I have several questions about the sentence in bold from the novel The Fire-Eaters by David Almond.
And she took my hand and hurried me forward. “Come on!” she said. “Let's ride a lift up to the sky!” The lift was inside the stone column of the bridge. We stood in the shade of the bridge's great steel arch. I spread my hands across its huge rivets. Traffic roared high above us. Nearby, a herring gull ripped at something bloody in a brown paper sack. A river bell rang, a distant ship hooted.
When the lift came down, there was a little man inside sitting on a stool.
“Come in, madam,” he called. “And you, young sir!”
He pressed his buttons and pulled his levers. I saw how he couldn't keep his eyes off her as we shuddered up toward the sky. On a shelf at his side were a Thermos flask, a sandwich box, and a notebook and a pen. He saw me looking.
“I keep a note of everyone,” he said. His eyes sparkled. “All my customers. Just for memory's sake.”
I wanted to reach out, lift the book, look inside, and he knew it.
“Ah, to you it would be simply boring,” he said. “It's nothing but dates and descriptions and weather reports.” He shrugged. “I must do something to fill my days of rise and fall, rise and fall, rise and fall.”
He took the coin she handed him and opened the door with a flourish.
“Here we are, then. Farewell, madam. Farewell, young sir!”
We stepped out onto the platform of the bridge. As the doors closed, he was already writing.
“Beautiful bright lady,” I heard him say. “All dressed in red. Her quiet boy. September 2nd, 1962. Sunshine after rain.”
The lift door closed. [...]
Below is the sentence about which I have several questions about.
"He shrugged. “I must do something to fill my days of rise and fall, rise and fall, rise and fall.”"
- Does the word "fill" mean "to make (something) full"?
- Does the word "of" have the same meaning as the word "with" in the phrase "fill a glass with water"?
- Does the word "rise" in "to fill my days of rise and fall" mean "the achievement of importance, success or power"?
- Does the word "fall" in "to fill my days of rise and fall" mean "a situation in which someone or something loses their position of power or becomes unsuccessful"?
Thanks a lot for everyone's help in advance.