Lipton’s Journal/February 14, 1955/609

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I lost weight all last summer and fall because I was generating the lerve necessary to change a good many old habits, habits which had grown to the point of strangling me. When I married Adele,[1] I made the decision to change my habits. If I had remained as I was, I would have drowned in depression.

So, I am still capable of adapting, and the knowledge that I can adapt gives me optimism again as well as a sense of greater fear, but fear with dignity attached, for I recognize that my old neurotic fears were disgusting to me because I could not understand the validity of them. My new fears I take on as a gambler. Which is why I “romanticize” myself, ergo infuriating all my rationally-determined friends. Every gambler is a romantic, he knows that life and death ride on every ball on every wheel.

But how much harder this would have been without Lipton’s.


  1. Adele Morales (1925 – 2015), who he married in April 1954, was Mailer’s second wife. The mother of his daughters Danielle (b. 1957), and Elizabeth Anne (b. 1959), she separated from Mailer in early 1961 a few months after he stabbed her with a penknife, just missing her heart. He pled guilty to felonious assault and was given a suspended sentence. They divorced in 1962.