Five Things

Back Home Again

Who knew you could miss the smell of a rogue skunk?

Ashley C. Ford
4 min readOct 31, 2020


Five Things is a weekly essay of five short thoughts inspired by my own life and observances now that I’m preparing to move back home to Indiana after years of living in New York.


I’ve spent the last month preparing for the move from Brooklyn to Indianapolis, but didn’t stop thinking we wouldn’t make it there until the second we pulled into my in-law’s driveway. As I’ve mentioned before, this move is something I’ve wanted for a long time. Nothing against Brooklyn. I just know where I belong, and I couldn’t lie to myself about that anymore. That’s not fair. I was never lying to myself about where I wanted to be, I just wasn’t living like I wanted to be on my own side. Now, I am. On the way here, just before it got dark on the east end of Ohio, Kelly asked me why I was smiling, and I didn’t know I had been. I know how much work I’ve put into healing myself, but sometimes, I forget it’s working.


Do you know I’m a huge horror fan? When I signed on to co-host the companion podcast for HBO’s Lovecraft Country (Lovecraft Country Radio), it felt like a dream come true. Nobody ever asks me to talk, write, or even comment on horror. Now, I get invited on podcasts to talk about all the shows and films I love that used to keep me up at night. One of my favorite (Eh, no, she’s my favorite) horror scholars is Tananarive Due, and while we were lucky enough to have her has a guest on the show, there would have never been enough time to say or ask all I wanted to. She understands so much about little Black girls who love spooky shit, and I never stopped being that little creep. I wanted to share this essay of hers with you.

As fans defended the honor of horror in general, I saw echoes of what I believe is also the power of Black Horror — to visualize trauma. To fight back. To try to heal. To seek out survival behaviors in crisis. To face the worst and be able to walk away unscathed… because, unlike the demons in our real lives, it isn’t real. By comparison, in fact, sometimes the real-life demons don’t seem quite as bad. Or sometimes, horror is the only way to help others understand.