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- A moment of awareness that someone you’ve known for years still has a private and mysterious inner life, and somewhere in the hallways of their personality is a door locked from the inside, a stairway leading to a wing of the house that you’ve never fully explored—an unfinished attic that will remain maddeningly unknowable to you, because ultimately neither of you has a map, or a master key, or any way of knowing exactly where you stand.
- Coined in 2012 by John Koenig in The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, a project, to create a compendium of invented words for every emotion we might all experience but don’t yet have a word for.