Ian gets frightened when he's trapped outside alone at night, which provides his life with yet another naturally formed paradox. Here is a man who loves the freedom of running twelve miles. He's a man that swims in the lake every summer on the very day it opens, waterskis behind his own boat in the middle of nowhere. And most important of all is that he's thirty eight years old. A fear of darkness or space or being alone is irrational. None of these facts or self-admonishments prevent him from being scared when he's outside alone at night.
But once again, he recognizes that this is an inappropriate and childish behavior, so in true therapeutic fashion, he forces the night on himself. He gets into his car and drives up to the far Northwest side of the city where no one will recognize him. He wanders the darkened streets, smoking and swinging his keys around on his index finger to distract him from the silence. He reads license plates and tries to make words, throws away other people's garbage, kicks at empty bottles, peers casually into lit windows and wonders what the happy, well adjusted families are doing.
The air is warmer than it should be in April, begging to be inhaled deeply. Against his better judgement, during one of these deep cleansing breaths, his eyes trail upwards to the sky. This is when he becomes frightened. A line of pale clouds, slightly orange from the reflecte light of the city, crawl across the navy blue Spring sky and block out the sickly yellow, waning half moon. He crushes out his cigarette and quickly fumbles for another, comforted slightly in the routine of packing and lighting it.
Looking at the sky makes him think of infinity, and what must lie beyond the universe, and how anything possibly could. And what's this business of black holes? His brain cruelly forces him to ponder HOW LONG eternity is, and finally, this makes him think of what it's like to be dead...and how long he'll be dead for. You see, when you're in a room with four walls and a ceiling, with a line of coke and two naked redheads, these thoughts just don't come to you.
He shakes his head clear and finds Orion to get his bearings again. Then he finds the Pleiades, as if helping the hunter with his eternal crimes. He tries to imagine what sort of despair must accompany sudden blindness. It must be an intense, stabbing loss, almost like being there to mourn your own death. He can't conceive of never seeing anything again, never seeing himself, his hand, his loft.
This is when he realizes, the trip outside was not a good idea.