Life is weird, the world is small.
I plopped myself down in front of the computer Sunday morning with a reheated cup of yesterday’s coffee, and I began to do a little bit of casual “work”–poking around, really, just a bit of research on Lebanon and Beirut and such. Maybe something would point to my father.
I quickly learned that Lebanon’s few “white pages” directories were going to be no help at all–it seems like they only list people who sign up for the service. That, coupled with the ubiquity of my father’s first name (i.e. Haleem/Halim) and the uncertainty of spelling his surname, meant I got nowhere.
I changed tactics and began flipping through chat rooms. Again, nothing. Most of the major Lebanese portals have chat rooms and guestbooks, but they’re rarely used. In fact, the only room I found occupied was on gay.com, where a couple of very helpful men offered to do some legwork, provided I could give them a little more info. I’m going to see if the LSU alumni association can can help me out with a recent address or something.
While I’m sitting there, chatting away to anyone on the Mediterranean who’ll listen, a banner ad pops up. Remember, I’m surfing the international section of gay.com, and as such, I’m privy to ads only intended for folks living outside the US…. Well, what should pop up but an ad for Jeff/Varla‘s upcoming show at London’s Soho Theatre, The Very Worst of Varla Jean Merman? I found it bizarre. Tiny, tiny world.
Later, I stumbled across a piece of my uncle’s work: a play with Meryl Streep, directed by Elizabeth Swados, called Alice at the Palace. My uncle, Stuart Baker-Bergen, is listed in the credits, right after Mark Linn-Baker. I’ll never know him, but he’s preserved on video.
Life is really, really, really, really weird. Really.