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A Day Like Yesterday

A Day Like Yesterday

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A Day Like Yesterday

195 Seiten
2 Stunden
Feb 12, 2017


A book that returns us to a timeless place close by, in the souls of characters marked by the events that punctuate the plot.
A found manuscript opens the door to the inaccessible theme of the pursuance of truth at all costs. In another era, gossip, envy and scandals trace the telling of this allegorical and intangible novel, like the protagonists with their distorted masks. A stout provincial physician, a blacksmith, a priest, a pharmacist, a young married couple, a young girl ... and a deceptive parade of evidence and denials, brings us at a completely unexpected conclusion. A narrative in a seemingly distant context, however, mostly, it is a sad metaphor for the rumors that are at first ridiculed, then ravished and finally challenged. A melancholy tale concerning the inconsolable awareness of those who subsist only on their interpretations of the truth.  
Genre: FICTION / Christian / Romance
Secondary Genre: FICTION / Literary
Feb 12, 2017

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A Day Like Yesterday - Emiliano D'alessandro



A particular thank you is directed to Andrea De Carlo who, with extreme sensitivity, believed in and supported my work guiding me to the avant-garde publishing of today.

To Martina and Emanuela for their support and having put up with my obsessive extravagant philology.

Further, a thank you and a sincere hug is sent to all those people who, in whatever form or manner, demonstrated an impatient desire to read my new novel.

A Severino

Desire cannot, by its very nature, be satisfied,

but most men live only to satisfy it.



In less than no time I found myself walking along an old farm track.

Everything around me was wonderful and virtuously perfect. Behind me the cottage – contemplative and as stable as the languor of genuine indescribable tenderness – seemed to distance itself along with its rich history of impenetrable stories of desires without form and of love without lovers. That day nature seemed untouched and not yet polluted by the less than perfect traces of humans. The flower petals resembled colored tears, as the air I breathed held the titanic weight of an extraordinary, as much as it was organized, chaos. The quiet that besieged my brain brutally perforated my eardrums and my soul.

It was an anonymous month in August, many years ago, when I was invited to the country. Vain blood relatives, to be more precise, cousins, that, with the pretext of exhibiting the old family house that they were in the process of restructuring to the relatives, took the tedious opportunity of indulging those pathetic repatriates with piles of greasy food and red wine served in delicate and disturbing glasses. Woe to me if I were to deny that the shameless food was not tasty, but I cannot but admit to a form of discomfort as I drowned in the usual boring discussions like, Remember when we were children? We always played in the open air, and other pleasantries on the same sickly sweet topic.

I took advantage of the general post-lunch numbness for a walk.

Approaching what was once used as a stable, among the crazy crickets and oak trees, I saw the country from a different perspective. No more than forty meters, yet that slender tract made me look at the cottage in the same way as I had admired it as a child. Tears came to my eyes, but they didn’t have time to fall to my cheekbones for I immediately realized that, like my relatives I had gorged, and was allowing myself to go into recollections that were all too bleak.

I composed myself with dignity forcing myself to think of the future. I walked over to the rough walls with the rejuvenated spirit of those who have the firm intention of imagining how many other people could have crossed the threshold of the old house. I passed through the low wooden gate and went into the living room making as little noise as possible. Everyone was resting fearlessly displaying gaping mouths, lips troubled by wine and abdomens swollen like bagpipes. I began to walk the hallways and rooms trying to figure out how the restructuring would have improved what was in itself already fascinating.

In my silent pilgrimage every object, every corner, any tiny trinket, and even the stale odor rising from the wallpaper, took me to the times of the total carelessness of many summers ago. The photos on the dear departed aunt’s coffee table had taken on the color of time, but for me they were sparkling and as attractive as all those years ago. Even the dust that was embedded in the folds of the wood of the green velvet chairs, held the charisma of immortality. And who knows, maybe those apparently inanimate objects were truly eternal. In fact, everything seemed motionless, and at the same time all seemed extraordinarily dynamic and alive. Everything seemed to be talking, and the funny thing about that day is that I could answer with my eyes.

Come to think of it now, that has never happened to me since.

I walked slowly, crossed the library, and realized that the same books on the shelves reigned there twenty years before. The same disorderly arrangement, the same fragrance of parchment paper; however, they looked sad, perhaps because no one looked at them any more or because they had ceased to perform their primary task, if anything, a book can never stop being useful.

I went down the stairs leading to what was once the basement, which was later converted into the cellar for the transformation of grapes into wine. The walls, in contrast to those of the upper floor, had no plaster, and the sour musty stench pushed down my throat. Uncle’s old tools were still there, including the immobile press: opaquely brown on the outside and wonderfully vermilion inside, an indelible imprint of the tint of must. Time had stopped even for those tools; the cobwebs marked the seal of guarantee on the durability of things.

The solid partitioning walls had a thousand holes and deep caverns. I remember the many tools that had been arranged within those niches as though it were today. Hammers, rasps, nails, pincers, bottles and all kinds of things were inserted into those natural drawers. All placed in an orderly disorder that only uncle knew how to organize, and he could retrieve an object in seconds. He was the sole director of those crevices and woe betide anyone who tried to stick their hands inside. Thinking back now, it was all so extraordinarily pleasant; I wondered if after his death our aunt had sorted through his odds and ends. From what I remembered – and the thickness of dust and cobwebs – the cellar had long been abandoned. However I liked it more so, it gave a pleasant feeling of stillness; it seemed to offer the melancholy impression that in a short while my uncle would step out with the same anxiety as always: that of walking in the company of an indiscreet stick.

I greeted the basement with my eyes and climbed the stairs again, when I noticed an alcove on my right closed with a brick. It was strange that the late lamented had shut off one of them, after all only he had access to those small niches. I stared at that brick as if hypnotized. I confess, not without embarrassment, that I fantasized about ancient treasures and chests crammed full of gold, but then, finally released from the impressive stories of Salgari, I found myself in front of the clay rectangle again. It seemed to look at me; it was not just me looking at it, but that it was looking at me. I convinced myself that it was just staring at me, as if to throw down a challenge. And I willingly accepted that challenge! I stretched out my arm, grabbed it and looking at it, as an executioner would observe one condemned to death, I pulled it towards me.

It came out like a plant with deep roots and I threw it over my shoulder. The now open niche showed only a cavernous, bleak hole. There were no matches in my pocket, then, a little reluctantly; fearfully I slipped my hand inside. Nothing! There was nothing inside that hole in the wall. I rotated my hand on the four narrow walls, but nothing. Then I went deeper going in up to my mid-arm, but the results were the same as before. I began to taste the defeat of the challenge I had acknowledged.

What is certain that it was not very encouraging to be defeated by a brick, but I swore to myself that I would not mention this grotesque episode to anyone. The sense of scruples – seeing now that my arm was inside that trap – was to achieve at least one result: to touch the fifth wall and after having achieved this return upstairs, to the relatives anesthetized by food.

Despite the bold proposition, I was unable to achieve my intention: either my arm was too short or that thing was too deep. Trying to distance all the tiny and horrifying forms of life that could be held in that cube-shaped space from my thoughts, I crushed my face up against the wall, vainly hoping to touch the bottom. Disgusted and uneasy I succeeded. I touched the end of the wall with my fingers realizing that I had not touched anything. It was the last effort that gave me a jolt of pure adrenaline, when, moving my hand from right to left, I found something. The effect of the adrenaline stopped there, and then there was the fear of what I could be touching, because the texture was soft and, at the same time, almost dry. I instinctively pulled away from that thing, to return cautiously with only the tip of the middle finger. I touched something that not only seemed to be plastic, but it produced a strange crackling sound. Now certain that it could not be a fierce creature, the middle finger was accompanied by the index, then the ring, then the little finger, up to holding something that had a modest consistency. I cautiously dragged that object to the exit, and in my hands found a stout plastic bag, rolled several times around.

It held an object no larger than a book, and even the weight respected the size of my model. I unrolled the compact envelope and I was finally able to peek inside.

I found no gold, or precious stones, but only paper, a lot of old paper faded with time.

To be precise there were hundreds of sheets folded in two and each one was scrupulously numbered. It didn’t take me long to notice that, apart from the number at the bottom, those pages were thick with written annotations.

Trembling, I wondered what I had discovered. A moment later, an eerie punch in the stomach marked my amazement: it was uncle’s handwriting.

But how much had he written? And mostly, what had he written? And why had he hidden the sheets of paper? How long had they been in that crevice?

The only way to respond to at least one of my questions was to do the obvious and logical thing: read the contents.

I hastened to put the bundle back in the envelope securing it under my shirt, I returned the brick to the niche and went back into the living room. I found an excuse the moment I gave myself permission to leave the now depleted banquet.

The trip in the car, although it was relatively short, seemed longer than usual. The curiosity about reading what my uncle had written made everything else superfluous, extending minutes and even seconds. I drove into the garage and hit the opposite wall with the bumper; I climbed the stairs two at a time, crossed the living room, greeted my wife with a quick kiss and barricaded myself in the study.

No misgivings, and in one fell swoop, I freed the desk of notes, documents and manuals. Pulled out the cellophane casing from under my shirt and leaned on the desk.

After I had sat down on the chair, I began to stare at those folded sheets.

I could not believe it, I was there, before them and I was about to read them. Probably the expectation was enormous, I always had a vivid imagination; the fact is that I preferred to fantasize about enclosed ancient secrets, perhaps about deciphering codes and things like that. As if waking from a soft of numbness I decided to start reading.

Despite the eagerness about gobbling up kilometers of black ink, I laid out the sheets with great calm, perhaps to enjoy even a moment of that masochistic indefinable feeling of joy and yearning.

I pressed on the papers with the back of my hands in an attempt to return them to their original shape, but despite the effort the sheets remaining slightly bent in on themselves. It didn’t matter, in the end it seemed that I had an old book in my hands, which intrigued me far more.

There was not much to read on the first two sheets because my uncle had enjoyed drawing completely meaningless shapes. There were straight and convex lines, geometric shapes that had been thrown down in bulk. The only sketch that most resembled human physiognomy was the palm of an opened hand. Too bad the only understandable image was marred by a straight line cutting through part of the palm; it had the appearance of a long, deep gash, almost circling the wrist: a kind of scar.

Deciding on the artistic inclinations of my uncle, I came finally to the third page where, and I faithfully report, at the center he had written:

‘Die shits o pepper filden wi mix up notes and lung thinks, yo fin ‘em higgledi pig inna drawer f n warobe habandoned inna di cliff of Valle doste. Foun di eree whin gettin a bittle wood when, in dem shup torns lik dem pin nurses dem ‘ave, I saws dis  biggin warobe hef bruk in bits. Inna me hed i sed hef ti ha bin trown dun di cliff inna di nord part, high up, bicos enna marks ittn hef fell ruffly. Beh wat mi he me ask o’ me is di road inna di nord onna di cliffen nothink lik ina car canna run o nebba ina motobik, ni dat bigger n big warob, ony mukkle strong o methinks inna wok di surciriss. Her’s hoppin dit dat warobe inna deh long long; t’era di musci grin onna wud. Beh, noto inna odder ting hilloks o musci dat sem dere long long time onna warobe; liken if gluen deh. Er canna no ken unna body trow dat warobe awiy likken dis, n inna dis time mich lessen. Inna mi lif ammit i likkle n not fin iffan one buk: well red dem peppers fas inna tri nites.

Iffen di fats sayin er stori ave inna success o no, bet i wanna no ho i foun de nam offen di writer, assen non signid, nefless inn scriffle. Beffen filin dis peppers ars holy inna def gard dis peppers. Pe mo stipo dem to sef plac, nu day giffen dem ti im sun inna mi brudder, di unno steddying ste tings likk bukkens inna stuff lik dat. Def be a giffen muckle enjoid.


What left me thunder-struck, is his brother’s son was me. Those unforeseen pages were destined for me. Essentially I had stolen something that was already mine, simply opening a niche that almost certainly had destined these objects to oblivion, those that pass only once in the upended nature of fate.

Among fragments of sentences pinned at the edge of the sheets, and a handwriting that was unknown to me, I went like a speeding train to the next page.

The passing of my uncle from this earth, and his memory would be enough to fill every moment of his absence. But with the unexpected gift, I returned to chatting peacefully with

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