Todd Clay Stuart ~ Accessories

She was half angel, half angel dust, with eyes like coal mines that could cave in any time. Wore my dirty tee shirts straight off the floor. Wrote i love the fuck out of you in pur­ple lip­stick on the cracked bath­room mir­ror; keyed when it all hurts, noth­ing hurts on the pas­sen­ger door of my Corolla as it was being repos­sessed. She dyed her hair orange to match her lumpy, pop-eyed gold­fish Harold Without Irony, who watched us through the bay win­dow of his bowl while the bed shook and the bang, bang, bang of the old oak head­board chipped away the crum­bling dry­wall. I can still hear Johnny Thunders singing “You can’t put your arms round a mem­o­ry” through blown speak­ers with buzzy bass and the wob­bly ceil­ing fan mak­ing the philo­den­dron in the cor­ner of our bed­room dance a soft, shad­owy bal­let. But maybe to her I was just dec­o­ra­tion, maybe we were just acces­sories to each other’s crimes. If there had been a sin­gle moment of ten­der­ness between us, I would have remem­bered it. What I am left with though is her favorite Doc Martens, weath­er-worn and blood-stained, the ones she’d use to crush our emp­ty beer cans, the ones I unlaced for her while she ran her fin­gers through my hair, the ones she hurled at me the last time I saw her, the ones I’ve kept in a box at the back of my clos­et all these years. Sometimes I think the Internet was invent­ed so I could spend my free time search­ing for her late at night—with my wife sleep­ing in the next room—searching, search­ing, and even­tu­al­ly set­tling for an over­priced Johnny Thunders t‑shirt auc­tioned on eBay by some street punk with (0) feed­back most like­ly look­ing to rip me off.


Todd Clay Stuart is an emerg­ing Midwestern writer. He stud­ied cre­ative writ­ing at the University of Iowa. His most recent pub­li­ca­tion is in Flash Fiction Magazine. He lives with his wife, daugh­ter, and two loy­al but increas­ing­ly untrust­wor­thy pets. Find him on Twitter @toddclaystuart and at