Game Poem 9: Goofball
This is a game for two players. The players may be of any gender. One player will be the Lover, and the other player will be the Beloved.
The Beloved sets a timer for fifteen minutes, or uses a watch of some sort, and keeps an eye on it.
The Lover should pay as much attention to the Beloved as they can. Maintain eye contact if possible, move physically closer, as close as you are comfortable. After a few seconds, the Beloved should note something about the Lover, and compliment them on it. They have nice eyes or a bright smile, their clothes look particularly good today, they seem very happy. The Lover thanks the Beloved, and returns the compliment, telling the Beloved something that they appreciate about them, or find particularly pleasing. Continue this exchange of compliments for a minute or so.
Pause for a moment, and look each other in the eyes. Feel the connection. The Lover says, simply, “I love you.” The Beloved pauses for a moment, looks away, returns to meet the Lover’s gaze, and replies, “I love you.”
For the next minute or two, continue taking turns looking into each others’ eyes, smiling, and saying, “I love you.”
Just before the timer reaches the three minute mark, the Beloved looks away, and is silent for a short while. Just after the three minute mark is passed, the Lover attempts to reconnect by catching the eye of the Beloved again, and saying again, “I love you.” The Beloved looks away.
For the next ten minutes, the Lover may only take two types of actions. They may continue to reestablish the bond between the two players, making any kind of contact and saying only the words, “I love you.” The Beloved may respond to this in any way besides saying, “I love you,” or any acknowledgment or variation upon those words. The Lover may also follow their statement by taking a single dollar bill and tearing it up in front of the Beloved. Then, and only then, may (and must) the Beloved smile, look into the eyes of the Lover, and respond, “I love you, too.” This warmth will last for ten seconds or so, then fade away.
Continue play in this manner until there are only two minutes left on the timer. At this point, the Beloved’s reactions change in two ways. First, every time that the Lover says “I love you” to them, they must respond with disdain, contempt, or verbal abuse. If the Lover attempts to get physically close to them, the Beloved tries to get away. However, if the Lover decides to tear up a bill larger than one dollar, the Beloved declares their love for them more strongly than before. After a few seconds, however, they must return to their loathing.
When the timer reaches fifteen minutes, the Beloved must leave the room. The Lover may no longer speak, but may collect up what he has destroyed, and attempt to put things back together.