| In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).” |

I haven’t done acid, nor have I tripped before, so I’m just going to automatically assume my brain took a heavy dose of some form of LSD somewhere between the time I fell asleep and my dream began. Much like any other dream – silly ones, nonsensical ones, third-party ones – this one began like the rest: blankness. Nothingness.

It’s been close to a year and everything about this dream outright freaks me out. Whenever you read stories of people becoming so involved in their dreams that they wake up sweating, or find themselves without clothes on for some unsolved reason, the first thought is mostly, “Okay, buddy. Nice exaggeration, but good try!” You don’t take it seriously. I know I didn’t. (Most the time I still don’t.)

First there was a circle. It was white as white could be. There was nothing else except that white dot at center stage. Though, despite the fact there was nothing else, it was spinning. I don’t know how, but it was spinning just slightly enough to make a focus. This white, flat circle kept spinning, in what was the exact center of this offensive blob, for seconds on end. Maybe minutes, maybe an hour. Dreamtime is spectacular. Anyways, it was spinning in a perfect circle, time out of mind, until a large explosion, a colorful explosion, just outright bursts into frame like America completely and totally annihilated some poor third-world country. I honestly don’t even know how to describe it. Just a damn in-your-face burst of every color imaginable. If it’s possible to create colors with your imagination, my mind did that — and did some.

Much like the original burst, its aftershock echoed in the form of shapes that have a better chance of existing than any truth to a single conspiracy theory. Squares, circles, nonagons, realeaux triangles; you name it. Each of these God forbidden splashes of shapes grew in and out like puzzle pieces. And when I say ‘grew in’, I mean right in my face, or whatever it is watching this. Not only was it in my face too close to comfort, it was changing colors at a rate so abnormal and so fast, it was near impossible to begin to comprehend just passed me and what color may lie ahead next.

Now, keep in mind, that white, flat circle is still in its same position, doing the same spin. Nothing changed there. The blast of color is orbiting around it like some sort of sun, violently spewing out these hazardous shapes. For two seconds, there may have been three or four various shapes of color zooming in and zooming out, but the next two seconds following that might have produced ten shapes, maybe fifteen. There was no consistency, not even a slight hint of it, except for that damn white, flat circle.

Ill-prepared and at a grasp of words, in any language real or fake, suddenly this gargantuan of animation hell pops right out – literally, pops out exactly in the form of chick out of a hatched egg – and devotes its entire soul and entity to shaking every bone in my body.

Homer Simpson.

Yes, that Homer. Nothing wrong about that, right? Joel, you might say, stop being such a pansy! It’s just good ol’ Homer! Wouldn’t you drink a beer with him?

And I might say, “Yes, I’d drink a beer with this Homer. (And eat his half-donut, too!)

But, no, it wouldn’t be that easy. What was it instead? It was not some early season version of Homer, nor was it a smiling Homer, a laughing Homer, or even a sad Homer.

It was this Homer Simpson. Except with a bit more skin, pupils, and his shirt in perfect condition. This is what I just do not understand over everything else in the dream. I don’t watch The Simpsons. I don’t even watch clips except once in a blue moon. And believe me, I hadn’t passed that moon in quite some time before falling asleep that night. I understand probably seeing a picture of him somewhere the days, or maybe the day of, creating this nightmare, but there’s never been a part of me remotely scared of Homer Simpson or anyone on that show.

I really did not wish to see anymore of these Homer’s, but sometimes what you ask for will only give you the opposite result. Suddenly there were three of these, six of these, eleven of these and twenty of these! All these Homer’s were spinning in what appeared to be a violent chaos; some clashed into each other while others grew larger and grew smaller. All these Homer’s, since its original spawn, were head shots and nothing more. Matt Groening might have hand drawn these horrid uglies and hand delivered them to my brain in mass quantity. It was filthy how many of these were just going array. To them, I was their victim to their gang.

Oh, and their mouths were moving to. Nothing audible enough to make a certain word or phrase out because they were all on mute. Can you imagine seeing dozens and dozens of talking heads with no sound coming out? How would that make you feel?

All while this was happening, all the colors continued to spin around. It was now to the point of outright hypnotism. While the rest of the dream felt like I was watching an alternative artist create what he thinks is a masterpiece, I now felt like I was physically unable to move out of this surreal exhibit. My arms were strapped to bands nonexistent, and my eyes were peeled wide open with eyelids I didn’t have.

But, in only a matter of mere seconds, my bondage was released, the Homer’s were faded away and the colors orbiting the flat, white circle were, once more, blankness. Emptiness. I immediately bolted out of my sleeping position and found myself without a shirt on, completely drenched with sweat. So much so that moving felt like a gross thing to do. I never checked to see if I left a physical imprint onto the bedspread, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest.

To this day, I still haven’t the slightest clue as to what caused that dream. I wasn’t drinking the night before, I took no sleeping pills or medication of any kind, and I wasn’t doing anything right before bed, or even the day leading up to it, except browsing the internet and watching the news. That night’s dream made such a mark on me, I felt compelled to write it down just so I wouldn’t forget about the experience, as eerie, surreal and unearthly as it was.

Homer, let’s not ever, ever meet again, under any circumstance. Go spin around in someone else’s dream.


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