Almost, maine



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ALMOST, MAINE

by John Cariani

PROLOGUE

Music.

It is a cold Friday night in the middle of winter in a small, mythical town in northern Maine called Almost, Maine. A field of stars – a clear, cold, moonless northern night sky – serves as the backdrop for the entire play. Light up on Pete and Ginette sitting on a bench in Pete’s yard, looking at the stars. They are not sitting close to each other at all Pete is sitting on the stage right end of the bench; Ginette, on the stage left end of the bench.

Music fades.

Long beat of Pete and Ginette looking at the stars. Ginette keeps stealing glances at Pete.

GINETTE


Pete, I – …

(Beat. She’s about to say, “I love you.”)

PETE


What?
GINETTE

(She can’t quite do it.)

I just – am having a nice time, Pete.

PETE

I’m glad, Ginette.



GINETTE

I always do with you.

PETE

I’m glad.



(Pete and Ginette enjoy this moment together. There’s nothing else to say, so…back to the sky.)
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GINETTE


(Still can’t say what she really wants to say.)

And the stars are just - ! I didn’t know you knew all that stuff! / / After all this time, I didn’t know you knew all that!

PETE

Well, it’s not - … It’s just stuff my dad taught me…



(Beat. There’s nothing else to say, so…back to the stars.

Beat. Ginette turns to Pete.)

GINETTE


Pete - …

PETE


(Turning to Ginette.) Yeah?

GINETTE


I love you.

(Beat. Pete just stares at Ginette.

Beat. Pete looks away from Ginette.

Beat. And does not respond.

Beat. Ginette takes in Pete’s reaction; deflates; then looks away from him, trying to figure out what has happened. We now have two very uncomfortable people. Pete is dealing with what Ginette has just said to him; Ginette is dealing with Pete’s response – or lack thereof – to what she has just said.

Big…long…pause.

Finally, there’s nothing else for Pete to say but the truth, which is:)

PETE


I…love you, too.

GINETTE


Oh!!!

(Huge relief! Pete and Ginette feel JOY! Ginette shivers – a happy kind of shiver.)

PETE


Oh, are you cold? / / Wanna go inside?
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GINETTE


No, no. No. I just wanna sit. Like this. Close.

(Pete and Ginette shouldn’t be close to each other at all – but for them, it’s close.)

I feel so close to you tonight. It’s nice to be close to you, Pete.



(She gets closer to him. Beat.)

It’s safe.



(She gets closer to him again. Beat.)

I like being close. Like this. I mean, I can think of other…ways…of being close to you (i.e., sex, and they enjoy this sweetly, truly – Pete probably can’t believe she brought this up, but he’s probably very happy that she did!) but that’s not - … I like this right now. This kind of close. Right next to you.



(She gets even closer to him; leans right up against him. Beat.)

You know, right now, I think I’m about as close to you as I can possibly be.



(She is very content.)

PETE


(Beat. Honestly discovering.) Well … not really.

GINETTE


What?

PETE


(He is simply and truly figuring this out.) Not really. I mean, if you think about it in a different way, you’re not really close to me at all. You’re really actually about as far away from me as you can possibly be. I mean, if you think about it, technically – if you’re assuming the world is round, like a ball,

(Gathering snow to make a snowball for use as a visual. This works pretty well when little drifts of snow are attached to the bench, with the snowball resting among the drifts.) like a snowball, the farthest away you can be from somebody is if you’re sitting right next to them. See, if I’m here



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