Hole by Maya Martinez

 

 

Setting

It’s almost sunset—a strip mall in central florida. A Hobby Lobby, a Ross, a Quiznos, a Party City, a nail salon, a Sally’s Beauty Supply, a Starbucks, and an aerobics fitness gym. The lot lays out like an asphalt nest. circular and hot. All medians hold gross small bushes, the transition between the interior and then the parking lot. Soaked in its own mirage. The strip mall castles.  No strip mall castles.

A row of shopping carts intersects with the shadow of a palm tree. Hilarious isn’t it. The trench catching all the water. The trench housing alligators. The snakes adjacent to the payless shoe store.

A girl walks out of the Party City, shopping bag in hand.  And she sees it.  A hole

 

GIRL
“Oh my fucking god”

“OH MY FUCKING GOD”

Walks around hole
peers in
drops bags

 

The girl makes a frantic phone call and impatiently waits for her friend to answer

 

GIRL

“Oh my fucking god oh my fucking god
JANINE JANIIIINE THIS HOLE

THERE

A

A HOLE

Janine ok listen!

I know it sounds crazy but..

WHAT yes I got our halloween costumes for tonight!

Ok listen

Oh my god yes it’s I got devil and angel set!

Pleaseeeeeee
you have to hear what I’m about to tell you !

You’re gonna freak.

OK!

You want me to what first?

Ok well your kind of being annoying but gimme a second.

 

Girl pulls out box and reads label

 

GIRL
Yeah I think i got the ones we wanted?

You want me to what? read the labels? ok

The label for the devil costume saysssssss
“Being bad has never looked so good in this Pentagram Devil costume featuring a red sequined thong,
sexy push-up cups, a stretched pentagram around the right thigh and upper chest,
in the back with an attachable sequined devil tail and matching horns!”

And the label for the angel costume sayyyyyssss

“The guys at your next party will think you’re a gift from above in the Adult Heaven Sent Costume.
This costume includes a low cut thong, fluffy white trim on the hem,
a white faux fur halo headpiece,
and matching angel wings.
Just because you look like an angel doesn’t mean you have to act like one.”

Yeah they were both like 6.00 bucks so can you just like pay for the uber later? cool thanx<3

Huh?

OH YEAH anyways so…..

I’m leaving the party city at Palm Enclave Paradise Plaza and

I’m walking across the parking lot cause,

I originally parked
at the tanning place and made my way around to all the stores at this shit mall.

mhm Yeah even the Quiznos

I got the meat ball sub,

Whatever anyways

Janine, listen to meeeeee!

There’s like this huuuuuuuge hole
beside my car!

Like a really big hole

 

Waits for Janine’s response

 

GIRL
No, no no no it’s not a
pot hole, thats the thing,

It’s like not that kind of hole!

Like bigger than my arms stretched out for sure

Like have you ever see those google images of giant sink holes in cities?
They take up blocks
of a city and swallow everything up.
From the arial views the insides just look like pitch black!
They’re serious voids

A sweet emptiness

 

Listens to Janine again

 

GIRL
No I didn’t smoke Salvia again!
Janine
It’s not even a shallow hole!
thats what I’m trying to say!

It looks deep as fuck!

listens to Janine again

 

GIRL
Oh my god no,

After the last time I’m never driving around Lakeland on acid again

I know right

No thanks.

But thats beside the point!

I’m not on acid!
I’m not on any kind of drugs!

I’m just stoned! Swear!

Janine, I’m in this parking lot, its Halloween, and

This hole is real!

Google image “sink hole” and tell me what you see

 

Pause

 

Don’t you see now?
a gaping hole,
a seemingly endless hole
are you scrolling?
Through the hundreds of images of these a gape tragedies

 

Listens to Janine again

 

GIRL

Janine, what the fuck
you mean to tell me growing up in central Florida you’ve never seen a sink hole?

We live in one of the
top
ten
counties
in
Florida prone to sink holes Janine.

OH my goddddd there was one that drained Scott Lake right after that hurricane! DO you remember?????

You could smell it from miles away and everyone was so upset about their property value!
People here invest in sink hole coverage or well
“catastrophic ground cover collapse”

Commercial voice

“Most policy quotes range from $2,000 to $4,000 a year and can come with a high deductible. Considering, however, that the average sinkhole insurance claim exceeds $100,000, the quotes you find may prove worth the added cost.”

 

Listens to Janine

 

Girl

Mhhhmmmmm

Yeah

That whole neighborhood smelled like dead fucking fish.

The channel 9 news just had live footage a helicopter took.
It was all day arial shots of the hole,in the lake,
for days, you could turn on the TV and see beautiful water sucking in on itself.

The only sound you could hear was the helicopter wings on repeat
and they stayed up there.
Surveying the drain

Sucking everything.
Into it.
ruining the lake houses.
the earth eating itself.
just to laugh at us.
a drooling smile.
a wet circle hell mouth.
all her teeth glistening good. good. good.

 

Listens to Janine

 

GIRL
Mmmmmmmm, yeah this hole is liiiiiike I would say maybe a four feet by four feet hole?

Fuck if I know the diameter of
anything anymore.

 

Thinks for second

 

Yeah I would def say four by four feet,

aaaaand seemingly endless.

 

Listens to Janine again

(Spits onto ground
listens to hear sound)

 

GIRL
MHM yeah Janine I did spit in it …

and nothing! like no echo!

 

Pauses to listen again

 

Yeah still no echo!

 

Girl

This is soooooo fucking weird!

Janine, you know what?
I was just listening to this podcast the other day,

I know anyways, and this man in Washington, he’s had a hole on his property for as long as anyone can remember!

40 years or more Janine!

His hole,
in Washington,
is nine by nine feet!
with a fence around it.
dogs won’t go near it!
He says everyone around throws trash in

refrigerators, old cars, even dead fucking cows.
they throw all that shit down the hole and it doesn’t even make a sound!
Ever!
and like for decades this hole has existed!

The man with the hole said that one time his neighbor through his prize winning pig down the whole, ribbons and all!
And
then,
few weeks later,

Janine are you paying attention?

The pig returns to the man.

the man sees it in the distance
slowly coming towards him!
ribbons still in tact!

and…. he just can’t even believe it!
An after life angel prize winning pig!
A pig that has seen the end of the world
and returned.

Anyways tons of people called into the show to talk about the hole.
volunteering to go in it. No one knew how deep it was.

But everyone talked for hours.
About the history about

the elusive deepness.
No one has answers.
No one knew what to do.

And later, you find out the government seizes the hole.
They take his property and keep the hole for themselves.

Hide it.

Who knows what they use it for.
they lie and say there was a plane crash.

They lie
and there is no smoke.
But thats common.

People called in about forming a militia,
to fight the government,
but no one really did.
Some people believed it was a dirt portal.
A ground tunnel you could visit another dimension to, some people thought you could go down the hole
and end up on
the other side of the world!

Headyyyyyy I know right!!!

 

Listens to Janine again

 

GIRL

Wellllllll yeah I mean if I move my car the right way i can probably get out with out any of my
tires getting stuck in the hole … 

and we definitely won’t be late for the party tonight

but, but that’s beside the point Janine!

This truly isn’t a pot hole
or even a
kinda deep hole.

You have to wrap your head around this

pleaseeeee.

Theres a
fucking
seeeeeemingly
endless
hole in the
Party
City
Parking
lot!!!

say it five times fast Janine

Theres a
fucking
seeeeeemingly
endless
hole in the
Party
City
Parking
lot!!!

and you know what else !!!!

No one seems to give a fuck about this hole!

Theres no cones, no tape. no neon signs

People are just parking around it all willy nilly!

From what I can tell

NO one even cares…?

It feels as of no one can see it but myself.
If they do see the hole …..they don’t care.
can property value deflate from a small hole in the corner of a parking lot?
Should I buy some orange cones?
Make a scene of it? I mean is it even a sink hole?
I see the cement and the dirt and then earth, but not even dirt, new earth, under earth.

 

Listens to Janine again

 

GIRL

Am I crazy????

Like bystanders just keep shopping.

I meannnnnnnnn, i didn’t see it when i parked either but still, i’m seeing it now and its freaking me out!!

Janine, I was at a party last weekend and we took ecstasy and my friend told me bystander syndrome isn’t real and that felt like really good to hear. you know? Just like rolling face and someone tells you maybe humanity is a bit better than you were taught.

You know bystander syndrome?
Janine, it’s like when a group of people witness something horrific no one does anything about it cause like were all like “somebody please help” but were all those somebodies. its like everyone is useless because they think the person next to them will do it.

But here we all are.

Oh my god,

here I am.

standing by this hole

standing by!

Doing nothing about it!
I’m as useless as everyone else in the
Palm Enclave Paradise Plaza Parking lot.
Maybe even more useless because I’m a witness to this and I can’t move past it. I’m trapped Janine. And what if I did do something about the hole. I don’t even know what my action would take the shape of. Where to begin how to move my body around an opening. What does helping a hole look like.

I can barely believe myself right now Janine
it scares me that this gaping hole can exist and people aren’t worried they’ll fall in,
or what will come out!

I mean i could just fall in right now.

One little slip and whoops!

 

Listens to Janine

 

Girl

WAIT

WHAT

What are you saying Janine?

No I’m not gonna jump down some hole when we have a party to go to Janine!

Yeah I’ll be home in time to get ready for the party

Yesssss
well both look hot and have fun!

Wait, but,

Janine, do you believe me?
like as my best friend, do you ?

 

PAUSES

 

You don’t believe me?

You’re not saying you believe me and you’re not saying you don’t.

Believe me about what part?

 

Listens to Janine again

 

Girl

(angrily)

Stumbling across the truth isn’t making things up Janine.
I’m real and
this hole is real
and if this hole isn’t real …

I’m here and with my own two eyes

I can’t doubt myself like this Janine!

This hole is important!
and this hole is endless
I know it

I can feel it.

Janine
Please

we sit around smoking weed all day slowly applying small bits of make up to our faces.
we go to our dumb jobs
we smile at customers and let ourselves be looked at.
We make no money but we make money.
We repost tagged photos of us looking just the right amount of sexy.
we post a video to Instagram just to see who will view it.
We go home and we eat our take out and before bed we rub one out.
Then we wake up and do it the next day.
and for what Janine!
Whats the harm in believing me
believing the hole!

The world is ending Janine and we can’t do anything about it!

The world is ending?

When cracked open like an egg only hot light will escape.

Haven’t you been watching all these years.
Earth spiraling in place.

Being its own halo force
We are experiencing the hottest years on this planet.

Street signs are melting

and its liiiike
What do we want at the end of all this! ????

When the earth starts to fold in

the oceans are warming, even the deep water
oceanic crust
coral reefs are bleached dead

sun tan lotion acidity

glaciers dissolving
mass loss heated

in the last decade trippled

western monarch butterfly reports an 86 percent decline compared to last year

a prediction extinct in twenty years
in the last century the ocean has risen eight inches

a prediction that the ocean will become acidic

every year it happens
hurricanes get worse

increase heat wave

increase drought
and then there is the soil
we lose soil faster than we can make it

can we even make it?

Maybe thats why this hole is here, soil loss!?

And what about flooding
cities weren’t made to flood
a maze is a maze is a maze
dead end and then some hedge fuck
close to it

and I am oblivious to it.

now this hole is here and

I have to admit I’m jealous.

and it had to be shoved in front of me to know.

but, did I notice the hole too late?

What I’m saying Janine is the earth is ending and we know it’s ending
we see it on the news we see it in the feed we see it live and then we see it spread
these holes are no coincidence and
what am I actually supposed to do about it
I mean i recycle like everyone else
but you don’t see everyone else worried about this hole!

You can’t seem to believe me but I don’t even need you to believe me.

I know things will go on the same once I leave this hole

I can forget this hole thing even happened!

things like that are easy

well get cute and the earth will get hotter
and well go to work hung over and it will all be ok. It will all be ok.
It will all be very ok

but fuck, Janine,
have you ever been jealous of a hole?

Have you ever wanted to be a hole?
A gape power?
A swelling force?
Spewing air?
A trap with expansion
And then enticing release?
or do you not understand the beauty?

Jealousy isn’t something to be scared of
understanding isn’t something to be scared of.
I could fall down this hole
rewrite my petty narrative:

“Party girl disappears down hole.”
“Cute local sees center of earth.”
“Girl accepts paradise.”
“Missing person last seen next to giant hole.”

There are holes all over this earth Janine,
did you know that?
holes people will never see, holes people abandoned
openings everywhere!

We don’t even know where they go!
The continental crust is only like what
25 miles down.
Then the upper mantle.
The lithosphere.

It continues on.
The earth continues inward.
Below us is a furnace.
Then, rock will begin to melt at 1600 degrees.

You could fall into a hole on the face of the earth and be lucky enough
to peer into it be lucky enough to witness some sweet hot light

lucky enough to glimpse hell fire before you
weld with the asphalt consistency

melting, wet, rock
my magma coffin

asthenosphere is the shell with in the earth.
Deeper now and moving damage
perpetuating a weakness.

If I fell into the earth

How deep do you have to go to hit the end.

And do you burn up in lava?
Or are you caught in it forever
spinning in a downward tunnel
heating up?

How much time will go by before my skin begins to melt?

Eternity can only last until you aren’t there?
Who gets to witness eternity?

My bones will fall further than my organs

and would they become thick and sticky with heat?
Would my moisture evaporate into fog?

And would my runny infrastructure get caught diluting liquid metals.

I’ll sour the core!
I’m toxic to it

do you think the pressure inside the rock could push me into the shape of a marbleeeee

a tiny hot smooth piece of glass?
A fragile toy?

I want to be delicately burned by the earth Janine!

Is it a nightmare for you?
Something that made you anxious and
stiffens your body when you thought about it.

Horror unknowing but if you just slipped in the puddle the horror would feel soooooo good.

Good horror,
wet horror.

Fear that settles between your jaw and your collar bone.
and when it is released your head tilts back and you feel ecstasy in your neck.

a shaping fear.

Sucking hole.
A sucking vortex.
Is the air so cold from falling?
Is the air so hot you only feel it as cold.

You fucking descend.
Hear no echo.
Be nowhere.

Ground spinning

spinnnnningggggg

and then there is the liquid metal.

at the end of it all
thats the center
a bunch of iron and nickel
that is so taught with envy it becomes a solid

9000 degree Farenheit.
We can’t imagine compact vibrations.
All pushed together in the middle of the earth.
No wonder this hole is here.

It has to be here.
To let itself breathe.

needing to be selfish

Strung out then use it against me
like I am nothing
under it, the earth
Taught now, always frigid with ending

and how selfish of me to make this hole about me
to make the world ending about me
and how silly to project myself onto catastrophic metaphors

but
if you were the center of the earth,
with all that anxiety,
wouldn’t you open up too?
a destructive
release needed
Luster, reflect light from the surface
a mineral.
Luster, reflect light from the surface
face fucked earth
Luster, reflect light from the surface
100,000 sink holes and we still don’t understand control and bending

now my mouth is full
of something i never had
of some spewing day dream
now my mouth is full
of some hopeful
of some neediness
of some understanding

I dab my life with mercy multiple times
wring out the cloth and let the extra mercy drip on my head

 

Talking into phone

 

mhm awe yeah ur right
mhm totally totally
ok
I guess we have to get ready for this party now huh
can’t let this whole hole business ruin our halloween
yeah yeah
you’re right Janine

okie c u soon byeeeeeeeeeee

 

Girl drops phone and jumps into hole

 

says
GOOD BYE

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