Peter Blegvad

Peter Blegvad

www.leviathan.co.uk
www.believermag.com/issues/200911/?read=interview_blegvad
www.amateur.org.uk
Peter in performance — vid.
www.electrocomics.net/weekly/weeklydata/Blegvad/html/en_Blegvad1.html

Once long ago when the mood was only indigo for brief interludes, a boy named Peter was playing with his dog Mageeb in the backyard of the house they shared on Sherwood Drive. Peter’s Mom and Pop shared the house with them too but on this particular day (May 7, 1961) his parents were out and for a whole afternoon boy and dog had the place to themselves. Peter was 10, a gangly ectomorph, and Mageeb, 2, a Welsh terrier, was his best friend. For an hour Peter threw the ball for Mageeb who fetched it for him, to throw again. And again. Good dog, Mageeb! Again and again. The dog showed no sign of flagging but the boy grew thirsty or hungry or… he didn’t know what it was, but there was a new urge, an appetite in him which waxed as his interest in playing fetch waned until finally, to end the game, he hurled the ball with all his might in a long arc into the woods and while Mageeb raced after it Peter drifted into the house to seek what he was now feeling the lack of keenly. He’d know it if he saw it, he was certain. He went into the kitchen and looked at the things in the icebox and on the pantry shelves. But it wasn’t mouth food he was hungry for. He went into the library and looked at the pictures in books but it wasn’t eye food he craved. He drifted into the living room and his gaze traveled over the immaculate antimacassars, the lamps, the maps and memorabilia… Then he saw the radio. The big expensive RCA Victor with golden knobs and the complicated world map of stations etched in clear plastic on the front, the radio Pop had warned him not to touch. As soon as he saw it Peter knew that what he wanted was ear food. Don’t turn it on, Peter! But it was too late. With a muted click and a burst of static the lights came on inside it, the tubes glowed and the cold box grew warm like a living thing and the smell of burning dust came off the internal surfaces. And he tuned in to a random station coming from some faraway place and suddenly the essence of that alien remoteness was right there in the living room inhabiting him, insinuating strange rhythms, injecting toxic cacophonies into his impressionable young brain. He turned the volume up and was instantly initiated, twitching and writhing to propulsive adult syncopations. Alien music! He was bewitched, ensorcelled, unselfconscious! He upped the volume again and shuddered as if shocked by high voltage jolts, his pulse pounding in time with the rhythm section and his breath heaving in heat with the horns. His solitude was over, he was one with it all. What was this stuff? Don’t ask, Peter! Turn it off, before the trumpet solo starts! Too late! Volume up full, the solo came blasting out and Peter was drenched and his eyes rolled back and the whites surfaced like the underbellies of two drowned toads. He was corrupted! And when the number ended, before the next began, the booming announcer informed him that the stuff he’d been infected by, the thing he hadn’t known he wanted, was JAZZ, and the word sounded right to Peter, like onomatopoeia for the effect it had on him — jazz, jazz, jazzamatazz — he was jazzed alright! And the next number blasted off even bigger, swung even harder — picture a wrecking ball — and just then Mageeb limped in, collar gone, coat matted with burrs, and dropped the ball at Peter’s feet. Look out Mageeb! Too late! Unseeing, convulsed, Peter threw himself into the new number with a wild kick that caught Mageeb POW! right in the chops. As the boy’s leg came back down the enraged terrier sank his fangs deep into the tender tissue of the soleus. The tempo doubled and Peter responded with frenzied exertions, oblivious to all but the roar from the radio, and at that moment Peter’s Mom and Pop returned, hands over their ears, their bodies braced against the big band blast as against a hurricane and they stood there agape at the spectacle of their little son, normally a model of self-restraint, high-kicking around the room with Mageeb a blur locked onto the boy’s young leg from which blood jetted in arcs spattering the immaculate antimacassars, the lamps, the maps and memorabilia…