José and Coach prove themselves to be loyal and trustworthy friends to Eddie. Describe how this is shown without ever being stated. What role do these characters play in each others' lives? What is the significance of the fishing trip?

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Coach actually tells José and Eddie that they are they best kids to have come out of the Holmes recreation center, where Coach works. Coach is a mentor to Eddie, someone that Eddie can go to and speak with and not have to fear judgment. Coach is willing to intercede on Eddie's behalf with Mr. Stiles: he tells Mr. Stiles what a good kid Eddie is, and he actually convinces Mr. Stiles to give Eddie another chance.

José chooses to return to Fresno to see Eddie while he has a few days' leave. He also notices that Eddie is thin and not looking well, and he not only takes Eddie out to breakfast but he also agrees to help Eddie get back Mr. Stiles's stolen truck. He even gets wounded in the process! José also defends Eddie when José's mother blames Eddie for José's injuries.

In short, there don't seem to be too many men in this community who are not involved in dealings that are shady, at best, and illegal and violent, at worst. Coach and José provide good examples for Eddie, who lacks a father figure in his life. They are like moral support for Eddie, a young man who really has very little support in his life. Though José is Eddie's own age, Eddie sees how José is treated and respected by others, sees how he has escaped the violence that seems inherent to life in Fresno.

The fishing trip that the men take seems designed to give Eddie some breathing room to think about what it is that he really wants to do with himself. The way Eddie talks about it makes it seem as though all three of them value the same things, as he says, "The green river flowed cool as mint and made us think that we were moving, going places." Here, Eddie is free to say things like, "I like the country," and he floats "peacefully" here; back in town, he never feels peaceful but, rather, is always on edge and looking over his shoulder.

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