Standing Ashtray on Tulane’s Academic Quad

You know what a long day of bike riding often gets me the next day? A tired day of lazy bike commuting and not much other riding, which is fine, but kind of hard to balance when the weather is just so perfect and the bike beckons, as always. But alas. I hopped on Rhoda this morning for a leisurely pedal to campus where I met up with campus guest Susan Stryker, who kindly agreed to visit my classes and dazzle us all with her proven wit and intelligence. After lunch with her and the colleagues, I picked up my bike and tooled to the other side of campus to sit in on R.’s class and watch Stryker’s documentary about the Compton Cafeteria riots in San Francisco in 1966. After leaving early to ride to the cafe to get some much-needed coffee and a muffin, I stopped to take a picture of this ashtray installed by Tulane after the campus decided to limit smoking to certain areas. I have to say, this thing is so pretty. Look how the green matches the grass! The smoky cut-outs mime the swirling branches of the regal oak! Smoking outside never looked so good, I gotta say. Just kidding–the only thing I like as much as bike riding is quitting smoking. I don’t smoke anymore, and today, as I rush around even though I feel perfectly exhausted, I’m grateful that I don’t have to stop at the store to pick up cigarettes and then waste time smoking outside. Nope, I can just sip my coffee outside and save my breath for my ride home after Stryker’s campus lecture. Much, much better than smoking ever was, and I’m happy that I still, more than four years out, get to revel in the pleasure that is not smoking.

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