Friday, Jan. 17, 2003, 12:57 AM

Trivia and story seeds



I know that a corn kernel is a monocot. I know that the three components of any kernel are the germ, the seed coat, and the endosperm. I know that the endosperm, like our own bodies, is comprised mostly of water, and that when subjected to extreme temperatures the water turns to steam exhibiting incredible force upon the seed coat until it yields with a pop. Thus popcorn. It is because I know things like this that my family and friends unilaterally refuse to play Trivial Pursuit with me. Such is life.

I often write things on little scraps of paper or napkins or on the backs of receipts. Most of these are the kernels of stories set simmering in my subconscious until such time as they burst forth. Most of them are only a line, but I know where each one is heading and I'm sitting patiently until they are ripe for the picking. And they all begin something like this:

**********

It keeps me busy cleaning up after the people who love here.

Somewhere a deity stalks a genius.

I miss you like the desert misses the rain.

You had been being mirthless.

Our families all grew up in steel towns on the eastern seaboard. All we have left of our heritage are ethnic names that assault the ears and rusted roots.

You don't understand, I'm having an affair with you that will never end because it never quite gets underway.

I don't come from a dysfunctional family…I guess that makes me abnormal.

The problem with married women is that they are carelessly beautiful.

He was a tourist in her city.

Conjunctivitis sounds like the fear of union.

She's tired of working the backseat of love. She wears her hats and they wear her out. So she boarded a train with the last of her primal money and took a trip across country while the woman across the aisle sat staring with her face more cross than her legs.

Today's laundry lesson: If you agitate anything long enough it will run.

Like every myth it ranges from innocence to painful knowledge.

That wasn't a ring on her finger, it was an anchor. Three carats to weigh her down into the depths of marriage.

All self-expression is a form of narcissism.