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"The Wrecking Ground, pt. 20" by Lee Huttner

"The Wrecking Ground" is an essay told in parts by Lee Huttner. We will be publishing a new part each week on our blog. Stay tuned!


Think of the lie we are told as children: that when it is inside us, our blood is blue; as soon as it is exposed to air, it turns red. We can only ever see the blue of our blood by peering through the thinnest skin of our hands, wrists, feet. A trick of the light, only. Veins, thicker and closer to the surface of the skin carry oxygen-depleted blood back toward the heart. The skin absorbs most wavelengths of light, but the shorter ones, like blue, are not absorbed and, instead, reflect back. Our eyes catch only these waves of light, and the blood in our veins appears to us as blue.

When we look at the pale blue veins beneath the skin of our hands, we remain oblivious to the blood rushing rapidly through them, hidden from our view. Until the skin breaks and we suffer its flow. The body always an alien revelation. A trick of the light.

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