Every time I hang out in Silver Lake and go to house parties, I see a strange, middle-aged man decked out in pink. He mingles into the masses of young people, sporting a pink bandana beneath a fedora, with a large flower in his pimp-like jacket. No one seems to mind the generation gap, or question his mysterious existence. He is outgoing, friendly and exquisite. His presence lingers in my mind.
Who is that guy, I asked. “Oh, that’s Five Dollar Guy”.
If you have ever lived in Silver Lake, you have seen him around. Five Dollar Guy, a.k.a Mr. Eddie Spaghettii, is a well-known ornament in the Sunset Junction. I realize how popular he is when we meet in the daytime. People start talking to him constantly, and cannot resist taking his picture. I took this opportunity to get familiar with him, and found that his lifestyle is as funky as the way he dresses.
Yuki：How have you been, Mr. Five Dollar Guy?
$５G：Good, how about you?
Yuki：I’m good. Do you remember me?
$５G：No, but I brought you some flowers.
Yuki：Aw, thank you, so sweet.
$５G：I also brought my work items to show you.
Yuki：Isn’t this a thing to hang laundry?
$５G：This is a Cancer Chandelier. Put some cigarettes here like that. I sell this for $5.
Yuki ：$5? Is that why people call you a Five Dollar Guy?
$５G：Yes, I sell many different items for $5. Look at these. Aren’t they nice?
Yuki：They sure are. Where do you get them?
$５G：In the dumpsters. I have been doing this job for 15 years. These are not trash. It’s recycling. I found a bunch of Jiffy Lube’s oil change coupons the other day. I sold each for $5 in front of the stores. I made total of $95 in very short time.
Yuki：Where are you from?
$５G：Michigan. I came to Los Angeles 30 years ago.
Yuki：Where do you live now?
$５G： I used to live in this storage, but the owner found about it after I lived here for 9 months. Now I live on the roof of a house right on the corner of where the 99c store is at. No rent. I am a homeless.
Yuki：Where do you take a shower?
Yuki：Have you always been selling things for living?
$５G：My job used to be selling tow trucks. It was way too much. When I lost my job, money, and a place to live, I though it was over. But, it was the beginning of my new life. I felt like I won freedom. I didn’t have to worry about rent or gas money. I could live happily from selling stuff from dumpsters. I am one part tiger, one part weasel, one part monkey, and one part mole!
Yuki：You are very fashionable, but why do you like pink so much?
$５G：Because no one wears pink. Look around. Do you see anyone, including girls, wearing pink like mine?
Yuki：Who is your hero?
$５G：Justin Bieber. He is like Elvis. They have so much in common in their lives. I used to look just like Justin Bieber when I was young.
Yuki：Are you gay?
Yuki：What are you good at?
$５G：Art. When you go to some events or parades, they put stamps on your hand at the entrance, you know? I can draw exactly the same, and nobody can tell that I copied it. I am a con-artist. I am a hustler.
Yuki：What do you do on the weekends?
$５G：Go to outside theaters, go to bars. I like playing pool. No one can beat me at a pool game.
Yuki：What do you think was the worst event that happened in Los Angeles?
$５G：Probably the Rodney King Riots. It was horrible. Everyone was stealing from everywhere.
Yuki：Are you suffering from something these days?
$５G：Nothing. Happy Go Lucky, Freebird.
Yuki：How do you explain your self in one word?
The outrageously pink Five Dollar Guy leaves us with a quote:
“If you don’t like me, please go ahead and stay in the line. I will serve you later.”
Very, very positive vibes, Mr, Five Dollar Guy.
If you ever see him in town, please say “Hi”. He will probably give you some fabulous peachy power for the day.