OMGabe

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

Archive for the month “February, 2015”

Keeping My Mouth Closed – Not Likely


My friend doesn’t have cancer.

I was standing right next to him when the surgeon said, “All of your pathology finally came back. All of your nodes are clear. You don’t need chemo or anything.”

Tears of relief spontaneously squirted from his face.

He hugged the surgeon, wiped his eyes, and then hugged me.

Now lets go back a few weeks.

He doesn’t have a car so I drove him to the grocery store. He’s sixty-four and I wanted to save him from catching busses in this glacial weather. Especially with surgery looming in the near future.

“What’s wrong with this fucking place?” he screamed in the middle of the pet aisle.

“What happened to the damn kitty litter? What the fuck are they doing here? ” he continued down this path to a complete coronary.

Because he was so stressed about the possibility of cancer, understandably so, I said nothing other than offering to take him to a different store.

However, it wasn’t just his health causing him to boil over. He tends to get angry at non important things often. As most of us do.

Today, I was hoping he’d have a more evolved disposition in the grocery store.

But people don’t change. Even after dodging a life threatening bullet, they don’t change.

There was only one bag of the type of kitty litter his cat likes and he totally flipped out again (just an FYI – cats shouldn’t have the right to give a shit about what they shit on).

I said nothing.

I said nothing for maybe about a second.

I considered allowing the universe just to unfold as it will. But since I’m part of the universe, I had to unfold as I will.

“Jesus man, after everything you’ve been through, you’re still going to let these little things ruin your day?”

Life is so bizarre.

And how we treat it is even more bizarre.

with love and gratitude,
gb

www.LiveLikeAFruitFly.com

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Go(o)d Luck

“My god, she’s so stunning.”

I said this to myself, about Jennifer Aniston, while thumbing through People magazine’s Red Carpet Edition at my sister’s kitchen table. I was drinking a Fresca. Which, of course, has nothing to do with anything other then it being my dad’s favorite soda. Well, it was his favorite soda. I don’t know if they have soda in heaven. Or for that matter, if there is a heaven. But if so, I hope they have Fresca in their vending machines up there. And I hope they’re free. That’s the least God could do for us.

One of my nephews, who’s ten years old, was standing behind me and looking at the pictures over my shoulder.

“All of these people are so lucky,” he said.

I straightened him out with, “Actually man, some of them are ridiculously talented actors.”

“Yeah, but they were born that way,” he responded.

To look him in the eye, I twisted my head around as far as I could like an owl and I told him that he was right.

This is when I’d normally make a pithy point about using your gifts so you can become lucky too. Or maybe I’d say something about not comparing your gifts to others. But then again, I could take this in the direction of idolization of celebrities who are probably thousands of leagues below you on the evolutionary scale.

But to paraphrase the Oracle in Matrix Reloaded, you’re just going to have to make up your own damn mind about what you want this to mean. If anything.

Because right now, the only thing I care about is what happened forty-six years ago today. My parents got married.

Is there luck in life?

I don’t know.

Is there a heaven?

I don’t know.

Is there a hell?

Yes. For fucking sure there is.

It’s the stew we sit in when we’re trapped in our haunting thoughts.

So, I’m going to get up from my laptop and figure out how to spread some kindness today.

Especially to myself.

It’s the least, or maybe the most, I can do with my day.

Maybe it’s the path to whatever heaven there is. While we’re still here.

As always, with love and gratitude,
gabe

www.WhereIsGodWhenOurLovedOnesGetSick.com

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Returning To The Lion’s Den

The elevator doors opened on the eighth floor of the NYU Medical Center – the Labor & Delivery floor.

People were hugging. Shaking hands. Wiping away happy tears. A brand new baby was brought into this world of ours.

Like a hummingbird sucking the nectar from a flower in full bloom, I absorbed as much of this lovely snapshot as I could before the doors closed and we continued our descent to the lobby.

I breathed and smiled.

It was exactly what I needed.

Exactly.

A minute before, I was deep inside my reoccurring nightmare of the twelfth floor.

It’s where my dad almost died three years ago in an acute care unit (before he actually died a few months later).

My friend is recovering from surgery, quite beautifully, in the adjacent room and I trekked into the city for a visit.

I hope that perfect new baby never has to see what I saw. Or feel what I still feel.

I wish, just about more thank anything, the same for you.

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may…

love and gratitude,
gabe

www.WhereIsGodWhenOurLovedOnesGetSick.com

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I Wish…

I wish I could sit on a bench on the boardwalk and stare comfortably into the ocean while seagulls glide by without feeling the restlessness of thinking I should be doing something else. I wish I can write the way Springsteen’s “Born To Run” sounds. I wish I could look into my dog’s eyes again. He was such a good boy and I can still feel his fur against my face as if last night was the night I was was ten years old, resting my head on his tummy as he breathed a few of his last breaths. I wish kindness and compassion and generosity were the measures of success. I wish I was less affected by the anger of others while waiting in line at the post office. I wish they were less angry to begin with. I wish nothing horrible happens to them or their loved ones but if something should and they’re fortunate enough to survive, I hope they return to the post office with a more evolved perspective. I wish you knew how much I believed in you. Yes, you. Regardless of your past “failures” or hard times. I wish you knew how much I loved your essence. So much so that I need to keep from crying right now. I wish I could time travel back to my youth and tell myself that almost nothing I worried about is worth worrying about. I wish my mom continues to live happily and healthily for a long, long time. I wish, more than anything, that my dad crosses over from the other side and flips, from heads to tails, the penny I placed for him on the dining room table so my belief is confirmed and I can live the rest of my life as lightheartedly as a leaf lifted off the ground by a gentle breeze.

www.WhereIsGodWhenOurLovedOnesGetSick.com

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Nothing Left To Let Go

I’m broken wide open.

Gloriously so.

All I am, right now, is an exposed heart.

Warm. Loving. Gentle. Full.

Unaffected by any anxiety.

It’s the way I get after seeing a truly lovely movie.

I wish I can feel this way forever.

Because I’ve felt enough of everything else.

Like the last bit of sun at the end of a summer’s day, I will sit in this for as long as I can.

I wonder if there’s anyone else in this moment who feels the same.

I hope so.

I really hope so.

with love and gratitude,
gabe

www.LiveLikeAFruitFly.com

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