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Wednesday, Jan. 06, 2021 - 7:11 p.m.

Before the dumpster fire broke out at the Capitol, I went for a walk down the alleys and took some pinhole photos of stuff.

The houses of central Tucson have walls that we call fences. When we moved here J’s mom specifically didn’t like them because she liked to be able to see into people’s back yards. Here we don’t. And because of our walled in back yards, our backyards are filled with junk. The more securely enclosed the backyard, the more junk (but who knows?). Although sometimes there’s a gap or the wall fence has been replaced by chain link and the junk remains. Sometimes the junk is stacked in the alley until bulk trash pickup day. You go down the alley and there are mattresses, old toilets, bricks, wood, branches, concrete chunks. Whatever. The fronts of the houses are tidy. The backs...less so. And as visible as this metaphor is here in central Tucson, the only difference between our “junky” alleys and the tidy, spyable backyards back east are not that the junk and disarray doesn’t exist there in some form. It just gets shoved into attics. Sheds. Under the carpet, in the closet.

Anyway I got one really good shot of one of the big alley bins with a tire leaning against it. I’ll try again tomorrow. Seems as good an idea for a photo series as anything. Is it legal to take pictures of people’s backyards? Pinhole, peephole, let me see...

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