Lyric from the song machinehead from 16 stone by Bush. this is what it means to me.

A tourniquet is an emergency treatment for horrific injuries with severe haemorrhaging. Basically you take that horrible lacerated bloody mess and wrap it up as tight as you can. Pushing it down in on itself and hiding it under layer after layer of clean white bandages, making sure that nothing can be seen on the pristine surface of the horror underneath.

But if something rips that wound open again down there underneath all those layers, you may start bleeding through your tourniquet. The scarlet stain blossoming flower-like across the white surface. Then you know that something is very very wrong under there somewhere.

Of course not all wounds are physical. Some of us suffer emotional trauma - injuries to the soul. Then maybe you can use a smile as a tourniquet and bind everything up behind a cheerful countenance. And then you will look fine until you start bleeding through your tourniquet smile.

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