Hitchcock and My Cold Cherry Summers

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Summer brings with it a certain set of rituals and rituals, and everyone’s is personal and unique. for us all-week praise for the season, T invited authors to share their own writing. Here, Mona Awad It describes the simple pleasures of eating frozen cherries while watching Alfred Hitchcock’s films.

A few summers ago I had to have hip surgery. “It could be a long recovery period,” my surgeon warned. And as for its success? “We’ll see.” Four to six weeks of crutches followed by three to six months of physical therapy. pain relievers and ice. This would be my obscurity post. That would be my summer of suspense and stillness. This would be my summer of Hitchcock and cold cherry.

Even in the evening it was a hot summer. I remember it as windless. My world has shrunk so much, turned into a semi-dark room. In the shade of blue, I would sweat like a cold bowl of cherries, an ice pack on my injured hip. There was the hum of the flickering fan, the shutters making the evening light a stripe across my face, I had crutches leaning against the nearby dresser for easy access. On my laptop screen, Jimmy Stewart was sitting hunched in a wheelchair, his broken leg in a cast, waiting for Grace Kelly.rear window” It would soon appear, a mirage in her Edith Head dress, the world beyond roaring with life and love, sex and death – and later, it would be murder.

I ate a cold cherry from the bowl on my thigh: an icy, candied sweetness with depth and bite. It tasted as vibrant as the Technicolor on my screen. Cherries were my bridge, she was my passport to the other world. The walls around me collapsed or I forgot about them. I forgot about my frozen, still sore hip. I forgot my real-world fear – can I walk or sit without pain? Instead, a more pleasant fear prevailed. I bent down, my figurative crutch.

Credit…Everett Collection

It was an old ritual I enjoyed doing with my mother as a child: the two of us sat at either end of the pink-and-white striped sofa, with a bowl of cold cherries between us. That’s how he loved them the most. My mother worked as the manager of the dining room at the hotel, and like all holidays, summer is not rest, but increased work time. Longer shifts, demanding guests. There were old movies at night him holiday. He loved glamor – and he loved mystery. I was 13 when we spent our first summer together watching her favorite Hitchcock. “This is Jimmy,” my mom would say, pointing at the screen. “This is Tippi. This is Cary. Ah, this is Grace.” He spoke of the stars as if they were his personal friends.

My mother enjoyed the tension in these movies, but for me the tension was often unbearable. For example, it was nearly impossible to watch Grace Kelly framed.Flip M for Murder

“What will happen to Grace?” I would ask my mother.

“That gray dress she’s wearing is very sharp, isn’t it? It’s style like that.”

“Mom,” I would press, “what -”

“I don’t know,” my mother would say, lying. Then she would smile, light a cigarette and take a cherry from the bowl, and her nails would be painted the same dark shade. “Just watch.”

AND SO, NOT for the first time in my life, this became my evening ritual in the summer of my surgery and each night offered another fascinating journey. Another icy blonde in a subversive suit, another man in a suit with pomade hair. The eerie swell of Bernard Herrmann’s notes, the clicking gurgle of a martini, gripping, flowing footage that blurs the boundary between our world and theirs.

In “Dial M for Murder,” I saw Ray Milland smiling wildly when blackmailing a man into killing his wife.. I watched Cary Grant and Grace Kelly speed through the south of France in a sky-blue convertible.catching a thief” I watched Yilmaz Tippi Hedren unravel when she saw the red.marnie” Fascinated, ”dizziness” — Kim Novak in a mysterious white bunny pin green dress. I watched John Dall smoke a cigarette in brown leather gloves after choking a man in the middle of the day.Rope” A few seconds after the action, he says to his accomplice, “The darkness that brings you down.” “It’s a shame we can’t do it in the bright sunlight with the curtains open.” I shuddered.

Still, the movie I came back to time and again was “Rear Window”. It was an open celebration of voyeurism—how a stagnation filled the summer with possibility, delicacy, and intrigue. Stewart’s character, Jeffries, was in my position: wounded and locked in a room in the sweltering heat, observing the world through the windows. And what a world it was. Miss Torso is doing her dance, juggling with her wolves. It reaches out to Miss Lonelyhearts and their increasingly dark romance. And, of course, the gruesome, wife-killing Thorwald played by Raymond Burr, whose horrific acts of violence we captured in provocative pieces. Tart and sweet. As icy as cold cherries.

Years later, after my mother’s death, after my healing spell, the ritual continues. I return to these Hitchcock and cold cherry nights for nostalgia, escape. A way to mother myself in difficult times. Summer or winter, I’ll lie on my bed in the semi-darkness, cherries cooling my calf, where the scars are now fading. I’ll turn on the spinning fan and one of my favourites. And then? I will become nothing more than eyes, a glance, following Hitchcock’s. It arouses curiosity every time. Will everything be okay in the end?

Even if my mother knew, she would never tell me. “Just watch.”

Mona Awad is the author of “13 Ways to Look at a Fat Girl” (2016), “Bunny” (2019) and the upcoming novels “Everything Is Good” by Simon & Schuster in August.

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