Every January for the past eleven years, thousands of New Yorkers participate in Improv Everywhere’s No Pants Subway Ride. Fittingly, it was on public transportation where I was reminded of the thousands of times my roommate traveled (i.e. walked) around our apartment without pants. Our roommate experience together could have been paraphrased by – The No Pants Apartment Ride – with an emphasis on the last word because of the up’s and down’s of our roommate life.
I was already on the bus when I noticed my old roommate board the M15. Taking advantage of New York’s anonymity, I scrunched down in my seat and turned towards the window in order to text my friends who all knew about the roommate history between the two of us.
The first friend to respond writes back: “OMG. Is she wearing pants?” I could not help but laugh out loud. I muzzled the giggling in fear my boisterous chuckle might project to the back of the bus where my old roommate sat unaware of my presence.
My friend’s text did not come from left field. Instead, it was actually a legitimate question. Every time my friend had visited my apartment, the roommate was walking around in her underwear and a shirt (sans pants). It was not because she was running to and from the bathroom, but just a regular occurrence. Nonchalantly, my roommate would stop by my door to say hi, as if her attire (or lack there of) was not a big deal. She would engage us in conversation, and when she walked away, my friend would express her shock over and over again.
As I exited the bus, successfully having avoided saying hi to my old roommate, I could not help but wonder if she had participated in the No Pants Subway Ride earlier in the month. She would have been a natural participant.