This truth destroys the veracity of my story, the one I have been telling. But we should not be too fixed on this outward appearance, because both are the same one, except instead of advancing along its horizontal axis I have suddenly moved upward across it, vertically, and this is what I have found. Believe me. This le Nègre Pierre turning the wheel is also true. When his own people and the French discovered his gifts, they bound him to the wheel to keep him from getting away, and this is where le Nègre Pierre spends his days, tied like a mule so the wild beast he is cannot escape.

Vertical, and not horizontal, as if Madame in the brothel of The House were not going through her room in the natural way, horizontally, but had found how to go through it in upward fashion. She would see, then, instead of the habitual air of elegance and sumptuousness, nothing by abandon and negligence: above the frame holding up the drapes, dead flies and little moths, dust dereliction, and gloom are what one sees from up there. … If she were to describe the room in this way, the room she is writing about would be something else….

And why should I share with the reader the filth that I must clean up all by myself, that must be thrown out because, although it belongs to the room, it is not part of the room? Because, without your closeness, reader, without the warmth and company of your body, I would not have been able to draw the story upward, in a vertical direction, because when your body moves close to mine, I succumb, I let myself go, and in that mode I remain in order to go through the story in a different direction, vertically…. That’s the way it is when two bodies draw close to each other. The flesh reveal what neither the eye nor the intelligence is able to see. … But despite your eroticism, so strong and vigorous, into which I have allowed myself to fall, as into a woman’s lap, moving back and forth as I feel you have asked me to do, I do know that the truthfulness of this tale is on the verge of tumbling over the cliff, I know I am capable of collapsing, coming apart, going head over heels – and with me everything that I have written here, that I swear, reader, is true, just as you are or I am when I hold back this pen with my hand before again setting down in ink this true story which we should not allow to be destroyed , or be turned into its own end. Therefore, I promise myself that throughout this book I will not move through the story in any other fashion and that I will direct myself along the horizontal axis so you will believe me, will trust me, will know that it is true, really true. … Because this story is the only thing I have for believing myself real.

Carmen Boullosa They're Cows, We're Pigs, translation Leland H. Chambers October 1, 2008
Posted on October 1, 2008