is angry at you for parallel parking inadequately. You know, those dreams we all have.

It's not hard to imagine something connecting us, somewhere in the depths of the aether. A wave, or a series of strings that science has not yet detected. Something removed from matter. Maybe when I feel, somehow you feel it, too. Maybe when I dream, there's some path I could take... some door that I could open that would lead out of my own subconscious and into yours. Maybe when we dream, when we all see the same images in our sleep, we are truly connected.

This comic is about one of those dreams we all have and none of us know why. I probably had it because I haven't gone to the dentist in a decade.

It's called Teeth.

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