Cawfee

18 Oct
Jeff Klein > Tashin Tarzan Ozan-Gemikonakh Mj
happy birthday man, how’s life?
04 August 2010 at 16:00 . Like. Comment
Today’s my birthday, and as a gift to myself I’m taking some time to remember my friend Jeff and to reminisce about the times we  spent together during that Autumn semester in London back in 2007. Inspired by  some of the beautifully articulated blogs on Kleinsaucer, I thought it’d be nice to give a small window of insight into our memorable time with Jeff in  London, because whether you spent just 3 months knowing Jeffrey Klein or 283  months, he’s not one to forget.
Three months is a long time to get to know someone as  easygoing and open as Jeff. In that time he acquired a new nickname ‘Cawfee’,  for the simple reason that he was from New York, and that’s how people in New  York pronounce coffee, right? We don’t meet too many Americans in London. Jeff  represented Americans very well however; he immediately became the go-to guy when somebody needed a pick-me-up, whether this meant chilling in his room and watching Entourage or a basketball match, or going out somewhere, anywhere,  after a few American-sized shots of vodka at the kitchen counter. Occasionally we wouldn’t make it further than just up the road before collapsing in a heap  and having Jeff carry us home, but we had some brilliant nights out with him too. These nights always ended at Woody’s Grill, the famous Camden Kebab-shop.   A Woody’s kebab was the one thing that could distract Jeff from his otherwise very composed self, and he was attracted to it like an excited puppy to a whistle. “It’s Woody time!” became an instant-Cawfee catchphrase.
But more  clearly than that, whenever I want to remember his voice in my head I can’t  help hearing words of drive and encouragement – “Alright. Why not? Let’s do  it.” We had many memorable nights out that would otherwise have been  sitting by a laptop with the stench of the sewage-filled Ifor Evans corridors  creeping into our rooms, if it wasn’t for Jeff.  One such night which was particularly memorable was an  after-show party following a play I had just acted in. The play had gone  exceptionally well, and Jeff had done his part in rounding up a few people to  come and be in the audience, and of course his earlier words of encouragement on the Facebook page:
      Jeff Klein
                   yo TARZAN fuck shit uppppp
                   13 October 2007 at 02:32

Words 0f  encouragement before my Freshers play, ‘East’

 
It may seem like an exaggeration to say that the way Jeff went about supporting me as an actor inspired me to perform well, but in truth, there are only a handful of people I know who would go the extra mile and be there for a friend he’d known for just a couple of weeks. And unlike many people who said they’d come but would never turn up – if you wanted him, Jeff would be there for you.  
The aftershow party of the Freshers plays was something I’d felt obliged to go to, but the prospect of alcohol + a pretentious
theatery crowd combined, wasn’t something I was too keen on. I was leaning towards not going. Having expressed this to friends after the show, Jeff understood my dilemma and proposed we go as a group and liven the party: “Alright. Why not? Let’s do it.” So we did. And it was the best aftershow party ever.  We fit in, where necessary, and we changed the mood of the party, when necessary. And it was there that I met the girl of my dreams – and we’ve been together since.
 
I feel inexplicably proud to have been a friend of Jeff’s, and look back fondly at our memories, including his delight at having the name Tarzan in his ghetto Motorola mobile-phone’s contact list – and then correcting my misspelling of Cwofee in my own old-school Nokia contacts. We lost many photos of our time together on a stolen mobile, unfortunately –including a few of Jeff strutting around the corridors in nothing but a towel – but below is a priceless picture of the Ifor Evans gang from the aftershow party, which I proudly display as my desktop background:

From left to right: Mo, James Wong (aptly named Wongmeister by Jeff), the Italian Jacopo, and Jeff ‘Cawfee’ Klein smiling at the camera whilst grimacing at the wet one I (Tarzan) couldn’t help planting on his cheek that night.

Of course, going out wasn’t the only thing Jeff was great at. Often, with his insightful attitude, he’d be the centre of debate at
dinner whether the table spoke politics, or celebrity, or faulty sewage systems, or – inevitably – sport. The one thing I regret is never getting to play basketball with Jeff. Then again, having read some of the blogs, I guess I saved myself some embarrassment.  
I never thought it was possible, but I’ve caught up to Jeff’s age. Jeff’s enthusiasm for life makes his loss all the more tragic. But Jeff left with us his beautiful approach to life and his wonderful talent for making friends. He has inspired me in a way I shall never be able to express in words. Instead, it will show through my actions and life decisions as I better myself as a person, with Jeff in a pocket of my heart. That I’ll never see him again, is an unbearable thought – we’d often discussed finding some time to do a Route 66-style trip together in the future. Now, if such a trip should materialise, it’ll be in his memory and it’ll be with his memory forever accompanying us – conducted in a way Jeff would see fit. 
Happy my birthday, Jeff.
Thanks for being a real friend,
Tarzan
04/08/2011
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One Response to “Cawfee”

  1. Andrew Becker October 19, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    This is amazing, Tarzan. Sounds exactly like the Jeff I knew. “Why NOT do that…” Always a rallying cry of our boy. I love how he made such an effect on you and your friends in such a short time. Great stuff, thanks for sharing and I’m glad he had such a profound impact on your life, like he did mine.

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