Archive for spring

Maybe This Time

Adair,

It’s odd how January never seems like the new year to me. I’ve mentioned how my birthday is usually my marker for the beginning of a new year, both because July is a more optimistic time than the dead of winter, and it’s in line with my inflated ego to reorient the calendar around me. But there are other moments, my anniversary, the beginning of the school year, and Christmas that also make me pause and think about the year past and the year ahead.

If I had to look ahead right now, I’d be thinking about another year in New York. Another fall that just makes me feel like I’m in When Harry Met Sally, a winter that snows us in just once, a spring that begs for pictures in parks, and another summer sweating in the subway and longing for relief.

The next year is going to see a lot of new projects, and a push like never before to create things on my terms. Working with you has opened me up to working with other partners, and those relationships are beginning to blossom into new ventures that may well be “the project.”

Another year will bring another year of marriage and the wonderful joys and inevitable hurts of a life long partnership. We are also striving to create together, which brings us back to the army days of our friendship working together. This summer’s production of The Last Five Years reminded me of the importance of our creative connection and what beautiful richness that adds to our lives.

My apartment is changing layout and design, I’m changing my diet, having a car is changing our transportation, and the relationships in my life keep changing the creative means I have at my disposal. The next year is going to be one for the record books, no matter how it all turns out.

But why am I looking ahead in the middle of September? What marks this as a moment of reflection and resolve? I’m giving pause right now because in a year we won’t be writing these letters. At the end of this month, we will be finished with this project and moving on to another. I won’t begin to tackle what that means in this letter, but I know that whatever comes next, we’ll still be bothering each other about it every week.

Same time next year?

-Dan

Run Away with Me

Adair,

My life has changed dramatically since I left Montana. When I moved I was single, jobless, and headed to New York City. You and I weren’t collaborating yet, and I didn’t have any pets.

Now as I write this I am headed home from one of three jobs to my wife, our cat, and our dog in Brooklyn (the second borough I’ve lived in). I’ve written more in the two years that I’ve lived here than I ever had in the same period of time before. And though the city is tough and expensive, I generally love my life here.

But next month, I’m going back home to Montana. Not forever, mind you. I’m not moving anywhere (yet). But I am going home for the longest period of time since I relocated east.

I’m going home to perform in a production with my wife. We’ve been asked to star in the two person show, “The Last Five Years.” And I couldn’t be more thrilled to be performing at home and in this show again. And being able to have our family and friends come to see it will make it all the sweeter.

But if I can be honest, all this is secondary. I’m excited to spend three weeks back in my home state, being back on stage in my favorite show with my favorite co-star. However, what I’m most looking forward to is rather silly but shows how long I’ve been in New York.

I can not wait to drive again.

Every year when I am home for Christmas I get to do a little driving. Mostly it’s just running errands and shuttling between my parents place and my in-laws’ house. But this time around I get to hit the highway in the summer, my ideal driving time. And it’s sort of crazy how much I’m looking forward to it.

I’ve always loved car rides. Both as a passenger and a driver. Singing in the car, getting crappy food from gas stations, talking until you run out of things to say, and all the while continuing to move on down the road towards whatever it is that’s waiting.

I’m not as in love with the road like Kerouac, but the Montana highway system with all its bumps and dips and the never ending construction is home to some of my fondest memories. Family trips to Red Lodge singing the greatest hits of Queen at the top of my lungs, or the time I hauled calf hutches up to a ranch by Great Falls with my friend Gabe, and the drive from Billings to Missoula with my wife’s engagement ring in my pocket with her next to me unaware I was about to propose: these are the highway tales I see out my window as the mile markers fly by.

The land that you and I both hail from is large. You can’t get too far in Montana without a car. And driving any of the 147,00 or so square miles is a real trek through a land that almost seems frozen in time. And if you look out your window, no matter the speed, you’ll catch a glimpse of something divine.

Ready to hood slide like Bo Duke,

-Dan

The Youth

In a couple of years
Tides have turned from booze to tears.
And in spite of the weather,
We could learn to make it together

The youth is starting to change.
Are you starting to change?

D,

Two years ago, looking out at Grand Central Station, we made the decision to create this blog. Our plan was unclear yet motivated, like most things we do. Since then there has been a divorce, a marriage, many moves, a podcast network, numerous poems, a few dogs and countless friendships.

The blog changed with us and has been a creative constant that tethered us to each other between trips to visit one another. It made sense that we came to the decision to end Tales from Two Cities in a similar fashion as we created it, and in a city that inspires us both.

I love this blog, I have loved what I’ve learned from you and how it’s helped me grow as a writer and this is far from the end of our collaborative relationship. Come September this part of our writing lives will be over, but then http://www.tale2cities.com/ will then house our poetry as well as our podcast. I’m excited to share these newer projects as we bid farewell to our blog.

This is not the end of our work together, just the end of a particularly enjoyable chapter. Until next week my friend.

Onward,

A

…..

Adair,

It has been a ride. I’m glad that we have kept this blog going in it’s current form for as long as we have. I’ve learned more about you, and you’ve probably had your fill of me. And as we move into the last few months of writing these kinds of posts, I will continue to cherish writing with you.

Their is no “best part” of this blog and the experience of writing it with you. I’ve gained insights and skills from the constant pressure to perform. I’ve learned about myself and you in interesting ways that phone calls and texts couldn’t have yielded. But if I had to pick a “best thing” it would have to be creating a collaboration that I think we can both agree is a real partnership.

I don’t know what all we will create in the next few years. Both together and individually, our artistic story is still on the first chapter. We are building new things and creating new partnerships and trying new mediums. “How Should I Feel” will be thrilling, and Secret Weapon Productions is already ahead of schedule. And our next project will be even better.

Who knows what’s coming next? I sure as hell don’t. But whatever it is, I’m glad you are apart of it.

To the next adventure,

-Dan

 

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Photos by Erik Ellingson

Someone You’d Admire

Dan,

Just as we set into hibernation mode and became determined to reenact Grey Gardens, that cursed day star is upon us. This weekend I was ill prepared for the eighty-degree weather that awaited in Texas, not that I’m complaining but I’m not sure I needed to see so much of my body in January. All of this aside, nothing in our lives seems to be constant, with each other or the world around us.

I’ve slowly come to terms with change being theme of this blog; we change our outlooks, our clothes, our hairstyles, and our addresses. Sometimes we are so focused on our own change that we don’t see what is going on with those close to us, everyone we encounter is a bit of an enigma wrapped in a mystery. These folks we surround ourselves with are complex and growing and sometimes I look up and am shocked at what I find, it’s never something I would expect.

You spoke of being constantly surprised throughout your relationship with Clark; I am in the same boat. I first met Clark in your basement apartment; he was wearing a robe and seemed perplexed by my presence in his living room (which was more than fair). Years later, at your wedding, we became reacquainted and have developed one of the dearest friendships I have ever known. This is not something I would have predicted.

At your wedding many such bonds were formed. Maia and I became platonic life partners in the span of five minutes. I’m sure you look back and wish you had only left us alone for three of those minutes due to all the hell we raised together. And another such friendship was with the other person you mentioned in your blog, your old roommate Steven.

I will admit Steven intimidated me that weekend in August; he always seemed skeptical of his surroundings (or perhaps he was just skeptical of me). His immense height over me probably contributed to the intimidation but he fascinated me and, as you know, when I set my mind to it I win people over.

Eventually I charmed Steve with my wit and for the last year and a half, through many ups and downs, we’ve developed a strong friendship. He has surprised me; I never imagined what an incredibly dedicated friend he would become and how intensely complex, honest and kind he is towards the people he loves.

No time was I struck more by this than a night when I was alone in a restaurant, licking my wounds after a particularly awful moment in my romantic history. To my bewilderment, the only person I wanted to talk to was Steven.

I knew he would be honest with me and not just tell me what I wanted to hear. And, though we weren’t talking much at that moment, he responded and was exactly the voice of kind reason that I needed in that loneliness. And he continues to be a person that I count on, as surprising as I would have found it that weekend.

Another unpredictable aspect about our friendship is that, though we talk almost every day, we have not been in the same place since that weekend. This is a trend that I’m thrilled to call an end to this month as I hope to learn more about my (only slightly skeptical) friend.

Ever Charming,

Adair