Noun. When one is so drained/exhausted from social interactions that retreat to recharge is necessary. From "socio," meaning "social," and "lassus," meaning "weary, tired, exhaused, aweary, beat, bush."
Freedom. She almost had it.
She waved to the last of the partygoers as they departed. The disappearing headlights served as twin lighthouses in the night, assuring her that the farther they got, the farther she was from the rocky shore of social obligations.
Her guests finally gone, she closed the door and rushed for her bedroom. She passed by her husband, who lounged with a beer on the couch, surrounded by the mess left over by the party. He frowned as she shut the door to their bedroom, but he was accustomed to how she handled these events.
Sociolassus, she called it. Social exhaustion.
Avoidance and antisocial, he called it, but he let her have her time. He had no choice in the matter, really. Not if he wanted to get his wife back.
* * *
Peace. Quiet. She finally had it.
No more idle chatter. No more wearing one mask for one person and then switching masks when someone new joined the conversation. No more being the chameleon, blending into the background of whatever group she was in but draining herself to do so.
She set her phone on the bedside table and grabbed her current favorite book, The Bell Jar. She plopped down on the bed and settled in for a few hours of escape.
Then she heard it.
Against her better judgment, she reached for her phone. It was her mother.
Come get the kids, the message read. Sophie had a nightmare.