Joel Kaskinen
2 min readSep 11, 2022


Every day, I wake up, and discover new bruises all over my body.

Discolored skin on my knees, legs, arms, and hands. I wonder where they came from and what I did to get them. I don’t remember hurting myself. I don’t remember doing anything to cause pain. I’m bewildered.

I can’t help but be curious. I’m curious, by nature.

I spend my mornings thinking about this armor of skin that envelopes me. It stretches and breaks so easily. It changes pigment without warning. Then again, the discoloration is a warning itself.

The body is a wonderland. Was it John Mayer that said that? It doesn’t matter where the wise sentiment came from; it’s true. I’m in awe.

How can a fortress of flesh do so much? How can something so soft and fragile also provide such immense protection?

I’m left with my thoughts, wandering and aimless. Without fail, one is recurring. Can bruises be a reflection of the inside, rather than the out?

I think about the only thing that’s truly ever been broken.

My heart.

My soul.

My mind.

Each is Fractured and mangled; the toll of life has left the fragile insides of my being in carnage.

I could be scooped out as easily as the guts of a pumpkin at Halloween. Perhaps this is where these bruises magically come from.

Maybe fruit and I are not so different. Are humans just apples with brains?

Healing. Aging. Living. Maybe bruising is just part of the process.

Since I have no answers, I guess I will wear each black, blue, and yellow badge like a medal of honor, proving my worth, my strength, and ultimately, my life.