The streets were quiet and serene this morning. Or at least they will be until the final ferocious rush of holiday shopping - of which, I, ashamedly, will be a part - rears its head.
If there's one thing the strike reinforced it's that everything is about money. Now that's no great realization of course, but it's saddening to see so starkly how our existence has been reduced to the terminology of currency. Would it be so hard to forego the lamentations over the blow to Christmas retailers? The Christmas market is for useless frivolities anyway, cards and trinkets and blinking things made of plastic. Who cares?
What bitter irony that in the end the sticking point for the union was not exactly money at all, but rather the guarantee of affordable healthcare and a decent pension plan - security. Albeit security of a different sort than that which politicians so lustily pay homage to while tapping phones and flying people to secret prisons by cover of night.
We will leave our jobs tonight, travel to places we once called home, sit with the people who raised us and the people we grew up with, paying our own lip service to the idea that there is still something warm and compassionate and special about the time of year, that it is not just a mark on the calender, an excuse for indulgence, a dartboard for quarterly expectations.
And then sweep the floors, wrap up the lights and start all over again...