On Friendship

Another pearl from Tim Miller on friendship

word and silence

I’ve been trying for ages to write about a friend from many years and cities and jobs ago, and the questions that have always trailed out from his story are, What do we owe our friends and family? What do we owe to the people we love? What kind of difference can we make in their lives?

This friend had a troubled upbringing that included time in jail, but when I met him he was in his late forties already, and we both worked in the same retail store. He was my supervisor, and despite the drudgery of the job, he dressed better than any of the customers we worked for; and despite it being the kind of job where customers could (and did) condescend to us on a daily basis, and despite how demeaning that could be day in and day out, he came to work early all the…

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