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On April 24th Eric and I woke up in our car at a rest stop, and drove on towards Little Rock, Arkansas. It was my first time in Arkansas, and so far I really like it! It finally got warm (really warm) for the first time on this tour!! We thought that heading south would mean warm weather all the time, but it’s actually been really cold up until this point. (Which is ironic, because I saw friends on Facebook near Buffalo, NY putting up photos of a 6 inch snowfall that same day.)

We spent most of our day at the nice little library in Little Rock, getting internet work and art work done; stopping to pick up some fruits and vegetables at a nearby grocery store for a late lunch (eating out is way too expensive for us, so most of our food is raw stuff from a grocery store: apples, bananas, baby carrots, and plenty of peanut butter.)

In the evening we headed over the Friction Music Venue, a large youth group building with a stage next to a church.

The people in charge kept apologizing that, because it was a Tuesday night and they hadn’t had a ton of time to promote the show, they didn’t think too many people would show up. But there were over 30 people in the audience once the show started, so Eric and I were incredibly grateful! They even made a flier for the event and had us sign it so they could frame it on the venue’s walls (people asking us to autograph stuff has definitely been a new thing, especially on this tour it seems. I still find it sort of weird.)

The first band to play called themselves Legacy, and were lead by a keyboardist named Zach who I’d talked with before the show and told me how he was having a bit of trouble because his band members were teenagers (he’s 25) and kept getting grounded. I found this pretty funny. And throughout the night I couldn’t help comparing this group of teenagers to the last group of teenagers we’d played in front of. Such a stark difference… But still so similar. It was odd.

We played second (and it was nice of the ones setting up the show to have us, as a touring band, sandwhiched between two local bands. It always helps us out with having a crowd there to see us, even if they know nothing about us). There was a handful of very young little girls being kept in a back room while their parents watched the bands, so I suggested that they might like to come out and enjoy watching the painting. They all perched themselves with their long flowing skirts and unkept long hair around my feet like little pixies, and showered me with innocent little questions afterwards.
The show was a lot of fun, and I figured monsters needed to be coming back into my paintings much more.

After our set the final band to play was a very talented group of guys, but this was unfortunately their last show together: Atwood Machine. They were cool guys to talk to as well; just real, honest, hard-working kids.

After the show and as we were cleaning things up, a woman approached us with her husband and two sons to ask if we needed a place to stay. I practically jumped at her offer. We’d been sleeping in the car for the past 4 nights in a row, with just one shower at that church in Tupelo. We were both dirty, hungry, and completely exhausted from cramped and uncomfortable nights of fitful sleep. Sure, we can sleep in the car, but goodness, it’s hardly ever restful.

We followed them back to their house and discovered that the two boys and dad are actually in a metal band calling themselves Iudicia. Amazing. The drummer’s been playing since he was like 7 or something (he’s 11 now).

Honestly, you can not comprehend how amazing it feels to be able to lie flat in a bed with clean sheets in a dark room, after night after night of sleeping in a car in a parking lot. (Also, the fitful and unrestful nights of sleep have been causing me to clench my teeth a lot more at night and I’ve had a constant pain in my left temple for almost a week now because of it.)  And hot showers the next morning!! So amazing. We are seriously so grateful to the Iudicia family for taking us in for the night. It’d been a very long time since we’ve been invited into a home.