At roughly 9:30 Sunday morning I was making my way out of the Bethesda Metro station. When I got to the three escalators leading to and from the surface, two of them weren’t running.

Worse yet, the one escalator that was running was heading down.

Not knowing what else to do, I started making my way up one of the motionless escalators. Including a break to rest my soon-aching gams, it took me about two minutes to reach the top.

I’m pretty sure some people got on after me, and it’s possible that some may have passed me on the way up. But when I looked back down those two escalators, both were empty.

It was about then that I remembered the elevator.