Alé drove me back to Olivers for a drink, and Mike, the American bartender was the first to ask to see it.
"That's it? You were gone for 3 hours and that's all you got?"
Two days later, when I showed Hugo, he was offended. "I drew you a beautiful design, and instead you got a line?" He laughed and brushed me off.
When I arrived in Lima, Amanda asked about it. "Who did it? Well, its only a line. I guess it doesn't really matter."
Even upon returning to my hometown, my father's best friend asked to see it. "That's it? Why not more? If you're going to do it, you've gotta do it."
But Alé's words ring in my head. "No es para nadie. Es para ti." And I love it. Even after the countless hours I had spent hanging out at Tito's over the last year, I learned a lot about tattooing that night. And even though, perhaps "its only a line...it doesn't really matter" who the artist was, I'm confident (politics or none) that I chose the right person to do it. Someone I trusted, someone who cared enough to make sure it was exactly what I wanted, and someone who in the three weeks since has asked countless times how it is, if its healed, how the color is fading, and if I like it. Maybe I'm just gloating, but now I can't imagine getting a tattoo from a stranger. There's just something too impersonal about that.