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

Archive for the category “ghosts”

“Is This For Real Man?”

I had the green light, but a mom pushing her baby in a stroller radiated vibes that she might try to make it across from the left side of the street.

Inside my head, right behind my ears, I heard my dad’s voice say, “Slow down. Move to the right.”

I automatically heeded the advice but thankfully she decided to stay put.

And when I say I heard my day’s voice, I literally did. As if he was in the backseat.

And I really don’t think I really realized how much I missed him until I safely made it through the intersection.

My eyes welled.

I miss him like I’d miss my eyes if I went blind.

And now here I sit in Starbucks, with the echo of his words resonating in my mind, and tears are forming once again.

In less than a week, it will be three years since he left, and it fucking feels fresher than yesterday.

I went to a new doctor the other day and I had to fill out the obligatory, thirty-five thousand forms attached to the dreaded clipboard. For the family medical history, I put down that my dad died from brain cancer.

Almost out of body, I witnessed the pen in my hand as those words were being written and I was like, “Is this for real man?”

The truth is, my entire life has seemed out of body since the day he was diagnosed.

And that’s not good.

Nor is it bad.

It’s just what is.

Until, like everything else, it isn’t.

I am grateful for everyone who has been patient with me,


Unbelievable. Literally.

“Hey Gabe, just wanted to say hello. We’re at the beach. Beautiful day today. Miss you. Speak to me. Bye.”

I have this voicemail saved on my phone. It’s from my dad.

I listened to it again last night and I swear I still catch myself having that reflex reaction to call him right back.

He’d say something like, “You haven’t called us in awhile.”

And I’d get all defensive and say, “What are you taking about? We spoke like, three hours ago!”

Half joking around and half serious he’d respond, “As I’ve said, it’s been awhile.”

He left his body two years ago today.

Tomorrow, I’ll go back to living as lightheartedly as I can.

It’s the only path that makes any sense anymore.



Harold Berman

Harold Berman.

The mailman relentlessly delivers letters with his name on it.

I’ve been piling them, unopened, on a chair in my mom’s office.

A tower of wasted words.

My dad would come home from work everyday and ask, “Did we get any mail?”

And I’d say, everyday, “It’s on the table in the front. Exactly where it always is.”

And now here I sit, listening to Dave Brubeck at 2:26 AM on a Friday, back in this house I grew up in.

With just a pile of memories.

Last night a friend said to me, “Goodnight Mr. B.”

It was an innocuous close to a conversation but it warmed me like a cup of hot cocoa. The one my mom would always make for me after coming in from playing in the snow as a boy.

There was no way for my friend to have known, but this is what my dad would often call me.

Mr. B.

I haven’t thought of that in quite some time.

Another memory for the pile.

And I honestly may have forgotten it forever if my friend didn’t just “coincidentally” say it.

Why is coincidentally in quotes?

Because, as I was explaining the significance of her goodnight sendoff, I was simultaneously thinking, “I wonder if this could be a message from him?”

And just then, as if Rod Serling was hiding behind the closet door, the lights flickered in my bedroom.

Maybe I’m grasping at straws but, aside from memories and mail, straws is all I got.

“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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