Study Guide

Joe Knows in The Orange Houses

Joe Knows

Mik's boss and Jimmi's only friend, Joe Knows has a big wallet and an even bigger heart. He feeds Jimmi when the guy's down and out; he gives a home to illegal immigrants who have nowhere else to go; he overpays Mik for working at the convenience store. His most generous gift by far, though, is when he offers to foot the bill for Mik's surgery.

Even though she's not sold on the surgery part, Mik's grateful—and shocked—that Joe would give her so much cash. For Joe, though, this is just part of his normal, everyday life. He tells Mik, "the money's your for whatever. I know you'll do something beautiful with it" (12.68). How sweet, right? Joe's kindness is missed when he meets his untimely end, and Jimmi especially misses him. Like we see with Mik and Fatima's friendship, though, (go read up on them elsewhere in this section), he leaves a lasting—and positive—mark.