The days here are now in the high 70′s. Yes, it’s arrived: that brisk fall weather that signals shorter days and the donning of clothing with more surface area. Along with that fine high 70′s chill comes a certain je ne sais quoi in the air, a heavy brown layer on the horizon, a certain grittiness. Oh, I do know what it is: pollution. The Phoenix harbinger of autumn!

No longer can I while away the days in the secondhand house dress that I bought for a dollar from an old lady on the street that one time. I must abandon the breezy unconstricted freedom of dresses and, at least in the evenings, pull on some pants. This works best if the pants have elastic waistbands because something weird has happened since I moved to Arizona and started sitting around all day! The pants, hidden away in an unused corner of the closet, appear to have shrunk. I can understand their feeling unwanted; I could see how they could begin to feel they are just old rags sitting around taking up space, but I didn’t think they would go to the extremes of actually shrinking. They look the same when I pull them off the shelf. They just feel different.

You might be thinking that an unemployed, as yet unpopular person such as myself would be able to fill at least a few hours in the week with vigorous activity suitable to comfortably reacquainting myself with my pants. A brief review of my daily activities will show that I am far, far too busy. First, I must sleep nine hours. Then I must do some housewife type work, read some spiritual stuff, read some non-spiritual stuff, space out for a really long time, surf the blogosphere leaving inane comments, look for jobs, email friends and contacts, space out again, watch Oprah or something, type “i hate the blank page” over and over in a word document in an attempt to write a poem, take out the trash and get the mail, cook dinner, follow Dr. G around like a puppy, watch a movie or TV show, play a game, blog, erase my two lines of poem that I tried to write earlier, make faces at the digital camera, and then it’s time for bed. You will note that I don’t even have time to wash or groom myself. It’s a mentally rigorous if shockingly sedentary existence. If I have any extra time, I use it for a much-needed nap, or a perusal of the Maricopa County Volunteer Handbook, in which I have circled several phone numbers which I have yet to call.

Unemployment is the enemy of pants.