Like R2D2 auditioning on C3PO’s casting touch, Damian is a well-oiled machine. He is a classic cardboard cutout of an charmless corporate man and Jacob’s Ladder is his spiritual home.
His attitude towards Jacob’s Ladder matches his view of his professional success perfectly – feeling like he has scaled a mountain when in reality he’s just got to the top of a fairly small staircase in Perth.
He starts every morning in his West Perth apartment scooping out various powders and supplements that he displays like art around his $400pw pad. He then adorns himself in pristine Under Armour workout gear, styles his hair and straps on his expensive health gadgetry.
He gets to the base at 5:30 but waits until enough women are going up before he hits society with the razzle-dazzle. His technique is classic – races up like a raver’s heart after triple dropping green mitsis and hangs around the top leering at the ripe Lululemons creating a meringue in his pants.
He tries to disguise his perving by stretching and monitoring his vitals. He isn’t running the ladder like some casual, 10-week body transformation peasant, he’s an elite stair athlete and every bit of data will help him improve his stair ascending time.
He spots a fitness hottie that has overexerted herself. He takes the opportunity to dish out some unsolicited breathing advice. Even applying his scaly claw to her back, “short breathes, babe, you have to feel it here”.
His touch causes her muscles to tense up far worse than the lactic acid she’s swimming in. He gives her a wink, “this is how it’s done”. He treats the busy ladder to a masterclass in obnoxious exercise, barrelling down and up with little regard for others personal space. He should be getting paid for this masterclass.
Later that day, Damian attends his work Christmas Party and after his second Vodka, Lime & Soda he realises that all the stair running in the world couldn’t prepare himself for the physical marathon of smashing piss with no built-up tolerance.
Needless to say, he’s as hammered as Jesus’ palms by 5pm. Out of the corner of his eye, he spots a few Jacob’s Ladder ladies in the same venue. He knows in his heart that his daily displays of physical elitism have got them cluckier than Tweety Bird on GHB, so he makes his move.
He hits them with some trademark charm, “I think we’re the only ones who don’t look like total soft bods in here”. They pause to register what they just heard, he continues, “these fatsos couldn’t get 3 steps up the ladder, by the way, have you worked on your breathing techniques yet? You may need them later”.
He seals the deal with a wink that could out-grease a bacon deluxe. They keep ditching him but Damian keeps finding ‘em. Regaling them with more stories about his personal bests and his plans to run an ultra marathon in South Africa in the new year.
He really should’ve had a few drinks throughout the year but because he’s a mess right now. So much so that he takes a bit of a tumble at the urinal wall and joins the cakes in the trough. After 10 or so minutes he wakes up and has an inkling this isn’t good for his chances tonight.
He deploys the only skill he has in this world and pumps his legs to escape the bar and hopefully get away with murder. Naturally, this doesn’t happen because he was wallowing around in a urinal trough for 10 minutes and everyone in the bar knows.
He feels the smirks as he bolts out the venue, only to once again lose his composure going down some stairs. How ironic. He eats shit pretty hard and spends another 40minutes rolling around on the pavement to the delight of everyone who thinks he’s a tool.
At least, he’ll always have the ladder.
Documenting the Human Zoo is thirsty work, so if you enjoyed what you read how about buying Belle a beer, ay?