“How a man named Gayel Philwaki separates fact from fiction” is the episodic tale of a man who one day finds himself in a room he has never been in before, sitting opposite a man he has never met. Handed over a file labeled "Guy Vernes", Gayel is given the strange task of separating fact from fiction. Intrigued and curious, Gayel starts going through the file's documents, using his ability as a lawyer to fulfill the task. In each episode, Gayel starts by writing facts followed after by a related fictional story. This is another of his writings."

What do you get when you give brands the possibility to promote themselves, restrict their commercial endeavor and focus on their original delivery? Answer: the 2010 Day of the Living Display.

Good news for Dutchies living in or in the proximity of the South-Holland province, since Guy Vernes will be present at the annual Day of the Living Display (Levende Etalagedag) in Delft this Saturday.

This event, which entails the participation of over a hundred brands and companies, both local and international, is one of the biggest and most original promotional happenings in the region. The concept: each brand/company is given freedom in promoting itself with only two restrictions: 1. The use of flyers/posters/etc. is not allowed, 2. the activity of said brand/company has to be something original/crazy/wacky. Guy Vernes’ exact undertaking during this day will be revealed later on, but should you get the chance, be on the lookout for a classic tee wearing horde with a huge camera…

Our early years with the collective were nothing like the luxurious recalcitrance of rock stars and hip-hop virtuosi you see on TV. We weren’t the young, successful yet obstinate guys, women came running to and other boys admired. We weren’t the talk of editorial pages and neither of the streets. In summary: we were young, broke and frustrated.

Whenever the TV was switched on some interview with a made-man, someone who came from nothing to something, the sentence: “you can be anything you want to be,” always seemed to be the advice given to the clueless youth. Us. You can be anything you want to be. We continuously listened to this hope-filling creed, stored it in the most intimate part of our memory and lived on through our college years with an optimism that enveloped our vision of the future in a sweet scent of incense and colorful floral fields of promise and conviction. While deadlines and midterms held our thoughts in the present, our ambition and optimism took our minds in reverie over a future in whatever notion of success. We were going to make it.

This shared confidence during our college years was even more fueled by our activities in between tests and lectures. Bookie wrote small background articles about random daily topics in a local lifestyle magazine; a modest job he did with great pleasure, pride and consistency. Although he tried pitching his literary abilities to national media, one after the other declined respectfully; most of them stating that his literal style did not match their medium’s “editorial approach”.

Orka was a little ahead of the rest of us. He spent his days in the academy of arts and his nights in a deteriorated apartment in the red light district, painting naked objects and clothed women. His works were put to auction on the net and local galleries had trouble turning down his benevolent enthusiasm and his immensely well-prepared elaboration of each individual painting. In spite of the fact that people weren’t yet buying Orka’s works, he always found ways to gather crumbs of money and motivation to pick up the brush again for his next proclaimed masterpiece.

Soup was the only one who spent his days doing the utmost minimum. He skipped lectures (studied art history), attended whatever was mandatory and in the reformulated words of rapper Phonte Coleman, Soup found studying a broad more important and interesting than studying abroad. I still have no idea how he paid his college tuition or his monthly 200 euro plus blazers. For a long time, I figuratively spanked him for being indolent, not realizing that he was already doing what he did best: being everywhere, with everyone, every time.

Herman had the most developed skill of the bunch. He was well over his 10.000 hours of practice, mastering numerous instruments and treating the crowd at The Brazilian* every Monday night with what sheds a tear of pure musical enjoyment. Although he aspired the lifestyle of the wealthy, Herman had yet no clue how to mix the rigidity of economics with the melodic fluency of his play. Being a good musician is not enough, he lacked his own sound and his insecurity overruled every endeavor.

It was hard facing the less colorful reality after graduation, when the purpose and timeframe of studying vanished and we found ourselves at the naked beginning of a new life in young adulthood. Although we didn’t graduate at the same time, every one of us asked himself the exact same question the day the hats were off: “what shall I do now?”. If we wanted to continue what we loved doing, there seemed to be only one thing we could do: start displaying ourselves...

Signed: Gayel Philwaki

* our favorite café. Read episode 3.