Greg Berman was born and raised in Potomac, Maryland, a suburb of the DC area. He is an independent-minded psychiatrist and writer living in Portland, Oregon.
What are you afraid of?
My doorway covered in spider webs, blocking my ability to leave. The spiders enacting revenge for all the webs I destroyed. Plunging through them and running from giant, roving, fuzzy fruit bowling down neighborhood streets. All the while running from impending pain, disability, and insanity—the result of a direct blow to the head by an angry bloated peach. Then comes panic in paralysis, and fears of bed-bound aloneness, financial ruin, abject failure, and losing my mind. Nightmares of belly buttons, naked nail-beds, and burgeoning tumors. Schemes enacted by the Disney corporation. Getting ‘in trouble’ and ‘talked to’ on a daily basis. One day an escape route comes in the form of a terrorist taxi delivering me to an airplane. Inside, passengers armed with box cutters and flight attendants shoot me dirty looks as we fall from the sky. I’m also afraid of being in places that are about to close.
What were you raised on?
Neurosis, and nagging, forks flying, dead leaves blowing, playing under power lines, Jackie Collins novels on summer days. Living under the light of the television: Laverne and Shirley, Happy Days, the Flintstones, and Three’s Company—30 minutes away. Toy poodles, watchful and suspicious, under seventies modern furniture. Falling over ice fields, on ski slopes, down, up, down. Running away from community pools and whispers of Jewish judgment. A DeLorean in the school parking lot, a maricon in the making, and escape from school and to school. A ghost of a gold coast with French fries, vinegar, and glow sticks—green like the insides of aliens. Morning sparkles with ocean’s fresh skin and borrowed light from the cover of snow, fresh pavement, and waves in the sky.
What are you doing to become what you have always dreamed of being?
Writing this, enacting ideas, wearing masks, trading skin, forging ahead, eating a mountain, taking notes, reading, going on a diet, working hard, sitting around, caring for others, and trying not to take it all too serious.
What would you be like as a superhero or villain?
As a superhero, I may look something like Droopy Dog, with a fine looking cape, the color of hazel to match my eyes. With super-human strength, underestimated in a small dog, I would tear the shit out of anyone that tries to fuck with you. I would spend the rest of my time ridding the world of war, revenge, extremists, republicans, hate, stink-eye, bad drivers, and silly bands. When my work is done, I would curl up in a ball and
As a villain I would most surely be The Bitch, softly fingering a candy red button unleashing my campaign of tyranny—fattening your mirrors, unflattering your lights, emptying your wallets little by little in the night, and filling you like a bottomless glass of doubt. I’d be your frenemy, not call you back, deliver false texts and take out deep into night. I’d hide one of your things every day. My hands rolling in minimal light, I’d trip you when you least expect it. Woo ha ha ha ha ha!
What do you believe in?
Healing and change, road trips, socialized medicine, the intelligence of poodles, getting crazy, learning and for learning sake. The yellow leaves of aspens taking back Colorado. Fiber cereal is best when 10% of the daily value or higher. The Democratic Party is better. Parental controls are sometimes good. The truth really is stranger than fiction. Zoos should be 10 times the size and closed to the public. Movies are good places to get lost and found. Sunscreen is good and books are best when read. I wish I knew where I was going or where you are. Until then I will wander, outside whenever possible.