Andrea Lennox, of Forest Hills, Queens, spent another Saturday afternoon attempting to finish telling a story she’d begun telling her friends nearly three decades ago.
Once again, she began, “Well…” before ceding the floor to the rustling of a nearby tree. Finally, many moments later, she began again, “It’s a really funny story. I mean, I don’t know. Maybe you had to be there.” She stopped abruptly and shook her head, as if to admonish herself for having said too much, at which point her friends turned away and resumed other conversations.
Andrea has been known to be a quiet person. When she was 17-years-old, an already well-established member of her family, her brother married a woman by the same name. Somehow, her new sister-in-law became known as “Andrea,” while she herself was henceforth dubbed “Quiet-Andrea.” This bothered her, but like all her thoughts and feelings, she kept her outrage quiet.
“I keep my outrage quiet,” says Quiet-Andrea, with her eyes.
Andrea attempted to overcome her meekness over the course of several hours last Saturday, slowly spelling out her story. It took place in March of 1989 and could easily and quickly be described as the time she tripped and fell face first into a birthday cake she was carrying. Despite the inoffensive and light nature of the story, Quiet-Andrea was stoic in attempting to describe it, with a pained expression on her face. “I was um, put in charge of the cake because my, uh, mother was busy hanging the piñata. My niece really wanted a piñata that year…” This narrative was interrupted several times with nearly-unbearable mousiness.
Quiet-Andrea has been trying to tell this story to her closest friends and family for a quarter of a century. Amidst their continual interruptions and her own inability to literally speak up, it has proven a formidable task. Quiet Andrea tells reporters, “Maybe this story isn’t really worth telling. I mean, I am Quiet-Andrea, so maybe not, I don’t really…” before trailing off.