Day 21: 7/16/2013: Ocean Trash and a Murder Mystery

While disentangling the umpteenth Disney princess-style Band-Aid from a tangle of seaweed on Venice Beach today, I remembered a dark, weird story that my mother told me. My mother only seems to know dark, weird stories, but this was a favorite. One 1940s summer day, my mother and her adolescent pals were playing on the beach at the Salem Willows after Sunday school when they discovered a suitcase jammed in the rocks. The suitcase was neatly packed with women’s clothes. One of the girls, Marjory (I think her name was), snagged a slip from the case  and put it on under her skirt.

Later, the police showed up at Marjory’s house. The suitcase belonged to a murdered woman whose body had been found at the Willows. I always imagined Marjory’s horror as the cop recited the grim facts and she felt the dead woman’s silky slip against her legs.

Today I collected a 13-gallon trash bag of miscellaneous crap from the beach, plus a smaller bag of recyclables. The weirdest thing I found was a pair of “falsies.” I hope there is a more lighthearted story behind these abandoned breast enhancers than Marjory’s slip, which by the way, I don’t think she ever relinquished as evidence.

Day 2 6/27/13 Trash

According to Sausolito’s Marine Mammal Center,  ocean trash kills more than a million seabirds,10,000 marine mammals and turtles each year. 80% of the trash in the ocean comes from the land. 90% of the trash in the ocean is plastic.

On a two-hour walk through Griffith Park, I picked up a lot of trash including those maddening, elusive plastic shopping bags that (thank God) will soon be banned in Los Angeles, those “creepy, flimsy” bags  and that often drift and dance just beyond one’s grasp.

I’ve always been a fan of lists in literature and I found making the list of the trash I picked up to be strangely addictive:

1 Starbucks clear drink lid

1 Milky Way wrapper

1 weathered Scientology ad

1 bright new ad for electronic cigarettes

1 running shoe tongue

1 empty cellophane bag

2 empty clean-up-after-your-dog bags

7 thin plastic shopping bags

1 foam plate

1 glass bottle

1 plastic fork

2 plastic drinking cups

2 plastic caps

7 crushed paper towels

1 ad for the Hollywood Bowl Summer 2013

1 crumpled but still cheerful yard sale sign

Continue reading