by Gabe Berman – the author of Live Like a Fruit Fly

Mental Breaks

The last thing I wanted to do is stand on a chair and pull the muck out from the gutters. But my mom asked me to do it. So I did it.

Normally, this would be my dad’s duty. But “normal” has left the building a few winters ago.

And as always, my mind toggled between spiritual philosophies as I grabbed fistfuls of soggy, lifeless leaves.

Should I focus on gratefulness? Forgivenesses? Lightheartedness? Holiness?

I settled on straight-up nothingness.

Without thoughts, my foul feelings faded and I transitioned, as The Dude would say, into abiding. Abiding in the crisp air. In the setting sun. In the breath.

I looked beyond the roof and saw a nest in a tree.

In that moment, I thought that the birds and other animals are the true inhabitants of this planet and you and I, and our silly problems, are just passing through. It still feels kind of true.

I showered up, ate my legal limit of lentils and Brussels sprouts, and got in the car to head to Starbucks.

At a red light, an asshole in an SUV quickly closed in behind me and I wasn’t sure if he was going to stop.

I braced for impact.

I thought how strange it is that our consciousness can literally be knocked right out of our bodies. In one second, everything that makes us us, can get turned off like a light switch and we’d be as lifeless as a old cigarette butt on a city sidewalk.

Where, if anywhere, do we go?

I really want to know. But not badly enough to know now.

Thankfully, the SUV found its breaks.

Now I have more time to think about spiritual philosophies. More time to think about thinking. More time to remember that the only thoughts worth having while you’re outside doing a favor for your mom, while you’re missing your dad, are the ones that remind you to stop all of your thinking.

Stop and just be.

Just be as we’re passing through.

In Live Like a Fruit Fly, Gabe Berman shares his recipe for living a more joyful, worthwhile, and abundant life in every way. A witty, entertaining, and insightful read.” — Deepak Chopra, Author, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success


Call Me Ishmael

If the sun was out and the world was awake, I wouldn’t even think about doing it.

But in the wee small hours of the morning, I brought my old iPhone out of retirement to reconnect with some old pics.

Dozens of shots of the beach I lived across the street from, an equal amount of dogs I’d meet walking into Starbucks, and of course, countless captures of my dad.

Looking happy before it all went down, forcing a calm face at my cousin’s wedding right after the diagnosis, and one of him bundled up in front of the house in a wheelchair. A few months before he died. Looking more like his old mother than the tough guy from Brooklyn he once was.

Upon seeing that last one, all of my peaceful, nearly enlightened, feelings of the day were washed away like a bad dye job.

Oh my God, what he went through. And, what we went through with him.

I regrouped while having cereal this morning though.

I realized, or re-realized, that all of that suffering only exists in one place now.

In my head.

He’s certainly not feeling it anymore. Only I am.

It serves no one to dwell on it.

But I swear I don’t intend to. Even when I’m not looking at pics, these awful memories can hit me like a rouge wave.

It sweeps out my legs and I tumble violently. Mercilessly. Until the sea settles and I find my feet again. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

I don’t think I can prevent this from happening. And I don’t think I’d even want to if I could.

But, as I said, it serves no one to dwell on it.

The thing is, I already know how to save myself in these situations. I wrote about it in Live Like A Fruit Fly.

Active Appreciation is a life jacket I need to wear more often.

I need to remember to put one on as soon as I wake up.

I need to make sure the straps are secured throughout the day.

Maybe you do too.

thanks for spending these few minutes with me,

In Live Like a Fruit Fly, Gabe Berman shares his recipe for living a more joyful, worthwhile, and abundant life in every way. A witty, entertaining, and insightful read.” — Deepak Chopra, Author, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success


Love Equals MC Squared

I know it’s old fashioned of me, but when a movie really permeates my soul, I applaud it in the theater as soon as the first words of the closing credits hit the screen.

It’s definitely a little dumb since the actors and writers can’t hear me, but I don’t care. I clap for the them, and the director and the lighting people, right there anyway.

But my favorite is when my adulation allows others to bring their hands together. People who normally might feel a bit too self conscious to do so.

The other night I removed my glasses, dried my eyes and clapped after the last scene of Interstellar.

Maybe it wasn’t the intended message of the movie, but here’s my takeaway: love transcends everything. Even time.

It now reminds me of what I once scribbled to myself a few years back: Time isn’t passing. We’re passing through it.


- – – – – -


Only The Everyone Dies Too Young

There’s nothing more Long Island than driving on the Wantagh, with water and beach-grass on both sides, while listening to Billy Joel live at Shea.

I was singing along with Angry Young Man, and somewhere deep in my inflection, I heard my dad’s voice.

I heard it so clearly. I felt it so strongly.

Not in a spooky, poltergeist kinda way, but fresh like it was yesterday. He’d sing along with the radio, drum on the steering wheel, and always take the long way to the North Shore so he could see people fishing from their boats.

And there in the dark, alone on the parkway, I started sobbing.

I covered my mouth to muffle my gasps and cried. Hard.

My god, everything but love is so meaningless.

In Live Like a Fruit Fly, Gabe Berman shares his recipe for living a more joyful, worthwhile, and abundant life in every way. A witty, entertaining, and insightful read.” — Deepak Chopra, Author, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success


Writing Because I Still Can

I was grateful this morning for the subtle symphony of meditative beats made by droplets of water that wanted out after I turned off the shower.

I watched them fall from the faucet in sort of a simulated slow-motion and an unmistakable rhythm popped off of the floor near my feet.

I was also grateful for how effortlessly my arm moved to grab the towel. And how fresh it felt as I brought it to my face.

Taking time to notice these moments and taking more time to write about them now will not help my career or advance my bank account by a cent. And it certainly won’t alleviate or assuage the disappointment I unintentionally dole out to others. This I know to be true.

But one day I might be too poor or too rich to relate to this beauty. Or too sick or too rushed.

So I am grateful that I was grateful for something so inconsequential.

Because like the others, my bones and my blood will one day be nothing but dust.

— —


Wait, How Old Are You???

The twenty year old dude behind the counter at Starbucks couldn’t believe I just turned forty-two.

That makes both of us.

Thankfully, he thought I was younger.

But the truth is, there’s only one thing I give a shit about when it comes to growing older. And it’s not my gray hair, nor people thinking I should be further along by now, and not the fact that I can’t score college chicks anymore.

The passage of time and subsequent birthdays are significant for this reason alone: the end is getting closer.

And that scares me man. It really scares me.

I have so much lighthearted nothingness yet to accomplish.

I better get moving.

Oh, and by the way, even in college I couldn’t score college chicks.

I think I would have done well in the psychedelic 60’s though.

Free love and flower power.

In Live Like a Fruit Fly, Gabe Berman shares his recipe for living a more joyful, worthwhile, and abundant life in every way. A witty, entertaining, and insightful read.” — Deepak Chopra, Author, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success


What’s The Point Of Being Here?

A women I often see in Starbucks told another woman I often see in Starbucks about my book.

Wow, that sentence really sucks.

Take two: Two women I see often in Starbucks were talking about my book.

One of them just asked me….wait…now it seems like I walked into Starbucks and these two chicks were sitting there with espressos, chatting about my book. Which isn’t what happened, but, whatever.

Oh, by the way, it’s “espresso”. Do you see a goddamn “x” in that word? No. You don’t. So, for the love of all things holy, stop saying expresso. Thank you.

Anyway…One of them just asked me, “So, what’s the purpose of fruit flies?”

She wasn’t inquiring about why my book exists. For that, I would have smacked her right in the teeth.

She actually wanted to know about fruit flies in general. As in: if they die so quickly, what’s the point?

It’s really a great question if you think about it.

And the only answer that seemed adequate at the time was, “When I figure out what my purpose is, I’ll get to the fruit flies next.”

But now that I write this, I realize I already know what my purpose is.

My purpose is to live. Live until I no longer live.

Hence, it’s the same for good old fruit flies.

I’m just trying to live as gracefully as they do.

And as you know, it ain’t always easy.

I’m trying though. I’m really trying.

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This Is For You (yes, you)

The Big Bang, forming galaxies, Earth cooling, your great grandparents falling in love, this video.

Please, don’t allow yourself to be too busy to watch it. It’s intended precisely for you.

Thank you:

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You’re Gorgeous! (And ugly too)

A trifecta of high school chicks are sitting in front of me in Starbucks right now.

They’re cute and they know it. Confident as a mafia hit squad. iPhones out, ripped jeans, and a blatant disregard for calories.

If I were in high school, or even in college, I’d be scared shitless from these three.


But, I’m a goddamn Jedi now. And their bitch faces melted like candles thrown into a volcano when I got up to take a leak and said, “Hey, can you guys do me a favor and kick the crap out of anyone who tries to touch my iPad?”

Everyone else walking by gets a solid dose of the world famous Long Island Stink-Eye.

They look at their clothes, whisper their reviews, and smirk in disgust.

And I’m almost as guilty.

When I was a kid, I’d also cut on people behind their backs to my friends. And as an adult, my mind judges everyone and everything. My thoughts are on autopilot unless I’m already abiding in a transcendental space.

And this is bad.

Very, very bad.

Because kids, all over the world, grow up thinking it’s okay to fuck over people to get ahead. Greed is the golden rule. The environment? Slaughterhouses? That’s someone else’s problem.

Sounds like I’m stretching here?

Well, I’m not. Go look out the window. Open a history book. Switch on TV. Look inside your own head and heart. We’ve made a living hell for ourselves.

All is not lost however.

Everything can be cured in just a few generations.

What’s the cure?


“We are all one. Everyone you see, is actually you. They look different, but it’s you.”

This needs to be taught along with the abc’s. Along with the times tables. With science, history religion and art.

It will become as natural as learning to keep little hands away from a hot stove.

The survival of our species depends on this. Just this.

And it can start with you.


The separation you feel between you and others is an illusion.

According to mystics and now physics, there’s only one of us.

Thank you for reading,

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“I Will Make You Fishers Of Men”

Forty-two years ago today, my dad woke up and decided to go fishing.

My mom said, “I don’t think so.”

They went to the hospital instead and came home with me.

And just a few years later, he took me fishing.

And to soccer games. And to car shows and to boat shows and to pizza places. And when my sister’s kids were born, more pizza places.

We fought too. A lot.

I miss him a little bit more today than I usually do.

It’s bizarrely warm out now for the middle of October, so my mom and I are sitting on a bench on the boardwalk in Long Beach.

I need to be more forgiving with her. We’re all headed to the same place.

On the drive over here, I was listening to the Blues Brothers soundtrack. It was one of my dad’s top favorites and mine too of course. He labeled the blank CD after burning the album from me on his super-slow laptop many years ago.

I stared at his handwriting before pulling out of the driveway today.

As I was parking by the beach, the live version of Everybody Needs Somebody To Love started playing. It opens up with Elwood Blues saying, “…please remember people, that no matter who you are and what you do to live, thrive and survive, there’re still some things that makes us all the same. You, me, them, everybody.”

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