an aroma of coffee-dany laferriere

dogs and letters-these are a few of my favorite things…


We have a dog, but he’s so skinny and ugly I pretend I don’t know him. He had an accident, and ever since, he has a funny way of walking. As if he were wearing high-heeled shoes, as if he had adopted the careful, elegant walk of old ladies coming back from church. We call him Marquis, but my friends nicknamed him Madame the Marquise.” (13)

aw, a reject dog. plus!


Marquis showed up, tail wagging, rubbing against my legs. I gave him a good kick in the ribs. He scurried off, yelping. I felt a twinge of remorse. I don’t understand why I have a dog that’s so ugly. No one ever picks him up. Except me.” (98)


Every Tuesday, the Port-au-Prince paper is delivered to Passilus. Lupcius, Occleve’s brother, brings it to him. Which is normal, since he’s the postman. Da says that Lupcius should not have the job. He bears too many grudges. When he gets angry at someone, to punish him, he won’t deliver his mail for an entire month. Once, Zette has a little dog that never barks at anyone. It’s always lying on her gallery. Lupcius claims he’s afraid of her dog. And even after Zette got rid of it, Lupcius still preferred to hand over Zette’s mail to Mozart. He said the dog could come back at any time, since a dog never forgets its home. And that’s true, because Marquis found my bed after months of being away.” (120)


Frantz invented a kind of hook that he installed on the handlebars of his bicycle. That way, he can keep a book open in front of him. He can study anywhere. Often, we meet near the National Boys School or, sometimes, behind the church. Frantz rides up with his book hooked onto the handlebars of his old junker. Now and then, he glances over the chapter that he’s studying. Sometimes, we all gather around him to try to solve an arithmetic problem. We usually do that in the morning, right in the schoolyard.” (132)



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