He hands me a cup of thick, green liquid. It resembles that awful mouthwash from primary school, but he insists I drink it all down. It tastes odd, somehow futuristic.
A haze arrives slowly. I recognise the end of a knitting needle in his left hand, that little red top with an undecipherable number.
“Knit one, purl one,” my granny used to say.
I imagine her knitting in heaven, still watching re-runs of Murder She Wrote with that inane half-grin etched on her weather-beaten old face.
Gloom starts to exist, in stark contrast to the lush, life-affirming landscape. We stroll in a meadow that leads to an oak tree, my legs as sturdy as spaghetti as we sit beneath its imperious form.
Sky tears roll down and he chats of his love for the warm drizzle pitter-patter on crunchy, bunched up leaves, soon to soften under foot. They even smell brown, if that makes sense?
Comforting words tumble from his bright red lips as we hold wrinkled hands – an old American tale that he learnt from his father – fearless young cowboys with no moral compass – antifogmatic and an ace in the hole.
He hands me a piece of paper with random letters and a hip flask with a rusty lid.
“Wrangler juice for my vaquero,” he grins as I force down a swig. A cool kind of headache envelops my eyelids as I blink at his notes.
‘Rep. St. Rep. St. Rep. St.’
Something Street? No.
A flash of that little red top with what looks like a number nine, but could be a six. I grimace and think of brave wranglers as he drives it in without so much as a wince, and the first blood spurts right out of my thigh, high into the autumnal air like a fountain of horror.
I remember now. Repeat stitch. Repeat stitch. Repeat stitch.
Just one or two more, then hopefully I’ll pass out…
JAMIE GRAHAM is a Scottish writer and Seinfeld addict on the wrong side of 40. He’d recently featured in Pop to magazine, 101 words and (b)OINK zine. Find him on Twitter @jgrahamwriter