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Going Down In Gotham Chapter 1 On the wall across from where I was standing, was a picture that caught

my eye. I was drawn to the ancient old barn, and a small duck, next to a couple bails of hay. The sky was a stormy blue, and a dark winding road veered off to the right . There was something about the road that intrigued me. It appeared to be an ent rance way into a darkened tunnel, a gateway into mysterious and secret world hid den from most. My mind drifted to images of my mother reading me "The Secret Garden." A story a bout a child who discovered a forgotten magical place, that would come alive whe n visited. The tangled vines and over grown flower beds, knotted in weeds seemed so inviting to me. I recalled wishing I could jump into that book and live ther e. I felt safety, solitude, and beauty in that story, and this mysterious painti ng made me feel the same. Unfortunately that was a very fleeting moment, as I turned around to a room of six women of various ages, and backgrounds, who were seated in a small circle. A goth chick dressed in uniform black, with a shrunken top hat pinned to the top side of her head, was the only one who hadn’t looked up from her romance novel wh en I walked into the room. What the hell am I doing? Why am I here? I can’t talk about personal things in fr ont of people, especially about my break up. This is a total waste of time, and the absolute last time I listen to Vanessa, and her suggestions on how I should better my life, through new age crystal healing therapy. Whatever that is. I just wish I’d never met my bastard cheating husband. I scanned the room, to see what type of person actually falls for this crystal healing nonsense. I focused on a sweet looking Patti Smith look-alike, with a permanent smile on h er face. The all natural type who sees good in everyone, and doesn’t shave her leg s. I wondered what the goth chick was going to divulge to the group? Perhaps some morbid fascination with the dead, or maybe she’s one of those modern day vampires that I’d seen on a recent Sally Jesse Raphael afternoon talk show. I shifted from leg to leg self-consciously waiting for the doctor at arrive. Eye s darted around to each woman in the room. I wondered what they thought of me. Not that it really matters… but it does matter . I did care what people thought of me. I shouldn’t, but that was one of my issues . I was a people pleaser. That’s what Vanessa said, anyway. I’d never thought about these things before. I tended to trust her because of her vast knowledge about p eople. Vanessa was practically addicted to various therapy groups. She wanted to join A lcoholics Anonymous, even though she wasn’t an alcoholic. She told me she recently had slipped into a meeting, and pretended she had a drinking problem. Now she w as actually wondering if in fact she was an alcoholic, although she didn’t care fo r alcohol. I noticed a few of the women looking at me out of the corner of their eyes. I di d stand out on the streets of Manhattan, where I had blended in in London. My ha ir was dark brown and reached my waist. I needed to trim my bangs, but I thought they lent me a Chrissy Hynde rock n’ roll image. I had on tight black jeans, and pointed boots. I never left the house without black eyeliner and ruby red lips. I wish I had larger breasts, but had discovered I could work magic with a push u p bra. The room was quiet, apart from two of the women who seemed to know each other. Just as I was thinking about slipping out of the door, and making a run for it, Doctor Cornwell glided in. Her eyes immediately caught mine. She was carrying a fold up chair.

avoiding all eyes. nor do I tell y ou what to do. Relationships are the main subject women bury thems elves in. I began to perspire. surprised me by her rather angry undertone . Clearly aware of her audience." She stood for a moment closed her eyes and took a deep breath. she drank in the attention. Doctor Cornwell asked the group to introduce themselves. things that you feel you can’t share. Doctor Cornwell walked slowly around the circle of women. talking about what the group entailed. She was way more attractive than most doctors I imagined. who stared at everyone w ith a harsh attitude. . Lastly. "Vivienne. It seemed that everyone’s eyes w ere on my body. hurt feelings. I felt allergic talking to a group of people. There was Rosa. H er eyes looked black.within yourself. and folded arms. I hat ed to talk in front of a group. I scanned the room and fidgeted with my bag. Maybe that was the problem. I liked her immediately. "You will be amazed at what you are holding on to." Tina made a face at the mention of traditional therapy. "We are willing to try an alternative therapy.… good afternoon. hid eous. and opened it. and began to perspire. secur ing it by sticking a pencil through the knot of hair. " I looked around the room to see if I could spot any obvious decay. Negativity. who lifted her head and whispered her name. and their gaze left me. Rebecca was attractive. If you continue to follow my theo ry in my newest book ‘ Searching for Love and Finding Freedom.’ Cornwell reached over to her desk and passed around a copy of her book. and plopped her heavy Gucci bag down. She had perfectly styled blond hair and tasteful makeup. "Hello. I breathed a sigh. when everyone’s head turned to her." I shifted around in my ch air. and I gained and extra fifty pounds. she was in her mid dle to late sixties. As though my arms looked like huge sausages. Thankfully I was saved by goth girl. "You will reach these conclusions on your own. I do not preach. perhaps with…others. It was extremely irritating. Cynthia introduced herself. especially a shrink. and looked at me. resentment. no matter how small. Placing myself n ext to the hunch over goth girl. naturally. I’m from London… Been here three months…I’m h re cause of my… break up. Patti who was called Rain. "That is the beginning of decay. old wounds. my name is Brooke Powell…Umm…I guess. I felt so self conscious. I felt my face flush immedi ately. She had thick long dead straight gray hair and bangs that hid green eyes. I couldn’t help focusing on Tina who was quiet. How is everyone today?" She smiled a wide truly ha ppy to see everyone smile." She had a tiny upturned nose. and exhaled. like traditional therapists. If you continue to hold onto these rotten. anger." "Oh… yes…sir-ree. wh o was a large thirty-something year old Hispanic women. yet she constantly moved around in her seat and snapped gum. We are here for you. She announced her difficulty in finding a "partner…" We went around to each woman in an anti clock wise direction. She kicked off her Ferragamo pumps and twisted her hair into a tight bun. Umm. "This is for you…" I took the chair thanking her. thoughts and feelings. "We come together once a week to explore and discuss our inner feelings. oh yes!" Rosa nodded her head up and down holding up both hands a s though in church. that’s it… I think… thank you. It was quite a disability. I wish I could be one of those cool confident women who eff ortlessly were able to speak to people in public. Vo lume 5."Hello people. which was a striking contrast to her pale skin and hair. you will begin to look and feel rotten and decayed. I got a twinge of nerves. Cornwell walked behind her grand mahogany desk.

All eyes were on me. that I rarely made decisions. but you need help or you will continue to repeat cycles in your relationships. Oh no! were they a ll crazy? "You might think we are crazy. They’d ." I asked. "Am I supposed to a ccept that and stay with him because the time isn’t right in some weird cosmic sci ence?" "Go ahead release…" I turned to look at Doctor Cornwell standing over me." I said quickly. that my last relationships had put a dark aura over me. humiliating. You must listen to me. certain words bothered me. or showed enough initiative. whi ch is what we all desire. bu t I nodded. standing seductively by a tree." "Oh. and I found out that he wa s seeing some… one…. head bowed.It was awful. wishing the floor would swallow me up. and open your arms to fresh pure fr eedom from old ways. "Whatever you feel like letting go off. and shook her head. and never move on to a fulfilling partnership." "Oh. that was the most pretentious thing she’d said so far. was on tour. I had hoped I would find someo ne who would help me shake my awful gut ache and preoccupation on revenge agains t my ex." This was getting a little strange." I blurted out defensively. and a peaceful smile on her face. "You unfortunately broke off your relationship too early… Why do you have to be in control all the time?" "Who me… what control?" I looked around as though she wasn’t talking to me. Thanks to MTV’s breaking News." She threw up her arms as though releasing doves to the sky . her hands in prayer.I could see on the back cover a large photo of Cornwell. and that word ‘release…ugh! The same with the word journey. and even friends. I can feel it in this room. and this whole thing was a load of bollocks. That sentence alone was funny." She stood in the circle. all words I felt had beco me part of this new movement. it ran it’s course." Cornwell said still ho lding her hands over my head. Strangely I could feel warmth from her hands. "You are blocking the flow. believe me. lets! "The decay that you have allowed into your body and soul is only growing. Yes lets focus on decay. and sacred. Doctor Cornwell hovered over my shoulders holding her hands an inch over my hea d. I actually wanted he r to be for real." Cornwell said hovering over my head." Cornwell smiled sweetly. It turned out to be probably the most embarrassing moment of m y life. I heard he had been in a car accident. You are blocking my energy to flow through you. I reall y wasn’t a newager. I relaxed. "You should have stayed in that relationship until it naturally ran its course. I didn’t break it off soon enough. "Yes. For a moment I forgot I was in a room of strangers. I dont read your mind. "Your aura is darkening. and kil led positive flow from my chi. When Vanessa had explained Doctor Cornwell to me." Rosa pursed her lips across from me. can she read my thoughts? "I feel your thoughts. Its seemed to me to be the absolute end. I sat motionless holding my breath. My husband. money that I didn’t have. Had I just called the whole room a bunch of crazy’s? I couldn’t avo id Tina’s disapproving evil eye across the way. It had been a life long complaint of my fathers. I feel it. and were thoroughly over used as of late." "No no. How did she know I thought tha t? Oh for god sake. "…. "Release what?" I asked annoyed. in a white flowing summ er dress. and these other females for forty dollars a session. "Today I’d like to focus on decay. I though t I wasn’t in control enough. and not some charlatan taking me. I looked at everyone’s face. you have broken the natural cycle of this rendezvous…" Rendezvous? what the hell. even made me shudder. The doctor said. "Well my husband cheated on me. her new age language was lost on me. No shit!. I dont think you are crazy. "Is that bad.

he was caught driving drunk. I remember reading the headline under Kurt Loader. and buried my face in my hands. Had my stiff." " It will become easier. The worst thing is…" I looked around the room at each of the women. with this stripper next to him. I still have people asking me if I’m a a…." Tina said. I can’t even go to the West Side because we used to go to bars and restaurants over there. Tears rolled from my eyes." I said. I think we can all identify with men che ating. ye t my heart raced. "They didn’t show a picture of what I later discovered was a just fender bender. smiling awkwardly. " Brooke. my real sickness. and everyone looked at me. Most of the women agreed. and us. "That’s very upsetting." Tina continue d. But it still sounded easier said than done. "Del West (of the band WestEnders) and wife in DWI accident!" Telling the tale to strangers. unemotional father not been so adamantly opposed to our union. But to hav e the whole world assuming it was me. I over sold the picture of our extreme love for one another at every o pportunity. "Anyway. but I had gone this far why not spill the truth. blood drained from my face. " Oh God. the special songs we listened to… Its been over four years. I keep wakin g up each morning wondering if today it will be easier. "I dont know if I can handle four years of this." I looked at Cornwell.. time will heal all. but only if you embrace." She had such a warm peacef ul glow to her. I had gone numb. you have many new romances ahead of yo u. Cornwell put her hands on my sh oulders and said. "I’m actually still… in love with him. . but I didn’t realize h ow its played such a big part in my life lately. Embrace it all. made me feel this had just happened yesterday.gotten a lead on a story. as I saw my life. As we live. had been seeing this women for a few months. Eve ry fucking streets corner. I felt embarrassed at what I was about to say. You dont want to forget your life. I can’t stop thinking about him. well you can imagine. "I guess I’ve never really gotten over it. b ut who the hell was this wife? I mean. what makes B rooke so unique. I see us standing there… I want it to all stop. What’s wrong with me? I’m confused." Rain said. We never stop loving. I was shocked to hear the word ‘Pig’ coming from her. and memories that make the break up so fucking unbea rable. My husband." I said. I was back at the exact moment when the story unfolded on MTV. you are a beautiful young girl. as I knew it unr aveling before me. Oh what am I saying probably year s… Every time he went to LA he’d get together with her. My mother said time. But he is my first thoug ht when I open my eyes. I hate him for what he’s done t o me. strippe r." I whispered. Its all your life. "Its the constant thoughts. and god knows who else. Its all apart of you. "Uniquely stup id maybe. Why can’t I stop remembering the good times. was a man I swore to love for the rest of my life." I looked at Rain. must have made it quite difficult. Was I unique? I never really thought I was. That my husband . to say the least. we love. taking a tissue from Cynthia. I knew I was hurt. "I’m so embarrassed. a nd humiliating. I need a pill to forget." "Thank you." I said. Your head will continue to hold pa in and happiness. your thoughts and memories as your life. yet I still love a man who’s a pig. The room went silent. it’s been traumatic. I see you have trouble taking compliments. who motioned that my makeup had run under my eyes. Its all memories. I might n ot have fought so desperately hard to make it appear everything was wonderful be tween us." Cornwell smiled." I know he’s not good f or me. " Ahh. the fact yours was so public. it certainly wasn’t me. But I nodded my head in agreement. I feel I’m going insane sometimes . Del West." "I totally get it. But I still obsess over the good times." I began bawling." "What a pig. To discover this t ype of personal thing via the media is… Oh it was so embarrassing.

and put a string of clear crystals around my neck ." I said. what’s that?" "It’s a new term that seems to be cropping up more and more. if you have an illness its not really your faul t. "Amen to that. a person who is meant to be with you forever. * * * . "When’s the last time you saw this. I breathed a sigh. Sorry that I’d fallen in love." Doctor Corn well stood before me making large circular movements with her hands. "Isn’t addiction some sort of disease?" Rosa said pouting."I want you to visualize a wide open lake. you’re probably carrying around some mor e god awful dizzease." Tina laughed. n ow the sun is bouncing off the lake and encircling your entire body. I felt so very sorry for myself. who also began giggling. Now this is where she lost me. Its was perfectly smooth on one side and it felt good to rub my thumb over." Cornwell said c almly. Dr." "Really. and a small rose quart in my hand. I was amazed at my openness the way I had rambl ed on to people I didn’t know. You are sur rounding yourself in a protective light that will repel negativity. sorry that I hadn’t listened to my friends or my father. or should I say came slithering from under rocks. sorry that I’d opene d up my heart. and begged for forgiveness. he’s got a thing for strippers. your p erfect partner. the sun is shinning upon that lake. husband of yours?" Cynthia asked me. and out of gutters . elbowing Ros a. I guess its like any other addiction. than that. can be over come. but it felt so good. to define a person wh o’s addicted to sex. "Its been almost three months. So many women came out of th e woodwork. He’s left messages. and sorry that I wasn’t attracted to nice sweet men who didn’t play in rock bands. But its also an excuse for many to hide behind. " Everyone has a soul mate. now tells me he’s a sex addic t. I wanted so hard to believe in love. obnoxiously loudly. I mean. Bu t its been nothing but heartbreak dealing with him. Simon. "If you’ve got that sex addiction dizzease. Any of these ‘diseases’ of the mind. "We live in a world where the media has invented ‘diseases’ to persuade the public t hey are ill. I mean come on. Dels manager." Rosa chimed in. Cornwell came over to me. is it?" Cynthia said shrugging her shoulders.