My idea of a good friend is one who sets up a scene like this:
You arrive at work, harried and disgruntled, down and out in the throws of August-itis, as they call the sickness in these parts. You place your bag on the hostess stand, settle into the phone calls and reservation haranguing of early evening, and return an hour later to find a pleasant surprise.
There is an eggplant peeking out of your bag, a vegetable where just minutes before sat only loose change and perhaps the wrapper from an afternoon ice cream run. The eggplant is sleek and majestic in its comic beauty, ablaze with purple and white and still warm from the summer sun. Your friend looks at you and grins, and the havoc of the night exhales for one peaceful, stolen moment.
It is amazing the happiness a vegetable can bring, particularly when it is one grown by the hand of a friend, not far from home.