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The One for Which My Ankles Won a Copy of an A.S. King Book Directly from A.S. King.

Back in 2012, I entered a contest to win a signed paperback of A.S. King's EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS, because she's brilliant. And I wanted it. Entrants were to write about their ankles. Yes, their ankles. Funny thing is, I actually had something to say about mine...

My first job, all two days of it, netted a paycheck that bought a pair of 8-hole Docs. Not just plain old black 8-holes. Uh-uh. Purple 8-holes that matched my purple contacts. Why yes, thank you for noticing! I was, indeed, the shiz.

My second job, at a record store, had me standing and walking, day after day in those purple Docs, asking holiday shoppers and kids with allowances bigger than my paycheck if they needed my mad skills for finding what they were looking for, with a smile on my face, even if I wished one, just one, would ask for Skinny Puppy instead of Shabba Ranks. (For the record, pardon the pun, it's damn hard to remember which moving and pushing shopper has already received the offer, and they DO NOT like to be asked twice. Just ask the one who slammed her box set down, cussed me out and stormed through the door.) Two unfortunate things came from that job: 1) chew toy-dom for pissy people, determined to share their holiday joy with someone other than me (at your service!). 2) Because of the rubbing those rad Docs did, one darkened, bruised ankle—the right one—that never recovered.

I've scrubbed it. I've lemon juiced it. I've lotioned it. I've waited for it to match its twin for 19 years. I can remember the cassettes I stocked and the CDs I secretly ordered to make the store cooler, but I don't remember what it's like to have two matching, unmarred ankles. In Pretty in Pink, Iona warned Andie that people who miss their proms regret it, always. Nope. People who wear incorrect shoes to crap jobs regret it, always.

Unless they win an awesome book written by one of their YA lit heroes. There's that.