The Man is the unnamed protagonist of Time Piece. First glimpsed in a hospital bed, awaiting examination, the short then follows the Man through a surreal version of daily life. The Man's world is dominated not just by time, but by routine, repetition, and repressed emotions. The office is a source of drudgery and, through the buxom secretary, frustration, as indicated by his stamping of "Sex" and "Damn."
Home life is built around consumption, and the many costumes and roles assumed by the Man indicate a wish to be a more heroic figure, even Tarzan. Despite his jail sentence for shooting the Mona Lisa, the Man still finds a spare moment for the more placid joys of painting an elephant pink.