OMGabe

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

Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian Are Fucking!


Bubby’s plants must have been thirsty.

It’s been weeks since they’ve been watered.

I was never alone in her place before and, at first, it was a bit unsettling.

Talking to her plants made me feel better pretty quickly though.

I told them not to worry. That I’d take care of them.

I watched her die and was the one to identify her body before it was lowered into the ground, but it was still shocking to me that she wasn’t there. Offering me non-vegetarian food I wouldn’t eat. Asking me, again, if I like All In The Family.

Her toothbrush is still in the bathroom. Her white sneakers are still lined up perfectly in the closest. The package of menthol cough drops I recently bought for her is still on the table next to the recliner – the chair which was once my Pop-pop’s.

I looked around a little more, locked up and left.

I thought about how she’d always walk me to the elevator. Sometimes she’d tell me about all of her friends who have died. But she’d always tell me she loved me as the elevator doors opened. I’d always hug her and say it back.

These sweet moments will forever eclipse, easily, how disappointed she was with me.

I know she couldn’t help it. Nobody can.
It’s okay though.

I know I’m enough.

And regardless of how anyone feels about you or has felt about you, or has made you feel about yourself, please trust me when I say that you’re enough as well.

I swear to god you are.

And I know these are just words on a page, but I hope at some point they really resonate with you. Resonate and then soak deep into your cells and soul.

Because…

You

Are

Enough.

And before anyone jumps down my throat for telling people they shouldn’t try to be better, I assure you I’m not saying that. 

What I’m saying, which should be obvious, is that you don’t exist to prove yourself to anyone. You’re here, regardless of whatever the fuck anyone says, to witness the good in the the world and to add to it as often as you can. The end.

Because our toothbrushes and cough drops and plants and the rest of our stuff will outlive us and none of that shit will matter anymore.

But maybe people will talk about how loving you were. And that certainly doesn’t suck.

Anyway, I got outside and there was a spoon on the floor near my car.

Which is just perfect.

“There is no spoon…” – Neo

thank you all for your sympathy and your love and your time – I am truly grateful,
gb

P.S. I’m sorry about the title. But just a little. Maybe it got someone to read it who needed to.

buy my goddamn books here:
www.LiveLikeAFruitFly.com

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Who’s The Dancer?

  

Buy my goddamn books here:

www.livelikeafruitfly.com

Bye Bye Bubby

My mom is in the den watching The Martian with her boyfriend.

From the kitchen I can hear David Bowie’s “Starman” pulsing from the TV’s speakers.

Poor Ziggy Stardust.

One day you’re healthy, as right as rain.

Then you feel a lump.

And then you’re dead.

Hopefully you were loved.

Hopefully you loved.

I was thinking exactly this as I held my grandma’s hand as she passed away the other day.

“I love you” was my calm, inner mantra. I repeated it to myself, but for her, as I felt her slip away.

What wrecks me the most about this is how easy it was.

How easy it was for me to just be there for her without dwelling in my own, awful sadness.

I hate that it was easy.

Hate.

And it’s not because she was ninety-four and lived tip-top for ninety-three and a half years. Although, that certainly didn’t hurt.

It was easy because I was face to face with my dad as he breathed in for the last time and watching my grandma die, in comparison, was like buying a snow cone from the ice cream man.

At the cemetery, on a brutally cold day, her pine wood coffin was lowered into the frozen ground and I thought to myself, “And there also goes all of the worthless worry about worthlessness.”

But it wasn’t her fault. She literally couldn’t help it.

Like mostly everyone else, she was operating on autopilot.

I hope more joy and less turbulence unfolds for me before it’s my turn.

And I hope the same for you.

thank you, as always, for joining me here, and please, resist being like everyone else,
gb

buy my goddamn books here:
www.LiveLikeAFruitFly.com

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Until Death Do Us Part

“It’s nice to get out, ” he says.

“It is, isn’t it?” she responds.

They eat a few crumbles of muffin and simultaneously sip some coffee.

“I’d never do this without you,” he says.

“Why would you deprive yourself if I couldn’t go for some reason?” she asks.

He pauses to take another sip, puts down the cup, looks her in the eye and answers with a smile, “Because it’s been fifty-nine years and two months.”

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Fucking ABBA? Really??

Dear Starbucks,

Regardless of how it may have tested in some corporate boardroom, I assure you, beyond question, Dancing Queen by ABBA is never appropriate for a cool coffee cafe such as yours. Especially at this current, insanely loud volume.

I mean c’mon, haven’t you guys heard of Buddha Lounge?

Meditative, melodic beats and your dark roast?

That’s like love at first site that lasts.

Bubble gum, pop tunes and your dark roast?

That’s just bad makeup on a beautiful woman.

Wait, Marvin Gaye’s Got To Give It Up just came on.

You’ve been redeemed.

sorry/thank you,

gb

– – – – –

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Still Life (Talking)

Vivaldi.

Coffee.

Sweatpants, sweatshirt, warm slippers.

A squirrel is squirreling in the grass outside the kitchen window.

Moss outlines the bricks of the brick patio.

Sunlight.

Shadows.

My mind?

At ease and still, like a painting of a pond.

But in a moment, the old ghosts return to haunt. I should be succeeding. Vanquishing. Proving myself. Making better use of the time.

Hmm, something is definitely different today though. The ghosts are just empty sheets with holes cut out for eyes.

They’re no longer the leads in this play and leave the stage just as quickly as they entered the scene.

Although I’ve been strangled by the feeling of insufficiency for as long as I’ve had language, the urge to impress anyone, even myself, now feels prehistoric.

I am enough.

Right here, right now, I am enough.

And I don’t care who else is on board with this. The squirrel knows what’s up though.

I am enough.

I certainty don’t invite it, but death could come today and I’d be okay with it.

I am complete.

I always have been.

And so are you.

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

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Who’s Reading This? 

  

Star Wars Opening Night! (No spoiler – I promise)

Stupid teddy bears.

That’s what my dad called the Ewoks.

And just because they were on screen for few minutes of Return Of The Jedi, he hated the entire movie.

Hated, like poison.

And if anyone ever mentioned this third installment of the Star Wars saga, he’d contort his face as if swallowing the aforementioned poison and would say, “Stupid teddy bears.”

Once, I think I even heard, “Fucking teddy bears.”

But between you and I, although he always said he hated it, I knew he loved it.

My dad and I saw Jedi together about a billion times throughout the years and every time, like me, he was riveted.

And stupidly, every time he’d make his teddy bear remark afterwards, I’d verbally get angry with him.

First of all, don’t blaspheme against the holy trilogy.

Secondly, and more importantly, I despised my dad’s stick-in-the-mud mentality when it came to certain things.

Ewoks, pizza not being well done enough, unwillingness to watch cartoons with my nephews when they were tiny, not wanting to use his cell phone except for nights and weekends, predictably unpredictable episodes of volcanic anger over nothing, and did I mention those squooshy Ewoks?

And now it’s all meaningless.

Just memories I can laugh and/or cry about.

With that said, the new Star Wars, as everyone in the galaxy knows, opens tonight. Thirty-eight years after my parents first took me to see the original one when I was five. A long time ago…

I’ll miss him more tomorrow morning, when I see it with my mom at 10 am, than I will for all of the holidays combined.

The Force was our football. When it was on TV, there was absolutely no talking to us. We were fully focused like X-wing pilots in the Death Star trench.

We wouldn’t even eat. And for my dad, Captain Constant Consumption at your service, that was unheard of.

So, now what?

Like Luke, I am my father’s son. And I will continue to be strong. And continue to be loving.

Because my dad was the epitome of both.

may the force be with you, always,
gb

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How I Wish You Were Here

Just giving you a heads up, this isn’t going to be worth reading.

And yes, I know that sounds like a ploy to actually get you to read, but I swear it’s not.

It’s just something I know I need to write, so I’m going to. But it’s not going to be good. I really have nothing of value to say to anyone right now.

I’m just sitting here. On the couch. In the dark. Watching Good Will Hunting. With tears in my eyes.

A perfect movie. Which I won’t do a disservice to by talking about.

It’s just perfect, that’s all.

Especially tonight.

At the end of this day.

Three years exactly since I stood over my dad and watched him take his last breath.

I miss him so much.

Also, coincidentally, today is the day that I found out that I’m not sick.

I had a bit of a health scare but like I said, I’m good.

Before I was wheeled in for the endoscopy, a few days after the esophagram I had to have, I thought about the time in college I had surgery on my right arm after breaking it rollerblading.
I dreamt of Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were during the operation. At least, I thought I was dreaming about it. In reality, I was waking up from the anesthesia and the doctors were listening to it in the operating room.

And check this out, a moment before they induced me into to la la land today, I noticed a framed photo of the moon on the wall. The caption read: The dark side of the mood?

More evidence pointing to how the universe is intricately connected and more proof that every “coincidence” is a reminder of that connection. Winks from an ineffable intelligence.

And, just maybe, a wink from my dad. Letting me know it’s all going to be okay.

Which, I’m so grateful to say, it was. Is.

love/thanks,
gb

“Just do what’s in your heart son, you’ll be fine.” – Sean Maguire to Will Hunting. And just maybe, another wink from my dad to me. I’ll choose to believe it was.

www.LiveLikeAFruitFly.com

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Before I Blow Out The Candles

True love can be vicious.

And true love can be violent.

And just a few years ago, I had no choice but to become the most uninhibited, unconditional expression of viciously violent love.

My dad decided to stop eating.

He wanted to die.

Because, he was dying.

But since we’ve all heard of cancer patients who’ve experienced spontaneous remissions, I sure as hell wasn’t going to let him squander a chance for a miracle.

Even if it was only a one in a million shot.

Or billion.

Of course I understood why he was giving up, and the truth is, I may have done the same.

Then why did I disallow it?

Because he would have done the same for me.

We had each other’s back. Until death do us part. And no one, not even him, was going to talk me out of leaving my wingman.

He was an extremely strong willed man and was used to being in control and getting his way.

No friend or family member could convince him to take even a bite of anything. From a hospital bed, with very limited ability to move, he was certainly still in control.

I asked him kindly to please eat.

He refused.

I asked him again, but this time, to just do it for me.

He still refused.

Vicious, violent love was our only option.

I lunged at his chest and grabbed the lapels of his bathrobe like I was about to destroy a guy in a bar fight.

With one explosive hoist, I lifted his upper body off of the bed so we were eye to eye with me barely hinging at the hips.

With a controlled raised voice I said, “You’re going to eat. And you’re going to do it. Now. And I swear to God if you don’t, I’ll fucking throw you to the floor and if anyone tries to help you, regardless who they are, they’ll end up in this rehab center.”

He tried to say something but I talked right over him.

“This isn’t a debate. You’re eating.”

We just looked at each other and breathed for a moment in silence.

He knew this wasn’t a toothless threat and he nodded in agreeance.

I let go of his robe and his head smacked against the pillow.

I should have been more gentle about, but like Elvis, my gentleness had left the building and my heart was pumping with the toughest of love.

However, within a second, he was feeding himself applesauce.

And before I went home for my daily two hours of sleep, I rested my head on his chest and have him a good hug.

I told him I loved him, and that I was sorry.

He kissed the top of my head.

I cried all the way to the car.

And now I’m going to tell you something that I’m really not supposed to: the birthday wish I’ve been making every year since.

Right before I blow out the candles, I close my eyes and wish that I never, ever have to be that way again. And I wish no one will ever have to be that way for me. And I wish the same for you. Yes you, the reader of these words. I wish you never have to experience this. I swear I do.

love/thanks,
gb

P.S. This isn’t a debate were his words. I heard them often as a kid when I unsuccessfully tried to talk my way out of situations. I can thankfully smile about

 it now.

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