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.