The madman’s wife had been gone a long time and he didn’t know where she was.
When he told some people he figured she was in oblivion they shook their heads piously and told him she was not in oblivion, she was in Heaven.
The widower, an avid researcher as his future obit would note, looked up the only Heaven he had heard of and in fact the only one that appeared to exist — Heaven, Texas — and after checking the populace he could tell you, as he told the angelic head-shakers, his wife was not in Heaven, Texas.
Just for the hell of it, as absurd and unnecessary as it was, he decided to check out the only hell he knew — Hell, Michigan — and of course his wife was not there as he knew she wouldn’t be. She was a good person. Sure, she drank a lot and smoked a lot of grass, but there was no way in hell his wife wasn’t a good person.
Then someone told him she was in Paradise. Well, dammit, there were twenty-seven Paradises in America. He set to it. And over several days he checked all the Paradises through various means available on the Internet (some for which he had to take out a subscription) and what he found out was that his wife wasn’t in any of them.
So it was back to square one, or as he put it, circle one, as in the big O.
Then, what do ya know, he found it. In the year 3031, on a planet millions of light years from Earth, there is a town called Oblivion. Someone even made a totally forgettable movie about it in 1994, called, not so slyly, Oblivion, a film that slipped by him and just about everyone else like a distant comet in the night.
Okay, so this was where he would direct all his mental energy. It would be difficult. It would require going through a wormhole. He bought a bunch of books on wormholes and rented several episodes of the TV series Through the Wormhole narrated by Morgan Freeman. He was reading those books and watching that series for weeks. He had the empty liquor bottles to prove it.
Not to leave a stone unturned, he went out into his backyard and turned over a stone and unearthed an earthworm. Sure enough, the earthworm scurried down a wormhole. The avid researcher studied the wormhole but no clue was to found there.
It was five o’clock. He went back inside the house and entered into another consultation with Jack Daniels.