Look at Me by Robert Shoub


As a preview of our Second Spring Launch, Quattro would like to share an excerpt from Look at Me by Robert Shoub.

So, my happy family. My mom – her name’s Lauren – works as an upscale real estate agent – only handles properties over a mil. Lots of those. She also flips a lot of properties herself – buys them, gets her crew to work them over for a month or two, then resells them for more. Way more. I’ve gone with her to a few open houses, just to check out some killer cribs. Actually, she likes it when I go with her, because she sometimes gets spooked – she tells me that there’s a lot of violent crime in showing upscale houses – she’s heard of some real estate agents being held up, or even raped. She carries mace and a small caliber gun – I think a .32. Anyways, I’ve seen some really cool places. There was one with an indoor lap pool – you just swim and stay in one place with this current flowing past you, and an outdoor infinity pool, where the water goes right to the edge at one end, so you’re lying in it and just staring off like it’s the ocean, never ending. Plus it had a fully equipped digital front projection theatre with a twenty-foot screen, popcorn machine, the whole place wired for sound with hidden speakers, sauna wired for audio, heated garage, wine cellar – man, why would anybody sell that? I’d never leave a place like that. Goodbye world, see you later. What else do you need?

It was kind of spooky walking around other people’s homes. I’d always take a little something, just a tiny piece from the place. I don’t know why. Maybe just because I could. It just felt kind of cool. So, anyways, now I have this drawer filled with ashtrays and cutlery and fridge magnets and shells and pens and even a few photos. Sometimes I make up little stories in my mind about all these people. What their lives were like.

I went with my mom to one house that was done in this real clean way, all granite and glass, everything grey and shiny. Metal and stone. Very classy. Very cool. Kind of like our place. In one room they actually had a tree, like a huge tree trunk going from the floor to the ceiling, with branches and everything – no leaves though. Get this – it was coated in plastic sealant. My mom told me that they’d injected the tree with a plastic chemical to totally seal it up. It had little photos in plastic sleeves hanging from the branches – I took one. I called this thing the Tree of Wishes and made up a story about how the tree had magic in it, how in ancient times people would come to make wishes for their future and leave things in a hole in the trunk. The people who lived in this house had heard about this. When they bought the property they decided to put the tree inside their house, and preserve it forever, and the photos were their way of making their wishes. But the gods were angry at them for cutting the tree down, so the whole family died in a fiery car accident … or something like that. Anyway, writing stories hasn’t helped me out too much, as you’ll soon see. I wish I could re-write my life story, but I guess I wasn’t really the only author of that one. I wonder who’ll write the movie version?


Don’t miss the launch of this and other exciting Quattro Books titles at our Second Spring Launch on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at District Oven, beginning at 7:30 pm. Visit the Events section of our website for more information.

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