I used to be a very successful insurance salesman at AIG. I had riches beyond belief: Faberge Eggs; Brut Aftershave, also by Faberge; a diamond encrusted Rolex; lime green Lamborghini; monogrammed slippers; a piano shaped toilet that once belonged to Liberace and a 16 ft pyramid of Ferrero Rocher chocolates. Some friends at the country club let me in on this secret that all the old money had canvas printed photos of Paul Ross, so I bought one at auction.
There was something wonderful and majestic about it, some people say the enigmatic smile is a knowing reference to his Merovingian ancestry. It hung for 3 years above the alabaster fireplace in my drawing room, replacing Munch's Scream, which I borrowed from a friend who was also in the insurance business.
But over time there was something unsettling about the picture. At first it sounded like it emitted a high pitched, almost imperceptible, tone, like an old TV set. Then it started whispering things to me. After a while it started telling jokes and then giving me stock tips. Eventually it recommended I invest all my money with a guy called Bernie Madoff.
Now I have nothing, I get high by sucking anti-freeze from car windscreen washers, and even had to take public transport. My only possession is this picture of Paul Ross. It is my love, my life. He completes me.