He’s sitting at the table, cards in his hands, eyes locked on the deck. He feels the possibilities, a pulsing current under his skin, as the dealer slides the next card. Yes, yes, that next card is going to be his, for sure. 

The card flips. His heart leaps, then plummets. It isn't his.

This sensation, this high — he chases it everywhere. He provokes colleagues into wagers. He transforms mundane debates into high-stakes battles. And he makes friends stake claims on trivial matters. Every victory is a shot of adrenaline straight into his veins; each loss, a test to see if he’s too chicken to chase the next win.

But when the cards are down, when the bets are off, and when ordinary life resumes, he is dead inside. He’s waiting, desperate and hollow, for the next gamble, the next hit that’ll bring him back to life.