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

Archive for the month “October, 2018”

Love Looks Like This

This is Fernando. 


I just met him outside of Starbucks. 


He’s a sweet gentle man. 


He grew up in Italy during WWII under Mussolini and is shocked by what’s happening here. In America.  His home for the last sixty years. 


Beautifully though, he’s waiting next to me now as his wife shops next door. They just celebrated  their 64th anniversary and he told me to make sure I find a good one.   


He also told me that he used to be a carpenter but broke his back on the job and had a big surgery in 1995.  


He misses work terribly. He misses being able to do things around the house.


“I used to do everything,” he said with a thick Italian accent. “Now I can’t do nothing.” 


He sat there silently for a moment. Then he took an audible breath, looked out into the distance, and smiled.  He said, while still looking out passed our immediate surroundings, as if there was a movie camera out there waiting to catch his last lines, “But we thank god for life.” 


And then, of course, he told me about his grandchildren.  




Just perfect.  



pick up my books here:

love looks like this 


Your Title Sucks

“Don’t tell anyone, but I slept in this,” I said to the girl ringing me up at Starbucks.

She smiled authentically in her glasses and blondish ponytail with some sort of pointy tattoo sneaking out by her shoulder.

I was in a day old, white v-neck t-shirt, orange basketball shorts and flip-flops. And sunglasses. At 8:45 in the morning.

It’s been awhile since I’ve been in a Starbucks this early. It’s been awhile since I’ve been anywhere this early.

About a month ago, a good friend of mine broke his femur and now that he’s ready to go back to work, I drive him there and pick him up everyday (my lobbying to get him to sell all of his guitars and Star Wars memorabilia so he never has to work again has, up until this point, failed).

“And by the way,” I said to the glasses girl who was now pouring my coffee, “I wore this all day yesterday too. Right here actually.”

“I don’t think anyone would ever know,” she said kindly. Not trying to be kind, but actually kindly. Personably.

“I look like a homeless prostitute,” I said.

It quickly occurred to me that I maybe should have censored that joke. But it was too late. It already jettisoned out of my mouth on autopilot.

Thankfully though, instead of rushing me off the line she said, “But I’m sure you smell better than a homeless prostitute.”

“How would you know what a homeless prostitute smells like?” I asked.

“Maybe they smell terrific in the morning,” I added cheerfully.

And now I sit here writing this on my phone from a table in front of a Starbucks.

Like a vampire immune to the sun, listening to the early morning people speak. As their words fall out of their faces on autopilot.

As the wind passes through the palm trees.

As I scratch my ankle after a mosquito landed.

As I think of my father and other lost loves.

As I’m grateful for the life flowing through my body.

As I feel a little fear creep in through the back door of my mind.

As I’m caused to remember, thankfully, that enlightenment abides underneath my fear and underneath all other feelings as well.

As I think about who might be reading this right now. And how I wish that person well. And how I send them love. Whoever they are. Without exception or expectation.

And, as I realize why I’ve been moved to write so randomly this morning. To tell whoever might be reading this that underneath all of their stories, especially the one entitled, “I’m Not Good Enough Yet,” enlightenment abides there also.



It’s who you really are.

I promise.

So, with that, go easy on yourself this morning. And go easy on others too.



Today’s Serendipitous Little Lesson

This is me waiting at the Apple store while my friend’s phone was being fixed.

The linebacker looking guy who helped me moments before was abnormally calm for working at a store where people usually scramble like it’s an ant colony shaken up by a mischievous school boy.

I asked him, “This place never gets to you? Never stresses you out?”

He gave me the are you kidding me face and said, “Not after my last job. I was an MP.”

Military Police.

Life is perspective.

So, dear reader, in this moment, let’s take a breath together, abide in perspective and receive a bit of calmness.

Thank you.

– gb

Calling All Heroes

If we save our country from the clutches of vile forces posing as Christians on Election Day, republicans won’t even think to thank us.

And that’s okay. We’ll still do it for all of us. Them included.

But if we can’t save us, they’ll be so ecstatic as they watch the Constitution burn. And we spiral deeper into authoritarian rule. In the name of Jesus.

Jesus, who said, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

Please vote with your heart.

Thank you.

– gb

Violated By Fox News

My friend recently had surgery and I just brought him to the doctor for a follow up.

We’re in the waiting room.

Fox News is blasting on the TV.

I nicely asked the woman at the front desk to change the channel or at least lower the volume.

She isn’t allowed to. The doctor literally mandates everyone must watch Fox.

And there are no controls on the TV.

I considered unscrewing the coax cable, which is easily in my repertoire, but I didn’t want to make my friend more anxious.

I literally feel treaded upon.

They just called him in to see the doctor.

I’m in the car now waiting until he’s done.

“Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”

– George Orwell 1984

What’s Our Fate?

A snapshot of what America has become:

Yesterday I was leaving the shopping center where I get my haircut.

A woman, who was in rough shape, was about to walk in front of my car so of course I waved her on and smiled with my foot firmly on the brakes.

My window was open.

Instead of walking by, she approached me and told me a horrible story that sounded too rehearsed to be true (but what do I know for sure) so I dug into my cupholder for a some change to give her.

Meanwhile, the woman in the car behind me, honked her horn aggressively at us.

I tried to give her the friendly “I’m sorry” wave, but she kept on honking as I found quarters pennies etc.

Selfish child.

Of course, like goddamn clockwork, devil’s advocates will jump on this post and jump down my throat with variations of, “Gabe, I’m disappointed in you. Maybe the woman was rushing to the hospital to visit her dying mother who, whatever whatever.”

Ok, maybe so.

But, I seriously fucking doubt it.

She was calm but annoyed. Feeling entitled. Zero compassion or patience. As long as she has hers.

Kindness will save us.

And the lack of it will be our demise.

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