Lips Of An Angel

This week’s episode of "Entourage" focused on Eric’s inability to fuck mindlessly, to do the dirty deed and move on.

Can you do this?

I can’t. I get emotionally attached. Hell, it’s hard for me to press myself upon someone if I don’t feel the connection. Maybe my father never led me, maybe I wasn’t a member of the right group in high school, but taking advantage of a woman…it’s just not what I do.

Then again, what about the girls who want to take advantage of me?

That’s equally uncomfortable. I run.

The literature tells us otherwise. That men follow their dicks anywhere and everywhere. They need to get laid constantly. The receptacle doesn’t matter.

But it does. Oh, you can block out the connection. You can live in ignorance. But when bodily fluids are exchanged your lives are changed forever. You share something that you can’t forget, however much you might want to. And it’s this accumulated baggage that causes one to lose one’s optimism. With more questions than answers, you get bogged down. Do you stay where you are, or jump ship believing there’s a better destination? Or where you were before, is that where you really should be?

We’d all like to go back. To those times of young love. We idealize the other person. If only we reconnected…what would happen? Would our lives work? Or would it be a disaster.

Honey why you calling me so late?

One of the best episodes of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" dealt with the cut-off time. How late can you call?

In your twenties, any time is fine. People are looking for action, they don’t want to be left out. But as the years wear on, the hour of permissible connection gets earlier and earlier. Whether kids are involved or not.

And when the phone rings close to midnight, you know it must be important. And that’s when they call. Not in the middle of the afternoon. Or dinner time. But when they’re home alone, thinking of you. And when you hear their voice on the end of the line, your heart skips a beat. You feel connected, so right, like you’re home, where you’re supposed to be.

Only she’s there.

And you’re here.

But girl you make it hard to be faithful
With the lips of an angel

I was hiking, long after midnight. And when I descended upon Will Rogers’ house, what came through my iPod headphones suddenly caught me off guard. This was not a conventional love song. There was some kind of twist.

Oh, I’d heard the song before. Was it by that TV band the Heights?

No, this was that power ballad, by that double platinum act, Hinder. A Nickelback clone painting by numbers. But this artwork…the numbers had gotten tossed around in the washing machine, the resulting image, it was something different.

Well, my girl’s in the next room
Sometimes I wish she was you
I guess we never really moved on
It’s really good to hear your voice say my name
It sounds so sweet
Coming from the lips of an angel
Hearing those words it makes me weak

The new girlfriend is sleeping in ignorant bliss. She believes her predecessor is history. Your ex may be in the rearview mirror, but that doesn’t mean you don’t take a look. And you know better than to pull the car into her driveway. But what if she pulls her automobile into yours?

That’s the way it happens. You’re minding your own business. And you stumble upon an unfamiliar name in your e-mail inbox. And before you relegate the missive to the trash, condemning it to the dustbin for eternity, quashing the spark, something inside tells you this might be real. So you click and read.

It’s her.

And now everybody’s findable. The Internet has seemingly ruined more relationships than it’s kindled.

Old wounds are opened. You fall right back into your routine. Unless you’re strong. Do you want to be this standoffish? You shared a bed. Your hopes and dreams. As well as disasters. She’s part of your family, can you turn your back?

It’s really good to hear your voice say my name
It sounds so sweet
Coming from the lips of an angel
Hearing those words it makes me weak

You don’t want to lead her on. But part of you wants to jump in. Your heart overrules your brain. But will this work out? And that dedicated girl back in the bed? Does she have someone too? Is it just a matter of time? Are we all just passing through? Can we count on anyone, anything?

Life is confusing. And the longer you live, the less you understand it. You’re looking for explanations. And anybody who gives you a morsel of insight, who makes you believe you’re not alone in your feelings, will get your money. It’s not about sheen, it’s not about the one night stand, it’s about open honesty.

And that essence, it’s in this derided Hinder song, "Lips Of An Angel".

But, as I said, that’s not where I discovered it. Rather, upon instruction of a country fan, I downloaded Jack Ingram’s cover. And sans the heaviness, the lyrics jumped out, the changes lost their sense of bludgeon. I realized the song was a classic.

All those doctored numbers Clive Davis creates. They’re of the moment. Because they fit the formula, but that’s all they are, formula. And great music has no formula. It’s like a lightning bolt, perfectly formed, instantly great.

Oh, I don’t have big hopes for Hinder. But "Lips Of An Angel" will live on. If it weren’t for the underlying message, it would be a wedding staple. Maybe this year it is. Because "Lips Of An Angel" bespeaks intimacy. And that’s what we’re all looking for, closeness. And when we finally find it, we’re not eager to give up on it.

The one night standers believe they’re winners. But they’re the losers. They’re covering up their basic human need. To feel a member of society. We’re highly evolved animals. We don’t only crave physical pleasure. The physical is just one element of the whole. A whole that’s hard to create, hard to keep in balance.

The big swinging dicks don’t even ask the questions. Their money and flash are supposed to be enough.

But they’re not. We know that.

Just like we know whenever we hear "Lips Of An Angel" we feel understood, part of something bigger, very complicated, known as life.

Jack Ingram – "Lips Of An Angel" is the last song in the player

and listen to the original Hinder take at: Hinder, but be sure to scroll down the page to stop the video on the lower left-hand side, so it doesn’t play over the music

This is a read-only blog. E-mail comments directly to Bob.