Journal Entry, references episode "Man in a Glass House" and was originally printed in fanzine Back to Back Supplement #4.
Friend, Son, or What?
By Lizabeth S. Tucker
Wow, a son… Hardcastle had a son, and I never knew about it. I couldn't believe it at first when Joe Cadillac said that. And the son was killed in Viet Nam. I don't know why I'm surprised, but I am.
No, I know why. There aren't any pictures of him. Hell, I don't even know the kid's name. I wonder how old he was when he died. I wonder what his name was. I must've looked like a real idiot, sitting there with my mouth hanging open. I really didn't know what to say, and, maybe, I was afraid to say anything. It might've opened old wounds, especially the way Hardcase told Cadillac to leave his son out of it.
Of course, Hardcastle pulled this song and dance on me about my not being a substitute. I know that…but how could I be? I'm an ex-con with no real family life, been in trouble most of my life. There is no way I could ever sub for the Judge's son; for God's sake, he was a war hero. Probably a real John Wayne type. Damn, that's bitter, and I don't want it to be.
I don't have the right to feel jealous. It's not like I'm the younger son or anything. Though there are times when I wish I was. Times I wish I really was a member of the family.
Things got so hectic that we never got around to talking about the man who carried the Hardcastle name. I wish I could get up enough nerve to ask him. I would like to know about him; why the Judge never talks about him; and why there aren't any pictures of him anywhere in the house. His wife is all over the place. We've even talked about Nancy sometimes.
I feel…sorta lost, ya know? Hardcastle said that this shouldn't change anything. But it does. I feel off-kilter. I need time to take this in. If I'm not a substitute son, and I'm certainly not a normal employee, and Hardcastle says we aren't buddies (though I have my doubts about that), what exactly am I?
Maybe it doesn't really matter. Maybe I am just Tonto to Hardcastle's Lone Ranger. Maybe.
But is that such a bad thing? It means I'm not only wanted, but needed. For whatever reason, that's a nice feeling. If it never goes further than this, I could be happy.
But still, I wish it could be more…