When Lewis Met Clark

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Zack Clark and Zack Lewis entered their archetypal day knowing they shared a archetypal name. Each’s surname, however, came arsenic a surprise.

Zack Clark, left, and Zack Lewis.
Credit...Natura Collective

Dec. 3, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ET

Zack Lewis and his date, besides named Zack, had yet to disclose their surnames erstwhile they met astatine a cheery barroom successful Manhattan’s East Village successful September 2015, aft archetypal connecting connected the dating app Grindr. But erstwhile Mr. Lewis had juncture to glimpse astatine the different Zack’s Visa card, helium knew thing momentous was astir to happen.

“I thought, this is going to beryllium either destiny oregon disaster,” Mr. Lewis said of discovering that helium had conscionable met Zack Clark.

Mr. Clark, 36, a children’s publication writer and exertion astatine Scholastic, had offered Mr. Lewis, 35, his paper earlier excusing himself to the bath astatine the Phoenix Bar. “You’re not going to judge this,” Mr. Lewis said to Mr. Clark erstwhile helium returned from that expedition.

Disbelief soon gave mode to romance. A 2nd day astatine Santos Anne, a edifice successful Williamsburg, Brooklyn, wherever Mr. Clark past lived, ended with a kiss. Mr. Lewis, an designer with Richard H. Lewis Architect, a steadfast founded by his father, met Mr. Clark’s pit bull mix, Zoey, soon after. That led Mr. Clark to person the aforesaid destiny-or-disaster feeling Mr. Lewis had experienced astatine Phoenix Bar.

Except catastrophe was seeming mode little apt by then.

“I had adopted Zoey successful my erstwhile relationship, and my ex had not taken to the dog,” said Mr. Clark, who grew up successful Jacksonville, Fla. But Mr. Lewis, a autochthonal New Yorker, couldn’t get capable of Zoey. “I thought, not lone bash we person this insane sanction thing, but helium and Zoey truly emotion each other,” Mr. Clark added.

The brace took a crook toward the superior connected Nov. 21, 2015, erstwhile Mr. Clark, hoping for a commitment, asked Mr. Lewis however helium was feeling astir the relationship. Mr. Lewis, who described himself arsenic the little emotionally successful interaction of the two, was game. “We had met each other’s friends astatine that point, and everything seemed to beryllium meshing beauteous well,” helium said.

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Credit...Natura Collective

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At the commencement of 2016, Mr. Clark gave up his spot successful Williamsburg and moved into Mr. Lewis’s East Village apartment. A twelvemonth later, Mr. Lewis was designing what Mr. Clark called their “dream house” successful Park Slope, Brooklyn, wherever they present live. But earlier they moved in, the imagination of a happily ever aft started to consciousness shaky to Mr. Clark erstwhile Mr. Lewis woke up 1 greeting successful a fog of depression. “I conscionable had this infinitesimal wherever I felt like, everything’s wrong,” Mr. Lewis said. “I can’t judge I’m inactive successful this relationship.”

Instead of breaking up, they administered their ain mentation of speech therapy, acting connected immoderate proposal a person of Mr. Lewis’s had fixed him. “He said, ‘You person to support choosing your person,’” Mr. Lewis said. “‘As agelong arsenic you aftermath up each time wanting to take Zack again, I accidental instrumentality it out.’” “We did a batch of talking. I realized I did aftermath up each time wanting to beryllium with Zack.”

While Mr. Clark writes phantasy books for young readers by profession, helium and Mr. Lewis some stock a passionateness for big phantasy fiction. “The grade of my nerdiness extends to voraciously speechmaking each spot of pulp phantasy retired there,” Mr. Lewis said. Mr. Clark said helium takes his self-described nerdiness to different level by regularly playing Dungeons and Dragons.

In March 2020, Mr. Clark came location from a Dungeons and Dragons conscionable up and got a telephone that nighttime astir a chap subordinate who felt ill. Two days later, helium and Mr. Lewis were sick. “We started the pandemic arsenic 2 Covid carriers,” Mr. Clark said. Their betterment led to a fruitful quarantine: On Nov. 21, 2020, Mr. Lewis projected with a handmade paper threaded with string. The connection inside: “Let’s necktie this knot.”

When the 2 went to get their matrimony licence astatine the City Clerk’s bureau successful Manhattan this fall, the question of whether they wanted to alteration their names came with guffaws. “The idiosyncratic helping america cracked up,” Mr. Lewis said. The mates had an reply astatine the ready: They privation to beryllium Lewis and Clark forever.

On Nov. 21 astatine the Montauk Club successful Brooklyn, Benn Spratt, the elder rabbi astatine Congregation Rodeph Sholom, made that privation a ineligible world successful beforehand of 140 afloat vaccinated guests, to hearty cheers of “Mazel Tov!”

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