The last perfume.

Today I picked up my new bifocals and realized that there is no going back. I'm forty-six years old. Irreversible things are afoot. My eyesight is failing. My gums are receding. Threads of silver run through the red of my hair. My brain tumor proceeds apace; I have trouble talking, typing, spelling words correctly, and remembering things. With every passing month, my ovaries tell me with increasing stridency that they're tired and would like to stop now. So would I.

I've given it some thought and come to a conclusion: I've gone about as far with perfume as I want to go. I have what I need, and I love what I have. The search, the insatiable desire to acquire and experience more, has run itself out. The neverending has ended. So I asked myself, if I could have just one more bottle to add to the Scent Cabinet -- an earth-shattering bottle, a drop-dead divine bottle -- which would I choose? But the only reason I asked the question was because I already knew the answer. I just wanted to say its name.

So after leaving the optometrist's, I drove over to the Mall and got me some Dior Dune. I'm serious, I just plonked down my credit card and walked out of Macy's swinging a little bag. I figure I can swallow my first-ever pair of bifocals with some heavenly, sunlit ambergris-and-ocean-breeze to wash it down. The matter-of-fact speed of the whole transaction -- I want it. Do you have it? I'll take it. -- was exhilarating, as was the not-unreasonable-but-also-not-quite-sensible amount I spent to experience that thrill. (Am I becoming a reckless spendthrift in my dotage? Who gives a good goddamn? Another benefit of getting old: any salty quip can pop out of your mouth, and they can't put you in the penalty box until you're really, TRULY done playing.)

There's no fragrance in the world quite like Dune, and now I have enough to wear until the wheels fall off. Finis.