Kevin thought it would be funny to go to the Halloween dance. I’ll admit that I sort of did too. I mean, everyone was going to look ridiculous in their stupid costumes and don’t even get me started on the way they all dance — that side-to-side thing, in lines, boys facing girls. My god, have none of these people ever been to a nightclub?

It would have been okay, I guess, if Mark hadn’t crashed it with Troy, Craig and some girl dressed as a panda. Plus, the loser DJ played Michael Jackson’s Thriller no less than three times and now I can’t get it out of my head. To make it worse, every time I hear it in my head, I also see the video which is overplayed at the best of times, but all the channels have to play it around Halloween. I even saw a clip of it on the local news the other day and the hosts were trying to imitate the zombie dance, but behind the desk in their suits so it was extra-embarrassing. I think I turned red just watching it.

It’s over now — all of it. The dance, the incessant playing of Thriller, Mark and his panda girlfriend or whatever she is, Halloween. I’m back in the little room now, eating mini chocolate bars left over from my parents’ trick-or-treating stash, and trying not to think about anything, but thoughts of everything keep flooding my head. I hate school dances. I hate Halloween.


Image: Michael Jackson, MTV: Who’s Who in Rock Video, Zomba Books, 1983.

Welcome to the Little Room is a series of 250-word re-imagined vignettes from my ’80s youth with a focus on music and style. It appears weekly on

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