Sunday, February 7, 2016

Emil's Day

"Looking at this, I think maybe we didn't go as far as we thought," Scott said, showing me the Google satellite image of the area he and Bruce had searched the day before. "Do you still want to go for a drive to the St. Front area?"

We get correspondent news from St. Front, a tiny francophone village northwest of Wadena, and I've never been there.

First he had to go give a bale to the cattle, and I had to go get Emil and stop at the news office. Emil has never been there and I knew he'd like to see it, so I invited him in.

Emil enters. My desk is on the right, and you can see Alison sitting way at the front.
The first thing he said was "There's a fan" and then "There's another one. Do they work?"
No surprise there. He's got a severe case of fan fascination; always has.
This seems to be a common symptom of autism, doesn't it? Emil was never diagnosed as more than "borderline" autistic, but definitely has some of the traits.

About to go out the door again. The paper we worked long and hard to get to press the day before has already been printed and delivered, stacked and ready to be labelled and mailed on Monday morning.
When we got back out here, Emil didn't want to join us on the search, so we left him with the phone number of family less than a mile away, told him not to cook anything, and repeated instructions for what to do in case the smoke alarm goes off. We thought it would take an hour to get to the area Scott wanted to check and an hour to drive around there.

"We'll be back in about three hours," I told Emil. And away we went. That was four o'clock.

At 7:15 we were less than five minutes from home when my cellphone rang.

"I just thought I'd check," Emil said, "since you said you'd be back by now."

When we walked in, Scott returned a phone call and I started frying eggs and making toast. I asked Emil what he'd done during the three hours we were gone.

Did he make any phone calls? He'd thought he might.
But no.
Did he read any books?
He walked around the house a bit, he said, and that was about it.
Weren't you bored? I said.