Finally, after watching six episodes of the new HBO series, “The Leftovers", I have a sense of what the show is really about.
The basic premise is that 2% of the world’s population has literally vanished. All of them have disappeared at exactly the same moment.
The story takes place three years after the event has happened. The plot revolves around those who were left behind.
I spent the first five episodes trying to figure out the mystery of what happened to the people who were “taken”. I wondered, with a lot of frustration, when the great mystery would be solved. When was I going to know the answers? When would all be revealed?
There is more than one mystery woven into the story. For instance, what is the mission of the group called “The Guilty Remnants”? Why do they wear white? Why don’t they speak? And the biggest question is, why must they constantly have to be smoking a cigarette, at all times.
As Ross and I watched each episode, we would exchange confused looks and say, “What the heck?”
Last night, though, I figured out that I had been watching as if the story were science fiction, or fantasy.
I mean how else could the premise of the sudden simultaneous disappearance of millions of people be feasible?
Then last night there was that scene. It was a most poignant and powerfully relatable scene for me. (Spoiler Alert, in case you are not up to date).
Before Nora goes to meet Holy Wayne, she has a confrontation with an author who has written a book about moving on and starting over, called “What’s Next.”
She screams at him, “There is no moving on, there is no happiness.”
“What’s next?” she yells. She screams, "NOTHING! Nothing is next!”
But, it was the next scene which took place between Nora and Holy Wayne that really got to me.
Holy Wayne asks Nora, “You’ve lost someone? Someones?”
Her pain is evident.
He asks her, “And you believe you will always feel that pain?”
Holy Wayne asks Nora, “Do you want to feel this way?”
Nora starts to break down, begins to cry and can barely speak.
“You believe you will always feel that pain.”
“If it starts to slip away you seek it out again.”
"You won’t let it kill you. But you won’t kill yourself.”
“For whoever is joined with all of the living, there is hope.”
"Hope is your weakness. You want it gone because you don’t deserve it.”
“Nora, you do deserve hope."
“The question remains the same, “Do you want to feel this way?”"
Nora quietly, answers, “No.”
Holy Wayne opens his arms and says, “Let me take it from you.”
Nora softly asks, “Will I forget them?”
As Holy Wayne takes Nora into his arms he smiles and strongly says, “Never.”
Nora gives into her grief and sobs as Holy Wayne holds her tightly, taking her pain from her.
As I held back my own tears, I realized that the story is not about a futuristic possibility. And it’s not about finding out why or how.
It is about each and every “left over”. After all that’s what we all are. Because everyone, every single one of us, from the moment we come into this world and begin to live, has been left behind.
Nora paid Holy Wayne $1000, to take her pain from her. Afterwards, she believed that he did.
I understand that type of belief is what enables most “left overs” the ability to “move on”, “have hope”, be assured that their “someones” will never be forgotten.
Today is the fifth of another month that has gone by. Although the pain mostly stays beneath and under, it is not weaker. I too am afraid to “give away" my pain. Afraid that if I do that I will forget him.
I haven’t found my “Holy Wayne”. I don’t know that I ever will.