So I’ve fallen in love with a podcast called “The Love Bomb.” Hosted by actor Nico Tortorella, the show features a conversation between him and “someone he loves” and while the conversation always somehow starts off or ends up discussing sexuality, the true beauty of The Love Bomb, for me, is the spoken word opening by Nico. He is an artist, a thinking man, a young man, sometimes confused but always confident, intelligent, friendly and loving.
I imagine I’d have met him at a poetry slam when I was younger, then I’d be struck by his beauty (because he is, to paraphrase Zoolander, ridiculously good-looking), After consciously staring for about a minute too long, I’d probably make an effort to e his friend. And we’d hang out in a totally platonic way because maybe I don’t fit his sexually fluid tastes. And we’d be friends and all our other friends would be other twenty-something artistes and we’d all be hanging out ruminating about life and death and truth.
If I met him now, I’d feel like Liza, his girlfriend on the show Younger played by the very talented Sutton Foster. You know, an older woman pretending to be, well, younger. And I’d be embarrassed to look at his ridiculously good-looking self and say something stupid like, “You’re so young. Just wait till you get older,” as we ruminate about life and death and truth.
But here’s the thing, age doesn’t matter when it comes to true wisdom. I feel like there are just some people who are wise beyond their years. I’d say Nico were an old soul, but that’s totally not the vibe I get when listening to him or watching his Instagram feed. I feel like, if anything, he is a new soul, with new ideas, new energy. This is what is exciting about him and his podcast and his work.
I like podcasts in general. I like that I can experience a whole story without seeing anything with my eyes. I listen to NPR regularly and almost every program is on my Stitcher App. Come on, I was obsessed with “Serial” too like the rest of the world. But with Nico and The Love Bomb, I feel like I’m meeting a friend or friends for coffee. And they talk about things and life in general. They talk about personal, very personal things, and I just listen and nod, sympathetic, empathetic, I hope.
Before jumping into the conversation, Nico kicks off the show with Spoken Word and he’s really good at it. He should write a book. Or record an album of spoken word (do they even still do those?)
Anyway, this week’s spoken word podcast opening was extra special. Unlike his other intros, Nico didn’t really talk about the guest, instead, he used it as an opportunity to talk about something current, something we’ve all been processing, thinking, feeling. It was so good, I actually transcribed it for you below. (Forgive any mistakes as I was literally just listening and hitting the pause button to hear.)
Just read it and imagine this pulsing beat in the background and Nico emotionally reciting his thoughts. Our thoughts,our feelings.
By Nico Tortorella
(Episode 11 of The Love Bomb)
What just happened
WHAT JUST HAPPENED
What just happened
No seriously what just happened
Is it still happening?
One week it’s only been
One week it’s already been
Yes it’s still happening
Yes people are sad
Yes people are mad
Yes people are glad
What just happened
No seriously, what the fuck just happened
Why haven’t I stopped weeping?
What’s the next step for this giant ball floating through space
World My World
And your world
And his world
And her world
And white world
And colored world
And religious world
And malicious world
And salacious world
And queer world
And fear world
And first class world
And working class world
And no class world
Every country in the world’s world
This is America’s world
The United States of America’s world
The fucking Divided States of America’s world
A world for people that are trying
And a world for people that don’t know how
Don’t know better world
It’s the way we were raised world
The way they played world
Love is instinctual
Hate is taught
That’s not a thought
That’s a fact.
Love is instinctual.
Hate is taught.
Whatever any of it is,
This is love’s world
Love for the light world
And love for the dark world
Love for the fight’s world
Love for the champion’s world
I will always have more love for the underdog’s world
But today we must unite, world
The United States of America world
United Sates her plea please
Dear America please
Red White and Blue have proven to do and be and breathe
and fall and fail and succeed
But just like me, these colors sometimes run and bleed
And stars once tall, they cheat.
We have to remember, we’re all in this shit together
Birds of a feather
And never forget, laughs are loudest in masses
A work in progress
A work in progress
Let it be said that I love my country
And I will continue to
But just like me, sometimes the flag falls apart
Frayed lines and burnt cloth and we must –
My God! We must put the pieces back together
I have undeniable faith in the good of people,
The indigo spirit
Come to the rescue and reach and reach and preach
And catch and dive and survive
And pollinate and teach these stars and stripes to fight, to flight to breach
One day we will break the fucking glass
United States her plea, please
Dear America, please, above all, I ask: Be Kind to One Another
Compassionate, empathetic, no matter what side you are on
I encourage you to find humility in your heart
I beg of you
We need it more than ever
And to the rest of the world,
Light a fucking candle for us or somethin’
We’re gonna need it.
At the end of the day, our hearts all beat the same
Now go tell someone you love them.