by Vanessa Wu
© Vanessa Wu
Edited and published by Ambergris Books.
This story is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author's imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
After I left college in Munich and was thrust into the intimidating world of German commerce, I felt very lost and alone. It was difficult to stay in touch with some of my closest friends and I was unable to find a job that suited my talents. After doing a bit of tele-sales and clerical work, I decided to try and start an online literary magazine and asked some of my friends for stories.
One of my friends, Mariana, sent me something that at the time seemed really weird. She was living in a suburban part of Munich near the university and was married to a German who went to work in a research lab every day. She was Chinese like me but not from China. She had been born in Malaysia, moved to Stuttgart as a young girl, and came to Munich to study veterinary science when she was nineteen.
She was now twenty-four and was looking for a job. The story she sent me was called Deep in Suburbia. It was about a young woman whose daily routine went as follows. She would wake up early to make breakfast for her husband, pack his lunch and give him a fond goodbye kiss. Then she would do aerobic exercises and yoga, have a shower and mooch around in her bathrobe. She kept the flat very warm. The highlight of her day was when she heard the footsteps of the Deutsche Post man, when she would rush to the window and see if there were any deliveries for her. If there were no deliveries, and there usually weren’t, she would spend an hour or so checking on her tropical fish in the living room and deciding what she would cook for dinner that night. Usually a cake was part of the menu. She would find the appropriate page in one of her many cook books, check that she had all the ingredients and rehearse the preparations in her imagination. Then, with nothing further to think about, she would go back to bed with an erotic novel and masturbate until she was exhausted.