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The Pasta

I'm not sure how I turned out this way, but I know I've been mentally disturbed for a while.

I remember it was a bright, winter afternoon on January 1, 1980. The last of the '70s passed us by as my college friends and I partied the night away in my large dorm room. At the time, I was twenty-one, though I turned twenty-two that July.

Anyway, it was a dorm room with just me, my roommates Joseph and Alex, and their few friends (they never really were social) just dancing and drinking the night away. We were of age, so it was alright if we got a little buzzed. By the time 1979 was gone, no one really liked disco or progressive rock that much anymore (although we did listen to a few Supertramp songs while we partied), so we were just listening to rap, rock n' roll, and New Wave. Those were very popular at the time, so we figured we'd get in on some of those tunes.

I started the new decade off with a massive hangover. The dorm room was spinning, my roommates and their friends were doubles, and my head hurt the way a migraine does. I suddenly felt sick to my stomach and ended up throwing up in the bathroom. When I was washing out my mouth, though, I suddenly heard a familiar tune. It was clear as day.

Goodbye, stranger. It's been nice.
Hope you find your paradise.
Tried to see your point of view.
Hope your dreams will all come true.

I even heard the others in the room dancing and laughing, just having a good time. It was as though they'd waited 'til I'd puked my guts out to start partying. Not wasting another moment, I opened the bathroom door.

The only people that were awake were Alex and Joseph, and "Goodbye Stranger" wasn't playing at full volume. In fact, it wasn't even playing at all.

"Hey, Jake," Alex said to me. "We woke up from you barfing in the bathroom."

"Sorry, guys," I said. "I didn't mean to wake you."

Joseph said, "Ah, that's alright. No harm done." He looked over at his friends on the floor and said, almost disbelievingly, "Damn, Jessica and Tammy sure knocked out cold. They must have drunk two beer bottles each."

"No kidding," Alex chimed in, looking at his friends on the floor. "I never thought Mikey would party so hard. It just isn't like him."

Speaking of parties...

"Hey, by the way," I said. Alex and Joseph turned to me. "Was that you guys partying while I was in the bathroom?"

"What are you talking about?"

"While I was washing my mouth out, I swear to God I'd heard you and your friends dancing and blasting 'Goodbye Stranger.'"

"Those Heinekens really must have gone to your head," said Joseph, "'cause we were just barely waking up when you were breathing that technicolor."

"But I heard-"

Alex interrupted, "Listen, Jake, no one was partying after 3:30 struck, and we definitely wouldn't party with the huge-ass hangovers we've got right now."

"You sure?"

"Trust me, dude. It was all in your head."

Then Tammy woke up. She looked and must have felt no better than how I did.

"I feel like I've been hit by a truck," she groaned. "I don't really feel too good."

That was all she said before she disappeared into the bathroom and began retching.

"That's a good way to end the Seventies, Tam," Joseph joked. "Just puke the rest of it out in there. It'll all be good."

Goodbye, Mary. Goodbye, Jane.
Will we ever meet again?

"There it is again," I said, shocked. "There's that song."

"What song?" Alex asked. "I don't hear any song."

It was playing louder than an a bullhorn can shriek, and it was still playing.

Feel no sorrow. Feel no shame.

"Listen, Alex! Can't you hear it?"

That woke up the rest of them.

"Hear what?" Jessica moaned. "I don't hear anything except for my headache."

Come tomorrow, feel no pain.

The song just played loud enough to overpass the sound of their talking. I couldn't even hear myself yelling. All I heard was "Goodbye Stranger" getting louder and louder as Alex escorted me into the hallway of dorm rooms and then went back inside. I swear my eardrums were about to explode due to how loudly that song was playing. It just wouldn't let up.

Goodbye, stranger. It's been nice.
Hope you find your paradise.
Tried to see your point of view.
Hope your dreams will all come true.
Goodbye, Mary. Goodbye, Jane.
Will we ever meet again?
Feel no sorrow. Feel no shame.
Come tomorrow, feel no pain.

And then, it just stopped. All sounds, all reality, all all stopped. My ears weren't ringing, and I was sure I'd suddenly gone deaf. However, I could still hear the frantic sounds of my breathing loud and clear.

Trembling, I entered my dorm room. All the noise that went on in there had stopped at the same moment the song stopped blaring through my ears.

I looked inside and found only Alex and Joseph setting out a bucket of ice cold Heineken beer and a set of speakers.

No sign of their friends anywhere.

"You okay, Jake?" Alex said, concerned. "You look like you've just seen a ghost."

"I...I'm not sure," I replied, my voice nearly silent as death. "I thought I heard something."

Joseph said, "Well, maybe the party we're having tonight will take your mind off of it."

I looked at him, surprised. I exclaimed, "What did you say?!"

"The party, Jake. The party we've been planning since November. Tomorrow's January 1, 1980. We're partying to celebrate the coming of the new decade."

Everything just slowed down. Had I just traveled back in time to December 31, 1979?

"I really need to wash my face," I said.

Alex said, "Go right ahead."

I went into the bathroom, my fingers shaking more than the San Andreas Fault. I turned on the cold water and splashed it on my face.

"You're okay, Jake," I told myself. "Your head's just all wonky. You're gonna be just fine."

I looked up at the mirror and found this smear of blood smudged straight across it. I jumped back hard enough to knock the bathroom door off its hinges and collapse onto the dorm room floor. I stood again and got the shock of my life.

Alex, Joseph, and all their friends, just laying on the floor.


I looked down and saw that blood covered my fingers.

Good God, I thought, winded, I killed them.

That's my story for you.

If anyone asks you about a man who'd killed his roommates and their friends, just pretend you never heard it and keep walking along your merry way.

Don't even try to comprehend what I've told you. Just take my tale as a warning that you must absolutely heed.

Otherwise, you might end up like me.

Come tomorrow, feel no pain.

Written by GMart5