"I'm trying to get my life together," says Marion, this week's Vendor of the Week. The softspoken mother of two now sells at the QFC on Rainier and McClellan.
Marion spent the first three decades of her life in Memphis, Tennessee, where she was born and raised.
She spent a couple of years at the University of Memphis, but life and kids happened. Marion, her two kids, and her husband moved north to Minnesota. As she talks she nods her head, swivels a little in her chair, hands folded in her lap. She speaks softly.
It's hard to imagine why anyone would do it to her, but somebody did.
When I ask what brought her to Seattle, the answer is flat, unsentimental, direct: "I'm a domestic violence survivor."
After a couple years in Minnesota, it became clear to Marion that her children couldn't be around their father. She brought what she could to Seattle.
And was the domestic violence -- what I assume must be a heady cocktail of fear, guilt, and heartache -- linked in any way to the drug abuse that would come to dominate the next years of her life?
The answer is flat, unsentimental, direct: "I can't blame anybody." "It was all associated," she concedes, "I'll put it like that."
But Marion, who has been selling Real Change off and on since the paper's first year, has been clean for 19 months and is saving up for a place of her own. She now sells from 1 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
"The paper is an educational paper," says Marion. "When people are educated, that's when they grow together and respect each other."