‘Almost, Maine’ (Hope)

‘Almost, Maine’ by John Cariani

From: Play

Type: Comedic

Character: Hope, a native of Northern Maine, but she went away to college and hasn’t been back in years.

Gender: Female

Age Range: 30's | 40's | 50's

Summary: On a cold, clear moonless night in the middle of winter, all is not quite what it seems in the remote, mythical town of Almost, Maine. As the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky above, Almost’s residents find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and often hilarious ways. Knees are bruised. Hearts are broken. But the bruises heal, and the hearts mend—almost—in this delightful midwinter night’s dream.

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A woman, HOPE, arrives to make amends with a man she hurt deeply years ago.

WOMAN: (Fast and furious—so absorbed by what she has to say and by what she has come to do that she really doesn’t take in/look at the man she’s talking to.) I know this isn’t going to be very easy, but I was just out there all alone in the world, and I got so scared, because all I could think about was how I had no place in this world, but, then, I just—outta nowhere—realized that there was one place in this world that I did have, and that was with you, so I flew, and I took a taxi to get to you., I just had to come see you., Thank God you’re [here]—…

The woman finally really looks at the man.

The man is not who she thought he’d be.

But the man knows the woman.

Oh [I’m sorry]—… Wait—[you’re not who I thought you’d be]—…I’m sorry! You’re not [who I thought you’d be]—… I’m [sorry]—…

A little beat as the woman checks to make sure she’s at the right place—and recovers from an unexpected turn of events.

This is the house… I’m so sorry!… Does Daniel Harding live here?, I’m looking for Daniel Harding. He lives here. I thought. But… (Off the man’s confused state, the woman realizes that Daniel Harding doesn’t live there anymore.) …Ooooh…he doesn’t, does he? Oooh, I am so sorry!

The woman gathers her bags, preparing to leave—and trying to make light.

I am so embarrassed! “Who is this woman and what is she doing here?”

The woman laughs.

The man doesn’t.

I just honestly thought he’d be here. I always thought he’d be here. Always.

The woman is at a loss, but wonders if maybe this man can help her.

Do you know him? Big guy, big tall guy. Played basketball, All-Maine, center? Strong. Do you know him?, Played hockey, too? Oh, don’t even answer that. That was [a horrible thing to ask]—. I know that’s a horrible question to ask a person who lives in a small town, as if everybody in small towns knows everybody else., Argh!, I can’t believe I asked that. I don’t live here anymore, but when I did, I hated it when people assumed I knew everybody in town just because it was small. It was worse than when they’d ask if we had plumbing “way up there,” ’cause, you know, people in small towns really don’t know each other any better than they do in big towns, you know that? I mean, you know who you know, and you don’t know who you don’t know, just like anywhere else.

Little beat.

I’m so sorry to have bothered you. I was just so sure [I’d find him here]—. When his parents passed away, he kept the house, I heard. He lived here. He stayed here, I thought. He was one of the ones who stayed.

Little beat.

I didn’t stay. I went away. And I guess he did too.

For more info, visit: Almost, Maine

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