In Sliding Down The Devil’s Back, Caine expresses his deepest feelings to a young student of his about how he must be careful to never lose time.
CAINE: I’m not good. I’ll never be as good as I wish to be, not because I don’t have the genius but because I simply do not have the time. It has taken me much too long to figure out who I am, who I was meant to be. Had I known it during my youth, I would have dedicated my life to a different profession.
But you, you have youth and comprehension of self. You waste it. You waste it on women, drinking, drugging and whatever other wild concoctions you think up.
Maybe it’s release for you. Is that it? Maybe you have so much you wish to say, to do, that you need to put everything on the line, sliding down the devil’s back.
You have a wonderful mind my boy, filled with hope, innovation, talent, mystery but you do have your dark side, don’t you?
I understand you better than you imagine.
I won’t say stop. I can’t say stop. You must seek out your adventures according to your own loins but do not lose time.
We all lose time, each of us, day by day, year by year…we age, we wrinkle, we sulk…if you truly believe in what you have to offer this world, if you know it, you must give what you can, as much as you can, for as long as you can…
Don’t be like me. Don’t wake up old and hungry, an appetite that will never be filled…it’s a terribly lonely place to be…if there is anything I can give now, it is to give you the spark that will ignite your potential.
The rest will be up to you.