He calls this suffering for his craft. He self-identifies as an artist, which is a little pretentious for someone who can’t tell the difference between oil and acrylic. He gets hungry sometimes, but rarely, choosing instead to subsist on a diet of vitamin powder and misery. Occasionally, he sips from a perpetually-replenishing glass of red wine that he leaves on the windowsill of a window whose blinds are always shut. On second thought, maybe he is pretentious enough.
He’s too young for this. Maybe he’s not even out of high school. He wishes he could grow a foot-long beard for dramatic effect, but he knows that (a) that’s just not going to happen alongside his wispy hair and acne and (b) it’d be impractical anyway, since the beard would get caught in his jigsaw, and the thought of that alone makes him wince. Besides, it’s not like anyone would see it. No one comes into his workshop. No one has since --
He’s not a recluse by nature. But he read one too many Henry David Thoreau essays and he disagreed with them so vehemently that he found that he actually agreed. Except humans shouldn’t allow nature to manufacture them. Humans should manufacture nature. No one else, just him and the mechanical ficuses, stiff and gleaming against the lonesome attic wind.
He knows that to others, the plants appear to be nothing more than Audrey II knockoffs. The others would never understand. They'd never be able to comprehend what it's like to live in and out of dreaming -- lucid dreams, fever dreams, the occasional bout of sleep paralysis -- and to be able to cling to nothing but these plants, carefully constructed from the tangible excesses of his pain. They could call him lofty, aloof, clichéd. That’s all true, whether or not he'd deign to refer to his emotional state as angst. But what does it matter? In his self-satisfaction, he is at peace.