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Young Adult Fiction

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Of course, being in the real world isn’t always easy. As we play pool, a woman approaches, staring at him unapologetically.

“Um, I think you’re staring at me,” Culkin finally says, causing the woman to snap out of her trance.

“Oh, uh, is that Macaulay . . . ?”

“No, only on my good days.” As she vanishes, Culkin laughs. “As I’ve gotten older,” he says, “I’ve realized that when it comes to things like that, people are acting out of character.” Usually, when he points out their gawking, they apologize and go on their way. Not in this case. A few minutes later the woman is back.

“I didn’t mean to scare you!” she snipes. “And don’t worry, you’re not that cute!” Culkin shrugs. “I think she just misheard me.”

It’s the sort of moment—as crushing as it is common—that provides a window into why a child star might, say, grow up to write a schizophrenic pseudo-novel. But Culkin has never been one for self-pity, and over the past five years, he has learned to enjoy himself. “I had some good times,” he says with a mischievous grin. “I was single, a divorcé. It’s not like I never went to clubs and bars and flirted with every waitress in New York City.” After a prolonged period of standard-issue early-twenties indulgence, he issued a personal edict: “I decided to be abstinent or asexual or whatever. I made a vow, yeah.” It was then that he met Kunis, whom he speaks of fawningly, finding a way to reference her in every other sentence. Though the two aren’t engaged, they often joke that they’ll end up having kids before they get married, a fittingly accelerated version of domesticity. “Being promiscuous is only fun for so long,” he says. “I decided that’s not who I am. I’m not going to end up like Scott Baio, you know?”

Junior
By Macaulay Culkin. Miramax Books. 256 pages.


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