Goo Goo Pavement (Part 1)
What is Goo Goo Pavement anyway? A classic Japanese anime? A rock band that covers Sonic Youth in the style of Pavement or the just as pointless reverse? The ghost of a road-killed deer? A high-end glamour-punk hair styling product? A food truck in Portland specializing in baby food? A bad acid flashback? A skateboard company or a tragically ill designed remote control airplane? A new age philosophy or a cult based on a late 80’s indie-film?
I originally conceived of Goo Goo Pavement as “a novel for the crippled attention span”. I was in my early 20s, living in Atlanta, and playing keyboards in a band. I wanted to write, but was convinced that people’s attention spans were shrinking. I certainly didn’t have the attention span to write a novel, so I rationalized a work-around. I would write in short, seemingly random chunks. Each piece could be a sentence or a paragraph or several pages. Story lines would stop and start randomly with some eventually continuing and others vanishing completely. I imagined it as the literary equivalent to channel surfing. In the mid 1990’s that seemed like such a good idea, but now the internet has the market covered.
“Who are you talking too?” Deb whispered. It was dark. I was lying on my side, in bed, sweating. It wasn’t hot, but I was drenched. “What was a good idea?” I had been dreaming. It took me a few seconds to gather my senses. “I was dreaming about Goo Goo Pavement,” I said. “About what?” she asked, perplexed. “I was being interviewed about a book I never wrote.” I tried to clarify. “About Pavement?” she laughed. “Goo Goo Pavement,” I clarified. “I’ll explain tomorrow. I’m tired.” I felt her stroke my sweat covered head as I drifted back to sleep.
It’s an idea that kept coming back to me. Every couple years I would randomly think about it. I’d be on a road trip and I’d think, I should keep a journal of this, it’d be good for Goo Goo Pavement. But I never did. I never wrote anything, but I’d be taking a shower and the phrase Goo Goo Pavement would pop into my head and I’d laugh. It was the funniest thing I had never done.
“When did you finally decide it was time to write the novel? How old were you?” asked the reported from the New York Times. “I didn’t. I mean I’m 45 now and I haven’t written a single word of it,” I answered. “But, then…” he stammered. “Why am I interviewing you?” “I haven’t a clue.” I answered. I woke up and realized I had just said those words allowed, “I haven’t a clue.” George was driving the van. He glanced over at me, “Vivid dream?”