Laurie was like, “I told you so, I told you so,” all the way home from the Christmas dance. She’s asleep now, on the floor in the little room. She passed out almost as soon as we got back. She was sneaking Peach Schnapps with Shane all night. I can still smell it from here and I’m sitting across the room, listening to the university radio station on low.

Okay, so maybe she was right. I’ve always known that Kevin liked me. I mean, we’ve been friends forever and alight, I sort of know that he’s had a crush on me since second grade, but I never expected something like tonight to happen.

We were at the dance, which was mostly lame, but the DJ played a couple of good songs. We were all dancing in a group, not that across-from-each-other-in-a-line, girls-on-one-side-boys-on-the-other like everyone else, but more like it is at a real club.

So, they’re playing New Order, and it’s fun, but then the loser DJ mixes it into a slow song, and not only a slow song, but the worst slow song ever: Lady in Red by Chris De Burgh. It is the worst. But Kevin thinks it would be funny if we dance because I’m wearing a red-and-black sweater, so we do, but then he gets a boner and I just about die, and now all I do is think about it with Laurie’s voice in my head going, “I told you so, I told you so.”


Image: Chris De Burgh, 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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