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"Well, I know a lot of smart guys and a few honest ones. And you're both."

Monday 12/9/19

I was absolutely useless today. A disgrace. I know this is hard and it feels hopeless and impossible, but if you don't fight, you're just going to die completely unknown and there would have been no point to your life and your talent and all the work you've already made. Do not be a fucking pussy on me. I don't care how hard it is. You fight. And when this hell is over and you have won, you are going to thank every last molecule in the air that you breathe that you were the one person there has ever been who could have fought and created like you did at the same time, when you had to, even when it felt certain that there was no point. But disgusting today. Not good. Can't afford that right now.

Kirk Douglas was on my mind today, as he turned 103. His second film was 1947's Out of the Past, my second all-time favorite picture. He was thirty-one when he made it. So he had a late start, by Hollywood standards. He was my age now when he made Spartacus in 1960. So I'm thinking about that. He was my age when he made that movie, which was released four years before the Beatles hit America, and he's still alive. Makes you think about the possible math of a life. I want to be coming into the city to climb the Monument when I'm 103. I did climb three more times today. When I was being useless--all I did was work on a new story--I said, "okay, at the very least, you lazy fucker, get your ass up and down the Monument a few times for your heart, so we can withstand the stress," so I did that. Eighteen climbs in three days. Respectable. Not awesome, considering I've done twenty in a single day.

If you don't climb for just a few days, a bit of soreness can creep in, and last week I only climbed five times. Actually, I guess it was fifteen times, with the ten on Saturday, but there were a bunch of empty days in between. I was in the shower tonight and my calves were a little tender, so I reached down to touch them. I had never noticed this before, but you can't even really press a finger into the skin at this point. It's just rock-hard muscle. When I climb the Monument, I only put the front half of my foot on each stair. I do this because it's more of workout for the calves, and I also want to spend as little time as possible on each stair. Wind-wise it's actually easier to climb that way--you're not going as deep into each stair--but leg-wise it's harder.

Out of the Past is currently available on the Criterion Channel, by the way. It features, among other things, the best dialogue--and also voice-over narration--in any film, of any era, from any country, period.

I came up with an idea for a new story tonight. I am going to lie down and think about it.


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