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

Archive for the month “March, 2016”


I have superhero memory.

It’s totally fucking extraordinary.

And you know what, it’s also totally fucking useless.

It’s done nothing for me other then instantly informing my brain that the werewolf Remus Lupin in Harry Potter was also the video artist Knox Harrington in Lebowski.

It’s been totally useless, until today.

I was waking on the boardwalk earlier, inundated with thoughts I’d rather not be thinking, but this time, instead of attempting to quiet my mind, I defended myself from continually getting shivved by those unwanted thoughts by pointing my attention to memories of my dad.

And I’m not just talking about the typical “remember the time when he…” memories. I mean real specific ones.

Like what the steam burns on his forearm felt like to touch. Like what the microscopic upturn of his lips (that only I could spot) looked like when he did something bad and was trying to keep a straight face. Like the stance he stood in while cutting a bagel with the precision of a samurai. Right there in the boardwalk, I literally saw his feet lined up perfectly on the kitchen tile. I even saw his goddamn, big toe cuticles he picked at incessantly.

And just like that, I was smiling. Bittersweet smiles, but smiles nonetheless.

And then I was able to hear the ocean. And able to see the seagulls standing up gusty winds.

Because that’s why I went to the boardwalk to begin with.

To just abide. Abide as The Dude does.


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Inevitable. Irrefutable. 

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Almost Killed, But Kindness

Three boys around fourteen years old, skate-rat punks who looked like the demon’s helpers in Kevin Smith’s Dogma, walked in as I placed down my coffee, home brought walnuts, iPad and hot-off-the-presses new book on a table.

Oblivious to any social code and no regard for the obviousness of how I could stomp him like an empty soda can, the lanky one, the apparent leader, approached me as I was about to sit, proceeded to drop his book bag by my feet, and then absconded with the other chair at my table.

Without asking for permission. No eye contact. No nothing.

Instantaneously I puffed up and said, “Hey man, how do you know I don’t need that?”

Now please believe me when I say that I didn’t act aggressively because I felt disrespected. Or slighted. Or like I needed to prove something to myself or to him. I couldn’t have cared less what this little lord of the flies thought of me.

It’s just that I was in the right place at the right time to be of service.


Yes, service.

I guarantee this wasn’t the first time he thought he was too cool for school. And I guarantee that one day he’s going to, knowingly or not, push the wrong person just a bit too far. And his dumb friends won’t be there to have his back. So, just maybe, he’ll think twice next time.

Now, to review, I asked, “Hey man, how do you I don’t need that?”

He smiled a cocky smile and looked over to his friends.

They lifted their eyes to me and simultaneously chose to bury their pimpled faces into their phones.

His smile slipped off his lips.

He said, “Oh. I’m sorry,” and started dragging the chair back my way.

But I said gently, “No man, don’t sweat it. I don’t need it. Keep it. But you know, just be cool.”

He, now looking like a little boy, smiled and thanked me.

My dad would have loved this story.

He would have really loved it.

– – – – –

(this is a new chapter from another new book I’m finally returning to)

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From A New Book I’m Working On (maybe)…

I love when dogs are lying outside in the…wait. Let me back up, remove a word, and then start over. I love dogs. Okay, so, I love when dogs are lying outside in the sun and they get up to move over to a shady spot. Do they instinctively know it’s cooler in the shade from seeing the tree’s shadow on the ground or are they acting out of experience? Or, do they have some sort of built in snout-thermometer mechanism? I’ve been thinking about this since I’m a little kid. And I love how my mind can still feel the coarseness of those brick steps in front of the house I grew up in. I sat there with my curly black hair and Big Bird sweatshirt when I was four years old and watched my black lab Chuckles sniff around and sunbathe. He was a  good boy. Such a good boy. 


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Me Too


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Biggest Peace

This may mean I’m broken.

But it also may mean I’m whole.

This morning I watched a TED talk on gratitude and the speaker said that after eight years of marriage, she finally realized her husband, upon serving dessert to the family, always gives himself a smaller piece of pie so she could get the biggest.

I completely lost it.

Just lost it.

So, what does this mean about me?

I really don’t know.

And I really don’t care.

Either way, I wouldn’t trade it.

thank you as always,

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