He stayed with me while I cried. He let me cry. Not once did he tell me to shut up, or stop over reacting. There was no trying to pretend like nothing was wrong or making me feel stupid or emotional or anything else. The man just sat beside me, offered me his shoulder, and wrapped an arm around me until I finished.
No one had ever done that for me before. Not that I could remember. It was the most I’d connected with another human being for over a decade. I fell in love with him right then. Amazing how powerful something as simple as touch and sympathy can be.
I cried until I was exhausted. And then, only once he was sure my tears were spent, absolutely sure I was on somewhat stable ground, he told me how much trouble we were in.
Turns out my mom had an army.
Next on their journey, the Argonauts stopped at a place called Drepane, which was ruled by a virtuous king named Alcinous. You may recognize his name from The Odyssey (the happy home where Odysseus tells the stories of his wanderings). Unfortunately, the Colchian fleet (the army from the kingdom where Jason took the fleece, and Medea, and killed the king’s son) arrived shortly after and demanded the return of their princess. Alcinous mediated between the two sides, and in an offhand comment informed his wife, Arete, that if Medea was still a virgin/unmarried, he would return her to her people.
You know, cause women are property and stuff.
Arete wanted Medea to be able to make her own choice, so she told the Jason and Medea what she’d learned from her husband. Medea and Jason married right away…and consummated their marriage on the Golden Fleece (possibly the best f-you in all of mythology).
Thrilled with the marriage, the Argonauts set off for home and were immediately driven off course by another gust of wind. Their ship was beached on a huge sandbank (the Syrtes) near Libya. In true, over dramatic manly fashion, the Argonauts all resigned themselves to death and part ways to die heroic, individual, lonely deaths. Medea hangs out with her maids on the beach and talked about how much it sucked that after all they’ve been through, they’re beached.
Meanwhile, Jason was visited by three nymphs who gave him step by step instructions to get out of his mess. All they had to do was carry the boat across the desert.
Twelve days later, and two Argonauts short (Mopsus to a snake bite and Canthus to a Shepherd fight) they arrived at Lake Triton and the Hesperides garden where they just missed Hercules. Triton Lake opened up into the sea so the Argonauts made their way toward home. Again. Only this time, they made it. But more on that next week.