“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."

They say that a great man is a man of virtue; a man who lives by his principles. Over time, a handful of thinkers have stated different sets of manly virtues that would make for a happier and better man. Whether universal or entrenched in time and place, the qualities of the rugged seem to be of special relevance in these times of boyish restlessness.

In an attempt to inspire and maybe even move, Guy Vernes includes with the current collection a set of five collectable hangtags attached to every item.

The tags reflect the respective virtues of temperance, silence, industry, resolution and sincerity including a description of their meaning and application. Who knows, one of these tags might just be that one spark you needed to initiate the fire burning within you. Otherwise, it simply is fun to collect.

In the middle of the metropolitan buzz, between the city sparks of traffic light and billboards, between the tumult of pedestrians and the global familiarity of flagship stores, the collective* worked nights and days from an old house downtown.

The house was a lively place, an old two-story building rented from an elderly couple that preferred to spend the rest of its days on the countryside. It was a lucky find. In a week’s time we rebuilt the place into a true creative factory with a workshop and a recording studio amongst others. We made sure that the spot was equipped with all the necessary tools and that it remained inspirational and productive. Even though it wasn’t our official home, it sure felt like one. We called it “The Shop”.

The Shop had no fixed working hours, no time schedule, nothing that even resembled a timeframe. People came in and out of the place during the entire day: some to work, some to hang out, some to take a crap in our surprisingly fancy bathroom. A lot of girls entered the Shop’s doors; some were fiercely talented and contributing women, others were muses and some I occasionally had to kick out to keep the guys focused. Sometimes there was beer and grilled chicken pesto, sometimes there was old bred and bubble-less diet coke. Like I said, nothing in the Shop seemed permanent. Nothing except for five guys who spent most of their days and nights at the place.

“Avoid extremes; never go to excess.”

1. Gayel (lawyer):
First, there is me. By now, I guess you know a little about who I am. Modest and moderate, I’m an average Joe with a twist. Although I’m a very considerate guy by nature, I’ve developed what my friends call “legal balls”: the fearless ability to enter judicial battles at any time, in any place and under any terms. If we were an Italian-American mob, I’d be the “consigliere”. I try to keep things in order within this beautiful mess; never talking too much, never drinking too much, never doing too much of anything really...I’m moderation by virtue.

“Wrong none by doing injuries.”

2. Bookie (writer):
Bookie entered a writing contest when he was seventeen years old with a story called “My life in C minor”. It was a ridiculous story about a guy who loved making music by bumping his head to different types of surfaces. Surprisingly, he won the contest and discovered that he had an immensely unusual and acclaimed literal style. He writes under his real name “Emre Stenza” which has become a synonym for “very interesting man for the ladies”. He cares little about a lot of things, i.e. does not give a shit. Not in a quarterback kind of way, but in a very confident and intelligent manner, the kind of thoroughness and confidence of a scientist on a mission. Nothing that he writes resembles the stuff that comes out of his mouth: he’s very honest, direct and delicately bold. Although armed with an excessive vocabulary, the word “injustice” is unknown in his lexicon.

“Let your things have their places; let your business have its time.”

3. Orka (painter):
Orka always works with some Brooklyn 1994 boombap hiphop thundering out of his speakers. Skilled with both the brush and the Wacom, he’s one of those rare artists who can smoothly and without effort switch between the canvas and the blank page. His nickname is a reference to his real name “Willy” and he’s the oldest one of the bunch. Furthermore, Orka is the one who puts food on the table, both literally and figuratively: his paintings and prints sell for phenomenal amounts and he’s the one guy who can cook your grandma out of the kitchen. Okay, maybe not your grandma, but definitely your mother. Speaking of Orka and mothers:

“Yo mama so fat she lay on the beach and people run around yelling “Free Willy”.”*

He might not be orderly with his tools, but Orka’s head is one big, structured organization.

“Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.”

4. Soup (random):
Soup’s job cannot really be defined. He’s the kind of guy with a lot of diversified talent, but who could not make a choice and settle for one thing, so he roams around the Shop doing everything and nothing at the same time. He’s pretty much our “consolidated” finance man, our administrator, photographer, account manager, PR-man and the one who tells you to clean your own mess. He’s a self-proclaimed intellectual who got his name because of the incredibly weird and awkward way he drinks soup. He’s fashionable by being unfashionable, which makes him always overdressed, yet greatly noticeable wherever he is. A very cautious and utterly clean man, Soup is the one guy everybody knows.

“Focus your sexuality in meaningful relationships.”

5. Herman (musician):
Finally, there is Herman. Herman is tremendously confident with his talent, yet unbelievably insecure with everything else. Although he’s a heterosexual man, we like to tease him by calling him "Hisman". Undeniably clever, he replies by switching my name to “El Gay”. Herman grew up in a disciplined family where he was drilled to spend hours a day practicing with different types of instruments, while his friends underwent pixilated massacres on the Nintendo. The result is a grown-up who calls his father “that son of a bitch” and who has an extraordinary musical skill and talent. Unfortunately, due to his misplaced insecurity, “chastity” is not a choice for Herman.

Signed: Gayel Philwaki

* Read previous episode