Location: Eugene, OR
After resting, awaking to the brilliant sun, Arizona and I watched as a few truckers pull in for their daytime rest. With a couple hours of sleep or so we set sail to our first offical stop on this trip, Eugene. More specifically Jeff’s house.
Jeff has been a good friend to Arizona for many years and the true leader of the “No Shame” crew; an improv group which performs the first Friday of every monthin a local gallery for public consumption. Straight from their website www.noshame.org/eugene
“One theater. Five minutes. Three Rules
1. All pieces must be original.
2. No breaking anything, including the law.
3. All pieces must be five minutes or less.
Singing, dancing, skits, experimental; welcoming pros and no-talent hacks alike.”
There is, in fact, no shaming for anyone’s performance. You could have stage fright, like myself, still get up there stumble over words and your own feet and a round of applause and positive thinking will still greet you.
Jeff is quite the extrovert; very welcoming to weary travelers he will generally greet you with the aroma of “true coffee.” He fancies himself a coffee connoisseur, with many productions under his belt including the art of coffee preparation. If you have never attended a rhythmic ballet, to observe Jeff preparing coffee in his humble kitchen is as close as you will get.
As Arizona and I sat in his kitchette just as the click from the gas stove clicked the performance into gear. Jeff smiled as the door from the refrigerator swooshed opened and he gave into his gallant display.
The beat carried in all of our minds keeping pace with the rhythm he flowed:
Start the kettle on the stove, the water begins to heat up- placing the grounds into the french press.
One, two, three, four scoops for strong good measure!
Salami and crackers for snacks. He smiled as he flowed the precut meats and crackers onto a plate. Whisking it across our table.
The kettle whistle blows, it’s time for their act!
Steaming water poured into the carafe, within his breath.
Exhaling, he carefully mixes the caffeinated grounds.
“Don’t brew!” Jeff whispers with a controlled motion.
“And you let seep!”
“What else? There has to be something else!” He ponders, breaking way from the heat of the rhythm.
Clapping his hands together as he looks at Arizona and I, “Popcorn! Euphoria!”
He gets straight to work. Kernels are thrown in a pot with a light drizzle of oil. The burner is still warm from the kettle and can be used.
Don’t forget to cover the pan!
“That would not be fun!” He laughs.
The timer goes
“What sound do you think popcorn makes?”
The ballet ends with a nonchalant bow.
With the snack filled meal and coffee in front of us as Jeff takes his seat at the table. We begin to talk about tonight’s performance of No Shame.