A man who called himself King John was on the Red Line on his way to the Medical Center Metro stop—headed to Briana’s Hair Spa in Frederick, where he’s a master barber. He was in the third car. It just stopped. “It was a slight bang,” he said. “It wasn’t major.”

There was uncertainty, the flickering of lights. The train operator made an announcement: The train has derailed. People were worried, stressed, given Metro’s history, he said. “Especially the Red Line.”

He was in there, waiting, for an hour and a half, before he was finally able to get out of the station through the exit at Connecticut and L.

He’s not hurt. Just distressed. “I’m distressed because I’ve already missed four days of work,” he said, referring to the snowstorms that disrupted everything. Now he has to miss Friday, too, and Friday’s the busiest day.

He’s going to try to find his way to work, somehow.

Reporting by Erik Wemple

Photo by Will Mitchell