At one point, Tim and the Princess had even tried to see a professional relationship counselor. The counselor lowered her bifocals to look at Tim, to peer into his soul with her birdlike eyes. In time, Tim heard about value systems, about maladaptive patterns and letting go. The Princess sat quietly with her arms folded, and she already seemed distant. It had snowed that day, and Tim was reminded of the time he built a snow fort, from the safety of which he lobbed gritty snowballs at the neighborhood kids. But that’s all gone – relegated to the past, forever. There is no snow fort to protect him now.
The material of thought is a poor substitute for physical matter. A topiary of an animal will never be mistaken for the animal itself. Those wisps, though, are all we have – fragile and fleeting. Tim takes a deep breath, shudders, and begins to construct the Princess as he remembered her, one tiny piece at a time. A topiary that resembles the Princess is no more the Princess than Tim’s idea of what a topiary of the Princess might be… is that metonymy? Maybe. As the leaves of autumn fall and swirl around him, Tim resolves himself to finish the topiary.
What if distance was not a linear measure, but a matrix in twelve dimensions? The universe would explode, and then return to its original principles. Tim knows this and hopes, desires to achieve it – if only to relieve the dreary tedium of life inside a deterministic world. His obdurate stance in the face of fate often seems foolish to those around him. But those people are rubes: bereft of cleverness or imagination. They had ignored him, made fun of him, doubted him. They thought his talks at GDC and other conferences were self-aggrandizing and obnoxious. Well who’s laughing now, bitches!? , Tim thinks, in silence.
P.S. I finished Braid a while ago and enjoyed it very much. Heartfelt congratulations to Jonathan Blow and David Hellman.