"Ira had been divorced for six months and still couldn't get his wedding ring off. His finger had swelled doughily -- a combination of frustrated desire, unmitigated remorse, and misdirected ambition was how he explained it. 'I'm going to have my entire finger surgically removed,' he told his friends. The ring (supposedly gold, though now that everything he had received from Marilyn had been thrown in doubt, who knew?) clinched the blowsy fat of his finger, which had grown twistedly around it like a fucking happy challah. 'Maybe I should cut the whole hand off and send it to her,' he said on the phone to his friend Mike...."
(p. 35 from the 2008 Faber and Faber Ltd. edition of Moore's Collected Short Stories)
The way Lorrie Moore opens her short story "Debarking" -- originally published in The New Yorker in 2003 -- actually makes my fingers itch. The idea of not being able to escape a tiny golden band literally makes me a little sick. That probably says something about me. Nonetheless, thought I'd share: