Scenes from the Dream World: Murder in Fog City
By Katie Booth
It was true. Leonardo DiCaprio had been murdered. Inexplicably and in a most gruesome fashion when he was 23 years old. This put him under a sort of martyr classification. A modern day James Dean or Marilyn Monroe. His pastel portraits lined Hollywood Boulevard. T-shirts, key chains of his posthumous star on the walk of fame, giant cardboard cutouts. What made it all the more consuming was that no one had ever been found guilty. No one had even been tried, and it was this great, most perplexing mystery, over which everyone speculated. We mourned the hole in cinema. Who knows what this young performer would have done.
I was in San Francisco at the time. In fact all of this took place in San Francisco. I was staying with my cousin Faye and my Auntie Kristi, both of whom live in Indiana. We were in a dingy motel with very large rooms and Chinese red carpeting. My aunt looked like a Bride of Chucky doll. She spoke to us from the middle of the bed, her covers drawn over her and perfectly un-rumpled.
She had filled the closet with almond candies. These specific almond candies, chocolate-coated, who’s name escapes me, were a particular favorite of my Aunt’s but were not sold in Indiana. When she came to San Francisco for her yearly visit, which she typically did alone, she bought a years worth. I accidentally opened one package and she charged me $25.
Faye and I took the Greyhound bus everywhere. It was blistering cold. We climbed up and down a steep black mountain shrouded in mist everyday as we made our way into town on the bus. Faye was there for a soccer tournament. She insisted we go to the beach to run in the sea spray. I protested, but she screamed at me and we went anyway. We took the bus to some posh rundown hipster section of San Francisco to find the street my friend Natalie lived on. We never found it, despite being in the vicinity, although it’s true I only looked a little and Faye not at all. We had gotten caught up in a bus tour that we had landed on by accident, like two stowaways. Our first stop they had set up a crafty table like on a movie shoot. They had eggs and potatoes and bacon scramble, but I opted for a bagel.
At this point, it became known on the underground that Suge Knight had murdered Leo DiCaprio 17 years ago, and all who knew were incensed. This tragic, godly figure (Leo). I always pictured him in his dressing room. There were pearls strung along the wall, he had a smile on his face.
Suge Knight was sitting on a circular platform in an empty Denny’s restaurant. The platform had red carpet and shiny, silvery sides like in a game show, and Suge sat atop in a black leather easy chair. He looked formidable.
Another rapper, a black guy in a sideways, red, flat-brimmed hat, a starched white shirt and jeans, decided to kill Suge. He was funny. One of those instantly likable screw-up types that always survives in movies because they’re so damn likable.
He went to the motel where Suge was staying. A dingy motel with Chinese red carpeting, also in SF, although it can’t be confirmed it was the same place. The vigilante rapper–we’ll call him Sean–strolled up to Suge’s door and it opened. Sean and Suge sat in two kitchen table chairs facing each other in the hallway outside of Suge’s motel room door. There was a long deliberation, in which no words were spoken. Black bamboo trees swayed by their heads. Sean couldn’t get his gun to work (he was too much of a screw-up), and Suge blew his head in. The chair in which Dead Sean was seated was reeled into Suge’s motel room on the hook of a cane and they both disappeared.
I asked my aunt while staying with her if she missed living in San Francisco. She had lived in a very old house atop the windy black rocky hill. She said no. She said it was too difficult. Going anywhere was an event, and when you went inside your house, you never had to shut just one door. Also, there was noise pollution. I told her I understood. I had a similar problem.