A revelation was in my inbox. If I'd only been told that last spring, it would have spared me many masochistic soul searches.
A "genuinely good guy" would have been clear about how superficial the connection was. We do indeed speak two different languages; in my mother tongue, what you called 'friend' ('girlfriend') is what I call a 'casual acquaintance' ('someone I bother with once in awhile'). So I'll take 'Payback' out of it's frame, and lay it to rest in a momento box. If I take it out, I'll say I inspired a writing exercise, but I never really knew him, we were only briefly acquainted. I'd felt a strong connection, and acted on it; I do not offer friendship lightly. He should have refused it, having no intention of returning it in kind. Or better yet, not sought me out in the first place. Friendship involves mutuality, not one sided control.
While I thank him sincerely for his (overdue) honesty, I can't see myself wanting to spend time with someone whose just made it clear how little regard he has for my friendship, knowing I've been triaged to the back of the line. That seems so childish. It's no small comfort knowing my intuition was right in part, there was a reason for the sense of 'wrongness.' Porter, please return this baggage to it's rightful owner. It's not mine.
"Touch passion when it comes your way, Stephen. It's rare enough as it is. Don't walk away when it calls you by name."