1. Pay Phone Next to Rural Ditch – Edinburgh, Scotland

Slept in ditch the night before after being jumped and beaten for my backpack. I kept it, along with the required black eye and bruises that accompany saving things.

Man calling at a pay phone desperate

Happy Birthday!

I cry and tell her I hate my ancestors.

2. Random Girl's Apartment – San Antonio, Texas

We met at a bar, and she dragged me to a film I "has to see," Reservoir Dogs. We drink at her place until 6am and have the sloppiest sex ever made.

Awake at 5pm and call Mom.

Happy Birthday!

For some reason, she asks if I'm gay.

3. Pay Phone in Ralph's – Hawaii

Flew to the Big Island with a guy who said he was a semi-pro tennis player (believable), his only luggage a brown paper lunch bag full of sheets of acid. Sheets. We've been hanging out on his friend's property, and I'd like to say I called on her birthday, but I probably overshot it by a day or two.

Happy Birthday!

I tell her I'm in Seattle selling used cars.

4. Humboldt County Jail – Eureka, California

I've been arrested for protesting clear-cutting, along with punching a security guard in the dick, an action that landed me in jail for a few days. When she answers, she asks why the caller ID says "Humboldt County Jail."

Happy Birthday!

Says she's proud of me for standing up for something I believe in. I don't go into detail.

5. Saint John Coltrane African Orthodox Church – San Francisco, California

I wander in through the back, find an empty office and make my move.

Happy Birthday!

I'm even cavalier enough to sit at the desk I've found and put my feet up like I own the place while talking to her about the previous year. When discovered, I let the pastor talk to my Mom (she's a pastor too) and they go on for so long I get bored and walk out.

He waves goodbye.