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I Picked Her Up, And She's As Sticky As Chewing Gum

The story starts in Spain. At the train station in Barcelona. The girl, obviously American, was filthy, her eyes would not focus, she was begging for money. I gave her a Euro, then held it back. I held out a five Euro bill and told her she needed to fess up. What was she doing there, begging in a train station.

The story she said was that her backpack was stolen with her passport and money, she was trying to get to Italy. I offered her a meal, to come with me to my hotel, get a shower and get some clean clothes. She came, for the food.

The next day I took her to the consulate and got her a replacement passport, a ticket home to Dallas. And that was it. Over, gone, done with my good deed.

But life doesn't work like that. She needed swift kick in the ass, get registered in college, get her ass in gear. She moved down to Austin and hid out in my guest room, went to St. Edwards, my nickel, got her degree in Art Appreciation. Somewhere between her first year and her last year she moved down the hall into my room.

She's still here, raising kids, she's got three. I never thought I'd have a girl my daughter's age living with me popping out kids one, two, three. My nickname for her is Chewing Gum, stuck to my shoe. Can't live with them, can't live without them. She's a cuddler.


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