George in Cat
The Oval, walking back to Dreese

We’ve barely crossed High Street when Diana asks, “So, what’s it like, suddenly waking up as a girl?”

“One of the first things I did was walk into the bathroom and stand in front of the toilet. I felt so stupid.”

They both chuckle at that. “That’s a quarter-century of habit for you”, says Diana.

“Yeah. The whole day was… on the edge of panic. I was so relieved seeing Cat that evening. Being able to talk about it. Making plans to impersonate each other, so there wouldn’t be a problem when we got back.”

“You thought it would end soon?”

“We were— I’m not sure if it’s certain or hopeful. Some weird mix. The alternative was just too hard to think about.”

“And now?”

“I don’t know. It’s going to be two weeks in two days and we’re both acclimating and sometimes that’s good and sometimes that scares the heck out of me.”

“So, Mark told me about you and him meeting. What’s your perspective?”

“He hit me with a sledgehammer.”

They both say, “What?”

I turn to Mark, “You were trying to convince me to not walk away from the gate. You were listing alternatives. Told me to have kids.”

“Oh God. Yes, I did—”

“It’s OK. You didn’t know. You meant well.” I have to smile. “And I didn’t walk away from the gate, so I guess it worked. But I had a hard time paying attention to everything else you said.”