Sylvia was amused to find Vittorio learning a martial art.
“Kung fu,” she’d say with a laugh, remembering the exploitative Chinese films she’d seen in Syracusa cinemas. “Can you put your hand through a wall, break bricks with your head?” she asked him. “No,” he said, “but I can throw you out that window, no problem.”
MIO FRATELLO BY SAVIO PHAM 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 23
Around the time Vittorio turned 27 he told me about wushu. He called me one night, early morning in Solareno where I was still living but night in America. He wouldn’t normally call when he knew we’d be asleep so I knew there was something important he had to tell us. That night on the phone he had the sudden striking enthusiasm of a boy, a born artist, who’d discovered the concept of painting. He started talking as I sat on a chair, leaning sideways against the wall, my gray-haired mother standing by more awake than myself.
“What?” I said into the phone. “What is that? What did you say?” My eyes half-closed. “Wushu. What is that?”
He said, after a pause, as if he were tal…