I don’t believe in interbreeding, myself. We need to preserve the Aryan race. That’s what I think.
…Actual conversation at the annual Christmas party of the Eartha Kitt Memorial Dog’s home and Cattery. She’s a relatively recent starter, has been there about a year. Has young children but looks all of twenty-one, bubbly, pretty, enthusiastic like a golden retriever. She’s already done and said one or two things that make me go “hmmm”.
Yeah, I know some people think it’s a bit shocking. Hitler. You know Hitler? Well, basically his philosophy. (Deprecating laugh). Well, I didn’t agree with the things he did, of course, but yeah, his philosophy pretty much. The Aryan race has to reproduce itself and not be bred out.
Of course, I can’t talk. I’m a bit of a fuckup myself, my husband’s a Kiwi, my kids are mixed race, so I’ve fucked up there.
I sit, clutching my glass of champagne, staring out over the city and wondering what her beautiful kids would think about being a fuckup. Next to me is R, second-generation Indian Australian. His profile gives nothing away. I’d say he’s been here before.
“So, A. Do you know what Aryan means?” he asks.
“Yeah! It means blonde hair and blue eyes.”
R. turns to me. “Do you know what Aryan means, Helen?”
“Um, well, as far as I know “Aryan” refers to people originally from the subcontinent.”
“That’s right. A: Aryans were asian.” A. looks doubtful, but defers to R, who’s a manager.
This woman doesn’t just work where I work. She lives in my suburb and we bump into each other regularly on the train. Her boys play sport with Exploding Boy.
We change the subject.
I watch the evening sun creeping over the steeple of St Patrick’s. I knock my champagne back and make my excuses.