Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
Motel. Located on the edge of the Mojave Desert, this dingy, unnamed motel is the home of May. For playwright Sam Shepard, the motel room symbolizes the loneliness and romance of the American Highway. It is a place to rest and replenish as one travels through the vast wilderness of relationships. May originally comes to the motel to escape Eddie and their incestuous love affair. However, the motel offers little comfort. Although Eddie has driven more than two thousand miles to find May, the transient nature of the motel room setting and the open road that lies outside foreshadows his inevitable abandonment of May. It also parallels their father’s constant traveling from household to household, woman to woman, eventually abandoning Eddie’s mother, who commits suicide. Not a destination in and of itself, the motel room reflects the idea that the real action in May and Eddie’s lives occurs in their traveling from place to place.
*Wyoming. Rocky Mountain state in which Eddie promises to make a home for May. He has plans to move their trailer to a ranch there. The theme of the American West is displayed as May rejects Eddie’s offer just as she rejects his “Marlboro” man lifestyle as a rodeo cowboy and stuntman. Nevertheless, Eddie dreams of the cowboy life as he cleans his gun, dons metal spurs, and coils his lassos performing rope tricks to entice May.