Timothy, Logan, and the Big Move
Written in May 2004
Once upon a time there was a boy named Timothy Adams. His mom was a Dr. and he lived on Cherry St. His parents owned over 100 yd. His best friend Logan lived on Crazy Ave. They both lived in the U.S.A. and they were almost neighbors. One day Logan’s parents told Timothy’s parents that they were moving out of state. Mr. and Mrs. Adams told Timothy that day. Timothy burst into tears. Then Timothy had an idea. “Mom, Dad, let’s throw a goodbye party,” said Timothy. “That’s a great idea. We’ll do it tomorrow. I’ll call Logan and all your friends,” said Mom. The next day was very fun. “Hey this party’s fun. I just found out, the road that I’ll live on is called Timothy Rd.,” said Logan. “Cool. No matter how many in., ft., miles, or even states, I’ll always be your friend,” said Timothy. “Bye,” said Logan. Logan moved but another boy replaced him. Timothy wrote a letter to Logan every day and became friends with the new boy.
As a child, it seemed like the worst news we could receive was that someone was moving away. My family was fortunate enough to be very settled, and my parents have lived in the same house my entire life; however, my younger brother and I were affected by other families that moved away, when it felt like a friend was plucked up from our neighborhood and removed to a new life, like one of those alien toys in the claw game of Toy Story. Also, I remember a lot of stories, TV shows, and movies that featured plots in which the protagonist’s family moves. (Max Keeble’s Big Move, anyone?)
Back then, smart phones didn’t exist, so our best hope of staying in touch with removed friends was via the landline. Digging out the torn corner of a notebook page that had a name and some numbers scratched onto it, we’d eagerly listen to the trilling of the ring, hoping our friend or their nice mother would answer (but not their dad; he was intimidating). Some friends, you just knew their phone number like you knew their last name. But when you’re young, it’s hard to stay friends if you’re not at school together each day, especially if your parents don’t want to drive you to your friend’s house if it’s too far away, so this was a very real fear as a child——unknown adult forces could shift and suddenly your best friend could be moving to a different state. And when we’re young, we crave stability.
As I revisit this story fifteen years later, I suppose that as a child I didn’t have much of an imagination for names, considering both Timothy and Logan are names within my family. It wasn’t until a couple years after I wrote this story that I finally picked up a baby names book from a garage sale so I could truly explore my options for naming characters, being deliberate or foreshadowing by choosing a name with a specific meaning. But for this story——Timothy’s character is inspired by my brother, and Logan’s character is inspired by my cousin.
I also think that this particular story was written as a school assignment to incorporate a variety of abbreviated words, such as measurements, streets, and titles, which is pretty apparent given the way they’re generously peppered throughout the story. Of course, at the time there weren’t many of the abbreviations we know today, like O.M.G. or H.M.U.!
The story of Timothy and Logan and their big move begins by describing our protagonist, Timothy, and his living situation. His mother is a doctor, so he probably lives in a nice neighborhood, enjoying all that doctor money; I mean, they own a whole 100 yards of land, which was probably much more vast in my childhood comprehension than it seems now. Although this does imply that they probably don’t live in a city. Timothy lives on Cherry Street, and his friend Logan is introduced as living on Crazy Street.
Now, I’m not saying Logan is crazy, but the fact that the author deliberately chose to place him in a house on Crazy Street is a little questionable. He could have lived on any street name imaginable, and the name the author decided on was “Crazy.” Poor Logan.
They both live in the U.S.A., which isn’t a very specific or thrilling fact, but then the author specifies that they were almost neighbors, and informs us that Cherry Street and Crazy Street are actually not too far from one another. It makes one wonder if Logan has parents with enviable incomes as well, or if Crazy Street is sort of a rude name for a street where folks with low incomes live, and the snooty Cherry Street people find it perfectly appropriate that it’s called such.
But no matter where they live, Timothy and Logan are friends——best friends, to be exact. Because they’re best friends, their parents must have decent communication, and we find out that Logan’s parents speak to Timothy’s parents and give them a heads up that their family will be moving.
Thankfully, Timothy’s parents share this information with Timothy so he knows that his best friend will be moving away. Sadly, the truth hurts, and Timothy’s heart breaks as learns about this. Maybe Logan is his only friend, and now his young social life will be lonely. Maybe Logan had an older sister that Timothy had a crush on and he was sad to lose both his best friend and his best friend’s cool teenage sister. Maybe Logan’s parents let them stay up late watching adult cartoons like Family Guy and Timothy enjoyed spending the night there because his own parents made him shut off all television by 10:00 PM. So it isn’t just losing his best friend, but losing all the fun traditions and lifestyle experiences he has with this friend.
Timothy is a good friend, though, and instead of reveling in his own self-pity for too long, he quickly cheers up and has an idea of how to give a gesture of how much he cares about his friend Logan by throwing him a farewell party! He tells his parents, and luckily for Timothy, his mom immediately takes over planning the party, starting with a guest list and then moving to decorations, food, etc. And it turns out to be a lovely party, much better than if Timothy took charge of it himself; there would have been scribble-looking drawings taped up around the living room, and activities would have consisted only of Timothy and Logan playing with their Yu-Gi-Oh cards.
On the day of the party, much fun occurs. During, Logan kind of approaches Timothy, and I imagine him clearing his throat, and sort of awkwardly admitting, as he holds his Solo cup of Hawaiian Punch and looks around the room at the other party-attenders, “Hey, this party’s fun.” Then he tells Timothy that the new place he’s moving to is on Timothy Road! This coincidental street name is again pointing at something more meaningful than the name in and of itself; clearly Logan senses that this coincidence is symbolic, which is why he brings it up to Timothy.
Feeling the love, Timothy responds with the very touching sentiment that no matter how much distance is between them physically, he will always be a friend to Logan. It’s admirable how Timothy, this young boy, is so honestly able to communicate his feelings. Maybe he had some time to sit and think about what Logan means to him while his mother was busy planning the party.
Rather coldly, Logan then responds, “Bye.” It’s almost hilariously shocking——Timothy declares his loyalty to their friendship, exhibiting confidence and maturity, and then Logan, seemingly emotionally stunted, replies, “Bye.” No utterance of a “thank you,” no kindest regards returned, and no bittersweet embrace. Logan seems to be practically opposite Timothy in terms of emotional capacity.
Could this be because they’re from two different upbringings? One, in which Timothy is the son of a doctor, living on luxurious Cherry Street, with nice neighbors and parents who are eloquent and teach emotional responsibility and communication, and the other, a child from a criticized neighborhood called Crazy Avenue, where to exhibit emotion is to admit weakness, and therefore he learns to stuff it down.
But despite Logan’s response, Timothy is not deterred and dutifully writes him a letter every day, although he does replace Logan in his social life with another boy that moves into Logan’s old house. (I like how Timothy is able to balance having multiple friends, “Make new friends but keep the old,” in that Girl Scout style.) Curiously, the author does not mention whether or not Logan actually responds to these letters, or maybe Logan sends one every week, and then he gets busy so it turns into more like once a month, and then before he knows it, he just doesn’t remember how to address a letter anymore. Or, he could be purposely dodging Timothy’s letters—— maybe he’s sick of Timothy, and he was actually quiet excited to move, to get away from that pesky Timothy.
Or, maybe Logan writes back to Timothy every day, and this pen pal friendship continues until they both create email accounts, which continues until they can text, and then video chat, and then eventually they reunite and become college roommates and reminisce on their Cherry Street and Crazy Avenue days.
So, what do we think? What meaning do you deduce from this one? I think that this story serves as a great illustration for handling life’s changes——allow yourself to express your honest emotions about what happens, like Timothy crying when he first learns the bad news, and then after that, just decide what you do next, and for Timothy, it is honoring his friend Logan and bestowing him with a proper send-off. We may always feel love, loyalty, and gratitude for the people who come and go in our lives, but when they go, we shan’t dwell on their absence, only thankful we had whatever time we did with them. It’s been an honor to know you and love you, and because of our friendship, we will always live on in one another’s hearts.
Thanks for reading.
My colleague and good friend Maxwell Nobis is a fellow writer, and a year or so ago he hired me as his editor. This year he launched his website Camel Coat Press, and we’ve been working for several months on a few of his stories, and…
Big news! Max just published his first short story collection on Amazon as an e-book! It contains three stories that offer a glimpse into the complicated network of human emotions and how these feelings manifest in our lives. From the description:
The inaugural Camel Coat Press Short Story Collection features three stories from its founder, Maxwell Nobis, such as You’re Nobody Until Somebody Loves You, The Night They Drown Old Times Down, and Gravity. These stories are quintessential fiction pieces that depict hesitant love, misremembered affection, and the gravity one brings into another’s life. Not to mention, they meditate on sacrifice, doubt, and expectations without seeming keen on making a point. Surely, this collection is to be remembered as the start of Nobis’s literary legacy filled with abundant wonder, raw sensitivity, and bold truth.
I’m so proud of how Max has grown as a writer and developed his style over the years——and I hope you look into his work! You can find his short story collection on Amazon here, and if you purchase it, leave a comment so I know to thank you!