Since I Don't Know When

by Joe Foster

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4. Bonnie is right here, a couple feet to my left. I can’t see her, but I know that her head is down, her hair hanging in her face. Her right arm is extended and her fingertips are so steady, white-knuckling a circuit until it tells secrets. We’re pinballing between interconnectedness and independence and both at the same time. I’m not really worrying about anything. I can trust her.

3. Bonnie is in Baltimore. Maybe she’s asleep, dreaming about things she won’t remember and I’ll never know. Someone earlier told her something surprising. Someone asked her about something she didn’t want to say. Maybe it was a forgettable day or maybe it changed everything forever.

2. I’m in a living room in my boss’s brother’s apartment in Yangpyeong, where I’m staying while he and his family are abroad for the year. Bonnie comes over every weekend and we play and then she and Jeong Eun and I go eat and drink, and Bonnie spends the night. She’s only in Korea for a few more months.

1. I’m in my kitchen in Geumho, hunched over a laptop. Jeong Eun is in the other room, watching Netflix with headphones. I’m pretty tired, but I feel okay. It’s fun not knowing what I’m doing but doing it anyway, trying so, so hard. I don’t know if it’s any good, and Bonnie is so far away that it’s last night there. We’re not going to meet in Philadelphia and play at vox populi this spring after all.

0. Bonnie and I recorded these halves of Democracy by ourselves, no plans, no agreements. Matt Revert made a blind composite of our faces. I asked Beatrice Murch if I could use a photo she took of a Georgia O’Keeffe coloring book she and her son made under quarantine in the Netherlands (remixed here by Matt Revert). Taku Unami mixed our two solos, hands off style, and was the only one who’d heard it before Jon posted it with a nice write-up on Facebook. I really love how it came out and all the things it made me think about and feel. Distance matters not to friendship and there is no such thing as time.

This has been a long while coming, and I’m really glad you’re listening. This song is called Since I Don’t Know When.

Thanks to Bonnie, Jon, Vanessa, Matt, Taku, Beatrice, Jeong Eun, Bryan, JP, Andrew, Ami, Toshi, and fucking Dave Quam.

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released May 4, 2020

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