Thoughts and illustrations on living on the autism spectrum.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Aspie's Lament

Here’s the lone cowboy riding off into the wide, wild prairie. The misunderstood drifter. A dude who was wired different, but never meant no harm. Sharp as a tack, but with one fatal flaw.

They called him Trigger. The fastest meltdown in the West. He had super-senses, and when his mind ran too fast and furious, he was liable to get anxious and bothered! He would scream or break things, and generally pitch a fit. ‘Specially when other folks got to hollerin’ and makin’ a ruckus. Even so, ol’ Trigger would never hurt nobody, and he knew when things got rowdy, that was his cue to shuffle off.

Cause ordinary folks don’t know what to make of a meltdown. Mamas would grab their babies and skedaddle for the hills. Men would draw their pistols. And especially the law didn’t understand. The sheriff stared him down and said, “Boy, we don’t like your kind ‘round here. Cause if you melt down in the public square, it’s the Scragg’em Fair for you!”

His mama tried to warn him. She said, “Now boy, you make sure to blend in! You comb your hair and shine your boots, and push your different-ness down. And whatever you do, don’t melt down in town, son. Don’t melt down in town.”

Well, the cowboy kept his mood swings bottled up for a good long while. But the years went on, and the creeps got noisier, the bullies got bullier, and the big bazoos got bazookier. Until one day. And it wasn’t even anything big, just enough little things at once, the perfect storm of triggers, that pushed him over the edge. Maybe it was the long-tongued folks, shootin’ off at the mouth, airin’ their lungs. And maybe they set the saloon temperature down to 68. And maybe somebody parked his horse upwind. And maybe they cranked up the juke box with that Four Non Blondes song – he never did like that song. 

Whatever it was, Trigger felt a deep burning pain to his senses. Though he tried to stay in the saddle, he was getting weary, unable to ride… And he finally snapped, and let loose a terrible tirade, in front of everybody. A nuclear meltdown!

And that was the last anyone saw of ol’ Trigger. Cause when it comes to meltdowns, the law don’t understand ‘em, they just cuff ‘em and brand ‘em. They say that he sang as the sheriff led him away, “Oh beat the drum slowly, and play the fife lowly… for I’m a young Aspie and I know I’ve done wrong…”


  1. Aw, poor Trigger-Fuzzy, that's a sad story. :( So you used the cowboy theme in the end - I like Trigger-Fuzzy's little bandana and boots!
    Fuzzy also makes a convincing tumbleweed, although that's kind-of sad as well. :/

  2. Love, love, love this post!! I'm an Aspie adult that's currently having some problems with the "meltdowns". So, as usual, I turn to the www for coping ideas and found your post. THANKYOU for cracking me up and helping me feel a little less alone!! :-) :-)

  3. I love your drawings man. The wee fuzzy guy is so cool. I guess this story was inspired by that great cowboy ballad. Anyway did you know those words "Oh beat the drum slowly, and play the fife lowly" are in another touching song. No Mans Land ( Eric Bogle) or Willy McBride in the Irish band The Fury's cover. Anyway prepare to be transported away to the fields of France if you give those a listen. Maybe they will inspire you once more.

    1. Thanks, I had a feeling there were some traditional origins there.