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The Journey of the Accidental Leader by Stephen D. Gladis

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Lesson Number One:

On Trying

Uncle Joe’s apartment was a one-bedroom in midtown Manhattan on the corner of 33rd and Third Avenue. From his balcony you could look out in one direction at the Empire State Building and in another direction see the Chrysler Building. The commanding view more than made up for the compactness of Joe’s apartment. Both Sammy and Joe sat at the table a full minute before Sammy spoke.

“I can’t do this, Uncle Joe.”

Joe just stared, sipped his coffee, and chewed his bagel.

“I’m serious. This afternoon, I’m going to book a flight back to the West Coast. I can’t do this.”

Joe continued to eat.

“Aren’t you going to say anything, Uncle Joe?”

“Goodbye,” Joe said, waving his bony, veined left hand before returning it to his coffee ...

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