“Rules of the Game” / Memorable Fancies #2263

[“The rules remain secret. You cannot say what the rule of this game is.” – Jean Baudrillard]

There is a field, and perhaps a ball. Perhaps two or three balls of various sizes. Lines drawn haphazardly on the ground. Hillocks. Implements and gloves. A crowd. You are dressed like another man, who seems to be your opponent. You ready yourself for the game by sprinting up and down the sidelines. You don’t know if this will help, or perhaps it’s not permitted and you will lose points.

It begins. You or your opponent try something: a takedown, perhaps, or running up to a ball and kicking it, or holding it above your head while the other tries to grab it away from you. One of you punches the other. After each action you wait for a result: a number on a scoreboard, or cheers, or being ejected to the boos of the crowd. Neither of you is ejected. There are cheers and boos, but you can’t tell if they are for you, or him. The scoreboard, if that’s what it is, remains blank.

After an hour there is a whistle, and an official declares the game over. You have won, he tells you, but it was very close. You collect the prize money, go home and wait for tomorrow’s game. What did you do to win? You go over the game in your mind, over and over, minute by minute. It’s driving you crazy.

But that’s life.



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