Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Birds

I recently watched Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds from beginning to end on TV. Its power to terrify has not diminished with time or repetition. 

My daily contact with birds is more benign. In New York, your basic Central Park pigeon was my chief exposure to the avian world. In Orlando, new varieties divert me as I run or walk the 1/2-mile jogging path around the man-made pond in my apartment complex.  I especially like the ducks. There is one eccentric bird that perches on the metal rim of a water spout early in the morning, before the water starts to gush up. Facing the rising sun, it spreads its wings and stretches it neck, enjoying the breeze and the warmth.

This changed one summer evening as I walked around the pond after the heat of the day and a late afternoon thunderstorm. Against the background of dark clouds, about a dozen large, black birds (crows, perhaps) flew from east to west, alighting on the roof of the building closest to the pond. Initially, I smiled and thought of Hitchcock. Then another group of birds flew to the roof. Then another. And another. I stopped counting at more than 40 birds sitting still on the roof, looking down at me, alone on the path.

I made it back to the apartment unharmed but haunted by the image of Tippi Hedren, reduced to a catatonic state after Hitchcock finished with her.

No comments:

Post a Comment