It was my birthday last week. My friend Aidan brought me a growler of Half Acre Space IPA.

“Happy Birthday Asshole,” he said.

It was the same thing he said to me in junior high at our Chicago Catholic school after bringing me a bag of unconsecrated hosts from the church sacristy. “Happy Birthday Asshole.”

I had just opened the growler when my neighbor, Ms. Weregun, knocked on me door. She had a birthday present for me. It was a cat litter box.

“But I don’t have a cat,” I said.

“Well get one, asshole,” she said.

My first birthday after college an attractive but somewhat worn-looking girl knocked on my apartment door. Underneath her long coat was a cheerleading uniform. She was some kind of stripper/birthday gram. Sent to me not by Aidan, but by a girl friend of mine, Heather. I told her I didn’t want a strip dance or anything, so we had some coffee. Before she left she told me I smelled nice and gave me a kiss.

During my sophomore year in high school my girl friends decorated my locker. This was usually reserved for girls at the school. I liked it. One of the jocks walked by however, and asked “if I was a fag.” Weird, because only a week earlier I had gone down on his girlfriend at a school drama group party. I guess he was unaware.

I remember one birthday during college and my friend Johnny and I were hitting the Wrigleyville bars. I remember it was freezing, we were running, and something made Johnny shit his pants. His sweatpants (why he was wearing sweatpants, I don’t recall. I”m sure it was a hit with the girls at the bars). He chucked those sweatpants in an alley near Wrigley Field. “They’ll be frozen to the ground by morning,” he said.

There was another birthday memory from junior high, when my older sister’s friends pinned me to the floor and nearly tickled me to death. One of them kissed me after, so that made up for it. She even let me touch her boob. “Happy Birthday,” she said.

When I was 17 my girlfriend at the time made me give her 17 spankings. Even though it was my birthday. I’m not really even into spankings. So I would take my time between spanks, groping, caressing her ass and legs. “Spank me goddamnit!” she said.

Reclusive Chicago author Clive Javanski once got me a bag of pot and a book on Doc Martens, and some album from a British doom metal band.

Then there was the birthday in Dublin. A girl named Clara. After hours, in my mother’s office at Trinity University.

One time Aidan brought shrimp to a party we had in honor of my day of birth. I ended up on and practically in the toilet for most of the night.

“Where’d you get that shrimp Aidan?”

“Who the fuck knows,” he said. “Happy Birthday Asshole.”