In Sri Lanka, many Husbands call their wives “Hello”

Diary 2

For some reason, the mobile phone
Is not the same as a ground line.
There is something exhilarating
About putting your finger to a little embossed hole
And rotating the dial and the receiver
Starting to give the ring tone. Your heart
Starts pumping, a little serial constriction and dilation,
In the motion of blood to the sensory ear
And the effector mandible and maxilla.

And you have memories of that old phone,
Your past taking you like a babe
Carried by the claws of an eagle. And a phone call
Stands between you and her – she the champagne
Among white wines. And it takes one word to make you
Tremble like Superman in the face of
A rock of kryptonite. You mumble hello
And you listen to the silken voice
At the other end. How one person’s dreams
Were yours to build.
And life is a peculiar sentence.
It has its mementos and omens. Like the old
Telephone with the dial that was butchered
By the mobile phone. We are all
Living for tomorrow, the element of fate
Surprising you, in that admixture
Of space and time.

How beautiful it was, to turn a dial
Anticipation tempests that stream to a motionless calmness
In one word you express – “hello”.
And another muted on the tip of your tongue.
When the word that mattered more
Was the one omitted.

And now I still have you at hello.
Where a little line called “subject” on top
Of a body of an e-mail. And the best part
About it was seeing your hello every Melbourne dawn.
Hello is a beautiful word. It breaks the ice.
It breaks the medium. It has a thousand different meanings
Each one different from the other,
And we go through them one by one.

And at that moment, all I wanted was the day,
Sitting on an armchair, looking at her pale brown eyes
While sipping a cup of orange pekoe tea. A story 40 years
In the making. Ruby anniversary with a goddess
By your side. And all I wished for
Was one word emptying my mouth ‘hello’
And you calling me back “I’m here honey”

It’s amazing how one word
Carried us and will carry us through every minor folly
Every madness, every dream, every hope.
Hello, her voice, Hello, the subject line
Hello, life-accomplice. Hello Love.

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