Clocked (in the best possible way)
I was at the high street shops. Approaching midway through transition, I was finally past the point where I drew ‘those looks’. Confidence was improving, and I was able to go about my business without too much self-consciousness.
The tall man and I passed each other on the street, then we both did an abrupt about-face.
We’d been friends at school, but it had been years. People who’d known me just months earlier now walked past me without recognition, but he clocked me instantly.
He retraced his steps back to me and, without a word, clamped his arms around me. After a moment he stood back, holding me by the shoulders, and looked me up and down, smiling. Then a perplexed look crossed his face—
‘I’m sorry, but I don’t know your name now.’
He broke into a beaming smile and hugged me again, repeated my name, committing it to memory.
He then grasped me by the hand and dragged me into the adjacent pub to catch up.