The Black Hoona*
Adam was being his usual self. He was playing keyboards for their band ‘Revolution’ and they were half way through their Friday night gig at a club called ‘Twisted Maple’. The crowd was slowly coming in and he noticed quite a few sexy women who were hanging out at the bar and dancing.
Adam’s taste in women was rather varied. He was a sworn bachelor – result of growing up with parents who were playing happy families while being supremely unhappy. He refused to deal with any liaisons that went even close to forming a bond and instead flitted from vagina to vagina every few months. He preferred when the women approached him, that way he was sure that there would be no rejection.
Today was no different. He noticed that quite a few were glancing at the band and a few whose eyes lingered on him and then took in the others. They were an all male band so competition was tough. But Adam was not an overt flirt like the lead singer Charlie. He instead preferred to work insidiously – earning him the reputation of being a silent assassin. The Black Hoona. Known for appearing suddenly when you least expect it and spends the rest of the time blending into the background.
Adam was talented. Considered one of the best keyboardists of his time, he spent many years playing but somehow, like much of art and music today, it’s not talent that gets you deals. It’s working smart and a great deal of luck. When Adam hit 30 he hit an all time low and was going through an existential crisis. His family put up with his tantrums coz they adhered to the archaic notion that artists are temperamental and therefore bad behaviour must be tolerated. They never addressed his demons. And neither did he.
Now almost 40 years and still playing nights with the band, he was earning enough to buy him his bare necessities and then some. A fancy phone. A new keyboard. A small car. These were things that spelled success for Adam. He did have a following who valued his playing and his contribution to music over the years. But he was now a commercial musician. Once upon a time he only believed in original music.
Till he hit existential crisis number 2 – original work does not pay in Sri Lanka. Only few make it big and those are a few lucky ones. Like the Gypsies. Like the Jetliners, before them. Yet entertainment hardly pays for a comfortable life and Colombo is expensive. It’s worse when you are surrounded by stories of ‘success’ – men who inherit Daddy’s companies, fast cars and for whom, Rolex, Mont Blanc and Armani equate happiness.
Adam’s friends were all MBA touting stories of corporate success. He hated that he had no money to spend on nights of booze, drugs and women. He had an old keyboard. He could not afford the upgraded versions. Adam grew up in a comfortable family but his chosen path of life did not pay for his upkeep. And so he switched. To commercial music. Traitor to the original movement but still a step much needed for survival. And Adam was a survivor. Like the Black Hoona. He did what was needed.
He saw now that a curvy woman was eyeing him over her cocktail which had a cherry on the edge of the glass. She popped the cherry slowly, savouring it as she chewed and glancing at him directly. Adam stared back and continued playing. He was on the side of the guitarist and could observe her without being too obvious to others.
She then proceeded to head over to a group of people who were laughing and talking in the middle of the club.
Adam continued his playing and made a mental note to see if she would be around once they were done. He could not exactly be heading off for a quickie now, though in his youth he would have considered it. But Charlie was strict about being professional. No hanky panky while performing. It helped maintain standards.
They wrapped up around 1.30am. The club was almost empty. Covid was keeping the regulars away and the drunkards at bay. Adam noticed that the curvy woman was still there. She was with a friend who was smoking a cigarette.
After announcing their final song – ‘Somebody to Love’ by Queen – they played with great gusto, thanked the few remaining people and proceeded to pack up. Adam was putting away his keyboard and stand when he noticed that the curvy woman was near the bandstand and on the phone. He left his stuff and slowly siddled off to the back door which led to the washroom. She followed after a few minutes. They were both in the dark alleyway near the toilets and kitchen area with rats running around. She smiled and said ‘Hi there’ and he also gave a half smile and said ‘Hi’.
“My name is Sara. I noticed you playing today – very nice. Your band has good chemistry” she said in a sort of half purring voice.
“Thanks. I am glad you enjoyed Sara.” Adam replied with a half smile.
“Much better than the other fools who come and thump away here. Not much skill. But then again, you can’t blame them” she said while staring off into the distance.
There was a minute of silence.
“So…why don’t we hang out after this?” she asked slowly while staring at him.
“Sure. Let me pack up and let’s meet outside in 20 minutes”.
She nodded and then with a half smile went back inside the club. Adam followed a few minutes later and was grinning to himself.
“See you Charlie. Thanks for everything. I will see you at rehearsal on Tuesday”. Adam quickly said his goodbyes to the others as well.
“Ok Adam. Go safe. Thanks” Charlie said goodbye and noticed that Adam was sidling off quicker than normal. He shook his head and proceeded to wrap up with the other guys.
Adam quickly packed his keyboard and stand into the car and met up with Sara outside. They both nodded and quickly walked back into the half deserted parking lot.
Sara slid into the car with Adam and they drove off to a place in Mount Lavinia known for hiring out rooms for 1 hour for quickies and encounters of that nature.
Sara was not very talkative but asked Adam a few questions.
“So what do you do in your free time? Besides playing with the band and rehearsing?”
“Well I enjoy watching movies and I like to cook a bit. Mostly BBQ coz that’s something I like doing” he responded.
Adam noticed that Sara had nice legs which showed through her short dress. She was attractive and seemed to be very sure of herself. Adam liked that. He liked confident women. He slowly slid his hand under her skirt while he continued to drive. She responded by parting her legs slightly. His fingers, deft at handling keyboards were soon inside her panties, groping inside for more. She uttered a soft moan while her breathing intensified.
They proceeded to this place and got down to business. The sex was quick and no nonsense. Sara was happy to have sex and Adam was happy to release his tensions into her. She insisted on a condom and he was glad he kept a few with him though he was not very particular. Pull out was what he was used to. Not safe. He had accidents to his name. But he didn’t really care.
Adam was not exactly adventurous in the sex department – he liked to fuck and leave. No frills. No experiments. No romance. Boring one might say. But then again, it worked fine. He never really met the women more than twice or thrice to listen to how disappointed they were in his performance. Again, ensuring that he does not get hurt by them.
After they finished, Adam asked her where she lived and offered to drop her back. She was in Dehiwela and so he dropped her at her home and gave her a quick kiss. She offered to meet up again and they exchanged numbers.
Adam drove off. Thinking of her and the good time they had. She was nice. Good for one or two more fucks. Then on to the next one it would be.
He slowly turned down his lane and used the remote to open the roller gate. The place was dark inside with a single light. His parents were asleep. His sister was asleep with the kids. Luckily, they never stayed up for him. He drove inside, switched off the ignition. Checked in the mirror to see if he had any hickies and then proceeded to the inside of the house.
It was dark. The corridor and staircase was dark. And he slid quietly upstairs and into his room.
*Hoona means gecko in Sinhalese.