Cosmic Flash - Prologue: Where On Earth Is Zach English?

Zachary English?  Yeah, I know that loser.  He's a one-of-a-kind guy, I'll give him that.  But nobody really likes him.  Why?  Well you see, Zach is a um.....very weird guy.  Apart from being one of the most socially awkward guys I've ever met, he's also a conspiracy theorist of the worst kind.  By worst kind, I mean he doesn't know the meaning of the words "taking it to the extreme."  He has no limitations.  No boundaries.  He also doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut.

He's black.  He's 20 years old.  He currently attends our college, Ripley University, and he's apart of Alpha Mu Delta, a Fraternity that his adopted dad made him join because he himself attended the same college and participated in the same activities, wanting his son to follow the same path.  Zach wasn't even taking the courses he originally wanted to take.  He tells people he wanted to major in Political Science and minor in Law, but his father went behind his back and signed him up to major in Film and minor in Business.  I'm sort of under the impression that he hates his dad.  He never has anything good to say about him.  Always made him seem like the worst kind of guy.  Its like his dad is controlling his life and Zach seems to just let him.

I know a lot about Zach because I used to be friends with him, if you want to call it that.  I really just hung out with him to be nice.  I tried to avoid him as much as I could.  The guy is the biggest buzzkill imaginable.  Whenever everybody is partying and having a good time, he would always come out of no where with some bull about how the beer we were drinking probably had chemicals that the government laced with some kind of mind-dampening solution that would "render us suseptible to the government's brain-washing techniques," or some shit like that.  And we're all like "Dude, we're just trying to have a good time.  Why do you always have to ruin it?"  I've got to say, the stuff that he talks about is interesting to listen to every now and then, but sometimes he just won't shut the hell up about it, you know?

The dude lives in his car.  Why?  I have no clue.  He has places he could stay, especially in the Frat House.  He'd always refuse to sleep there for some reason though.  I remember whenever I would ride in his car on occasion; it was one of the wierdest experiences of my life.  The guy had so many strange objects in that thing.  He kept all of his clothes in the trunk and had a cooler full of drinks and frozen foods as well as snacks in the back seat.  That wasn't the weird part though.  He also had all of these accessories that he'd bought from infomercials and radio ads.  He had a light-shade thingy on his left window that he would use to block out the sun or something, at least, I think that's what it was for.  He also had a cellphone holder on the top corner of his windshield too.  I mean a cellphone, really?  Who even uses those?  Who'd want a huge computer hanging off their face half the day when they can just go to a payphone or something like a normal human being, not like someone out of Star Trek.  The car he drove was a pretty old Volvo Phillip.  I think it was a '52 model.  You would think that would be nice, except he didn't even try to keep it in good condition.  It was always dirty and the paint was peeling off last time I saw it.  Noticeable dents on the doors too.  It was literally falling apart.  The foam was almost spilling out of his torn-up seats.  He had a little excuse for a cassette player which was installed over his radio so he could play his music over his lousy speakers.  All he had to listen to was some kind of weird foreign Disco crap.  I mean he had some occassional good stuff like Devo or MJ, but some of what he played was just weird.  Plus, in his collection of mixes, he had specific tapes with audio recordings of government stuff like Coast to Coast Radio, crackjob interviews about backwater government spending, crap like that.  To top it all off, the guy would spend all day guzzling down carrots and drinking water out of a latex bag with a tube/straw on the end.  He said it was more sanitary than drinking it from a bottle.  Weirdo.

Oh yeah, can't forget about those documents.  Those damn documents.  Not a day went by that he didn't break them out.  Every time he meets a new person that he gets into a conversation about ideals with, which is essentially everyone he meets, he goes out to his car and pulls them out from the trunk.  Half the time I didn't know exactly what he was even talking about when he brought them up, but the way he explained it, they contained information pertaining to government policies that average people weren't aware of, stuff about secret political parties, and a few forms that, if you filled them out, would stop you from being considered a citizen of the US and therefore leave you free from abiding by government law, paying taxes and other things.  But at a cost, you wouldn't be able to apply for healthcare or financial assistance from the government at any time for any reason.  Personally, I thought it was a load of bull.  Like the government would have such an obvious loop hole for someone to get out of paying taxes and still live in the States.  Crazy stuff.  Then there were the occasional herb packages that accompanied the documents in the trunk which, according to him, would give you nutrients and energy or some crap.  I don't know what they were for, honestly.  He would always offer some but I would never eat them.  It says a lot that I wouldn't either, after all of the illegal treats I've snacked on.

Overall, I just don't like him.  Nobody really does.  He's an annoying sociopath who doesn't know when to shut up.  But the thing he'd occassionally mention that would actually spice up a conversation to a small extent, if only for us to humor him, was his belief that the government knew about the existence of Extraterrestrials.  He believed that we'd made first contact years ago and that the government's been hiding that from the public.  I always brought up an interesting point of how the government probably has good reason to do that if it were true.  I mean, we live in a world where we haven't fully accepted gays, foreigners, and even people of different races just yet.  How are we supposed to accept an entirely new species?  His argument was never valid enough.  He'd say people should know the truth.  But the truth is, not everybody can handle it.  He might be able to, but he can't speak for everybody.

The one thing I did admire Zach for was one particular philosophy he had.  His primary question about the world was....everyone knows society is getting worse - but is the world getting worse because society is getting worse or is this the world's destiny and the effects it has on us people are reflected through society?  I always thought that was an interesting question, even if it can't be answered.  I guess I wouldn't dislike the guy so much if it wasn't for his persistence.  I respect that he stands up for what he believes in, but nobody likes it when a person forces their ideals on everyone.  I have to admit though, he is a good friend.  He's always there for me, especially if I need a ride back and forth from my girl's place.  He never complained about anything I did.  He admired me because I had a mind of my own.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that I only hate him because everybody else does.  You know, caught up in the talk of my friends and stuff.  It's hard not to agree when all they bring up about people are the bad things, the flaws.  Zach's not all-bad of a guy.  He's got his faults here and there, but hey, so does everyone else.  Anyway yeah, I haven't seen him around lately.  What happened to him?  Is he missing?....

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