A Bird in the Hand: Sherri Jacobs


My U.S. Passport

The location of my birth in this world was 38.9589385 degrees latitude and -94.6816482 degrees longitude, making me eligible for one US passport. These coordinates allow me mobility that most on our planet do not have. Having had one stolen while abroad, I pondered the whereabouts of my doppelganger who roamed the planet as me until that passport expired. Did she gain freedom from her birth coordinates?

I have traveled extensively, often to places where people would kill to get ahold of one of these, either for their own use, or to sell on the black market. My most memorable experience took place in the back of a pick up truck in Jordan once upon a time. I was sharing a ride through an empty desert with several Arab men who requested to see my passport. I reluctantly let one of them hold it. Observing the look on their faces as they thumbed through it proved to be one of those existential moments in which everything that is lopsided about this world became crystal clear. Thankfully they returned it, and we arrived safely at our destination.

Submitted January 28, 2011

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