Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.
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LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 8.16 101 wfpk.org indication of the enormous beast she knew he might one day become. He outgrew every tank she got for him. When he got too big for the 100-gallon tank, she decided to move him to Wayside, a place, she figured, where a slow-moving but determined creature would fit in just fine. "We use Spike as an analogy," she says. Only the tortoise can win the slow race toward recovery. Duncan took to Spike on his own. If he wasn't following the tortoise, the tortoise was following him. People would mistake Spike for a dog a block away, but when they got close, their eyes would pop. News stations stopped Duncan on the street to ask about his exotic friend. "Oh, I've seen him," a friend of mine told me. "He's the tortoise guy." And that's what he is. He's the tortoise guy now. e tortoise guy with no tortoise. "Mr. William, there's a gray car!" e woman looks down Jefferson Street, turns her head back to Duncan, her short curls bouncing, the sun as bright as her tie-dye shirt. She has missed Spike these past 18 days, and can't wait for him to come home. She looks to be in her 20s, heavy-set and bright-eyed. She stands at the edge of the small crowd that has gathered in front of Wayside. More than 20 wait to welcome Spike back. Young mothers tell their children to be patient. Two news cameras wait by the doors, and people with notebooks chat with Moseley and Duncan. "Mr. William, there's another gray car!" the young woman in tie-dye calls. "Never mind. at one turned right." Duncan grins a grin that drops a few decades off his face. "at's them! at's them!" e cameras turn as the car pulls up. De- nise Beckovich and another woman in scrubs drive up to the door and step around to the back of the vehicle. Spike raises his head from the kiddy pool. Gray epoxy covers the pink acrylic on top of his shell. Duncan pulls up a little wooden cart with a rope handle and helps set Spike down. "Hey, Spike!" people call. "We love you, Spike!" Beckovich puts her hand on Spike's back, balancing him on the narrow cart, and the moving party steps between the news cameras and heads inside. rough the hall, up the elevator, through a set of doors. Spike tries to pull himself up, and Beckovich has to keep sliding him back onto the cart. Finally, they make it to Dun- can's room, a simple little space with a twin bed, a couple of dressers, an old TV, plants in the window. A bouquet of golf clubs by his closet. A fat gray-and-white cat named Annie curls up on the mattress and glares at her new roommate. Spike's pelvis is still healing, his back right leg still injured. He has trouble walking, and will have to be confined to Duncan's room for a while. Fuchs will later plan nerve testing to determine the extent of Spike's leg injury. For now, he can walk, just not far. For now, he's home. He crawls into the center of the room and drops a damned gorgeous heap of shit. Duncan mops at it with a tube sock. "Don't use that, William. I'll get you some paper tow- els," Moseley says. Duncan smiles at the pile. "Don't worry," he says. "Me and Spike don't mind." He looks out the window. It'll be a long time before they go on one of their walks again. Spike may never walk like he used to. If he has to, Duncan will pull Spike on a cart. At least it'd be easier to get him to go where he wanted. Before, when Duncan was done with a walk, he'd sometimes have to turn Spike like the wheel of an old boat and point him toward home. en he'd wonder what was on the menu back home, or how his neighbor's kittens were doing back home, or which pages he'd print in the morning at the job just a few floors below his home. He'd think of the life he's made. And he'd look down at Spike's shell. Home is a beautiful word.