Cheeky face

A journal post from last year: In the coffee shop this morning, a young mother and her friend are complaining to each other about relatives, while her son runs around the café, as kids will do, picking things up and putting them down, his little trainers pounding on the fake wood floor.

  I’ve just come from the doctor, whose confirms my suspicion – this cold has gifted me a perforated eardrum, so I’m sensitive to every noise: her barked orders at the child, the steam from the cappuccino maker, even (God bless him) the youngster’s thin, wet little cough, which sounds in my bad ear like a cheap roller skate being thrown down the stairs.

  ‘Show Tracey your cheeky face,’ she says to her boy, who stands by their table and pulls a face. The women laugh. ‘Show her your cross face… Show her your happy face.’

  The little boy grimaces at them repeatedly. They’re all the same face.