I’m a Bag of Agitated Spiders

I was writing the last post and saw my current Twitter name (Agitated Spiders for Human Rights), which reminded me that I wrote a song once about my autism. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was absolutely about the surprising and often confounding ways I show up in relationships with my social quirks and finicky approach to tenderness and wild emotional rollercoaster.

So I’m posting it here. It’s called Spiders.

(Pretend I said something charming about how bad my production values are. It is what it is. It’s a cheap ukulele and amateur Garage Band stylings. Enjoy only if your own sensory sensitivities don’t ring you like a bell when you hear it.)

I wrote it in the early months of a tumultuous relationship that ultimately ended badly – mostly because neither of us had any clue about our individual neurodivergence, so we just kept failing at the neurotypical things we thought we were supposed to do, like planning dates and managing logistics and communicating about our feelings. He was a good guy, still is. We just hurt each other a lot.

I find it applies to my current relationships as well, and everything in my past – friends and partners and lovers as well as coworkers and doctors and fucking everyone else.

The central metaphor – “I’m a bag of agitated spiders” – comes from a conversation with a friend I miss with a deep and painful longing. The friendship was a casualty of my undiagnosed-autism-trauma. One day I just couldn’t talk to her. I may never be able to explain it to her in a way that makes sense, but I’m hoping for the strength to try some day.

Yeah, so that’s one of my old songs. I’m writing more now, and I have a song I hope to finish this calendar year about what being in love is like with ADHD, about the endless now of hyperfocused desire. Wish me luck on that one – finding the right words has been difficult but it’s getting easier.

Have you made music about neurodivergence? Made art? Built a thing? Links in the comments, please!



This is not what I expected,
your warm eyes taking in what looks like beauty to you,
still, your hand cups my chin like a bird, like a simple little word
you whisper softly, like it doesn’t hurt at all

But don’t you see the storm?
But don’t you see the storm?

I’m a raging nightmare of a person
A gallery of curtains hiding unforgiving knives
I’m a churning ocean full of wreckage
I know I can’t protect you from my cyclone of my life

I am not what you expected,
Someone sweet taking time to learn the language of your body
Someone easy, somene cool to the touch, like the back side of the pillow
On your wrist, like a glass of lemonade

Can’t you feel the fire?
Can’t you feel the fire?

You’re a man of consequence and honor,
You pride yourself on kindness but I think that you’re naive.
I’m a bag of agitated spiders.
I’m kerosene and lighters and signs that you should leave.

I don’t know what to do with patience.
When you lie there tracing fingers on the landscape of my fear
Waiting quietly until I catch my breath, kissing soft behind my ears
Until my skin reveals a roll of old barbed wire

Unfolding in your arms
Unfolding in your arms

I’m a raging nightmare of a person
A gallery of curtains hiding murderers and thieves
I’m a bag of agitated spiders.
I’m kerosene and lighters and I think that you should leave.


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