A wolf in women's wear.

He is in his late fifties, pasty-skinned, dead-eyed. He dresses invariably in black slacks and a white shirt sweat-stained yellow under the arms. He once was (and who knows? still may be) a lay deacon at my mother's old church. As a child, I'd see him assisting the priest with Holy Communion and assume he was a "man of God"-- inherently virtuous and trustworthy.

He has stalked me on and off for over twenty years.

You name it; he's done it. Roses. Proposals. Insults. Ass pats. Full-contact body checks. He's followed me from town to town, job to job, train car to train car, aisle to aisle. He's tailed me in his automobile as I walked stone-faced down the sidewalk; he's trailed me on foot to storerooms and bathrooms and back offices. He's jiggled the handles of locked doors while I cowered inside. He obtained my parents' phone number from parish records and called them over and over, asking for me. In front of witnesses, he's called me a bitch, a whore. I've gone to the police. I've called security. I've met with management. They all say the same thing: But he's a really nice guy, once you get to know him.

This past week was a very stressful one, filled with travel, worry, medical appointments, and recurring pre-seizure activity. By Friday, after scarce sleep all week long, I needed more courage than mere coffee could provide. I reached at first for LUSH Breath of God, but even this brave bombshell wasn't quite heartening enough. So I said What the hell... and sprayed on a quart of vintage Cabochard.

Who do you think showed up at my workplace come four o'clock?

A year or two ago, I might have quailed in horror at the sight of my stalker. I might have started trembling, become tongue-tied, run and hid. But a number of factors about this situation have changed. He's an old man now-- tired, corpulent, grey in the face. It's clear his intimidation game is pretty well played out; like a punched ticket, the threat he once posed to me is no longer viable. I've gotten older too, but in a different sense. I'm tougher. Angrier. Less apt to spook; more apt to speak out.

I have a brain tumor, a lifetime supply of Cabochard-- and Honey Badger, I just do not give a fuck.

I love this prose poem review of Cabochard by Le Coeur Gothique, which inspired me to look back over the many ways this fragrance has enabled me to access my own inner lone wolf.