The house was built upside down.
The front door and kitchen were on the first floor, level with the road, while a small bedroom and study were on the ground floor, burrowed into the side of the mountain.
Three rooms, one fireplace, a view over the valley. It was enough.
In the winter he grew strong digging away the snow. In the summer he sat on the front step, watched the hikers march red-faced up the mountain.
The locals had been friendly at first, bringing him cast iron dishes filled with of polenta, rounds of Fontina cheese. But the visits had dwindled as his neighbours realised there would be no warm thanks or smiles, no reciprocation.
Some nights he dreamt of what brought him there, the day he turned his own life upside down. But every flagellant knows his own limits and exploring the past was his.