How I'd spend Paul Pogba's money

Week 1

My mother sees things as things. Things to be used, things as means.

I say to her, "Being poor is the worst of sins. It is not that the world doesn't care for you, it's that they don't even see you."

"You are naive," she says. "I have six children. I am fortunate (indeed, who can deny it?) and I will stay fortunate (and who can doubt that too?). My riches make me safe. I am greater than any whom Fortune can harm, and though she could take much away, she would leave me much more. Surely my comforts banish fear."

When she bought me my first soccer ball, she put it inside a kicking net so that the kicked ball would always return. I told her that when I became rich and famous that I would repay her by buying her a semi-truck.

Looking at the $130,000 machine with $4,050 worth of gold rims, she said "you always thought that these trucks were the best because they were the biggest."

Starting: $300,000

Total spent: $134,050

Remaining: $165,950

Week 2

I cut off all contact with my mother and the rest of my family. That poor shit is depressing. I don't need that type of negative energy in my life. After the second $300,000 check came in, I realized that I needed to create a "positive vibes only" environment around myself.

In the immortal words of Mr. Burns: "Family, religion, friendship. These are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business."

I moved out of my parent's house and into a $1,800 per month (set aside the $21,600 for the year) Riverfront apartment in downtown Detroit with a $2,000 security deposit. Paid $300 to take my cat with me. Apparently she will also cost me $35 a month as well. In ancient times cats were worshiped as gods but the men of today only bow to money. Shameful. I paid the yearly $420 at once on some rich shit.

I joined a cross-fit gym for $150 a month, because I needed to be able to flex both physically and financially. I started drinking more water and flat tummy tea. Then I created an Instagram and Tumblr. One for pictures of me doing rich shit and the other to find random fake-deep Drake quotes to put as the captions of the pictures of me doing rich shit.

The first picture was of me posing next to my plane (Some nights I wish I could go back in life. Not to change shit, just to feel a couple things twice), because of course I bought a fucking plane. A Cessna 182 for $250k, with the fixed yearly costs — inspection, maintenance, insurance, hanger fees, and data subscription— of around $8k. Chump change to stunt so hard. Flight training cost around $11,000. Still rich, but had to postpone going to Whole Foods for the week, it would have cost an extra $11k. Bought three boxes of pizza rolls for $30 instead.

Starting: $465,950

Total spent: $293,350

Remaining: $172,600

Week 3

I spent $11k in Whole Foods for groceries for the week. On the way home, I ran into an old friend, Don Leo.

We sat down for coffee. I told him about my change in fortune and because Modeste can only marry Ernest in fiction (Eveline Hańska married a landowner and then a Count after), Don Leo said "most men confound happiness with the means that lead to it. Money in their eyes is the chief element of happiness."

"But," I said, "money can add significance to things."

"Yes, you seem to believe that."

I thought about what he said for the next few days. Then on Friday morning as he drove to work, I called him. I asked him to look towards the sky. To the space between our world and the abyss of the universe. I paid a skywriter $3,500 to write the words "Broke Boi" so that my friend could see exactly what I thought of him. Then I cackled and hung up on him. Fuck outta here with that broke shit.

Starting: $472,600

Total spent: $14,500

Remaining: $458,100

Week 4

Spent $15k in Whole Foods. I bought an extra item: something called an "Air Plant." I don't really know what it is but I guess life is just as difficult to decipher.Yet, still I live. What am I really but an air plant in the air forest of the world? Insignificant but worthy of love. I took a picture of it and posted it on Instagram (knowing the difference can make all the difference.)

Starting: $758,100

Total spent: $15,000

Remaining: $743,100

Week 5

I bought the typical Nouveau riche things: a $60,000 diamond grill, three white tigers — Kimba, Simba, Hamlet — for $140,000 (yearly grooming cost of $144,000 that I set aside), a few cars: A Tesla X P90D for $138,800, the 2017 Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe for $61,400 — five $900 suits to match — and a Ferrari 599 GTO for $385,000. Of course I put it all on the ‘gram.

  • Certain people need to tell me they proud of me, that mean a lot to me (sitting on the hood of the Jaguar with Hamlet).
  • It's more to life than sleeping in and getting high with you (looking down at my phone while leaning against the Tesla.)
  • May your neighbors respect you, troubles neglect you, angels protect you, and heaven accept you (holding Simba's paws up and making a goofy face behind him.)
  • You know life is what we make it, and a chance is like a picture, it'd be nice if you just take it (me and all three of the tigers playing on the ground with the doors of the Ferrari open in the background.)

I quit cross-fit and hired a personal trainer who charges $15,000 for a six-week session. I'm too rich to be in a stuffy warehouse with random people training to fight God. Hired a personal chef for $1,000 a month. Paid him for the year.

Starting: $1,043,100

Total spent: $957,100

Remaining: $86,000

Week 6

In my excesses there was an aching emptiness. Born poor, my sudden wealth had freed me from the oppression of poverty, of unbeing. I was a person, intelligent and worthy. Yet, I still lacked purpose. I was no longer an object but being a man came with the problems of what it was to be a man. Each pleasure brought a rising sense of unfulfillment, something even my $2,400 Charlotte Thomas bed sheet couldn't cover up. I hoarded things to set a barrier between me and myself.

I envied the fish in my recently purchased $300,000 shark tank. Born into captivity, they couldn't see their chains, but I, having pulled against the links as a poor child and now, having become having been promoted by wealth to the position of a guard, knew that I was confined to the prison all the same.

Starting: $386,000

Total spent: $302,400

Remaining: $83,600

Week 7

I sought solace in the church. I donated $50,000 for its renovations and gave $100,000 for the medical bills of its member. The priest thanked me but when he said "you've done well by the Lord," I left. He obviously knew too much.

Starting: $383,600

Total spent: $150,000

Remaining: $233,600

Week 8

Bought a $19,990 rose gold Daytona Rolex and took the plane out to Ibiza. I stayed in the Palladium Hotel Don Carlos, all inclusive, for a week at the cost of $1,700.

I spent my days there oscillating between being drunk as hell in the night and saying that I would never drink again in the morning. On one of the nights when I was ordering another five bottles of Armand de Brignac Brut gold (3 nights of this, $100,500 in total), a gorgeous woman, a model named Amina, asked me if I was rich. I said yes. Then, as if by magic, totally unexpected, we fell in love. Life is wild.

I took several pictures of the time we spent together on the island and uploaded my favorite: an image of her half-asleep with the caption "You a real ass woman and I like it, I don't wanna fight it." We partied and enjoyed the kind of love that only good looks and lots of money could bring. Spending a lot of money made me feel much better.

Starting: $533,600

Total spent: $122,190

Remaining: $411,410

Weeks 9 and 10

Amina and I took a tour through Europe ($500 for the flight to London, $3,200 for the tour itself): London, Paris, Dijon, Jungfraujoch, Florence, Montecatini, Pisa, Rome, Venice, Innsbruck, Munich, Boppard, Amsterdam, and Bruges.

In Innsbruck we visited the Thomas Flora. Amina looked at the "Venezianischer Carneval" and I looked at Amina looking at the "Venezianischer Carneval."

"It's beautiful," I said.

She closed her eyes and the world ended. "It is. But I think it would be better if it wasn't expected to be."

I bought the painting for $150,000. I'll put it next to the shark tank. Baller ass shit.

Starting: $711,410

Total spent: $153,700

Remaining: $557,710

Week 11

Spring was near and Amina and I were happy. We took so many pictures for the 'gram that I damn near quoted the entire "Take Care" album — flights in the morning, what you doing that's so important?

Imagine a music video of two outlandishly good-looking people running around in $1,800 DSQUARED2 outfits and drinking from a 30-liter bottle of Boërl & Kroff's Brut that's worth $120,000. That was our entire week. Also, I know some of you just had to look that up that champagne. Broke boys.

Starting: $857,710

Total spent: $123,600

Remaining: $734,110

Week 12

I still felt unfulfilled. The emptiness persisted. Amina suggested that I start investing my money and buying real estate. She said that I needed bigger ambitions. "Aim for the stars and land on the clouds." It's what 4:44 Jay Z would have wanted.

By her suggestion, I hired a real estate developer and put aside a maximum of $150,000 for the yearly salary and $300,000 for renovations of the places that I planned to buy. We went after properties that needed very little, if any work. We bought a $190,000 home by Eastern Market, with a $716 mortgage, then a 990-square-foot single family home by Midtown for $35,000 with a mortgage of $130.

The expenses for the homes were to come out of the $300,000 stash and the profits would also go into that account, which I made separate from my personal one. I would increase the rent frequently, with the stated reason that the area was improving.

Starting: $1,034,110

Total spent: $675,000

Remaining: $359,110

Week 13

Bought a condo on East Jefferson Ave. for $60,000 with a mortgage of $231 and a $100,000 townhome on Pembridge place ($385/m).

Paid a combined $20,000 to a few neighbors in hush money because apparently tigers are loud and aggressive.

Starting: $659,110

Total spent: $180,000

Remaining: $479,110

Week 14

I wanted to build something great. I thought that I should start a company with the name of "Anybody Can Get It, Inc," in reference to my lifelong belief that the sole reason to play sports is to embarrass your opponent. But that would take too much work. Too many moving parts.

So in honor of my mother's philosophy that the riches of materials pales in comparison to the richness of the human as a person, a dust speck in the universe but a universe unto himself, I decided to invest in the people. For my own profits, but in the people.

I invested $200,000 in a web-based solar energy engineering company called "Greenlancer."

$20,000 for the tigers. I should just let the cubs eat these people instead.

Starting: $779,110

Total spent: $220,000

Remaining: $559,110

Week 15

Since Thomas Flora, Amina has been painting a lot. She says that what she wants to do is replicate the beauty that's already in the world. Not to create it, since all beauty exists and has always existed. She wants to paint it as it is.

She says that I don't understand "how odd it is to be made of flesh, balanced on bone, and filled with a soul you've never met."

I bought her an old dialysis center for $120,000 on Conner Street that she could turn into a studio, and gave her $50,000 for redecoration.

Paid another $20,000 for the tigers. Now I know I'm being extorted.

Starting: $859,110

Total spent: $190,000

Remaining: $669,110

Week 16

Invested $150,000 in Realty Commander, a transaction management software for real estate professionals to make the buying of property easier. Also invested also $50,000 in Alfa Jango, a company that helps build the identity of startups with web-based software and application development.

Sold the tigers for $5,000 each and emptied the shark tank. The novelty had worn off, I did not love them. But with the animals gone and Amina spending most of her time in the studio, I find myself more alone than I wish to be.

Starting: $969,110

Total spent: $185,000

Remaining: $784,110

Week 17

Invested $150,000 in Cribspot, a site that helps helps college students and landlords find and manage off-campus housing, in order to prioritize my properties.

Donated $200,000 to Wayne State University, with the understanding that they will work to direct students to use Cribspot to find off-campus housing.

Starting: $1,084,110

Total spent: $350,000

Remaining: $734,110

Week 18

Bought two foreclosed condo homes, both on Seville Road. One for $141,533, the other for $101,023. Added an extra $100,000 to the account reserved for the retail properties for renovation.

Starting: $1,034.110

Total spent: $342,556

Remaining: $691,554

Week 19

Hired an assistant ($50,000) to act as landlord for the apartments and an investment fund manager ($120,000). Set aside their salaries.

Haven't seen Amina in some time. She wants to have an exhibition for her work and is spending more hours away.

Went to the movies alone, bought a combo meal of popcorn, a Kit-Kat bar, and a medium drink for $1,200.

Starting: $991,554

Total spent: $171,200

Remaining: $820,354

Week 20

Invested $500,000 into Castle, a company whose mission statement is to "to provide intelligent, investor-driven property management to real estate investors around the world." This will be the umbrella that covers all of my real-estate ambitions. We will use our relationship with Wayne State to attract college students to work as stewards and to train those interested as property inspectors.

Starting: $1,120,354

Total spent: $500,000

Remaining: $620,354

Week 21

Invested $250,000 into Detroit City FC because the most rich shit to do is to have a sports team. I go to the games wearing New Balances and terrible blue jeans.

Starting: $920,354

Total spent: $250,000

Remaining: $670,354

Weeks 22 and 23

I begged Amina to take a vacation with me again, but she declined. She was too close to finishing her work.

I don't understand. It was she who said that I needed to think bigger. What have I done but expanded our world? I've built a paradise around us, now and forever: homes, companies, influence, power. We have everything that anyone could ask for, yet she doesn't see me anymore. It's always the paintings. The damn paintings. The ugly things. Deformed bodies, twisted faces, and harsh, violent colors.

All she says is that I don't understand. "It's a matter of the soul and you don't have the eyes for it. All you see is what you see and to you that's everything."

I took the plane back to Ibiza and stayed in the hotel room drinking the finest of champagnes, doing drugs, and watching sports alone for two weeks. I opened several Twitter accounts and spent nights tweeting abuse at everyone who said that Arsene Wenger's time at Arsenal was up. Wankers.

Spent about $70,000. Whatever, I'm rich.

Starting: $970,354

Total spent: $70,000

Remaining: $900,354

Weeks 24 and 25

I didn't go home. Instead, I flew to South Africa for 10 days. I stayed in the Castello di Monte Guest House ($1,800), which included accommodation, meals, and a transfer to the hotel from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. I rented a rifle for $100 and, along with a few professional hunters and several other rich people, I went hunting for wild animals ($3,780 in total).

We were taken to the Lowveld region. A dentist among us, who was after the head of an African elephant, listed off the species that were available in the area: blue wildebeest, buffalo, bush pig, bushbuck, common reedbuck, eland, elephant, gemsbok, giraffe, grey duiker, hippopotamus, impala, jackal, klipspringer, kudu, leopard, lion, nyala, ostrich, red hartebeest, roan antelope, sable antelope, steenbok, tsessebe, warthog, waterbuck, white rhino, Burchell's zebra.

I killed a lioness ($9,700) and took a picture next to its dead body. Uploaded it to Instagram (MORE LIFE. MORE EVERYTHING.)

At lunch the next day, I couldn't eat. The dentist patted me on the back as he left, "They're just animals."

On the final day, we visited Pretoria. I was amazed by the polished wood, stained glass, and tiled floors in the Palace of Justice. The dentist said that it only cost £115,260 to build.

Starting: $1,200,354

Total spent: $15,380

Remaining: $1,184,974

Week 26

Bought some plots of land: $49,000 individually for two on Ashland street, $15,500 for one on Avery Street by Midtown, and a 2,178-square-foot house available by the old Tigers Stadium for $149,000.

There were a few homes included in the Ashland properties, and I had my assistant send a letter letting the residents know that they had two weeks to move out.

Starting: $1,484,974

Total spent: $262,500

Remaining: $1,222,474

Week 27

An article ran in the city's biggest paper, titled "Who is Zito and why is he buying up Detroit?"

The author wrote about my various properties and business investments, tried to find the reasonings behind them, and in the end does an admittedly good job in exposing my relationship with Wayne State. He insinuated that I'm taking advantage of the city when it's vulnerable for selfish reasons. "Zito has no known charity foundations nor has he done anything to help the city beyond to fill his own pockets."

Amina agreed with the author. She suggested that some philanthropy would be good for me as well as the city. "You need to think of others."

The next day I gave $15,000 to the Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit. After that, I gave another $15,000 to Kids Without Cancer. Then I gave the same amount to Mercy Education Project. I felt nothing. But I figured it would do well for my image.

Starting: $1,522,474

Total spent: $45,000

Remaining: $1,477,474

Week 28

The paper didn't mention my donations, so I invested $200,000 into another local newspaper under the requirement that they cover me favorably to counter any negative articles that might come from other publications.

Starting: $1,777,474

Total spent: $200,000

Remaining: $1,577,474

Week 29

Went hunting again. This time, an elephant (Don't switch on me, I got big plans). Amina has grown more distant because of this new hobby.

$2,100 for five nights. Elephant trophy: $38,000.

Starting: $1,877,474

Total spent: $40,100

Remaining: $1,837,374

Week 30

A feature in the main paper: "Zito, you took my home." It was by a man who died shortly after I kicked him out of the homes in Ashland, and they published a letter from him.

His wife said: "Zito is an evil man. My husband was worth more than all of his money..."

I paid various journalists and outlets a combined $380,000 to publish good stories about how I was making the city better by fixing homes. To write about my solar panels. But people latched on the letter, and their anger intensified when news got out that I was planning on setting up an online video channel for hunting.

Starting: $2,137,374

Total spent: $380,000

Total: $1,757,274

Week 31

The mayor called me into his office. When he finally saw me face to face, he laughed and the universe expanded.

"You're new to this."

"Yeah, but I'm getting used to being rich really quick. For the good and the bad."

"No, I mean, you're a poor kid. You just have money. That's different from being a rich man."

He told me that there's a way, beneficial to the both of us, that we could fix things.

Starting: $2,057,374

Total spent: $0

Remaining: $2,057,374

Week 32

People protested at my apartment building. Idiots. It was within my rights and power to kick anyone that I wanted off of what was my property. I had done nothing wrong.

The city council rejected the protests under the same reasoning.

Yet, as much as I was aware of my innocence, the anger of the people bothered me. But what was I to feel ashamed for? I had worked, as every man should, and had used the money and opportunities granted to me to build the world that I wanted, as anybody else would. I didn't squander my money. I built homes and invested in people. I didn't go out to hurt anyone, I simply asked for what was mine.

Amina thought that I should leave for a few days to let the people cool off. It meant that I would miss her show, but she insisted out of love, or what was left of it.

I bought a first-class ticket ($2,000) to Innsbruck and stayed for three nights at the Hilton ($390). I went back to the Thomas Flora. I wanted to see what I couldn't see, but when I looked at the lines, colors, and prices, all I saw were lines, colors and, prices. I wanted to buy a few of the paintings, but I could hear Amina's voice saying "You don't understand."

Starting: $2,357,374

Total spent: $2,390

Remaining: $2,354,984

Week 33

The mayor's plan was for the city of Detroit to loan me $50 million so that I could build a low-income apartment complex in the plot of land by the old Tigers Stadium. The interest would be at 3 percent for 10 years. I would also have to name the building after the man I kicked out of the Ashland homes. He would handle the legal process to make sure it was approved quickly.

He wanted some perks ($250,000, yearly). I was a poor boy with money, and this is what happens to people like me. But the plan would work. The people would love me.

I accepted his plan to be exploited. We were to announce the agreement in three weeks.

Starting: $2,654,984

Spent: $250,000

Remaining: $2,404,984

Weeks 34 and 35

Amina and I flew to Qatar ($4,000 for flights, $1,010 for five nights at the Four Seasons). She saw my idea and said "every plant and tree will die. Owls will deafen us with incessant hooting. The town's sun dial will be useless. I don't want any part of this project, it's unconscionably fiendish."

I paid $2 million as a down payment, including their flights and the shipping.

When we returned home, Amina left.

I can't think of the boy that I was or the man that I might have been. I have what I have and that's how one knows that he is alive. A man in relation to the things around him.

Even those who protest me, in doing so acknowledge that I exist, and I exist because of what I own. This is how his dust speck shouts out into the universe. I am significant.

Starting: $2,704,984

Spent: $2,005,010

Remaining: $699,974

Week 36

The loan was approved. The mayor and I met again. I asked him what the difference between a poor boy with money and a rich man was.

"One has power and the other pretends to."

I said, "But we are what we pretend to be."

I visited Amina's studio like a wild animal in need of shelter, coarse hair, and soul.

Starting: $50,999,974

Total spent: $0

Remaining: $50,999,974

Week 37

The mayor spoke of the future, as politicians do. He gave the people words worth more than a husband and a semi-truck.

I went up to the podium talked of the past, of regrets, of redemption. Had I been the boy I was before, I would have walked off to the applause. Had I been Amina's love or my mother's child, I would have shook hands and thanked the people for coming.

But I am not them. I could buy the love of the people with an apartment complex, but what love is that? What had I done wrong to begin with?

"In Doha, the summer temperature can sometimes reach up to 122 degrees. When Qatar was awarded the World Cup, they faced the challenge of making the climate suitable for sport. Many ideas were suggested, the most ambitious being to simply block out the sun. Artificial clouds, each with four solar-powered engines. The technology had been developed at Qatar University.

"One of those clouds costs about $500,000 and could cover a soccer field. $50,000,000 would get you 100 of them."

I pulled out a remote from my pocket, "In the words of Mr. Burns, have you ever seen the sun set at 3 p.m.?"

I cackled as I pressed the button. The machines came alive and soon the city was enveloped in darkness. As expected, everything descended into sweet, sweet chaos.

We are what we pretend to be.

Starting: $51,299,974

Total spent: $50,000,000

Remaining: $1,299,974

Week 38

I've been reading a lot in jail. Guess there are still some things that rich people can't get away with. Who knew?

Remaining: a few cigarettes

Main photo: Alex Grimm/Getty Images