Carnivorous Cow had been out. Generally, she tried to behave during the week in a manner consistent with being an employed individual who wished to remain thus. However, it was still early January, and so one's constitution still hankered after festive engagement, after all. So, "out" had quietly metamorphosed into "out late" and then "still out, early". She'd arrived home at 4am, closing her bovine eyes at 04h30. Only to be hurtled back into the world of the wakeful 90 minutes later. And, amazingly enough, she'd functioned normally all day. Well, as near as the Cow got to "normal".
But she'd made a point of an early night after that, in an uncharacteristic fit of responsibility. She was struggling to convince Gramsci, though. "Never mind what time you got home," he snorted dismissively. "What time did you get into bed?" The Cow rolled her eyes and muttered, "Oh, probably around... 11-ish" vaguely. Gramsci stalked up and down the desk, fantasising himself into Law and Order mode. "And, what did you do then?" he asked.
The Cow looked perplexed. "The Su Doku. And the crossword - but just the cryptic one. Oh, and then a chapter of the new Etienne van Heerden book, because I skipped the gym earlier, and then the chapter on Sex and Death in the Sagan book. it starts with this wonderful description of fireflies..." "Aha!" interrupted Gramsci. "So what time did you actually go to _sleep_?"
Carnivorous Cow looked up, startled. "I've no idea!" she said. "The Su Doku said it was fiendish, but it was actually quite easy, and the crossword was hardly very cryptic, and the reading..." She could feel herself on shaky ground here. It was actually more than a chapter of the Van Heerden book. And the Sagan book had the most wonderful footnotes - you could get lost in them, and she did. She loved footnotes - it was almost as good as hypertext, a blessing for non-linear readers. And, of course, his use of metaphor and the breadth of his subject matter ensured that one didn't simply _read_ the text, but mulled on it as one read, slowly savouring each morsel to extract maximum nutrition and taste. There was no saying how long she'd spent reading.
Gramsci shook his head, sadly. He wasn't sure how much sleep a fully loaded Carnivorous Cow required nightly, but it was clearly more than she'd averaged the past couple of nights. "And tonight?" he asked, cautiously. The Cow shrugged. "Nothing much. An abstract that's overdue, some serious thinking about a conference in June and possibly an extended abstract for that, some scratching out of references for a reading list and a draft week-by-week course outline, and of course an overdue conversation with my old friends Justerini and Brooks."
Gramsci smiled wryly. He just hoped that the conversation led to pleasant dreams.