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Nathan says, “Why’d you pick my name?” In bed, we’re laying four across like thick railroad ties. Nathan and Emma in the middle, me and Barry risking the outer edges. It’s pretty quiet. It’s a Thursday, the book has been read, the light turned off; Nathan’s wearing a T-shirt and boxers in the middle of winter, Emma’s in her princess pjs that she hasn’t taken off in two days. “We liked Nathan.” He’s quiet. “Don’t you like it?” “No. I want a different one.” “Like what?” He thinks. “…Paul.” “Paul?!” He nods. “Why?” I’m wondering who at school is named Paul, where he heard Paul, why suddenly Paul. “I don’t know. I like Paul.” “Hmm.” I think about it. “I have a friend who knows someone called Paul Small. Isn’t that a funny name?” “I like that. Paul Small.” “Should we call you Paul Small?” “Yeah. Daddy can be Paul Big.” “Or Paul Tall.” Emma says “I wanna be somebody.” “How ’bout you’re Molly Small.” “I wanna be Andre.” “ANDRE?” “Yeah. Emma Andre.” “Okay.” Daddy says “Goodnight Paul Small.” “Goodnight Paul Big.” “Paul Tall.” “Paul Tall.” The next day it’s raining. We’re outside raking some leaves up off the cement by the pool. Nathan is trying to fix his bike. He’s sitting on the tricycle, bundled in his winter clothes, tying some string onto the bike. Mumbling to himself as I pass him. “I’m Paul Wet right now,” he says to himself. I start laughing. Later that day I tell him he’s Paul Tired. Now we’re all Paul something. Paul Grumpy. Paul Hungry. Paul Dirty. For three days we’re a Paul family. It’s like there’s never been a time when we weren’t a Paul. Then by the fourth day, he forgets about it. Because once you’ve been a Nathan for five years, it’s hard to remember to be a Paul.
Excerpt from Julietís new book, Somebodyís Always Hungry A Good Name: Paul Small by Juliet Myfanwy Johnson Nathan at about four Please click here  to fill out our Contact Form. Letís stay in touch. Somebodyís Always Hungry