By the time I noticed the pile of pubic hair it was too late. Urine rifled against the pink cake as I gasped at the hairs, and, based on my internal pressure, I would be here for awhile. How was I so stupid? I had to piss, I wasn't really paying attention. If only I looked up while I unbuttoned my pants. If only. But now it was too late. Though the night, up to that point, had unraveled nicely, I knew it wouldn't be the same. How could I leave this restroom unchanged? How was I expected to return? My body frozen, my eyes fixed on the hair, my soul crumbling. No human could expect such a sight.

Normally I'd be able to back up, get a foot between me and the urinal and watch my piss arc through the air, but the barbaric restroom lacked any barrier, and I am very self conscious about my inadequacies, so, for the sake of privacy, I leaned in, straddled the amber puddle on the linoleum floor, and encased my manhood deep within the porcelain sarcophagus. My strategic position protected me, but left my wrist damp with warm droplets of backsplash and, worse yet, forced me nearer the pile.

The proximity allowed me a chance to examine the great diversity of samples: short and long, black, blond, a brilliant red, some curled like sleeping snakes, some straight as pines, while others grew in peculiar zags and jagged angles. It was, for a brief moment, spellbinding, almost, in fact, beautiful. One hair dangled in the air, holding firm to the condensation of the steel pipe by a miniscule twist. I needed to know more.

For science, I declared as I leaned in closer, lowering my nose on the stack and took a careful sniff. The stench of beer and piss filled my nose, but nothing from the hairs. I carefully pinched a loose strand and brought it close to my eyes, its twist fully observed, then lowered it to my mouth. The follicle brushed against my lip before I stopped. No. No, I don't need to taste one, I thought. I need to taste them all at once to truly understand what is in front of me. And, since it would be impossible to fit that many hairs in one mouth, I stopped, and returned the hair to its natural habitat. Each hair worthy of investigation, there was no way to just study one.

But, as a whole, the many hairs seemed to congeal to create something larger, something unearthly. It dominated the bleak, yellow-stained two-inch landscape in front of me, and I had no option but to take it in, to try to gaze at it and hope to live another day. Religion was created to help weaker souls live through such a sighting. The pile haphazardly cluttered like a dove's nest, and in parts it was difficult to see the white urinal through the thickets of darkness. And then it hit me.

I was probably looking at the largest public collection of pubic hair in the country. This wasn't weird, it was a miracle. Since the creation of life, no sight has been so unique, so independent of logical explanation, so marvelous. I wondered about the divinity or drunken oaf behind such extraordinary acts. Perhaps Dionysus, god of wine and merriment, was at work, spreading himself across the bars of the world. Or maybe it was a perverse man's hobby? Did he pile these hairs to disgust an innocent urinateor like me while he hid in a stall pleasuring himself? I carefully, slowly turn my head to catch any possible spying eyes. No one was in the room with me. From craning my neck, a few thick splatters of urine soak into my shirt cuff, but I am in too deep of thought to notice. Maybe all of the hairs were put there by a millionaire, each wisp plucked from one of his lovers. It could have been an old man too, his age had betrayed him, his hair deceived him. Youth had left, and in a desperate attempt to become smooth again, he tore it all off, pulling handfuls of hair out by the tiny white follicles as if they were wild onions.

No. Impossible. With so much variation, the hairs were certainly from Haresmany. A group. An organization. The Pube Collective. Of course. How simple. Saturday night. A restroom at a bar. It seemed like the right time and place for a hidden cult. If Scientology can succeed, why not this? Perhaps they used the basement or the roof to enact their unholy practices, and the hairs are part of raising some sort of demigod-Hares, god of war and pubes. What am I doing here? What if they see me? Each member placing a strand up on the urinal for some symbolic purpose, and I drunkenly interrupted the ritual.

I panicked. If I weren't already urinating, I would have wetted my self, but instead I just push harder, straining to empty my bladder before one of the acolytes returned. Finally, as my final drops dripped, I contently hiked my undergarments up and zipped the fly, but as I held the buttons, my hands froze. I knew what had to be done. I pulled my pants down, further than before, until they bunched near my ankles, leaving my legs exposed. Running my fingers through my own, I tried to find one fit for sacrifice, finally selecting one with a faint curl. I plucked it, brought it close to my face to ensure its quality, and then placed it on the pile. As it settled with the rest, I closed my eyes and prayed to Hares.

– Ian "Salmon Season" Golding (@iggolding)

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