Snippet from Soft Opening by Alexandra Naughton

Playing with this power because I can and because it’s been done to me and it’s something I’ve always had and never thought to use or know how to use and I don’t even think I’m really playing with anything on purpose because I’ve been honest the whole time. I laugh, throw my head back, enjoying your jokes and your company, just being a person all relaxed and in the moment and not even playing a part right now just genuinely feeling and letting even if it is all being recorded, even if there is an audience, and there always is when I am not alone. You’re watching me and I am aware but I’m not playing it up that hard, I’m just being. I am sitting on your sofa in your loft apartment rolling spliffs for the road while you rush around tidying up and changing the music it’s nice to feel immediately natural with a stranger, like everything you’re doing is totally routine and not a big deal, making everything right at home, setting up shop anywhere like it’s completely normal, kicking my feet up on the dash sitting in the passenger seat of your car while you drive us to Santa Cruz because I don’t want to go to work and I don’t want to be alone and you’re the one who put me in this situation in the first place. Kinda.

Alexandra Naughton is writer, publisher, and variety show host based in Oakland, California. Her first novel, American Mary, is will be released March 11, 2016 from Civil Coping Mechanisms. Links to previously published work, online and in print, can be found on her tumblr ( She edits and runs a small press and literary zine called Be About It.