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This storyline has been a long time coming.

Max is id. Max is libido. Max is energy and immoderation and utilitarian pleasure/altruism calculus.

But Max is also madness.

Max is - and always has been - emblematic of mental disorder. She represents the inescapable horror - and the inescapable responsibility - of not being able to trust your perceptions, your memory, your logic, your instincts, or your emotions. That's why, from day one, I've drawn her eyes differently from every other character in the strip - large eyes with tiny pupils is cartoonist for "crazy".

Please note, however, that this is not why she does what she does, nor is it why she is who she is. One need not suffer from a psychopharmacological imbalance to be polyamorous or to be vegan or to be pansexual or to wear orange t-shirts.

And, of course, Max - under normal circumstances - is in control. She lives on her own. She has a steady job. She has romantic relationships. She takes care of animals. She manages her finances. She manages herself.

Even now, as we see, Max is managing herself. She is taking steps to keep herself safe. In much the same way that she might trust a sexual partner to put on a condom, she is trusting Jamie with her wellbeing.

We shall see if Jamie is worthy of that trust.

(Side note: it is only with the writing of this strip that I realized that Max is also the only major character in the strip with piercings (with the exception of the standard earlobe-holes that most of the female characters have because something something gender). I am cognizant that the dearth of body mods in Leftover Soup is unrealistic, and is reflective of my personal tastes - I don't have piercings or tattoos. I don't do piercings or tattoos. I think, on a subconscious level, I associate them with self-harm.)

(Tuesday morning, INT: elevator)

[MH is putting her phone in her shoe, taking the other off with her toe]
[MH is holding her shoes in one hand, has another hand down her pants]
JH: Uh...
MH: Here. I'ma need you to hold onto this for me until we get out of here.
JH: What is it?
MH: Shoes, keys, cards, phone, empty pill container, three condoms, a dental dam, and my piercings.
JH: Why?
MH: Because, as of five minutes ago, I'm officially off my meds.