Eric is propped up in bed, smoking a cheroot and watching The Good, The Bad and The Ugly at top volume.
‘All right?’ he says, raising a skeletal hand.
‘Fine, thanks, Eric. How’s it going?’
‘All right, son.’
‘If you would.’
I take his empty bowl, cup and tray and go through to the kitchen; he stubs out his cheroot and gets himself into position.
Eric’s easy to cater for. Breakfast, lunch, supper – it’s always the same: two banana Weetabix with three spoonfuls of sugar and a splash of hot water, and a mug of raspberry and rosehip herbal tea (also with three sugars).
‘Lovely!’ he says when I come back through and put the tray on his lap.
It happens to coincide with that scene in the film where Lee Van Cleef walks in to a Mexican casa to eat supper with an old guy in beard and braces. It’s pretty tense, everyone bent over their bowls, slurping away, including Eric.
‘Looks like I’m the only one not eating,’ I say.
‘Get yourself a bowl,’ says Eric.
Suddenly, Lee Van Cleef draws his gun and shoots the old guy.
‘Not enough sugar, I expect,’ I say.
‘No, no,’ says Eric, licking his spoon clean then waggling it at the TV. ‘They’re eating beans.’