Friday, March 25, 2016

Evie

     I watched The Leftovers from the very beginning because I had already read the book; I'm a big fan of its author, Tom Perrotta. Then, in the first episode of Season 2, I became absolutely hooked because I saw myself in one of the characters, Evie.
     It became my favorite TV show that night, surpassing even my beloved Ray Donovan.
     Before she dropped the birthday cake in that episode, I knew Evie was having a seizure and not just any seizure, but MY kind, the type you never see in movies or television.
     Her mother's voice brought her back to reality, which made even more sense, like the writers of The Leftovers had actually done their research on what epilepsy CAN be...sometimes.
     Her nonchalant attitude about taking her meds also fit, because I always feel like I'm controlling something that isn't really hurting me anyway.
     When she hopped right into a car with her friends after having a seizure, it also made sense, as did her slipping away to  swim in a river at night. I could picture my own teenage friends, Angela and Donna, waiting for me to slip off to a forbidden rock quarry off some dirt road in my hometown.
     That's the kind of thing I did when having those very same type of seizures but not yet knowing what was happening inside my brain.
Jasmin Savoy Brown
     I don't care whether Evie's epilepsy is ever mentioned again in the show's third and final season.
     But it would also be fine with me if they gave her some sort of special powers, based upon stories found in literature that refer to this thing in my head as a "sacred disease."
     Her feisty attitude and defiant nature fit perfectly, as does the anger lingering just below the surface that comes out in what other fans of the show consider to be her "cold, blank stare."
    To me, it's something that took years to master, an ability to control inner rage at people who pay attention to all the wrong things while ignoring what seems so obvious to me.
     Or perhaps her meds have done that, pushed her emotions so far within that she can tolerate the extra things she sees, hears and feels around her, day and night.
     Most of all, I can relate to the intense love she has for her family and to her disgust with people who take advantage of others' desperation for their own gain.
     If Evie has the same kind of seizures as me, she doesn't have that desperation inside her because she knows there are things that don't need to be explained or believed; they just are.
     I'm eager to see what the writers will do with Evie now that she has joined forces with the show's ultimate badass, played by Liv Tyler. The pair should be unstoppable because they are lacking what so many of the other characters seem to be driven by:  fear.
     Thank you to whomever decided to do a bit of research and create this wonderful "character" I love so much and to the casting person who chose the perfect young actress to play the part, Jasmin Savoy Brown.
     My own seizures had been under control for so many years, I had almost forgotten I had epilepsy at all. Then, last June, everything changed.
     What a delightful surprise to find an even better version of myself, younger, stronger and so beautiful, seizing right in the middle of that first episode of Season 2 last fall, then continuing on with her life, as if nothing had happened.
     I call it HBO therapy.