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

Archive for the month “April, 2014”

The Karat In Front Of The Stick

Although I’m not thrilled about doing so, I have to admit that I sometimes suck at this whole guru/enlightenment/walking-on-water thing.

My mind was waterlogged last night with murky thoughts. And when I opened my eyes this morning, the darkness between my ears didn’t have much regard for the sunlight forcing its way through the window blinds.

I, being who I am, can slice through sadness like a samurai with a Hanzo sword, but I chose, for whatever reason, to just sit there in my own stink.

And with that said, I, being who I am, can’t help but feel what everyone is feeling.


Although I was in no mood for chit chat, I knew I had to say something to the guy pumping my gas this afternoon so I complimented him on his sunglasses to get the ball rolling.

He replied, “Thanks. They really help me to see in the sun. Just had to wear them in Jamaica when I was seeing my son.”

“He lives down there?”

“Yes,” he said.

And then added, word for word, “He just passed away. Thirty-six. From sickle cell.”

Holy fuck, it’s a mad mad world at times.

(I really would like to end this piece right here. Just have the credits roll on it and that’s that. But I guess I should try for some catharsis, right? A happy ending of sorts. Oh c’mon, get your goddamn mind of the gutter. So, here it goes: a friend recently said, “Some days are diamonds and some days are coal.” Those are the wisest words I’ve heard in awhile. And, as we remember from our dreaded earth science classes in high school, we can only possess diamonds after coal lives through unfathomable pressures).


The Blind Leading The Blind

I’m worried about my car and this woman can’t even drive.

Not only can’t she drive, she can’t even see the front door at Starbucks.

A few minutes ago, I walked in to grab a coffee while she attempted to walk out.

Kazoo, her seeing-eye dog, went for a cookie crumb wedged in between the cushions of a comfy chair, and I grabbed her folding, old-lady-cart to help her navigate.

I stood outside with her for a few minutes as she confirmed with a van driver if his van was the one she was actually supposed to be on.

She was incredibly grateful for my helping hand.

But my God, I don’t know who was more grateful in the moment, me or her.

Eating, showering, walking back and forth to the auto mechanic, twice, and of course peeing a million times, allowed for my arrival at Starbucks at the perfect, precise moment.


Its lesson is everywhere.

The truth is, I don’t give a shit about the car. And I also don’t give a shit about not having one.

It’s going to cost a fortune to fix my dad’s old car, the one I’ve been driving while I’ve been back up in New York, and my mom was less than thrilled about hearing the news from me.

I was feeling bad that she was feeling bad and then boom: Kazoo and her mom.


I texted my mom to see if she caught the train on time and, since I assume liability for everything, I apologized for the stress of a new heartache.

She texted back, “I’m not stressed. It’s not a glioblastoma (kill shot brain tumor my dad had a three of). It’s only money. Nothing gets me that crazy anymore.”

I’m sure she felt like she was telling the truth, but nevertheless, it was a lie.

Everything still gets to her.

But it’s not her fault. Everything gets to everyone.

Even after all of the loss, and all of the suffering, we’re still tragic victims of the trivial.

We’re consumed with fear about the future and we waste the present worrying about an illusion we have infinitesimal control of.

If you’re now expecting a tirade about gratefulness, don’t worry, it ain’t coming.

Because that would just sound so awful: Worried about your car? Well, be grateful you’re not a blind woman struggling to get through a door.

That would make it seem like she has nothing to be grateful for. And then poor Kazoo would get so sad.

Poor Kazootles.

However, I will say this: We need to be more aware of where are minds are.

If there’s something to worry about, worry away like a champ. But just allow for a little.

Because it sure as shit isn’t going to alleviate anything.

So, go worry, catch yourself worrying, and then force yourself to point your attention to something beautiful. A tree, a smile, a breath, a memory etc etc.

In one form or another, even if it’s simply old age, that kill shot is coming. For all of us.

And the last thing we’re going to want to be filled with in those final moments is regret.

With that said, Kathy’s Song by Simon & Garfunkel is now playing in Starbucks. I’m going to end here because I can still hear my dad singing along with it in the car and I’m trying not to cry in front of everyone.

Thank you, as always, for reading.

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


Ego & Entanglements

“I saved all of my dad’s cummerbunds.”

That’s the best first sentence ever. Right?

It’ so visual, I just love it. I automatically see an older, heavyset guy at a bar-mitzvah. Hovering over a tray of appetizers.

My friend said it to me a few days ago. When her dad died, she threw out all of his clothes but kept his cummerbunds. I guess they had the most memories woven metaphysically into their fabric.

I told her if she ever writes a book, “I saved all of my dad’s cummerbunds,” needs to be the first sentence. But, as a writer, I’m obligated to steal it. Finders keepers baby, finders keepers.

I’m sitting at the kitchen table as I type these words to you. My mom is standing next to me, texting on her iPhone while going on and on to me about her Zumba class and about the new kitchen cabinets in her condo on the beach in Florida.

And although I sometimes feel like ripping the phone out of her hands and whipping it through the window, I remember – she too will one day take her last breath.

Hopefully later than sooner.

So, I listen. And smile. And encourage her.

My dad and I had a phenomenally loving relationship, but we’d fight often.

Some of our entanglements were for good reason, but most weren’t.

—- a few minutes have passed since that last sentence —-

I was just about to say: if I knew I’d end up watching him suffer so badly from brain cancer for eleven months, I would have been infinitely more permeable to his ego and angry antics.

But that’s bullshit.

I would have been tyrannical. Ruthless. No one would dare to waste a second in my presence.

Nothing but unconditional love, laughter, forgiveness and appreciation would have been allowed.

Sounds unrealistic in this world of ours?

That’s why we continue to suffer.

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


When Cameron Was In Egypt Land…

Why was last night different than all other nights?

Because last night was the second night of Passover, and for the second night in a row, I drove my grandma home after our menagerie of matzoh.

That was my dad’s job.

And now it’s mine.

Earlier in the evening, everyone sat around the table – ate, laughed and pretended to be religious for fifteen minutes.

Including me.

However, I also felt like banging my fists on the table and screaming, “Holy fuck Batman, how are we all acting so normal?”

Maybe that’s what happens when you lose a loved one. Eventually, everything clicks back into place and you just roll with it. Even if it clicks a bit differently than it used to.

Your mom cooks for the family by herself, your brother-in-law hides the matzoh so the kids can scramble to find it, and you get into your dad’s car and drive your grandma back to her apartment in Long Beach.

Life goes on.

But with that said, I once again walked downstairs this morning, and literally felt my dad sitting at the kitchen table. Wearing his blue bathrobe, reading the Times, and eating lots of eggs and gross onions.

Everyone says in due time, things will feel normal again.


That’s the last thing I want to feel.

Normalcy might tarnish my memories. And I need them to remain digitally clear.

Because they’re all I have left.

“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


Be Ashamed To Die…

Your life, as well as countless others, just might hinge upon watching this video.

Please find three minutes and forty-four seconds when you can:  

“Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.” – Horace Mann

Nirvana Is In The Nostrils

“When I first started working, they called me The Kid,” said a man in his early sixties in the barbershop today.

I was getting scissor snipped, and this guy, The Kid, was talking to the owner of the place while waiting for his turn in the chair.

He continued, “They all use to say, ‘Look out for The Kid!'”

“And now, I almost can’t believe it, they call me Grandpa. Or they call me the old man. ‘Hey Old Man, how’s it going buddy?'”

In the mirror, I saw him smiling between words.


Because that smile, like an aspirin of last resort, halted my heart from crumbling as I listened to him while watching a mixture of gray and black hairs fall from my head.





Tic toc.

Tic toc tic toc

Tictoc Tictoc Tictoc


Thirty years passed before this guy’s eyes just like that.

And it’s happening to all of us.

But not in this instant.

Because it’s happening when we’re not in this instant.

When we’re somewhere else in our minds.

Focused on the illusion of the past or a figment of a future, our life hits the accelerator and it approaches light speed.

We’re hurled through space and time and BAM, we’re siting in a barbershop, taking about diabetes and hip replacements.

Is there a way to slow it down?

Can we cling more to this moment?

Yes, of course.

But it’s going to take an inner revolution.

A crusade.

An adoption of a concept, so rare, that it runs counter to the constant bombardments of society’s accepted normalcy.

Are you ready to receive the coveted secret of all enlightened masters?

Well, ready or not, here it comes: Worry Less.

Worry less.

Can it be that simple?


Simple, but certainly not easy.

Because we’ve by conditioned by the fear based, powers-that-be, to worry incessantly.

We’re so conditioned to worry that it has become as normal as breathing.

But imagine living a life where you can just breathe without it being attached at the hip of soul-stunting worry?

And that, right there, is the answer.

It’s the answer to the question: but how do we become freedom fighters in this revolution against worry?

We breathe just to breathe.

We convert from the blind religion of worry, to the grace of conscious breathing.

We make our entire existence into a meditation.

Because with or without your worries, life is unfolding as it will.

And before you scream at me, yes, I know, there’s plenty to worry about. And trust me, I worry with the best of them at times, but eventually I remember – nirvana is in the nostrils.

So listen up, please, I can go on and on about this, but talking too much about slowing down the clock will invariably speed it up.

You’re just going to have to trust me.

Witness yourself breathing.

Make it the most important part of your life.

Move worry to the back burner.

Allow this intelligent universe of ours to actually be intelligent.

Your next breath, and the one after that, and the one after that, can stretch this instant out into eternity.

I promise.

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



Post Navigation