Today's post is a confluence of many of the various interests and influences that shape my life and crop up here from time to time: Chicago, autism, the writer Nelson Algren, my family, life lessons, and most of all, Diego's inspired sense of humor.
A Walk on the Wild Side is a 1956 novel by Algren, often quoted as the source for Algren's "three rules of life":
"Never play cards with a man called Doc. Never eat at a place called Mom's. Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own."
To Algren's oft-quoted philosophy, I have to now add a fourth rule, the truth of which hit home last night during a family dinner outing at California Pizza Kitchen:
"Never think you know how to play connect the dots until you've played with a child on the autism spectrum!"
As you can see by the photo, Diego took the idea of "thinking outside the box" quite literally, as he pushed the boundaries of this venerable game in new directions.
In an interview once Algren noted, "The book asks why lost people sometimes develop into greater human beings than those who have never been lost in their whole lives."
Playing connect the dots with Diego was my own "walk on the wild side".