LX Commentary #11: Even If

“There ain’t no way you’re ever gonna find another lover like me…”

Imagining Benji Hughes as Heartman crooning the loungy opening line here only yielded one possible rival: Cupid. Two mythical beings armed with bows and tasked with making mere mortals fall in love.

I wanted a reason to dive a little more into Heartman’s character by seeing how he’d react to this ultra-specific form of competition/outside “assistance” that was actually a hindrance. And full disclosure: I also had some space to fill in using this song as a bridge from “All You’ve Got to Do…” to “Girl in the Tower.”

Tenuous and tangential, but the fact that this even exists made me include it in this blog post.

Unspoken in the book, if you pay attention to the timeline you may notice Cupid does serve an important role in disarming Heartman for just long enough to let an intruder into the lovestream. What if he works for the Evil Space Queen?

“Drowning in wine” was the other major lyrical inspiration, set up in the previous chapter and carried through here.

There’s also “the one you want to find is you…” which foreshadows the mirror chapter/song “So Much Better” we’ll get to later.

(Even if you noticed I skipped a song, I’ll explain why in the next installment.)

Other tidbits:

  • “Watching what love can do” is a dual reference to the songs “What Love Can Do” by Eleni Mandell (covered by Benji on the Unsung Heroes tribute album), plus “What A Little Bit of Love Can Do” by Jeff Bridges, featuring Benji dancing in the music video.
  • Peacockin’ Party” fills in added details about that time Jessica shifted her gaze to a donkey at the zoo at the same time Heartman fired a dart.
  • Lea = cochlea = the woman who lives in your ear. She may or may not have a pet
    If a little woman lives in your ear…
    snail. She may or may not get an in-world side-story in the future…
  • “He needed to let events play out in their natural sequence” is a hint that Heartman is picking up on some Lon influence already.
  • Segues always fascinate me. The way this chapter bridges into the next is one I’m especially proud of.
  • As a song, “Even If” fits the category of “I’ve never heard anything quite like this before!” Here’s another essay by John Quijano explaining the music better than I could. (My favorite part: “It is possible to run out of air signing along with these choruses…”)

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