by Jacob Neal
Oklahoma City, OK
Our first day off! What a relief! The question looming in everyone’s mind after our mentally taxing days at OBU was how should we spend this glorious day off here in Oklahoma City, the thriving metropolis of the Midwest? Bill provided us with the clear answer: breakfast at IHOP. It may not sound like an adventure, but when you gather 15 or more Equality Riders together at least two things are inevitable. One, Jesus is present, and two, you’re in for a smashing good time. The trip to IHOP was no exception. Us Equality Riders never know when the next meal will be coming, and the half of us who are vegetarian never know if the next meal will be palatable, so we laden down our table with short stacks and tall stacks and omelets and hash browns and eggs galore. The two hour feast was an experience that will live on in my mind (and tummy) for days to come.
When we arrived back at the hotel, the breakfast bunch quickly dissipated in the halls of the Habana to a myriad of tasks. Laundry was high on the list for some while others settled down for a long afternoon nap. Industrious as a busy bee, I snuggled under the covers of my voluptuous bed with my book and half-heartedly attempted to make some headway into the 1069 riveting pages of Ayn Rand’s epic novel, Atlas Shrugged. Sitting on the bed, I could hear the sound of the waves and the wind rushing through the palm trees calling my name, “Jaaaa-cob,” beckoning me down to the pool. (Okay! Okay! I imagined the palm trees, but it really was a windy day — hence the waves.) Journaling on the edge of the pool, I casually dipped my toes into the leafy waters, only to find I’d lost all feeling in the lower half of my body. With the aid of my arms, I was able to extract my toes from the frigid water but from that experience decided that swimming in Oklahoma would have to be the task for another Saturday.
At 3:00 pm, we all gathered in the darkened Habana theatre (Room 214) to watch the new Jake Reitan flick. After the 7 minute MTV feature, the Equality Ride celebrities practiced signing their autographs for the hoards of fans we were sure to encounter at our next stop at Abilene Christian. Then my day got interesting — really interesting. The moment I’d been waiting for all morning finally occurred — Jonathan and his exboyfriend Nate had come to rescue me from the humdrum life I’d been leading for so long (all morning) and took me back to Nate’s house where I could experience the rapturous joy of doing my laundry. Little did I know that I was to join in a family tradition, complete with extended family and friends, shish kabobbed mushrooms and peppers, cute beer bottle identifying braclets, and a viewing of Best in Show.
Five hours later after the festivities had finally concluded, Nate gave us a lift back to the hotel. The evening ended in a flurry of activity with frantic packing and hurried preparations for the early morning departure. Content with life, I settled into bed and drifted off to sleep with dreams of welcoming Christian universities dancing in my head.