I walked into the house, now in darkness. I struck

a match, and the little yellow-papered music room frightened me.

I lit a cigarette, and, as always happens, when one

turns in a circle of inextricable contradiction, I began to

smoke. I smoked cigarette after cigarette to dull my senses,

that I might not see my contradictions. All night I

did not sleep, and at five o’clock, when it was

not yet light, I decided that I could stand this

strain no longer, and that I would sit at the

piano.  The piano was my refuge, my solace, my escape.


Paraphrases from the story “The Kreutzer Sonata” by Leo Tolstoy.