Study Guide

Almost, Maine

by John Cariani

Almost, Maine Summary

Summary

The Prologue of Almost, Maine introduces the only recurring characters in the play: Pete and Ginette. The couple is sitting on opposite ends of a bench in front of Pete’s house in the town of Almost, Maine. After some awkward false starts, Ginette confesses her love to Pete. When Pete does not immediately return the sentiments, Ginette is flushed with embarrassment. Just when it seems as if things have gone terribly wrong, Pete admits his love as well. When Ginette comments on how close they are, Pete points out that the opposite is also true: if you measure the distance between them by going all the way around the globe, they are actually as far apart as possible. A bewildered Ginette starts to walk away from Pete to get closer to him. She continues until Pete finds himself alone on the bench.

Scene 1, titled “Her Heart,” opens outside of a farmhouse in a different part of Almost. A young woman named Glory enters carrying a bag. The porch light comes on and East, the owner of the house, comes out to find out why there is a strange woman standing in his yard. Glory, who is not from Almost, explains that she traveled a very long way to get here and would like to camp out on East’s property. East is puzzled until Glory explains that everything she read about Mainers indicated that they were very open; therefore, she assumed it would be no problem to camp out on a stranger’s yard. As the two get to know each other, East suddenly kisses Glory and tells her he thinks he is in love with her. Glory is offended and informs him that she is in Almost to pay her respects to her dead husband, whom she hopes to see in the Northern Lights. East kisses her several more times, and with each embrace the bag gets passed back and forth between them. Glory reveals that the bag contains the pieces of her broken heart. East, a repairman, vows to put the pieces back together for her. As he begins to do so, Glory watches the Lights and says goodbye to her husband.

“Sad and Glad,” Scene 2, introduces Jimmy and Sandrine. The two are estranged lovers who happen to run into each other at the back of a bar in Almost. Sandrine makes repeated attempts to get away, stating that her girlfriends are waiting for her. When she notices a mark on Jimmy’s arm, he reluctantly shows it to her. The tattoo reads “Villian” a misspelling of “Villain,” which explains how Jimmy feels about letting Sandrine get away. Sandrine finally admits she is here with her girlfriends for her bachelorette party; she is getting married the next day. As they part, the obviously wounded Jimmy tries his best to put on a good face. When he is alone, the waitress who has been waiting on Jimmy and Sandrine returns. She notices Jimmy is feeling down and tells him to call her if she needs anything. The scene ends with her mentioning that her name is Villian.

Scene 3, “This Hurts,” moves the action to a laundromat, where Marvalyn and Steve meet. When Marvalyn accidentally hits Steve in the head with the ironing board, Steve tells her he has a condition that prevents him from feeling pain. As a result, he keeps a journal of things that hurt so he knows to avoid them. As Marvalyn presses him about his unusual disease, Steve admits that he’ll never know what love is like because it...

(The entire section is 1335 words.)