New York may be vast but it can be tiny sometimes. I'm sitting at a cafe in the East Village and a guy I went to college with is sitting across from me. I even directed him in a play. Charles is a famous screenwriter now, and clearly deep in thought. He doesn't recognize me. I was a man the last time we saw each other.
This has happened a couple of times the past decade, when I've found myself seeing people I know from before transition who don't recognize me. The last time was a few years ago when another girl I went to college with was standing right in front of me at the TKTS booth in Times Square. She even asked me what I thought was good. No sign of recognition.
Do I go over there and be all like, "Hey Charles. Remember me from college? I used to be M--- but now I'm Meredith."?
Um, no. Awkward.
The funny thing is that I remember us having physical similarities. We were around the same height and had small builds. Boyish would have been a good way to describe us. But while I am now even thinner with my blonde hair down to the middle of my back, he's clearly been working out. His hairline has also receded quite a bit, and he has a patchy beard. We are no longer boys. I am a woman and he is a man. In a way, I can see in him something of what I would have looked like had I not transitioned. I would have become a man approaching middle age instead of me!
He probably heard about my change. Most people I went to college with have. We have friends in common. But I bet he hasn't seen a picture of me. He's too busy being famous!
What would we talk about? His success, maybe. But I haven't seen the movie he got a screenwriting Oscar for. That would be embarrassing.
I friended another filmmaker I went to college with a couple of weeks ago on Facebook and that was fine.
That's what I'll do. I'll friend him on Facebook. But not now. He's still sitting across from me.