Friday, August 17, 2012

Wherefore Art Thou Scully?

The surroundings were all too familiar.  I found myself in a small, cramped office deep in the bowels of some old building.  It had two desks, one for each of its occupants.  There were several filing cabinets, and boxes upon boxes of files for which there were no room in any cabinets.  No room at the inn.  In one corner there was an old-school, carousel-style slide show projector and a small, beat-up pull-down screen, like the kind found in high school classrooms.  It was a relic from an earlier time.  A simpler time.

In the standard white ceiling tiles over one of the desks a multitude of pencils were stuck, lead-first into the soft foam.  Presumably, they had been launched at the ceiling out of boredom by the owner of the desk, missiles with direction, but no purpose except to kill time.  But time cannot be killed.  Only cheated.  In the time it took for those pencils to find their mark, entire civilizations rose and fell, galaxies were born and destroyed, and the agonies and ecstasies of a thousand generations were played out on the cosmic stage.

My eyes finally settled on a poster that had been hung on the wall amidst several bulletin boards loaded to the brim with newspaper clippings and other miscellaneous scraps of paper.  On this poster was a picture of a UFO -the classic flying saucer- and the words I WANT TO BELIEVE boldy emblazoned underneath in glowing white caps, perhaps the most inspiring four words ever committed to paper in any language.

Finally, I realised where I was.

I was in the basement of the FBI headquarters in Washington, DC. 

I was in the office of the X Files department.

And I was alone with agent Dana Scully.

For any boy growing up in the 90's, there was perhaps no female sci-fi sex symbol more deeply ingrained in his consciousness than Special Agent Scully.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer ran a close second. (And if I had to pick, Counselor Deana Troi would probably have rounded out the top three.  Wait, Xena was pretty hot too.)  Perhaps it was Scully's good looks coupled with her unmatched intellect, brought to glorious fruition by the unmatched acting abilitiy of Gillian Anderson.  Perhaps it was the fact that she carried a gun and handcuffs, and could punish or detain you if necessary.  Or, perhaps teenage boys are just really, really horny.  Either way, I have no doubt that the hours of my youth spent watching Scully on The X Files was the origin of my lifelong fascination with redheads (for purely intellectual reasons).

I rarely remember my dreams, and even more rarely am I able to remain lucid in my dreams, but now I was (literally) in the middle of a straight 90's male teenager's wet dream come true.  I was in full control of my faculties, alone in my mind with a 90's sexual icon who I could bend to my every sexual whim.

Or so I thought.

It wasn't long before the illustrious Dr. Dana Scully turned around, voicelessly discussing some unsolved case with me, and I realized that I was not in complete control of my dream.  I was lucid enough only to know that I was dreaming.  And what a bizarre dream it turned out to be.  Everything about Scully was the same as I remembered from the show -the blazing red hair, the impeccably stylish pant suit, even the FBI ID badge- except for one, slightly minor detail.

Scully had a beard.

It was still Scully, and she was still a woman.  She also just happened to have a full beard.  And it wasn't like stuble or a five o'clock shadow.  It was a full-on beard, probably a couple weeks worth of scruffy growth and it was red.  Not exactly the same colour red as her hair, just slightly darker as beards tend to be.  And just like that my one shot at a single passionate night of wild love making with Special Agent Dana Scully instead turned into a contemplative examination of current Western ideals of beauty.

Just like that we were in a hospital.  Scully was now wearing medical scrubs and a white medical gown, and still silently speaking to me.  Or maybe she was making sounds but I couldn't hear them.  Her mouth kept making the forms of words, but without sound I had no idea what she was trying to communcate.

And still the beard.

I can still remember in the midst of my dream trying to reconcile the fact that despite the beard this was still Scully and she was still hot.  I remember trying to figure out why a bearded lady felt so natural in this universe I had created, especially since I was conscious of the fact that I was dreaming and I knew it was not genetically natural for human females in the twentieth century to sport full beards.  Yet here was a bearded Scully, and I wasn't disgusted, nor were there other characters pointing out the absurdity of it.  And I knew that in this universe a bearded woman wasn't unusual.  In fact, the strangest part of the dream was the fact that it didn't feel strange.  The remainder of the dream was spent with me trying to understand how the genetic and social norms (ie. women with beards) of both the dream world and the world I awoke to in the morning could somehow both coexist peacefully in my subconscious without seeming to contradict themselves.

When I awoke, I recall thinking how strange it was that I remembered my dreams, which usually fade long before the morning sun peeks out over the horizon.  It wasn't until about a day and a half later that the possible implications of the Bearded Scully Dream began to hit me.  Where else had I seen bright red hair and a beard paired together before?  Then the terrible thought occured to me:

What if my dream had not been a twisted fantasy about Dana Scully/Gillian Anderson?  What if it had actually been about some deep-seated homoerotic desire for Eric Stoltz?

The lovely Ms. Anderson...
...and the incomparable Mr. Stoltz.
I'm still not sure exactly what my dream was really about, or if it was really about anything at all.  Even if it was about Mr. Stoltz, I'm pretty sure I could do worse.  I'm also secure in the fact that my heterosexuality is still holding steady at about 85%.

Even so, I don't think I'll ever watch PULP FICTION the same again.

I've also been left with the following philosophical conundrum: Would a Scully by any other manifestation still  be Scully?  Was I dreaming about Scully with a beard, or was I dreaming about a beard that just happened to end up on Scully's face?  And if it wasn't Scully I was dreaming about, then who or what was it?  These are the questions that will plague my waking hours.


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